Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #46

Legionnaires #46 (March 1997)
title: "Questions and Answers"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Jeffrey and Philip Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
associate editor: Ruben Diaz
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeff Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Invisible Kid, M'Onel, Sensor, Star Boy; in dreams/memories: Cosmic Boy, Kinetix, Saturn Girl, Spark, Triad

Andromeda, Dragonmage, Dreamer, Lori Morning, Rond Vidar, Durlans, Science Police, Legion fans, restaurant staff, boat accident victims (its owner, Piper); in dreams: Azra Saugin, Babbage, Superboy (Kon-El), Thanot Saugin

Mordru, Mysa; in dreams/memories: Emerald Eye of Ekron, Emerald Violet, Knockout

The Legion, under Invisible Kid's new leadership, has just proved itself with the Vyrdans. Somewhere in space, M'Onel has been disabled in an encounter with the fugitive Violet, controlled by the Emerald Eye of Ekron. Unbeknownst to any of them, a powerful wizard's tomb has been opened...

In Metropolis, Nura Nal, narcoleptic during a date with Star Boy, dreams that Kinetix is attacked by someone bursting out of their tomb. Having dropped her off at her hotel, Star Boy next saves a Science Police cruiser from crashing, encouraged by his growing powers.
At Legion HQ, Chameleon tries to make his people understand he's of value to the team. The Durlans want to recall him home, something Sensor can empathize with as she's been asked to do the same. Having found common ground, the two Legionnaires go out on the town, enjoying a day off until a boating accident makes them spring into action to save lives. Having done so, the Science Police on the scene openly say they would like Durlans among their number, which makes one Durlan ambassador, spying on Cham, take note.
On a small planetoid in the Proxima system, M'Onel wakes from his own nightmare and finds Andromeda, now some kind of missionary, has rescued him from deep space where Emerald Violet had left him. On the Yuen mining asteroid, Dragonmage investigates the open tomb when he is recruited by the witch Mysa. And on Binder-7, a mysterious wizard recovers his artifacts, all save one, the Emerald Eye of Ekron!
There’s a lot to cover in this issue so I’ll try to organize everything as logically as possible. My apologies in advance!

The main focus is the creation of a great relationship between Cham and Sensor. They have so much in common, it simply logical for them to connect. Their duty to their people, their powers are similar while still being different, the people’s opinion regarding illusionists and shape-shifters. It all makes perfect sense. Yet, I feel a sort of uneasiness when it comes to those two. I know it’s been a while since Cham saw Ayla, and I know they never really had a chance to talk about the secret admirer situation because of the Eye playing with them and the group being separated. Even after saying all that, I still feel like it’s going a bit fast? I wonder how Ayla will react if these two start dating. She’s fragile enough as it is. Seeing the time from whence she came has changed during her absence will certainly affect her morale a lot more. Like they were gone for so long, life went on and she missed so much.
There were a lot of small interactions in between the date. Lori is acting like a child most of the time, but the fact she accepts Rond’s apologies proves that she can still be pretty mature. There is still some residual chronal energy, can this discovery bring us closer to the reunion of the whole team? Doubt it! And of course, no way Lori wants to go back to her time now. What is there for her in the 20th Century anyway? Glad to see M’Onel is back on his feet all thanks to Andromeda. I’m not sure about her new purpose. Bringing her back that way makes me believe that she’ll eventually agree with him and atone by working with the Legion once more. Then Star Boy and Nura are yet again together and he’s trying to have her join the team. Her vision of Kinetix is worrying. I’m still puzzled by her powers though. Do we take what she sees literally, or is it up for interpretation? Whatever it is, it can’t be good for the gang. Then there’s Dragonmage who’s joined by Mysa as she reluctantly talks about joining forces with the Legion. I guess that weird guy at the very end IS bad news.
The thing I liked the most about this issue is the level of pride the Legionnaires are feeling. Star Boy, Chameleon, Sensor, Invisible Kid, M’Onel… It’s quite heartwarming to hear them praise the Legion or to refuse to be thanked as an individual as it is their duty to serve and protect. No wonder everyone else in this issue is trying to join them, stay with them or make them proud. In a way, it also feels a little bittersweet with part of the group stranded in time and while knowing very well that another big fight is coming with this freak on the loose.

I always enjoy the Legion's "days off", perhaps a little more than I do the world-saving battles. Maybe because many of my "Legion firsts" featured downtime of a sort. Maybe because those issues are so darned charming, especially under the Moy brothers' pencils. I don't mind at all that Chameleon should move on from what was essentially an unrequited love. The truth is, Cham's alienness makes a perfect beau pour Sensor who is equally non-human, not because he wouldn't go out with anyone else, but because she probably wouldn't. Beyond the superficiality and species-ism inherent to the match, the issue shows us how well suited they are intellectually, emotionally and even culturally. I like it. I don't know (or remember) where it's going, but I like it.
And you're right. The greater theme here is how positive the Legion is as a team, and as a home. It wasn't too long ago that we were reading about a group that hardly got along, to which several members were drafted and wanted to go home. But even xenophobic Andromeda, one of the more reluctant draftees, is in this issue, redeeming herself. Dreamer and Dragonmage, Legionnaires in another reality but rejects in this one, also get a role. Lori wants to stay and never return home. And the people around them get caught up in the vibe, they become fans, groupies, people inspired to do better and to let go of their prejudices. R.J. Brande's dream of a Legion that would heal the divide between the United Planets is coming true!
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1997/5.
  • The flying taxi used by Dreamer and Star Boy, in both color and design, looks to be a tribute to Chemical King's flying sports car.
  • One crowd scene in Metropolis includes a Jawa from Star Wars.
  • Binder-7 is named after Otto Binder, the writer who created the Legion.

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