Saturday, 12 November 2011

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #199.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #199, Superboy turns against the legion
As anyone who ever sat though the Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop show way back in the 1970s can tell you, there's no sight more nightmarish than that of a human being talking to their own hand.

So it is that the Legion of Super-Heroes have plenty to worry about as issue #199 sees the return of Tyr, the big, red alien warlord with the talking metal gun-hand, who was last seen in issue #197.

When Tyr was captured at the end of that tale, his gun-hand flew off into outer space, vowing vengeance.

And now it's back, determined to rescue its master by trapping the Legion in their own HQ.

Unfortunately, when Superboy turns up to try and rescue them, it gets ideas above its station by taking control of him and deciding that, with Superboy under its spell, it doesn't need Tyr any more.

Happily, it's all sorted out by Princess Projectra and Chameleon Boy doing their thang, to trick it into giving itself up. It's all nicely drawn by Dave Cockrum, while Tyr, despite being a bit futile in this tale, does look good, with his bright red skin, gratuitous height and mohawk.

Superboy thinks he has killed the Legion of Super-Heroes

But of course what really makes this issue stand out from the pack is that its back-up strip gives us a wrong-doer of such unique awfulness that I once voted him the worst super-villain of all time.

Otto Orion Jr (Adam). The worst ever super-villain? Legion of Super-Heroes 199. Bouncing Boy
Yes, strangely familiar....
Not only does he look like a refugee from Dr Hook's taken to rummaging through Kraven the Hunter's dustbins and stealing any clothes Kraven's thrown out for being too lame, but he has a great plan - to defeat Bouncing Boy.

Now, I don't like to teach my grandmother to suck eggs but my advice to any would-be super-villain would be that if your ambition's to defeat Bouncing Boy then you should probably give it up as a bad job.

Regardless, while he's flying back to Earth from some mission or other, Bouncing Boy's space shuttle's captured and taken to an asteroid where his abductor Otto Orion Jr declares he's going to set Bouncing Boy loose on the asteroid, hunt him down like a dog and kill him.

Is this the end for the man who convinced generations of children that obesity is a super power?

Bouncing Boy and (Adam) Otto Orion Junior. Legion of Super-Heroes #199
When the villain puts down his weapon and has his
hands occupied tying his boots, our hero bursts into action
by, erm, just standing there, watching.
Of course it isn't.

Why? Because Bouncing Boy saves himself by hiding in a puddle until he catches a cold, so he'll sneeze, causing him to ricochet off a wall and knock Orion out on the rebound.

Yes, that's how hopeless Otto Orion Jr is, that he can be defeated by a plan that pathetic.

Oh well, what can you do? As anyone who's ever tried talking to their hand could tell you, not everyone in life can be as sinister a presence as Shari Lewis. And, as anyone who's ever worn leopard-skin tights can tell you, not everyone can be Kraven the Hunter.


dbutler16 said...

I loved this issue, as I did most Legion of Super-Heroes comics from this era. I'm sure that art had a lot to do with it. Tyr does indeed look cool, and you have to at least give the writer credit for trying to give Bouncing Boy his moment in the sun.

Boston Bill said...

My brother just alerted me to Bill Mantlo's sad fate (the victim of a hit-and-run driver, now in full time care). My suggestion of him for the Ultimate Hulk Villain was clearly in jest, but in light what happened to him, can you please erase my subsequent vote for him
- Boston Bill

dbutler16 said...

Wow, I didn't know that. That is sad. I just finished re-reading The Micronauts recently. Great stuff.

Steve W. said...

Bill, I'm afraid I don't have the ability to change your vote, or to remove the Bill Mantlo option but I believe it should be possible for you to change your own vote. There should be a link under the poll that says "Change your vote" which you should be able to use.