Thursday, October 5, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #91

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #91 (April 1997)
title: "No Exit"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Lee Moder

inkers: Ron Boyd and Drew Geraci
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani
unindicated co-conspirator: Roger Stern
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Magno, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, XS

Andromeda, Ferro, Flash I, Flash II, Inferno, Kid-Flash, Koko, Lori Morning, Rond Vidar, Shvaughn Erin, hospital staff and patients, Space Museum staff and visitors

Chronos, Hellspawn

Rond Vidar and Brainiac 5 figured out a way to get the team lost in the 20th Century back home, but the effort was screwed up by Lori Morning, drawing every Legionnaire into the time stream, stranded and intangible. To make matters worse, Cosmic Boy was left behind, in a coma...

After some arguing, Invisible Kid takes control and orders Brainiac 5 to THINK. He comes up with a complicated plan: Element Lad makes stargate metal shards that can absorb chronal energy. M'Onel is a natural repository, but the rest of the Legionnaires have to go through Gates' portals to grab more. First stop: The Space Museum where, after some problems with security systems, Brainy grabs a component from Rip Hunter's time sphere.
Meanwhile, another group finds the Flash Family running on the Cosmic Treadmill and leech more chronal energy off that. Yet another group does the same to Chronos, and yet ANOTHER group leeches it from a much older version of Andromeda fighting some hellspawn.
Brainy puts the energy to use opening doorways to different eras - the 20th Century (where Cosmic Boy lies in a coma hooked up to elders who are becoming younger by the second), the 30th (where Rond Vidar is trying to bring the Legionnaires back), and a farm in some undisclosed time period. Whether because Brainy's plan goes awry or Rond anticipates it clumsily, the Legionnaires are drawn to whatever era they came from, while Triad is almost split apart between them. She recombines and grabs the medi-kit meant for treating Cos just in time, choosing to go back to the 20th Century with it.
The Legion in the 30th arrive; Lori is hiding something she's brought back. In the 20th, only Apparition, Ferro and Shvaughn make it back to the hospital... but Cosmic Boy is gone!

Seriously… No, seriously? It wasn’t enough that the group was split in half now they’re in three – or more – different eras. And here I thought we were finally done with all the time travel shenanigans. How silly of me! The gang from the 30th Century is back home again, good for them. Now to see what Lori brought back from the time stream. Did she steal one of the shards containing chronal particles to attempt becoming a woman again? Or to try and fix the problem she created? I hope it’s the latter option as it would represent a change in her character, putting the others before herself. The rest of the gang that was stranded in the 20th Century is now split between two locations? Time zones? WHO KNOWS!! Ferro, Erin and Apparition are back where they left, Cosmic Boy is nowhere to be seen and same goes for the rest of this group. Are they all together? Did Cos join them or is he somewhere else entirely? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
All these interrogations put aside, there are two things I really enjoyed in this comic: First, the way the cover from this issue and the one we reviewed last week merge together to form a single image. Notice how Spark and Cham are exchanging looks and how they wished to meet again in better circumstances. That’s promising. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a cute romance! Except, it might be a lot more complicated now that Sensor’s around… Second, I also loved how, by travelling through the time stream in search of chronal particles, the Legion ended up meeting with many friends and foes from past issues. My only problem is, again, Andromeda. Is this really all she had to do with the time stream in this storyline. Come on… Not cover-worthy and especially not in her Legion’s uniform. Color me unimpressed!
Obviously, this older Andromeda is from a future issue, but if she looks much older, I wonder how FAR into the future and whether this loose end can even be tied. Fun to see characters from both past and future in the time steam anyway. And for this old comics fan, even more fun to see the Space Museum from DC's old sci-fi comics, and especially the recognizable artifacts within. In particular, the H Dial. Anyone who's visited my blog will realize I'm a huge - HUGE - Dial H for Hero fan, and if you look at the panel where the Legionnaires pop out of the Museum, you'll notice it goes missing with them. I'm gonna get some H Dial chocolate in my Legion peanut butter, and soon!
I also like the opening few pages a lot. The Legionnaires haven't been together in a long time and it's important to show them reacting to everything that's changed. We have people questioning Invisible Kid as a leader, but eventually deferring to him. We have Saturn Girl using her new powers to influence opinion, but not on purpose. We have Legionnaires who aren't too keen on Brainy's attitude because they're not used to it anymore, and forcing him to be a little more polite (he at least tries). We have Live Wire sensing Imra's not his girl anymore (maybe she's leaking thoughts). And because I like genius characters, I love the bit where all it really takes to solve the problem is for Brainy to be ORDERED to think.
Sadly, the finale is a little confused. Did Brainy's plan go wrong, or is Rond responsible? In other words, could they have just done nothing, and Rond would have sent them their separate ways eventually? I don't like the muddle. And no, the time travel stuff isn't over yet, but I do find it interesting that they've split the team up differently. Could have done with more of that, surely, but Triad, half-wanting to go back in time because she has the hots for Superboy, is the only one to make that leap. I'm almost sorry she didn't STAY split, and then could have appeared in both books (albeit, with one of her selves unable to split or combine).

Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1997/8.
  • The issue features an interlocking cover with that of Legionnaires #47.
  • The Space Museum is from a series of science-fiction strips published by DC starting with Strange Adventures #104 (1959). Among its content is Rip Hunter's Chronosphere, a copy of the Daily Planet with the headline "Crisis Averted at Zero Hour" referencing the crossover event that gave birth to the Reboot, and Robby Reed's H Dial (the young visitor even references Robby's catch phrase "Sockamagee!").
  • The Legion catches up to other characters in the time stream at different points in history, including the Flash Family in the past (Wally West is still Kid-Flash), Chronos on his way to the 30th Century (Legionnaires #32), and Andromeda fighting a demon in a future issue of Legionnaires.
  • As the Legionnaires are once again split up in time, Triad joins the 20th Century team.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny -- I never had the impression that Rond had anything to do with the split. Sure, he's there in the image, but I always thought that was more of a "here's an indicator to show which time period this is" rather than anything to do with the source of the split. Funny how sometimes different people can come up with totally different interpretations of the same thing!

    I love the bit with Lyle just ordering Brainy to think. He's kind of distracted, possibly overwhelmed, but something about getting that order basically puts his ego on the line and he manages to come up with a solution!

    On the other hand, this issue is another example of what I increasingly hate about Lee Moder's art as the series goes on. The characters are getting increasingly lanky and their faces more angular. They're losing their youthfulness and looking less and less like teenagers (heck, the girls are looking less FEMALE). Maybe he was just overwhelmed with drawing too many characters, but it's getting rougher and rougher as the issues continue.