Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sometimes, you can do the dumbest stuff in a smart way:

I see that splash page, and all I can think is, how is he going to go to the bathroom? That can't be pleasant...

Despondent after security failures at Project: Pegasus, Quasar quits his job as security chief, and sits around his mom's house. (Wendell spends his days "sitting in his old bedroom, strumming his guitar, lifting weights, and avoiding life" since he's a bit too clean-cut to be getting baked...) Eventually, his dad puts him up to flying to Uranus, where his quantum-bands supposedly came from. But, he had never been into space before, and the trip would take four years in suspended animation...

Oh, there has got to be a better way to do that. Travelling about three billion kilometers, and all you're taking is a backpack? Even if you weren't worried about catastrophic failure of life-support, maybe you want to bring back some stones or something?

Geez, Wendell: if the Legion of Super-Heroes can figure out to hollow out a rock, you should be able to come up with something better than that. Even if you're going to fly there under your bands' power, maybe you want something like say, a decommissioned submarine: it would be airtight, for one thing, and have enough space for you to bring supplies and bring back samples.

Of course, there may be something to be said for not thinking things through: when he finally arrives, Quasar finds the ruins of the Uranian colony of the Eternals. All the Eternals are dead, which is usually a lot tougher to do than by explosive decompression and oxygen deprivation. Still, finding no answers and a pile of corpses doesn't exactly help Wendell's depression, so he gets a visit from Deathurge. Another holdover from old Marvel Two-in-One issues, he's a weird embodiment of suicidal urges, and occasionally skis around like DC's Black Racer.

Deathurge isn't just there because of Quasar's problems, he also drops a bit of exposition about the Uranians. Apparently, the completely examined life isn't worth living, either:
Marvel Boy has since reappeared in Agents of Atlas, but I'm not sure how, and he seems a lot weirder now too.

Deathurge takes Quasar down pretty easily, but before he can finish him, Quasar finally gets to meet his mentor: Eon, a bizarre cosmic being who appeared a few times in the old Captain Marvel comic. In fact, Captain Marvel was supposed to get the quantum bands, but through Happenstance--wait, small-H happenstance--he never got them.

Eon upgrades Wendell with a shave, haircut, updated costume, and total mastery over the quantum-bands. So, Quasar is able to drive off Deathurge, who has a great parting threat: "When we meet again, you will beg me to kill you, and I will refuse." He wasn't kidding. Still, with Eon's help, Wendell is able to quantum-jump back home, saving him a four-year return flight.

On the letters' page, since they hadn't received any yet, writer Mark Gruenwald points out that since he and Paul Ryan had come over from the cancelled New Universe book D.P.7 (which was easily the best of the New Universe books) they were at the time the longest running creative team at Marvel. Ryan didn't stay with Quasar long, though. And for good measure, facts about Uranus! It's more than just a joke, you know!

Not much more, but still.

Legion panels from Adventure Comics #319, "The Legion's Suicide Squad!" Reprinted in DC Blue Ribbon Digest #44. Written by Ed Hamilton, art by John Forte. Quasar #2, "Destiny Amidst the Ruins" Written by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Danny Bulanadi.

1 comment:

Sea_of_Green said...

Yay, your blog is working properly again, Googum! For some reason, I couldn't get it to pull up yesterday. :-(