Friday, 21 May 2010

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #200. Bouncing Boy marries Duo Damsel.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #200, Bouncing Boy marries Duo Damsel, coverWere there ever two super-heroes more useless than Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel? One had the power to bounce around a bit and the other had the power to split herself in two so there'd be two powerless women at each emergency instead of one. Presumably writer Cary Bates also had his doubts about the characters' utility because Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes' gala 200th issue kicks off with them losing what little power they have and deciding to quit the Legion.

But not before getting married.

Love and marriage. As we all know, they go together like brain and damage, and the words brain and damage bring us to the typical super-villain. If you're evil, weddings are the greatest thing ever. They give you a chance to go to a place where every super-hero in the world is and challenge them to a punch-up. The fact that every single person there could, on their own, beat you to a pulp is of course no obstacle to the determined megalomaniac.

And so Starfinger crashes the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel and does the Bwa-ha-ha thing in the faces of forty seven super-heroes. He must be relying on the fact that Mon-El and Shadow Lass are absent to even-up the odds.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #200, Bouncing Boy marries Duo Damsel
But he's had a great idea. He's had his giant space reptile kidnap one half of Duo Damsel, and now he orders the Legion to hand over the other half so he can study her powers and learn how to split himself into more than one person, thus becoming unbeatable. Why he didn't just get his giant space reptile to kidnap both versions of the girl at the same time, like it could have done, rather than risk a confrontation with every hero in the known universe is anyone's guess but he's a super-villain and so can't be expected to do things the obvious way.

For some reason, only four Legionnaires bother to respond to the threat. The other forty three seemingly overwhelmed with apathy, it's left to Superboy, Brainiac-5, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy to deal with the villain. In the end, only Superboy actually does anything.

Although it's a landmark issue and gives us a landmark event, a wedding, it's an oddly slight-feeling tale, possibly because so much is crammed into so few pages and because Superboy gets most of the action, sidelining the Legion in their own book. But, despite their uselessness Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel are an oddly endearing pair and it is a beautifully drawn thing. Apparently this is the issue that led Dave Cockrum to quit the title after DC refused to return his full page spread of the wedding. Oh well, the Legion's loss was the X-Men's gain and he did at least hang around long enough to make the Legion one of DC's stand-out series, after years in Reprint Hell.


nyrdyv said...

Aren't they just as useless, and the DC equivalent of, the Wonder Twins?


Steven G. Willis

Steve said...

I have to admit I'm not familiar with the Wonder Twins. It looks like they're something I'm going to have to look into.

dbutler16 said...

Steve, you're not familiar with the Wonder Twins? Have you not seen the SuperFriends cartoon? That was my introduction to superheroes as a child!

Hilarious review. Sure, the story has its flaws, but you can't beat the art with a stick.

Steve W. said...

Which was the Super-Friends show? Was it the one with Spider-Man, Iceman and someone else?

dbutler16 said...

Really? What on earth did you folks watch in the UK? The Super Friends had Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. At least, during the first seasons. They started with non-powered teenage sidekicks Wendy and Marvin, then in later seasons dumped them for super powered alien teenage sidekicks the Wonder Twins. The early seasons were great for young children, as I was, but are tough to watch as an adult. The later seasons, where they battled the Legion of Doom (similar to the Secret Society of Super-Villains) however, was prettty awesome.

By the way, the one you're referring to is Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, and the "someone else" was Firestar, fiery mutant chick created specifically for the cartoon, but a much better creation than HERBIE.

Steve W. said...

Nope. That Super Friends cartoon rings no bells at all with me. Either it wasn't shown where I grew up or I somehow managed to miss it.

I do remember Firestar now that she's been mentioned - and HERBIE.

Phil said...

Don't forget Duo Damsel was a lot more useful as a Triplicate Girl before one of her was killed off. In fact she was probably, oh...33% more useful.