Thursday, May 31, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #60

Legionnaires #60 (May 1998)
title: "Scandalous"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum I (flashback), Kid Quantum II, Kinetix, Leviathan (flashback), Live Wire, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra

Andromeda, Atmos (flashback), Condo Arlik (byline), Insect Queen (flashback)King Charlz, Lamar, Lori Morning, Marla Latham, Proty, Shvaughn Erin, Spider-Girl, Tenzil Kem, Wimena Wazzo; Durlans, Kid Quantum's parents (flashback), Metropolis citizens, Orandans (Royals and servitors), Parisian club owners

Dark Circle, Evolvo, Leland McCauley, Tangleweb (flashback), Time Trapper (voice); Brain Globes of Rambat, Gil'Dans, Khunds (Captain Takk), McCauley employees

On Xanthu, Khunds posing as the planet's saviors are attacking a moon base from which their allies have been causing communication black-outs with the rest of the United Planets... and the Legionnaires are there with Kid Quantum, whom Star Boy sort of  invited to join the Legion without permission. Meanwhile, Karate Kid is fleeing the moon and McCauley's thugs, after having destroyed technology meant to tap into the space-time anomaly known as the Fires of Creation, which a team of Legionnaires, along with Andromeda, are investigating as well.

While Lori Morning tries to transform into a useful hero to help (and fails, though Proty thinks she's quite cute in her temporary blobby form), Karate Kid is forced to eject from his damaged ship and let Ultra Boy take care of business. Sensor uses her powers to fool McCauley's employees into leaving. McCauley himself is then forced to negotiate with the Legion and Science Police, and the outcome is that Karate Kid joins the Legion and no charges are filed on either side.
On Xanthu's moon, the Legionnaires survive only thanks to Kid Quantum's stasis field powers, but don't do so well convincing the government the Khunds were behind the invasion in the first place thanks to her temper. They return to Earth with her in tow and along with Karate Kid, is voted into the Legion. New recruits are a good thing, because having caused a furor by going to a gala in Paris, Sensor and Chameleon are each recalled to their homeworlds by their families... something Invisible Kid encouraged them to do as a cover.
Elsewhere, the Dark Circle doesn't know what's about to hit them. And at the Fires of Creation, a voice out of time gloats over having put all but M'Onel in a trance...

So, all subplots are colliding in a single issue. There’s so much to cover in so little time, the comic felt a bit rushed. I’ll try to stay brief in my review, but I still need to organize my ideas by theme.

Recruits – Kid Quantum and Karate Kid are in! I really enjoyed their conversation over Jazmin’s brother. I really hope she will not suffer the same fate he did. She is really impulsive and will need to learn to follow orders instead of charging in. I hope James’ memory will help her understand how crucial it is to work as a team. Val is finally out of McCauley’s group and it’s all for the best. Jo communicated my own opinion very clearly on page 11: I too find it hard to believe that he stuck with the Workforce for so long. I sincerely hope he will be more comfortable and feel more fulfilled within the Legion.
McCauley / Evolvo – Something I found interesting about the Workforce is how they were basically slaves of McCauley and had to follow his orders. Since we discovered Evolvo’s omniscanner, it feels like they’ll become the next villains to face once the Dark Circle is dealt with and I don’t know how I feel about that. McCauley’s an idiot who only cares about himself and his fortune. Evolvo’s the one who’s scaring me since he does things of his own accord without really thinking about the consequences that may impact him, his teammates or bystanders. He is basically a more extreme Brainiac 5 and if that doesn’t raise any concerns, I don’t know what will...
Xanthu / Dark Circle – With our heroes escaping from Takk’s plan of destruction, they can bring more evidence to the rest of the gang to fight this new Alliance. Still, the Dark Circle’s influence increases and clearly you don’t want to be on their leader’s bad side. I still wonder what their ultimate goal is. Get rid of the United Planets’ influence, sure... but why?
Orando / Durla – Sensor and Cham are leaving to deal with their responsibilities. The royal / spiritual crisis were legit plot points then. Now, is Invisible Kid the one who thinks too highly of them by pretending they arranged all this to work with the Espionage Squad OR was the club hopping their way to get their relatives’ attention to get a genuine reason to leave. If that’s the case… wow. That was very clever of them.

Fires of Creation – It had to be evil!! What exactly does it want with the Legionnaires, I guess that’s the interesting part. Is this a part of the Dark Circle plan? Is it something else completely? The gang is attacked from all sides and I think this works very well. I have absolutely NO IDEA what’s going to happen next.
I didn't even think of the Parisian outing as part of the plan, but you're right. I mean, who wrote the scandalous article? Condo Arlik, who we have reason to believe met with Invisible Kid on the down-low... But these are the same guys who faked their own deaths once to expose a corrupt president. If I were in charge of Legion comics (and clearly, I'm not, because there's no Legion book on the stands), I would totally have a main book, and write an Espionage Squad companion book.
What else, well, I'm happy to see the two Kids on the team as both a martial arts fan and a fan of diversity. I'm pretty sure I know who's behind the Fires of Creation. I'm still wondering what the heck is the deal with the raccoon servitors to the snake-like Orandans. And I love it when an H Dial goes wrong, this time provoking a cute interaction between Lori and Proty.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1998/9.
  • Karate Kid and Kid Quantum II join the Legion in this issue.
  • The news report on page 1 features the headline "Writers Found in Time/Space Warp", featuring the caricatures of writer Roger Stern and his spouse Carmela Merlo, usually credited as "Adult Legionnaire" on this book. It appears this has been an admission that she helps him with the stories.
  • The creature/hero dialed by Lori Morning is not given a name, tough she/it is known as Blobetta on a Dial H fan site.

Though Karate Kid has joined another version of the Legion before, Kid Quantum II joins the team for the first and only time.

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