Monday, August 11, 2008

Matter-Eater Monday!

First, thanks to everyone who has been clicking to Amazon through this site. When you buy stuff that way, it doesn't add anything to your cost, but it gives this site a little financial love. Please don't buy anything just to support this site, but if you're going to buy something from Amazon anyway, it helps.

And what better way to show the awesomeness you are supporting than by unearthing the back-up story from Superboy v1 #184! It's too good to be true, but here it is: Spotlight on Matter-Eater Lad!:

As we all know, Matter-Eater Lad is from a planet where they can eat crap. And, as we can see here, just because you can digest rocks, that's what you should eat at formal gatherings.

Nice muttonchops, bro! Ultra-Boy's home planet isn't just far-flung, it's far out! Is it just me, or does it look like those two are going to be sharing a hot tub in about 90 seconds?

But I digress... on with the story! Saturn Girl, busybody that she is, picks up "treasonous thoughts" from Matter-Eater Lad. That's good enough for the Legion, and Matter-Eater Lad is prosecuted as a traitor.

But, of course, Matter-Eater Lad is innocent. Any time an established hero turns rogue, he's always either (a) insane, (b) under mind-control of some sort or (c) framed. In this case, the correct answer is (c):

Arrrrgh! Betrayed by my own jealous sibling! There's a plot device that doesn't get used much. In comics, if you have a sibling, odds are pretty good they're going to screw you over.

Well, there's a visual I'm going to have a hard time shaking....

Anyway. The gist of it is that Matter-Eater Lad's brother is jealous that, although his entire planet has the exact same (and kind of creepy) super-power, his brother is supposedly some big-shot.

This is an example of perspective. Did you, in a million years, ever want to be Matter-Eater Lad? I guess if you're on the outside looking in, he may have a pretty interesting life, but if you read the Legion on any kind of regular basis whatsoever, you knew he generally just sat around the clubhouse on monitor duty.

That being said, his brother had a point. I never understood why one member of a race of people who all had the same super-power got in the Legion to the exclusion of everyone else. Was it a "first come-first sworn in" kind of arrangement?

Anyhoo, things go too far...

Yup, it's always fun until someone gets hurt.

His dastardly deed is exposed and Matter-Eater Lad's good name (well, you know what I mean) is restored. How do we punish the brother?

We give him exactly what he schemed for. Yeah, that'll show him! That's the same kind of logic our local school system employs when they suspend kids for truancy.

I love back-up stories...


Johnny said...

So Adam, let me get this straight, because it's a but upside down in my head.

Matter Eater Lad is a LAD that can EAT any MATTER?

Then how comes he cant digest a Telepathic Transmitter? Is it ANTImatter perchance?
And wouldn't something that big lodged in your guts cause you some kind of blockage/trauma?

Answer's on a postcard!

Adam Barnett said...

You'd think they would have figured out the major logistical problems with having a character with MEL's powers, but they bravely soldiered on. Not successfully, but they soldiered on nonetheless.

Aaron Carine said...

The Legion prosecutes people for their thoughts? Are they in the 30th century or...1984?

De said...

Can you imagine the plumbing bills in the Legion clubhouse? Flushing rocks and metal is a bad idea.

SallyP said...

Yeah, Saturn Girl is pretty much a menace to society. But I have to admit that Matter-Eater Lad has one of the BEST superhero names ever created.

Sea_of_Green said...

I hate to imagine what toilet training must be like on Matter-Eater Lad's planet. :-P

Anonymous said...

He's from Bismoll? As in Pepto?

-Anonymous Mike

mr said...

That knock out hit is the Bismoll equivalent of getting clocked with a leg of ham.