Yes, I have quite a number of issues of Secret Origins. Yes, I’m reading these out of order, which is something I explained in my first post. Plus, I’ll probably put the title down for a little while, pick up a few, and then put it down again. It really is one of those great “check-in, check-out” series, and this one is an issue that I wound up checking out through half of.
I have nothing against the Legion of Super Heroes or the character of Shadow Lass, and I certainly have nothing against Paul Levitz or Tom Mandrake, but hers is the first origin in this particular issue and it left me a little meh. It wasn’t bad per se, but a story about her getting her powers and then leading her people to more or less freedom on her planet just didn’t hold my interest very much.
But I was pleasantly surprised by the Doll Man origin. Written by Roy Thomas and drawn by legendary Superman inker Murphy Anderson, it’s a riff on Doll Man’s original story in Feature Comics #27 from 1939 and winds up being very fun. As I’ve been seeing in Thomas’ re-telling (or outright telling) of these stories, the basic plots are formulaic–someone is being blackmailed, in this case–but the action involved in both the hero getting his powers and then solving the crime/being succcessful on that big first case is nice and tight. Doll Man’s origin–a scientist who winds up using an experimental shrinking serum on himself and then foils the blackmail of his fiancee–is exactly this. Thomas keeps the feel of an old-time comic and his words compliment Anderson’s art, which has a classic feel.
All around, a solid issue even if my interest wasn’t piqued by the first story.
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