Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #55

Legionnaires #55 (December 1997)
title: "Control"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Element Lad, Kinetix, Live Wire, Monstress, Sensor, Star Boy, Umbra, Violet; pictures only: Invisible Kid, M'Onel, XS

Athramites, Charlz Wynzorr of Orando, Chuck Taine, Lori Morning (Dial H: Dyna-Soar, Chiller), Magno, Moort, Muhr-Rey, Omar Magz, Proty; Science Police, Orando servitors

Composite Man, President Chu (behind the scenes)

Some time ago, the Legion faced an evil bio-engineered Durlan who could mimic powers and wanted to kill Chameleon. More recently, Lori Morning has been using the H-Dial in her possession to fight crime, among these a Sklarian raid that has disturbed... something...

The raid at the Metropolis warehouse complex has awakened the Composite Man who - as it turns out, ordered by former President Chu - was never shipped back to Durla. The killing spree begins and the Legion is called in. Before that happens, Live Wire takes a call from Magno and tries to have him return to Earth to see some doctors, but the depowered hero is resigned to his fate. And up in orbit, Chameleon and Sensor are inspecting the new Legion Outpost, a Science Police base being refit by Chuck Taine. While they're there, Sensor fields a call from her disappointed father who wants her to return to Orando.
The Legion, under Violet's leadership, engages the Composite Man, but for the most part keep their distance so he can't copy their powers. They also try to surprise him with new powers and new members, seeing as Brainiac 5 is absent and was the reason the Durlan could understand and use so many powers at once. Then Lori shows up in the guise of "Chiller", a cold-projecting heroine and the Composite Man can't copy her powers, presumably because they are technological (or magical?) in nature.
This gives the Legion an advantage and Element Lad an idea. Chiller puts the Durlan in a block of ice which Element Lad turns into metal, and while the Durlan strains, turns the air around his head into knockout gas. He is defeated, but Chiller has slipped away unthanked. Back at HQ, Lori celebrates with her pal Proty while the Athramites wonder why she never wears the nice dresses they've made for her.
Violet… I’m sorry Leviathan. <rant> Ok you know what? No! I will not call her that because I hate it so much! The roll call with her new code name, which basically makes it official, got me so mad. She’s Violet and I will keep on calling her Violet! </rant>. *ahem* So Violet’s natural abilities as a leader are coming out in this fight against Composite Man. No Eye needed for her to be confident and cunning. I love it! Yes, her first plan didn’t quite work out and in the end, it’s Jan’s skill in assessing the enemy’s behavior and pattern that gave the team their victory. I’m glad he’s being useful again. Ever since the fight against Mordru, I was afraid Jan wouldn’t be able to get back to his former self and fight alongside the team. Garth’s fears on page 6 were pretty much reflecting mine.
Lori’s obsession with this super-dial can only get her into trouble. It’s interesting to see that Composite Man wasn’t able to use the power he absorbed, probably because the powers don’t belong to her in the first place. I wonder if my theory is correct, and she did get this Super-Dial from the time stream, could this be related to whoever is messing with the team’s timeline? To get this thing back? I’m also curious as to why we were shown the conversation between Sensor and her father. Could he become a threat to the Legion because his daughter refuses to come back? Or is it just a way to remind us why Cham and her are so close?
You've almost got it, but I'll say no more. As a big Dial H fan, I'm always up for some Dial action, and these are fun identities she borrows. The fact her powers can't be duplicated exposes a weakness in the Legion charter - that every member's powers need to be natural and inborn. You can't have an Iron Man on the team. Well, an Iron Man would be very useful in this situation, wouldn't it? Anyway, yes, a fun fight, with plenty of strategy, bringing back an old villain we didn't think would return and defeating him in a completely different way. A more TEAM-based way, and I like that.
As for the subplots, I wouldn't be surprised if Sensor went home to confront her family (Gates had to do the same), and the Legion getting a new base is also fun (issue 100 is coming up, which might be a good time for an official opening). What is most surprising to me - because I didn't remember it - is that they're still using Magno. After he returned to Braal, it seemed like his story was over. Live Wire showing him friendship and keeping in touch shows just how much Garth has grown up since the other half of the Legion was lost in time. But is it more than that? Is there a final act to Magno's story?
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1997/23.
  • The cover for every DC comic dated December 1997 showed a character's face as part of the Faces of the DC Universe initiative.
  • The two security guards are presumably named after two Legion editors, Mort Weisinger and Murray Boltinoff.

Features the first appearance of the new Legion Outpost in Earth orbit.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the Faces of the DC Universe. That was actually my favorite cover gimmick. Simple, to the point, yet still eye-catching.