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Review: The Brave and the Bold #35

Characters who are too lame for any era.

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Consumed with childish jealousy over the Legion of Super-Heroes' recent world-saving adventure with the Doom Patrol, the Legion of Substitute Heroes travels back in time with the sole purpose of trying to show them up. They bungle their mission, of course, and wind-up teaming up with the equally-lame Inferior Five.

The Good

Saiz's art is clean, appealing and it goes down easy, which is actually a harder act to pull off than it sounds when it comes to comic storytelling. Although, I don't think the humor works for the most, there was something tickling about the Substitute Legion being so half-assed about their scheme that they're so easily discouraged by even the most of minor set backs.

The Bad

These characters are lame. I know they're supposed to be lame, but even as far as super-hero parodies go, the Inferior Five and the Legion of Substitute Heroes aren't as fun as, say, the Great Lakes Avengers. I understand that the intention of this book is to dig up some of the most obscure characters from DC's past but, reading this,  I can't help thinking that both of these teams should've stayed in the Silver Age. It's almost impossible to make them interesting and this issue really isn't savage enough of a goof to properly burst their bubble. It's actually an overly-complicated, almost serious time travel story that doesn't go hard in either direction and, thus, winds up being kind of awkwardly in the middle. I was actually thinking about what Ennis was doing recently with the similar second-rate heroes, Super-Duper, in the Boys and how much more I enjoyed that, because these characters even second-rate when it comes to second-rate heroes. 

The Verdict - 1.5/5

I didn't especially like the first half of this two-parter and seeing it in full here just made me like it less. I'm all for honoring the past and drawing oddball characters out of back issues, but this time-travel story felt more like 44 pages of niche-specific "fan service" for spoof characters that probably weren't even that funny in the first place.