Secret Origins #37

I’m about five issues away from completing my Secret Origins collection (after which I may do a re-read-along with Ryan Daly’s old podcast). All of them are from pretty late in the 50-issue run and have eluded me for some time. This landed in my LCS’ bins last Friday for $1.99, so I grabbed it. My hope is that the remaining issues can be found at the Baltimore Comic-Con next Saturday.

So this issue is the origins of The Legion of Substitute Heroes and Doctor Light (the original one), both of which have been shown at various times to be goofy concepts even if they weren’t necessarily always like that and would get a “harder” turn at one point or another (for the Subs, IIRC it’s a cool badass turn during the Five Years Later LOSH; for Dr. Light? Well …). The cover is fun as hell, with Dr. Light having captured the Subs and about to subject them to his “3-Way Bulbs of Death!” I am always a fan of this type of humor, which pokes gentle fun at the character without being a snarky CSG about it.

As for the stories, they’re both pretty good. Light’s is one of two rival scientists experimenting with light and Arthur (our villain) being the one who ultimately double-crosses his partner (who was a heroic Dr. Light) and his partner appearing to him like Marley’s Ghost. The art by the late, great Mike Parobeck makes it.

The Legion Subs issue is fun and funny in the Giffen way that they were back in the mid 1980s with Ty Templeton having a blast. I don’t know if this would have offended any hardcore Legion fans from the era (this would have been February 1989, right around the time LOSH was in transition), but I liked the cartoony nature of it all, especially the way that outsiders and rejects look at the classic Adventure Comics-era team.

I don’t know if this one is a rarity at all; I assume that my geographic isolation made the hunt as frustrating as it was. If you find it, though, I recommend picking it up (just like I recommend about any other Secret Origins story).

Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?


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