Thursday, May 24, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #103

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #103 (April 1998)
title: "A Storm in Heaven"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jason Armstrong

inkers: Ron Boyd and Drew Geraci
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Monstress, Saturn Girl, Star Boy; cameos: Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Gates, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Sensor, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy

Andromeda (cameo), Dreamer, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum, Lamar, Spider-Girl, Winema Wazzo

Evolvo, Gil'Dans, Khunds (Captain Takk), Leland McCauley, McCauley employees, Sklarian Raiders

Somewhere, out there, Andromeda has been joined by a team of Legionnaires to study the Fires of Creation. On Earth, Legion leader Invisible Kid has left, putting Saturn Girl in charge. And on Xanthu, Khunds have just routed an alien invasion and ingratiated themselves to the government who is now thinking of leaving the United Planets. Only Star Boy and Monstress are on hand to investigate, with the help of Kid Quantum whom Star Boy has precipitously invited to join the team.

At the McCauley Industres facility on the Moon, McCauley has Karate Kid break into the men's room, which Evolvo - or rather his genius self - has turned into a giant anomaly scanner to study the Fires of Creation from afar. McCauley isn't pleased, but shows signs of warming to the idea when Evolvo tells him the Fires could be turned to Destruction. After having a long think, Karate Kid decides to intervene and tries to destroy Evolvo's machine, then has to flee. He requests asylum from the Legion.
Saturn Girl, up until then, had been rather bored and overwhelmed by the tedious paperwork the Legion leader has to do. Visits from Dreamer implying the roster would soon change anyway didn't help. Karate Kid's request isn't even one she thinks she can grant, but if she doesn't, he's dead.
Meanwhile on Xanthu, Ambassador Wazzo is irritated to find the government almost already in bed with the Khunds and their "Affiliated Planets". Star Boy, Monstress and Kid Quantum find a secret facility on Xanthu's lesser moon which may be responsible for the communications black-outs with the U.P. Sklarian Raiders attack them when they approach, while the Gil'Dan aboard call for Khundish help. Captain Takk of the Khunds, still manipulating the Xanthusians, attacks the moon (and the Legionnaires) claiming he is going up against those responsible for the communication trouble.
Look at them, trying to play with our heads when Dreamer’s talking about next week. “The new oneS” so more than a single addition will be made to the team. I bet she’s talking about Kid Quantum and Karate Kid. I mean, that one isn’t all that hard to figure out. It’s the “those two won’t be Legionnaires next week...” part that's got me thinking. Are they trying to convince us that it’s over for Monstress and Star Boy? As if! My brain went very far from there and I immediately thought about Jo and Tinya since they are married now and should leave their functions according to the original run’s constitutional rules. Am I right?
Kid Quantum demonstrate the same level of recklessness that brought the first one formally wearing that name to an early death. If she really is going to join the team, she better learn to follow orders and calm her temper. I understand that she’s frustrated, and she’s right to be, but this is no way to conduct an investigation. She could do a lot more damage to those who did her planet wrong by letting the real Legionnaires call the shots and send their report proving how the Alliance is responsible for the attacks they are heroically stopping. You know they’re feeling threatened in their evil plan when they resort to killing kids along the way. Watch them pin the blame on these three once the moon is destroyed.
Karate Kid can’t go against his beliefs and I respect him for it. But really, it wasn’t too hard to decide if he should allow Evolvo to go on with his work. I mean, can somebody please explain to me how ANYONE would hear about transforming creation itself into destruction and go “Yeah! That sounds like the greatest idea ever. Let’s do it and find a way to turn a profit.” As far as evil plan goes, this is utterly stupid and suicidal at best. Thanks Kid for slowing them down and I sure hope you will be recognized for the part you played in this storyline. The team has more than enough on its plate with the Alliance anyway.
This really is Karate Kid's issue. He gets more page-time than any single Legionnaire (and there are only three official Legionnaires in the story!). I don't think I started out as a fan of Karate Kid, or at least the idea of him. It seemed ridiculous that he would be admitted into the Legion with "super-karate". But my first actual KK story was the one where he dies heroically, and I've seen become a big martial arts media fan, so I'm more than happy to see him in the spotlight here, and Jason Armstrong gives him some fairly good moves. He never seemed a good fit for McCauley's Work Force, philosophically, and he finally puts that into words and action. Better late than never I guess.
Evolvo turning into a villain of sorts makes sense, like a Brainiac 5 gone wrong, but I especially like that he's fine when he's unevolved. The Fires of Creation subplot has been going on for a while now with little happening, so it's good that they're tying it into a villainous plot, which finally gives it some legs. Time to let it lead us somewhere.

As for the Xanthu stuff, I think Kid Quantum is showing that she is indeed her brother's sister. Like him, she's a bit of a loose cannon, leading with her impatience. It seems her brother's death hasn't taught her hard enough a lesson. But I also see her problems with authority as a streak of leadership in herself. It's hard to follow when you're a leader, and neither Star Boy nor Monstress show any special leadership. So she naturally takes the reigns. Her tactics aren't the most refined or cautious, but it seemed to work for a while. Alas, between savage raiders, gooey Gil'Dan, and an oily Khund captain, her small team was just outmatched.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1998/8.
  • The Gil'Dishpan, in Reboot continuity, have been renamed the Gil'Dan, presumably because the original name sounded silly.

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