Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Legion Of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1

As you all know, I am a huge Supergirl fan.
As most of you know, I am also a huge Legion of Super-Heroes fan.
But many of you probably don't know that I am also a big fan of Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny. I am an old guy and grew up watching reruns of Warner Brothers cartoons on the local TV station and laughed every time.

So when DC announced a Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny crossover, I knew I was in. That's like chocolate and peanut butter. The fact that Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 heavily involves Supergirl makes it the best of three worlds. It's like chocolate, peanut butter, and a cookie crunch. And Lightning Lass, who I love, is on the role call. That's like a special layer of caramel amid the cookie, chocolate, and peanut butter.

But I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting the book to be so phenomenal. I haven't laughed this hard while reading a comic in a long long time. Writer Sam Humphries brings out the best Looney Tune bits while also giving us a hysterical look at some of the most tried and true Legion tropes that are out there. If you are a fan of Bugs and/or the Legion, you simply must read this.

Adding yet another layer of spectacular is the fact that Tom Grummett is on art. I know Grummett best for his time on the Superman books and I loved his Matrix Supergirl back then. His art skews just enough to the cartoony side of things to make this a perfect fit.

Get ready to laugh out loud!

The second page of the book shows just how awesome this book is going to be.

The first panel has the very classic 'va-va-voom' Dream Girl, tossing in her bed. Add a Crisis homage, called out as an homage no less(!!), and you know this is going to be fun.

But it gets better. We see Brainy throwing stuff around his lab. Nothing says Legion like an exasperated Brainy destroying his own equipment.

And we learn that Supergirl has succumbed to Rigel Fever and is dying. The sheer number of Editor Note boxes bolsters the feel of a Bronze Age book. It also shows how intoxicated Legion fans are about their history.

It all brought a grin to my face. And seeing Grummett drawing Supergirl in the Hot Pants costume was wonderful.

But things get even better on the next page. We see the team suffer an Angst Attack! Here we get a look into the emotional turmoil of the team. That is, except the dim-witted Timber Wolf. But this layer of angst was often simmering under the surface of the Legionnaires.

A reprogrammed Computo, now containing the computer code for love, determines that the cure for Rigel Fever is Illudium Phosdex, an element which only exists in the past. Now the team is wary of hearing from Computo. And the very idea of Computo having turned good is a violation of the Levitz Law of subplots (how tremendous is that!).

But with little choice, the team sends Computo into the past to bring back Superboy and the Illudium.

I love Lightning Lass throughout this issue. Pitch perfect.

But there is a Bugs Bunny component to this.

Humphries gives us a lot of the classic Bugs humor to make this feel like a real Looney Tunes adventure.

That includes terrible (but inspired) puns like baby carrots.

In the past, Computo finds a young Clark Kent but for some reason turns away from Superboy. Instead, he brings Bugs, rabbit hole home and all, into the future.

With the Time Cube reappearing, the Legion arrives to preemptively fawn all Superboy and his character.

They all talk about how noble and brave and inspiring Superboy is. They look so earnest!

This blatant hero worship was another theme often prevalent in the early Legion stories.

This was another chuckle moment.

Unfortunately it's Bugs in the cube.

And he just wants to head back to his home. That is, until he realizes he isn't elsewhere; he is elsewhen.

Seeing the rest of the Legion in the sky made this old time Legion fan smile.

But the surprised look on Bugs is dead on perfect for that response. I can almost here him muttering 'eee, ooog , ooohhh!'

The Legion isn't about to let Bugs simply walk out the door. He might have a clue to what is going on.

Of course Bugs is armed with all the usual powers he has in cartoons. He uses some backwards logic to trick Ultra Boy into saying the opposite of what he means. (Jo has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer.) Later he manifests a giant bone out of mid-air to make Timber Wolf go fetch.

What I love is Ayla's response. She begins tallying up all Bugs' super-powers. She is shocked by how powerful a hero he might be. (And that's before he has even eaten the 'super-carrots' we saw he has hoarded away.)

But before things can get even crazier, Validus arrives and attacks the Legion Headquarters. Also, during the fight, we learn that Computo has indeed gone crazy. He unleashed the most potent Angst Attack on the team ever. I love that Lightning Lass' angst is that she overthinks everything with angst. Love it.

With the team incapacitated, Computo orders Validus to kill Kara.

Realizing he can't abandon the team, Bugs ingests his super-carrots and becomes Super-Bunny. He then dispatches Validus in an Action Comics #1 sort of pose.

A Crisis #7 homage! An Action Comics #1 homage! All the Legion tropes! All the Looney Tune classic gags! Perfect!

It turns out that Computo, now programmed with love, realized it was in love with Brainy. It didn't want Supergirl to be revived because it  was jealous. Realizing its love would never be reciprocated, Computo melts himself.

But it still doesn't change the fact that Supergirl is dying.

This panel layout looks so familiar. Is this an homage too??

There is enough Illodium within Bugs to be extracted and given to Supergirl to cure her from her fever.

And yes, because Dream Girl's dreams are never wrong, we see that Crisis homage actually done. Super-Bugs holding Kara in a Crisis #7 homage? I suppose now I've seen everything.

We then get a Brainy-Kara kiss. Something that will always make me happy.

But we get one more angsty moment from Ayla. She pauses, hand to her face, realizing they were wrong to judge him so harshly when he first arrived. And so a lesson is learned!

Bugs gets sent back to his time and everything is as it was before. The perfect Bronze Age tale!

Seriously, no matter what fandom you are in (or in my case all of them), this had to entertain you!

The same story is retold in a shorter format in the back of the book, this time with a much more Silver Age look and feel, right down to the somewhat drabby color of the gutter page material.

As the beats are nearly the same there is no need to review this section closely. But I had to include this panel. I have never wanted to be Bugs Bunny more!

Hope everyone bought this and chuckled as much as I did. This was a perfect one-time, summer, funny animal book!

Overall grade: A+


Anonymous said...

This issue was hilarious. I can't tell what my favorite part is: a classic Legion? Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El wearing her Bronze Age costume? Kara and Quel's ship tease? Brainy expecting his newest gadget will NOT try to kill them all? Bugs being Bugs (backwards logic. A classic!) Mordru IN LOVE with the Miracle Machine (God, the mental image... He definitely had to be stopped, no matter what)? Bugs being immune to angst? The homages?

"This panel layout looks so familiar. Is this an homage too??"

Well, the chapter's title is "Funeral for a Friend" Maybe it's a nod to that storyline?

It's so nice to see the Pre-Crisis Legion, and Supergirl being treated as an important team member, even if she was in a coma most of time.

I think that Supergirl/Brainiac kiss is a good contender for the "2017 top ten Supergirl moments: Honorable Mentions" list.

Martin Gray said...

Great review, oh boy, how I miss the Legion, it was so good to see them with Bugs. I don't recall the last comedy issue, maybe the Earth 2 Legionnaires story?

Which was your favourite cover?

John (somewhere in England) said...

Those readers who aren't as old as me (!) might be interested to learn that Light Lass had Rigel Fever in Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes #207 (April 1975). In the following issue Saturn Girl tells Sun Boy to "cool up".

On the subject of the Fatal Five, one of the reasons I enjoyed the recent Supergirl #8 so much was because of the superb full-page picture of the Emerald Empress causing carnage and attacking Supergirl and Superman. It reminded me of Validus' rampage through Metropolis in Adventure Comics #366.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank John for that wonderful history lesson.

Also, I loved this issue.

Anonymous said...

"I am an old guy and grew up watching reruns of Warner Brothers cartoons on the local TV station and laughed every time."

I wonder since it's Boston you live in Anj, would any of those stations be WSBK or WLVI? For this 43-year old in SWCT, it was WNEW channel 5, later on to WWOR channel 9.

By the way, Bugs Bunny did a takeup on Superman in 1941's Super Rabbit, taking the Paramount cartoons from the Fleischer Brothers and mocking them. It's funny!

Seeing the images of this comic...THIS SCREAMS LAUGH OUT LOUD! But is also showing how much love there is for the comics and for Bugs.

"The first panel has the very classic 'va-va-voom' Dream Girl, tossing in her bed."

Speaking of va va voom...Supergirl in her hot pants outfit...YUM! Sadly though she is battling a major fever.

"We then get a Brainy-Kara kiss. Something that will always make me happy."

Yeah, I always "ship" SuperBrain myself.

This is I think one of those comic books where you can check your brain at the counter and let the laughs fly. Eh, I think I'll try to get it, doc!

Peter LoCasto said...

I had to look this up but Illudium Phosdex is apparently the "shaving cream atom" from Duck Dodgers and the 24th and a Half Century.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the Bronze Age Supergirl any way I can get her, even if she is unconscious for most of the book....Bugs Came Off Pretty Credible as I have it in my mind that true animated characters don't always come off well in the relatively static medium of floppies....good Warner Brother/Loony Tunes Expressions someone studied the cartoons closely.
In a perfect world there would be a sort of hybrid bronze age Supergirl all ages book out there....but this isn't a perfect world.