Thursday, August 1, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #8

Legion Lost #8 (December 2000)
title: "Lost & Found"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel & Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire; psychic images: Apparition, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Spark, Violet


Lorcan psionic imagers

Several Legionnaires are lost in an unknown part of space. Though Element Lad was lost with them, he disappeared before they woke up from stasis. The strain of the isolation and journey has started to show, on Umbra especially. When Saturn Girl tries to telepathically alleviate her pain, it backfires, sending Imra into a coma, and making Umbra leave in an escape pod to a mysterious planet below where she, Ultra Boy and Monstress must fight planet's defender, Singularity. Only when Ultra Boy switches his invulnerability on, he sees there's no city. And then a Legion rescue team arrives from Earth...

Element Lad has returned to find the lost Legion with Cosmic Boy, Spark and Violet. As the Legion's Progeny ship enters the atmosphere to reach their other members, the rescuers recount their adventure. Apparently, Element Lad discovered he was in a realm outside normal space and managed to return to our universe, which de-aged him. The Legion found him near Saturn and mounted a rescue, tracking his journey from energy left in his wake using a quantum ship prototype borrowed from Leland McCauley. Brainiac 5.1 has a lot of questions, naturally, but there's no time for that right now as they've landed and need to help Monstress, Ultra Boy and Umbra fight Singularity.
Brainy wants to investigate Ultra Boy's strange perception as he detects subatomic psionic particles in the atmosphere which might be generating sensory data, i.e. illusions. He follows the source of those particles along with Chameleon and Ultra Boy to an emitter housed in a cave. They destroy it and the city of Lorca Prime disappears. Brainy correctly postulates that Singularity, his function as planetary defender at an end, was dropped on an empty planetoid, kept busy by illusory invasions, by his now safe people. A distraught Singularity flies off the planet.
Returning to the Outpost, Brainy connects Umbra and Saturn Girl to a machine to restore the feelings Imra took away and that make Umbra sane. It works. Umbra wakes up afraid, and out of berzerker mode. Saturn Girl doesn't wake up however. Her mind is extended to full capacity and she's generating massive amounts of psionic energy. Brainy administers an anti-psionic and as Imra awakens, to the Legion's horror, the rescue team disappears. They were mental illusions all the time! And Apparition too!
Oh no... This is so sad. This is probably the first time those comics are making me tear up. The moment I saw their silhouette fading away I felt a shiver running up and down my body. I can’t even begin to imagine how this will break them. The team have been pretty good about keeping their cool despite the desperate situation they found themselves into. The hope and relief they must’ve experienced when they thought their problems were finally solved, only to lose it all again. Next issue is called “desolation” and I’m not sure this is even strong enough a word to describe what they will go through. I fear the team might resent Imra for it, something she did unconsciously.
On top of this sad development, we have Singularity’s story being revealed to us. In a way, I guess it was nice of his people to find him a place where he could still have a purpose. At the same time though, for someone to have a mission, and to see it being nothing more than an illusion, realizing everyone you knew weren’t real... That’s gotta hurt. I wonder how he, and his people, will react once he gets back home. Maybe we’ll get to see him again, and maybe he’ll become more important as we continue working toward finding the Legionnaires' way home.
Let's not bury the lede here: I totally guessed the Legion rescue team were illusions (albeit caused by the planet), but that Apparition has been one all this while? That's bonkers. I knew about it, of course, just because I have comic book knowledge and couldn't avoid it (damn you, Who's Who feature!), and I've been sitting on this secret for the past 8 issues. It's all going to be explained in the next issue, so I hope to get Shotgun's reaction to this specific reveal then. But man, what a shocker!
Tracking back through the rest of the issue, I gotta say I love Brainiac 5.1 in this. He's asking all the right questions, he's figuring stuff out, and he's fixing every problem, even the ones the Legion didn't know they had. He's very well written, as are most of the Legionnaires. Nice reunions with the faux-Legionnaires for example, showing the ties that bind certain members to others. Umbra seems to be on the mend, ironically thanks to what we would consider negative emotions. And Chameleon's POV shows the same strain we saw at the start of DnA's tenure, almost ready to give up on the Legion's ideals as the darkness threatens to consume him. Another nice bit is Shikari hanging back when the new Legionnaires arrive, not knowing where she stands with them. So good characterization all around, and some nice twists too.
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue is told from Chameleon's point of view.
  • The story reveals not only that the four Legionnaires who appeared last issue were psychic constructs from Saturn Girl's mind, but that Apparition has been one all along too.
  • Chameleon calls Shikari an "honorary member", though the distinction is academic this far from home.


  1. Man, I remember reading this the first time around...Tinya being a projection is legit maybe the best dramatic twist I've ever seen in a comic. I remember going back and rereading all the previous issues and they played fair with it; you can see how it makes sense how she just happens to be where she's needed and why sometimes she's not around but it was written so well I just never questioned any of it on first read!

  2. Agreed. This was a mini that dared to shake things up. The reveal with Tinya, the upcoming dramatic moments with Element Lad and Monstress - this series really shook things up and had me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next issue.