Friday 12 March 2010

Superboy #197. Timber Wolf is back from the dead

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #197, Timber Wolf returns from the dead
Much as I might like to, I really couldn't claim that when Timber Wolf returned from the dead I was delighted.

The main reason I couldn't claim it is because I'd never heard of him before he did it. Come to think of it, I don't remember him featuring at all in any of the subsequent issues I had either. So, I have to base my knowledge of Brin Londo purely on the strength of this one issue.

From that, he seems to have been some sort of precursor to Wolverine, which is appropriate given that the tale was drawn by Dave Cockrum before he jumped ship and took over on the all-new X-Men strip.

What the world of comics owes Dave Cockrum; in a surprisingly short space of time, completely reinventing the Legion of Super-Heroes and then doing the same for Marvel's not so merry band of mutants.

As a kid I always felt one thing was true; Marvel wiped the floor with DC when it came to super-heroes, and DC wiped the floor with Marvel when it came to horror and mystery comics. I still stick to that view. Granted, Tomb of Dracula was head and shoulders above any DC Horror/mystery series but that was an exception and, otherwise, the rule held true.

Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #197, Timber Wolf
The inverse exception was Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, the one DC super-hero mag that could hold its own in the company of the House of Ideas. With its lack of interest in the Legionnaires' private lives and its lack of a sense of ongoing continuity, it was still very much a DC-style comic but somehow it seemed less square than the typical DC antics.

Part of that, of course, would've been down to it being about teenagers but the majority of it was down to Dave Cockrum's artwork. Somehow, after years of the gang from the future looking painfully retro, he just made the Legion seem so modern.

Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #197, Tyr vs Saturn GirlHere we get Timber Wolf back from the dead. It turns out he's been brainwashed by an unknown abductor to kill the Earth's president.

He's cured of that brainwashing but then it turns out he's also been brainwashed to blow up the Legion HQ.

Happily, being psychic, Saturn Girl's onto it and Timber Wolf wraps it all up by polishing off his abductor, a giant alien warlord called Tyr. Why Tyr shows up at the tale's finalé is anyone's guess. He could just have stayed on his spaceship, safe and secure and watched as the Legion HQ went Ka-Boom but that's villains for you.

But, whoever was on the cover, this was still, nominally, Superboy's comic and so we get him in solo action in a brief back-up tale. In truth, that tale's a bit of fluff really about a plot to do something or other. With its more naive, less slick and more low-key feel than the the Legion tale, it clearly belongs more to the era of Superboy that's just been disposed of rather than the new one that's in the process of being created.

Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #197, Timber Wolf saves the day


charles fleming said...

dave had invented the international heros for the legion, then at marvel he xmaned them! Storm could be DC proporty{SP?} As a 14 yr. old dad brought the gang to the first marvel con. Issue 93 was just released. I had it signed by dave, stan, byrne{why I do not know except I love ROG 2000 from charlton, back up in E-MAN or mabey I'm precog] I loved the xmen because of finding back issues of a cancelled comic,adams and roy the boy tomas WOW they are back with dave cockrum, whom I love from the timber wolf legion. I was always TW or night hawk. thanks PS I did a couple of HELLBLAZER COVERS 42 @ 44

dbutler16 said...

I was always a Timber Wolf fan, though I don't recall him actually dying. He must have done so off panel, for the express purpose of being resurrected in this story.

Steve W. said...

I was reading the Bronze Age Babies' review of this issue, the other day and, from comments on that, it seems his death was never actually shown, which seems a bit odd.

You'd have thought, if they were going to do a story about him coming back from the dead, they'd have first written one where he died.

dbutler16 said...

Oh, if it were written today, they'd milk that death, baby!