The best shrug in comics.

§ October 27th, 2021 § Filed under george perez, justice league § 9 Comments

I actually have a lot more to say about the Justice League of America story this sequence comes from, which I will get to next time. But, for today let’s just enjoy this small bit of domestic humor featuring the android superhero the Red Tornado, his partner Kathy, and their adopted daughter Traya as they deal with the little girl’s recalcitrance at mealtime:

That’s one of the best parts of superhero team books, particularly when it’s done well as in the above excerpt. They allow some brief moments with characters that otherwise have no other outlet. There was no Red Tornado ongoing series…if you were Reddy’s biggest fan, this is what you got. A few panels every month, if you were lucky.

Imagine being a big Wolverine fan at a time when his primary print endeavors were in a book he shared with other characters who also only appeared in that book. You waited a month between issues to get a few pages with the character. And that’s with one of the more popular members of the X-Men. Imagine being a big Bouncing Boy fan and waiting month-to-month for him to be featured in Legion of Super-Heroes. Sometimes all you got was a panel, and not even a speaking part.

The way comics publishing has been of late, things haven’t been quite so dire…lots of third/fourth/fifth/more-string characters eventually do get their own titles, even if just briefly. So, if you’re a fan of a member of a team book who just gets a small amount of attention there, eventually you’ll receive at least a little more quality time with your fave. Red Tornado got his own series. Wolverine certainly did. No Bouncing Boy solo title yet, but I still hold out hope.

images from Justice League of America #192 (July 1981) by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and John Beatty

9 Responses to “The best shrug in comics.”

  • will richards says:

    Oof, I was half expecting her to stick her fork in the plug socket! I also wouldn’t have guessed Perez as the artist, apart from maybe the slightly boss-eyed look of the girl in the last panel. On the topic of collecting ‘lesser’ characters, i used to be a huge Beast fan back when he wasn’t as ubiquitous, but could still be found in the Avengers cracking wise and monkeying around. But I liked the fact that he wasn’t everywhere like Bats or Supes or…umm…Wolvers…as it made it easier to collect appearances, more ‘contained’. It was then a treat when he’d pop up in a cameo somewhere else (often on a video screen from Maison Avengeurs) and fun spotting those cameos and then tracking the issues down. So I take some joy in, until recently, having all appearances of characters like the Creeper and Ambush Bug. Or Creeps and Bugs as I like to call them.

  • Benjamin Diehl says:

    “No other outlet” indeed…

  • MisterJayEm says:

    “The way comics publishing has been of late, things haven’t been quite so dire…lots of third/fourth/fifth/more-string characters eventually do get their own titles, even if just briefly.”

    I feel like there was a similar golden age of titles for tertiary characters during the Mini-Series Wars of the early ’80s. (MY Golden Age)

    — MrJM

  • “Outlet.” I see you.

    Wow, Beatty’s inks are really overpowering in those panels.

  • Jack of Spades says:

    I would totally buy that Bouncing Boy/Duo Damsel book. Except they’d probably make Luornu bipolar and Chuck would berate people for assuming his weight or something.

  • Snark Shark says:

    ” have no other outlet”

    Pun intended?

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