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by Michael Hutchison

MAJOR BUMMER
Written by John Arcdui
Pencils by Doug Mahnke

    Major Bummer follows the misadventures of Lou, a slacker who has accidentally gained a big, beefy body and superpowers but has no aspirations to be a superhero. In issue #10, Lou is in a hearing after accidentally killing a supervillain…when the supervillain's dead body goes on a rampage!

A notable oversight in our recent humor issue, Major Bummer certainly qualifies as a funny book! With disproportionate figures (such as Lou himself, as well as the lovely cover to issue #10 which doesn't appear anywhere inside the issue) and hilarious dialogue, I'm going to be combing the back issue bins for this one.

I do wonder how much life there is in the title, as the premise may grow a tad tiresome. I must point out that the premise bears a heavy resemblence to that of Blue Devil in the previous decade.

Best line of the issue: "In light of this new evidence, the manslaughter charges against you are dropped. Now go kill that guy!"

My vote: 6 out of 10

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ADVENTURES IN THE DC UNIVERSE
Written by Steve Vance
Pencils by John Delaney
Art by Boyd

This title was at first highly anticipated due to the immense popularity of the Batman and Superman animated series and their accompanying comic books. I'm sure we all wish there really was a "DCU" animated show! But until we can have that, an animated-style comic book should help fill the void. Right?

Well, so far this title strikes me as just a marketing gimmick to get kids to read the regular books of the featured characters. In fact, this particular issue (a race between Flash and Superboy) could have been taken right out of Superboy. The Nightwing story is okay, although it seems like a waste when the BatFamily has its own "Adventures" book. I do like the idea of a kid-friendly comic book which leaves out the various mature elements of the regular titles, but this title could be so much more.
The DCU of the cartoons is NOT the DCU we know. Ian Karkull appears on the cartoon as a squid-faced monster. Dr. Fate is the Kent Nelson we know and love. Parasite is much more fun than the life-consuming monster of the regular DCU. Clayfaces I and II are combined into just one, the actor Matt Hagen. Zatara was an instructor of Batman (impossible in the regular DCU, since he was banished to another dimension at the time). These are just a few examples of ways that the animated series have re-invented characters instead of just adapting them.

In the same way, Adventures in the DC Universe could me much more "adventurous." Just think, in this little animated "pocket DCU", we could actually have the Hawkman and Hawkwoman we all grew up with! All of the JSA members could still exist; in fact, someone could free them from a limbo dimension so that they're all about 50 years old instead of one-foot-in-the-grave. Characters who've been killed off (such as Ice, Blue Devil or the original Hawk and Dove) or just plain ruined (Adam Strange, the Metal Men, Hawkman, Hawkman, Hawkman, etc…) could be active in this pocket DCU.

This doesn't have to be just a simplistic view of the DCU with cartoony art. Adventures in the DC Universe should be seizing this tremendous opportunity and have FUN! But for now, this title is just a watered down version of other comics. Get it for your kids, but not for yourself.
(Sure was nice seeing Blue Beetle and Booster Gold again, though!)

My vote: 5 out of 10

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