“The Mole in the Mountain”, Parts 1 and 2
These two comics present a never-before-seen adventure of the League of Champions, first written and drawn in 1992. If you’re wondering who the League of Champions are and why you should care about them, well, so am I. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the hard work behind these comics, or the passion that writer/editor Dennis Mallonee has devoted to his life’s creations. I see passion and energy in every panel in these two comics. Mallonee and his callaborators obviously care deeply about this story and these characters. The problem is that they never really gave me a reason to care about the characters or the story.
If you’re curious, the League of Champions were a group of characters from Dennis Mallonee’s Heroic Comics line. Heroic was a noble attempt at creating traditional sorts of comic characters back in the mid-1980s and early ’90s. They released a number of issues of League of Champions, among other titles, and Flare was perhaps their best-known character. Unfortunately, Heroic was swept away with the comics bust of the mid-’90s, and many stories were left on the inventory desk at that time. Among them was this two-part story, “The Mole in the Mountain.”
“The Mole in the Mountain” is a perfectly fine heroic adventure in the classic heroic mold. It’s got a very fun plotline with entertaining characters, but there’s just nothing about the comics that cause them to jump off the page, aside from the odd-feeling touch that the elder George Bush is President. This comic is neither a new take on super-heroes nor a true throwback to older comic styles, “Big Bang” style. Instead, the book reads exactly like what it is: a typical hero story of its era. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in today’s very crowded comic market, it’s hard for me to imagine why readers would be interested in spending time with this story.
I have to give credit to Mallonee and his creators for their passion and energy. I have fond memory of the books that Heroic put out twenty years ago (has it been that long?). The only problem is that this comic is kind of out of step for our time.