The most entertaining cape-and-tights comic of the past several years might be Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory[amazon]. It’s getting to be a bit of a cliché, admittedly: toss a bunch of mismatched B-list heroes in the pot and mix it for has-been, coulda-been, struggling actor-syndrome support-group ‘well, how did I get here?’ irony. But the Klarion the Witch Boy [read the first four pages here] and Newsboy Army subplots are just so damn brilliant. Belle wants a Klarion T-shirt or, possibly, coffee mug for Thanksgiving. (Seasonally speaking, he is a Halloween-to-Thanksgiving sort of Goth-pilgrim hero.) I think it should say either "Mother, this is no time for hysteria," or, possibly, "I’ll send a monster made of 250 children to your aid."

Of course, knowing me, I’m reading vol. 1[amazon] of the Golden Age, original Seven Soldiers of Victory.The original seven were: the Vigilante; Green Arrow and Speedy (the only ones who hit the big-time); The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy (unusual duo, the adult is the sidekick); The Crimson Avenger and Wing (a ‘thank you velly much’ sidekick); and the Shining Knight and his flying horse, Winged Victory. There are six soldiers on the cover and either five (counting sidekicks out) or eight in the book (if you count them in, excepting horses); nine if you include the horse. In fact, the answer is: Winged Victory doesn’t count because he’s a horse, and Wing doesn’t count because he’s Chinese. (I’m not kidding. He never gets to attend any meetings either.) So there are Seven Soldiers of Victory. Their ‘slogan’: "Woe to all workers of evil!"

Why read this sort of thing? [Moves pipe to other corner of mouth.] Because in every one of these Golden Age collections, the quintessentially Young Visiteerish quality of plot and dialogue …

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