Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #58

Legionnaires #58 (March 1998)
title: "If a Man Be Made of Iron..."
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Jeffrey Moy and Philip Moy
inkers: Philip Moy and W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau and Glen Robbins
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Star Boy, Triad, Umbra, Violet, XS

Andromeda, Douglas Nolan (flashback), Dr. Gym'll, Dr. Mollie D'Ennum, Dr. Ryk'rr, Ferro's mother (flashback), Koko, Lori Morning (Dialed heroes: Ink), Magno, Marla Latham, Shvaughn Erin, Superman (flashback), Tenzil Kem, doctors, French policemen

McCauley employees, Mordru (flashback), a Durlan thief

Ferro has recently been told by doctors that his face cannot be repaired. A Legion team has been dispatched to a space anomaly known as the Fires of Creation, following M'Onel and Andromeda there. The Legion Outpost has lost communications with Xanthu. And Lori Morning has been using the H Dial to secretly help the Legion on occasion.

Having found none of the help he needs from doctors, Ferro meets a metallurgist who says she can refashion his face while in a metal state. The catch: He can never return to human form, lest he bleed out. Unfortunately, that will mean he'll have to sacrifice taste, smell and a most of his sense of touch. Ferro will then spend most of the issue asking advice from fellow Legionnaires, and a therapist who blows his mind by explaining his fear of rejection is behind his craving. In the end, he chooses not to go through with the operation, waiting for a possible third option.
Meanwhile, a Legion team joins M'Onel and Andromeda at the Fires of Creation; they don't realize they're being watched by Leland McCauley's men. At the Legion Outpost, Star Boy an Monstress decide to go to Xanthu to investigate the communications blackout. And in Paris, Triad, XS and Lori are looking for a gift for Shvaughn's promotion to captain, and stop a Durlan thief on the side. Lori dials up a heroine called Ink and proves such a help, Triad encourages her (not knowing it's Lori) to apply for Legion membership.
Sad to see that even in the 30th Century, appearances are still so important. To be fair, it might simply be Ferro that brought this way of thinking from the 20th Century. I hope he’s serious in his decision to wait before going through such a permanent change. He feels left out, but isn’t it his fault for fearing the group’s opinion instead of opening to them? He just arrived in this new era and there’s been a lot going on since they got back home. He needs to give himself and the Legion more time, so they can all appreciate his contribution to the team, Ferro himself included.
Glad to see that both the Eiffel Tower and some French language survived another millennium. You have to give it to Lori, she adapts quickly to her new power sets. There’s definitely a lot of luck involved in her heroism though, as it just happened that the dial gave her powers that would stop the Durlan. I’m getting less and less annoyed by her and I find myself surprisingly excited when I see her now. I can’t wait to see what the creative team thought could be an interesting power for the situation. Kind of make me sad that we can’t keep them all, as some of them were really fun. I’m definitely curious to see how this storyline will unfold.
While keeping several subplots cooking (including the Espionage Squad's secret mission, as they return from a round trip to other planets, hungry for Tenzil's cooking), the issue nevertheless focuses on a single, emotional story. Ferro's plight is a natural one, not just from a 20th-Century perspective, but from a teenager's too. The other Legionnaires, used to massive differences like, y'know, giant snakes on their team, may not be as bothered, but this is coming from inside him. It's his self-loathing and insecurity that drive him. Going to a metallurgist is an interesting idea, as is going to a therapist. Reductive as it is, I do like the moment where his mind is blown. This more than anything makes him feel like a teenager. He just never stopped to consider what may seem obvious to the reader. Of course, his decision is the only possible one - who would give up donuts, ice cream, and hugs?! (Jury's out as to whether I'm sad or glad that Dr. Ryk'rr doesn't consult with more Legionnaires.)
The Paris excursion provides some action in an issue that is mostly talking. A French gendarme has to apologize for his colleague's poor aim after one of Triad's bodies gets zapped. XS deals with a distracting firebomb. And it's up to Lori (as Ink) to defeat the bad Durlan. We're getting closer and closer to a point where she'll actually try out for the Legion and have to reveal her identity. Her confidence has grown too much for that not to happen.
There are some nice bits in the ongoing subplots as well, like Kinetix throwing Brainiac 5 and Gates their transuits, Monstress grabbing Star Boy by the scruff of the neck, and Shvaughn getting recognition. Philip Moy's pages are good, but not as strong as his brother Jeffrey's, who're really grown as a penciller over the course of the series. His art, as much as anything, is what makes Legionnaires in particular a joy.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1998/5.
  • The metallurgist's name is a pun: Mollie D'Ennum - Molybdenum, a metallic element used in steel alloys.
  • Despite Dr. Ryk'rr being put on retainer here as the Legion's psychologist, she only appeared once more.


  1. Hi, annoying new Legion fan here with a question or two: this ran at the same time as the Reboot (at least before Zero Hour), right? Then what's the difference btw the Legionnaires and the five-years-later crew?
    And, where does Valor fit in? With the Legionnaires or the five-years-later crew?

  2. Not so much at the same time as the Reboot as it IS the Reboot. After Zero Hour, Legion history, which was everything from the beginning right THROUGH the end of the 5 Years Later era, was erased and the whole thing, well, rebooted. (The Reboot is essentially the era between 1994 and 2004.)

    The Reboot then picked up the numbering from both Legion of Super-Heroes vol.4 and Legionnaires, and also includes Legion Lost (vol.1), Legion Worlds, and The Legion. It eventually gave way to the Threeboot, but had a good run, I think!

    Valor is 5YL era, but it's not that simple. Check out our Who's Who: Mon-El article for the complete picture at

  3. Thanks, looks like I'll just have to read the series to find out because none of the explanations work for me (not your fault at all!).
    Believe it was Anj explained the difference btw 5YL and Reboot (same series before and after Zero Hour), but I just don't get who the Legionnaires are supposed to be.

  4. Legionnaires is just the other Legion comic. Same team, the story flowed from one to the other. The same way Action Comics and Superman are both Superman comics.