Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #57

Legionnaires #57 (February 1998)
title: "Troubled Minds"
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: Carmella Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS

Admiral Everett, Andromeda (flashback), Ar'by, Aven, Bertor Ardeen, Dr. Gym'll, Jancel Ardeen, Koko, R.J. Brande, Science Police Commander Hagbard, Sydne Ardeen, Winema Wazzo, Winema's aide, Xamuel Ivar, Titanian border guards, U.P. representatives

Dark Circle, Sklarian Raiders; Dr. Psycho (flashback)

The Legion has been reunited in the 30th Century, where unbeknownst to them, some dark power is manipulating events to undermine the United Planets in the wake of Sklar's destruction at Mordru's hands.

Saturn Girl returns to Titan to confront her old mentor Aven about the mental blocks he put on her mind. Live Wire goes with her at his sister's behest, and they bond romantically during the trip. On Titan, Imra gets some answers. Aven was, like her, a prodigy, and failed to socialize as a result. He swore this would never happen to another, so blocked Imra's powers just enough so she could live a normal life, make friends and pursue ambitions, which she did. His mistake was in keeping those blocks on her too long and not telling her the truth.
Meanwhile, Spark becomes light-headed when she uses her powers, but refuses Dr. Gym'll's help. Brainiac 5 leaves Earth with a team to investigate the anomaly found by Andromeda and M'Onel. Ferro is told by doctors that his face is inoperable. And Ultra Boy covers for Apparition who does not want to speak to her mother in the wake of the revelations about her genetic heritage.
As Sklarian pirates have staged riots on U.P. worlds, a special meeting of the assembly is held. Many planets feel they aren't getting the protection membership owes them. When Sklarian captives ask to speak to the council, they quickly escape their bonds and attempt to assassinate President R.J. Brande, but fail. They later commit suicide under interrogation. This is all according to the Dark Circle's plan to destabilize the United Planets. The conspirators are however unaware that the Legion's Espionage Squad has just convened to solve this mystery.
So many things are happening in this issue. The main focus is on Imra’s return and confrontation with Aven, but I feel like something needs to be said of each presented individual and/or group. I will keep Saturn Girl’s mind expedition for later then and comment on the rest.

First off – Isn’t that Tellus on the cover? Or at the very least I guess it’s someone of the same race as they have quite noticeable traits. Look at me knowing stuff about the past Legion members! I feel like Brainiac 5’s enthusiasm concerning his expedition is a bad sign. Of course, it has something to do with Andy being there and his will to learn more about the Fires of Creation. Seeing him smile is all sorts of weird to me. I hope he doesn’t get himself or the whole group in too much trouble. His happiness seems to only be equalled my XS’ fear of Umbra and M’Onel being together. A couple of issues back and she would’ve been thrilled by the idea of staying put with Cos. It’s really sad for Ferro to be denied a chance to start over. You can feel the disappointment and sadness jumping off the page. Just by looking at the shape of it from behind, you can tell that his head is a lot more deformed than I thought. Poor soul...
The “attempt” on Brande’s life at the U.P. meeting was great, and I love how it was the Dark Circle’s intention all along to miss. What’s so great about it? Oh, you know, only the fact that it’s bringing back the Espionage Squad! Yay for the team reunion! Everyone’s on board, except maybe Tinya. She clearly doesn’t want to be away from her husband for too long and she has a lot on her mind. Her will to avoid her mother makes sense, but she’ll have to talk to her and sooner than later I hope. Use my technique: bring the unwanted news – the wedding – first, then interrupt her train of thoughts about it by questioning her about your lost twin and lineage. You can thank me later, girl!
And now for Imra’s story. First, look how happy these two are together! The Imra/Garth relationship will most likely have an impact on the dynamic back at the Legion HQ and/or outpost, but this has been long overdue. I’m sure Garth is right about Ayla’s reaction, but I’m also sure it will apply to more than just her. Now Imra’s confrontation with Aven was fun to read and watch. What her master had to go through must’ve been real hard, but it doesn’t give him the right to work behind everyone’s back like that. I’m glad she’s being reasonable by trying to forgive. I hope he’ll come back and help so he can redeem himself in her eyes. Or maybe I’m being too optimistic, and it was all part of a bigger scheme… Could Aven be an evil mastermind... *gasp* I’m just throwing thoughts here. Guess we’ll see!
I, for one, don't really care about the Imra/Aven plot. His reasons for putting mental blocks on what was potentially the most powerful telepath in Titan's history need not have been that personal; they were self-explanatory. If he were a more important character in the series, then maybe it would be useful to spin soap opera between mentor and mentee, but he isn't, so I don't feel I need to hear his secret origin.

Everything else is more interesting to me, but as you covered them at length, I'll stick to the bit you didn't: The issue's opener. This is a short VR training sequence pitting the twins against alien raiders. I like it because it shows them using their powers in new ways. Garth with his painful "electric vision", and Ayla throwing rocks around as if she had super-strength. It would be a shame if her new powers actually were life-threatening (as Gym'll suspects) and had to be changed back. I know, I know, I've gone back and forth on this, but the Reboot has gone a long way redeeming the "Light Lass" powers that seemed so lame in the Silver Age.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1998/3.


  1. I put this here because I can't find contact info or forums: why do I find no mention of L.E.G.I.O.N on your website?

  2. While one of us may yet take up the challenge (I loved the LEGION series), there's just so much 30th-Century Legion to get through, we haven't been able to address it yet. And that's the main focus of the blog.

  3. Thank you for the response. I'm new to the Legion and since I can't find much on the subject of L.E.G.I.O.N., I assumed it was something no one talked about due to unpopularity or general dislike.

    1. We hope to begin dipping into the L.E.G.I.O.N. here in the next year. :-)

  4. Not at all. Several of us are fans of the series. I get to talk about it a little bit on an upcoming episode of First Strike: The Invasion Podcast (and Phase did appear in the Reboot, not too long ago by our reckoning), but we can only do so much in any given week.

  5. It was just a lucky find: a lot of 32 LoS issues from between #200 and #300 for ten bucks. Got it for the price, but wasn't expecting to enjoy it so much. Wasn't expecting to become such a fan. Now I can look forward to, over the coming years, slowly exploring the different series. After filling in some issues around the lot I got, I think I'm going to check out the Baxter series or maybe skip ahead to one of the series published since 2000.
    My impressions as a new fan: just what is the appeal of this extraordinary group? Something about the large cast of characters and the excitement of never knowing wich Legionnaire or which superpower is going to be used to solve a problem. All the different races, worlds, stories. The spotlights and origins. This might sound ignorant to an expert like you, but it's almost like Deep Space 9 with super powers. And I really enjoy it.

    1. Thanks, Russell. Got to give respect to any comic that makes you a fan almost against your will.

  6. I think my favorite part of this issue is that bit with the lightning eye-blast -- like he totally forgot he was in a VR headset and then basically fried himself. Ha!