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Look, Up in the Sky!

August 9, 2010

DC Universe Legacies #3 continues the story of Paul Lincoln and firmly brings us into the Silver Age.  When we left off, the Justice Society had just disappeared.  In this superhero-less time, Lincoln and the rest of the world kept itself busy with cowboy heroes.  There were still adventurers, like the Challengers of the Unknown, the Sea Devils, and Calvin Carson and his spelunking team.  Jimmy Mahoney continued to spiral downwards into criminal behavior, and Paul, inspired by the ailing Guardian, joined the police force alongside John Jones, the human guise of the Martian Manhunter.  After graduating, Lincoln married Peggy Mahoney and had to unfortunately arrest Jimmy.  After John left to be a detective in Colorado, the fateful day came when Superman first saved Lois Lane from falling out of a helicopter.  This leads to the arrivals of other superheroes, like Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the new Flash and Green Lantern.  Paul and Peggy have a child, and they name her Diana in honor of Wonder Woman.  Shortly later comes another fateful day, when the arrival of seven meteors on Earth ends up bringing the Justice League of America together for the first time.  And so came the new age of heroes.  Then, in the backup story, the Challengers of the Unknown get a call from the Sea Devils about Volcano Man heading towards some unnamed city.  Fortunately, thanks to a well-timed call by their leader, the Challengers get help from Calvin Carson, and Volcano Man is sucked underground.

Well, this series is beginning to get boring.  It’s for only so long that the inherent goodness of Paul Lincoln and the dastardliness of Jimmy Mahoney can keep you from gagging.  These characters just seem so… flat now.  Instead of using them, really Paul, as a more interesting lens, Len Wein has seen fit to basically make him this goody-two shoes of a narrator.  And because of Wein’s Silver Age style of writing, some of the scenes, like his marriage, come off as far more cheesy than they should.  I know, this comic is about the Silver Age.  But quite frankly, I don’t like the Silver Age style of writing, largely since it’s just too happy and optimistic for no apparent reason.  Now of course, I was thrilled to see that Paul’s partner was Martian Manhunter.  But because of the speed by which this series goes, that was a plot point that barely had a chance to be fully utilized.  Instead, we just get this fast-forward version of DC Universe history with a boring, rather predictable framing story in the middle.  And everything, including those little tidbits of history, is written in such an antiquated style that it makes me glad we’re long done with the Silver Age.  I think that a writer with more modern sensibilities who could do a modern interpretation of the Silver Age (a fusion of both past and modern) would have been best.  That story in the back wasn’t that interesting either because I don’t find teams like that terribly exciting, and it was written even more cheesily and Silver-Agy than the main story.  Now, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Dave Gibbons were great on the art.  They emulated classic styles while keeping a bit of a modern sensibility with essentially no sketchiness and super-clear inking.  It’s too bad the writing couldn’t maintain that fusion of past and present.  Just makes me appreciate the Marvels Project even more.

Plot: 5.0      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 5.8      Overall: 5.2

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 3:42 pm

    I was given this issue by someone and I agree completely with your comments about the writing. At first I didn’t understand why it was reading that way. It actually took me a second to realize they were doing in on purpose (I know I know, Legacies: Silver Age – takes me a minute somtimes). I personally like the Silver Age style of writing, but I think it should be left in the Silver Age where it belongs.

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