One of DC's Only Saving Graces
Continuing from the previous issue, the Legion of Substitute-Heroes (Night Girl, Fire Lad, Polar Boy, Stone Boy, and Chlorophyll Kid) are watching a news report about how the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Doom Patrol saved Earth from being destroyed by a black hole, by going back in time. The Subs come up with the idea of going back in time BEFORE the regular Legion did to destroy it first, in order to get some good credit as heroes in their favor.
The Subs sneak into Legion HQ, take the Time Bubble, then go back in time to before the Legion originally left, and take THAT time bubble. The Subs travel back to when the black hole originally appeared near Saturn, but it disappears. Night Girl learns they forgot to close the quantum gate (the portal into the time stream) behind them, so when they trace where the hole went, they realize that it was because of them that hole originally destroyed Earth.
The Subs travel back to the 20th Century to recruit the Doom Patrol, but arrive just after the Legion left with the Patrol. So, they keep going back over and over and over again, as the Chief deals with multiple Subs asking for the Doom Patrol. The original Subs, stuck adrift in the time stream, accidentally wind up in 1972, where they meet the Inferior Five (Merryman, Dumb Bunny, Awkwardman, White Feather, and The Blimp). After spending two hours attempting to explain the situation, the Subs and the Five head back into the time stream. Night Girl believes that, to stop the black hole, they should use the Hawking Theorem. Then she learns no one knows just WHAT the Hawking Theorem is, so they travel back to have Professor Bawking (because it would cost too much to use the ACTUAL Stephen Hawking). After another six hours of Bawking explaining the Theorem, the one who actually gets it is none other than Dumb Bunny. Basically, they have to get the black hole to use up more energy than it eats.
While traveling back, Dumb Bunny accidentally falls into the bubble's "flow control systems", and her tail gets pulled off. The bubble is now stuck in the stream, they can't go forward. But Merryman suggest they go backwards. This time, they land moments before the Legion left with the Doom Patrol, taking the Legion's time bubble. The Subs and the Five arrive back in the 31st Century... as the Legion and the Doom Patrol begin destroying the black hole. Fire Lad attempts to make them go back, but winds up bringing the black hole to Earth. Again. With everything seeming hopeless, and hopelessly insane, the Five cheer as the Legion and Doom Patrol destroy the black hole. The Subs are less than pleased, especially when the Five offer to join their team. A tempting offer, but the Subs instead ditch the Five back to their time, and tell them to NEVER speak of their meeting again.
Unfortunately for the Five, they realize the Subs dropped them off in 2010. What will they do? Who will give them a home? The Five actually break the Fourth Wall, looking at the readers with big, pleading puppy dog eyes. As they head off into the the strange new world of 2010, Merryman suggests calling Dan Didio, while Dumb Bunny (and Awkwardman) lament her missing tail.
This made me smile for so many reasons. For those of you who don't know, the Inferior Five's constant breaking of the Fourth Wall comes from their time in Limbo. In the pages of Grant Morrison's Animal Man in 1989, Merryman and the others had been part of an entire tier of characters stuck in Limbo, the realm where forgotten comic characters go when they're taken out of continuity. Since then, Dumb Bunny has been the only one to make the most appearances out of Limbo.
There's no fighting in this book, but there's no need for it. The most intriguing part is the mix of the Subs and the Five. The Subs are heroes who were rejected from the Legion because their powers are either lame, or they lacked proper control. The Five are legacy heroes (their moms and dads were all proper heroes), but they're powers are heavily dampened, their courage and strength is lacking, or they aren't smart enough. The Subs WANT to be taken seriously, but it's not gonna happen for a while. The Five KNOW they're ridiculous, but they're comfortable with it and enjoy being with each other. The Five basically drive the Subs crazy.
This book also answers some of the questions from the previous one, as to how the black hole got to Earth so quickly, the constantly moving time bubbles, and how Dumb Bunny's tail wound up in the bubble's controls.