Sunday, February 14, 2016

5YL: Legionnaires #10

Legionnaires #10 (January 1994)
title: "Little White Lies"
writers: Tom & Mary Bierbaum
penciller: Chris Sprouse
breakdowns: Adam Hughes
finisher: Stuart Immonen
inkers: Karl Story, Mark Farmer
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Mike McAvennie
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Chris Sprouse
reviewer: Siskoid

Mission Monitor Board:  
Alchemist, Apparition, Brainiac 5 (SW6), Catspaw, Chameleon, Computo II, Cosmic Boy (SW6), Dragonmage, Ferro, Gossamer, Inferno, Live Wire, Matter Eater Lad (SW6), Saturn Girl (SW6), Shrinking Violet (SW6), Ultra Boy (SW6)

Bel An'nan, Kid Quantum, Kono, Proteans, Sadi, Tyroc, a wounded kid

Dominators, Khunds

Previously... Thanks to a Khund drive-by, Matter-Eater Lad, Shrinking Violet, Dragonmage and Catspaw have crashed on an alien planet where they've met people from their past who shouldn't possibly be there - Catspaw's treacherous lover, Dragonmage's mentor, and a Shrinking Violet who appears to be in love with M-E Lad! So the latter is rather surprised when he comes upon the real Violet sleeping in the forest. Another Legion patrol meanwhile uncovered evidence that Sklarian raiders have been up to no good. During another failed edition of the Legion try-outs, Sun Boy has met a voluptuous fan called Sadi. In Acapulco Dome, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Live Wire have been caught in a food riot, Saturn Girl hurt by a thrown brick, and Live Wire opened up on the crowd. Cosmic Boy got in the way, however, and caught the brunt of the electrical blast... which stopped his heart!

The other Violet reveals herself to be a Protean, and Matter-Eater Lad and the real Violet proceed to burst the other Leigonnaires' bubbles regarding their happy reunion with loved ones. Catspaw doesn't take it very well, but once she calms down, the Proteans apologize for their tactics and ask for their trust and to please enter the crashed ship where all will be revealed. Four Khunds protecting a lone Dominator spring out however, and battle is joined.
Meanwhile, on New Earth, Brainiac 5 is called in to resuscitate Cosmic Boy before it's too late. Live Wire is in the dog house with just about everybody. Another kid in the crowd had his heart stopped by electricity too, and when Brainy revives him, energy readings go off the chart. But who is this? Back at headquarters, Computo is having a bad day, but Cham isn't doing much better when he learns his foil from the other team, Kono, is one of the experts (along with her mother) on Sklarian Raiders brought in by the president to solve that particular piracy problem. Out on the town, Inferno and sexy fan Sadi help out at a soup kitchen before going on a date.

Antares II again: The Khunds' weapons are uniquely set to kill Proteans and don't work too well on the Legionnaires. At an impasse, they decide they should blow up the ship and the "specimen" rather than lose this fight. The Dominator isn't too keen on it, but while the matter is being discussed, the Legionnaires mount a clever distraction that allows Violet to enter unseen and activate "coma vapor" failsafes that knock them all out. The Legionnaires are shocked to find the specimen is... Kid Quantum!
Once Violet II is revealed to be a Protean, there's an element of repetition in seeing each facsimile debunked, but at least each Legionnaire has his or her way of reacting. Unfortunately, none of this is making me like Catspaw any better and it's a damn shame that such a cool-looking character is so obnoxious and can't put a real sentence together. Ah well. At least the small Legion team does well against the big bad Khunds (presented with some variety), with Violet particularly useful to the effort. As for the shocking Kid Quantum surprise, well, we don't really know who he is, do we? A continuity plant with only a couple of appearances to date, the full scope of his presence here will only be made clear later. But sort of a false cliffhanger.

Speaking of cliffhangers, Cos is quickly saved (as if we didn't know, though I suppose with two versions of everyone running around, they could have killed him), and it's not clear whether Live Wire can walk away from this unscathed. It's about time Imra dumped this immature sucker. While I prefer Sprouse's work on this book, Hughes does get the emotions across just as well, as when she tears up with equal parts grief and rage when Garth wastes time justifying himself.
As for the other kid who was hit with lightning and his strange powers, that's a story for another day. The rest of the Hughes sequences mostly play up the comedy, with Inferno out on a date (how quickly mermaids are forgotten) and to some surprise, doing community work. The food shortage caused by Sklarian raiders is being dealt with through some other means than fists, and that's certainly interesting. I had sort of forgotten the Kono-Cham dynamic and it's fun to see it revived here, but the biggest laugh still comes from Computo who makes the mistake of running to a meeting with a cup of coffee in hand.
You'd think they'd have fixed that kind of problem in the future. So a good issue, though some subplots are bit slow to develop, and the mish-mash of artwork (not just pencilers, but inkers as well) will always bug me.

Science Police Notes:  
  • Sadi's skin tone is a different (more orange than pink), but she is indeed the same character that first appeared, nameless, in the previous issue and who apparently exposed her breasts to Inferno.

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