Thursday, September 5, 2019

Reboot: Legion Worlds #1

Legion Worlds #1 (June 2001)
title: "You Are Here: Earth"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Yvel Guichet
inker: Dexter Vines
title: "The Earth Spins"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
seps: Digital Chameleon
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Yvel Guichet
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Kinetix, M'Onel, Triad; memorial statues and/or news footage: Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, ERG-1, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Thunder, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Dewar, Dr. Gale, Publind Gdook, Shvaughn Erin, Trudy Trusoe, Vigo Toosalembli; Science Police, news footage: Abyss, Brainstorm, Repulse

Opponents: 
Leland McCauley, Mr. Venge, Robotica, Tharok; news footage: Blight, Emerald Eye, Empress, Mano, Persuader, Validus

Recap: 
A year ago, a bunch of Legionnaires were seemingly killed closing a space-time rift, even as the United Planets council was debating whether or not to mothball the Legion...

Synopsis: 
A year after half the Legion of Super-Heroes were lost to the rift due to a Blight booby-trap, Earth has been rebuilt by Leland McCauley's new U.P. administration. McCauley also used the incident to justify finally disbanding the Legion. Only M'Onel (along with barely glimpsed adult heroes) stands as Earth's Champion, one that is in the middle of a battle with a much-upgraded Tharok of the Fatal Five. When Tharok is finally defeated, after not inconsiderable damage to a tower complex, a crab-like device starts to scuttle away from his body, but M'Onel freezes it in place and sends it to the Science Police for analysis.
Later, he meets up with Officer Shvaughn Erin to discuss the strange device, and crosses paths with Zoe Saugin, the former Kinetix, who has joined the Science Police and is an enthusiastic young cop. In the Science Police lab, M'Onel and Shvaughn discover the object is alien and sending signals in machine code. Suddenly, mechanical tentacles come out of the computer consoles, attack one officer then take over another. M'Onel manages to fry the things while Shvaughn wipes the computer's memory, but it still leaves one officer dead, though they do get a name: Robotica. A later conversation with the U.P. President shows him and his mysterious right hand, Mr. Venge, to be unconcerned with the threat.
M'Onel visits the Legion memorial to reflect on things, and Triad secretly meets him there, to convince him this is the right time to reveal he is the legendary Valor to the people of the United Planets. He doesn't really have time to consider it before he's called to another emergency. Machine code signals have been detected on the far side of the Moon. There, he finds a mechanical monstrosity controlled by Robotica. Only with difficulty does he destroy it, but just then, something enters near space. It's the Legion Outpost, back from its long journey! Down on Earth, Triad spends some time watching the "news spins", which catch the reader up on Earth's new status quo, and is overjoyed to hear that the lost Legionnaires are back!
Commentary: 
Shotgun
After all we’ve been through, this was SOOOO UNDERWHELMING. I guess some of my questions were answered. Only a year has passed in the U.P. since the closing of the rift. The Legion has been dismantled; its members scattered across the worlds. Now there’s one new question that comes up: What happened to Gates? Why is there a statue of him mixed with the Legionnaire that crossed the rift? There were ten Legionnaires who crossed over, not eleven. Did he die, or fake his death, or just disappeared? I guess we’ll find out more once the team is brought back to Earth and they observe the memorial built to honor them.
I. HATE. McCAULEY! The last time we saw him, he was on his way to becoming the new U.P. president, but I never thought he would make it. I mean come on, his team was so reckless when handling the rift and caused more harm than anything. Didn’t many of them die too? Like, how can he pretend his Oversight Watch is a better formula than the Legion was? He’s a corrupt idiot and I just can’t stand him. I can’t wait to see him go down. I suppose the Robotica threat could be his undoing... I’m probably just being too hopeful.
Siskoid
Well, I quite liked this. I can hold on for a few more weeks before the Legion is reunited with the Lost to catch up on what we missed. At least the Lost show up at the end of the story, it's not going to be a big long flashback. McCauley's rebuilt Earth looks very slick and cool, and it almost papers over the changes that come with the writing change. Their more science-fictiony lingo is at odds with what we've seen of the Reboot to date, but not too much. The use of 24-hour news stations with hyperlinks brings the future more in line with our 21st-Century idea of it, and I must admit to smiling at the notion that there's a 31st-Century blog devoted to M'Onel.

The fight with Tharok, cool. Seeing Kinetix happy and moving on with her life, cool. Shvaughn putting in an appearance, cool. Triad keeping McCauley's corporate hounds at bay and Brande Industries in business, cool. The extra page count given over to expository news feeds, just okay (but that he's on every channel feels like it could have been written in the past couple years). Making good with the promise of Robotica with a crazy-looking evil ship, very very cool. Yvel Guichet's art is perfect for this sort of stuff.
Being worried about Gates is natural though. I like how they don't mention it, it's just in the art. But could there have been actual casualties from the incident?

Science Police Notes:  
  • First issue of a 6-part mini-series catching up on the Legion NOT Lost a year later, just before the Legion Lost returns to United Planets space.
  • The issue is told from M'Onel's point of view and takes place on Earth. Each issue will focus on a different POV character and planet.
  • Robotica was first mentioned in Abnett & Lanning's first issue, Legionnaires #78.
  • The Encyclopedia Galactica which was often heard from in the previous continuity is here replaced by a work called GalCyc M3 Edition.
  • Blish Tower-Plex is probably a reference to science-fiction writer James Blish, and thus a reference to this Cities in Flight stories about super-cities going into space.
  • The Binder Tower-Plex is named for science-fiction and comics writer Otto Binder, who wrote the first Legin of Super-Heroes story way back in Adventure Comics #247.
  • Though M'Onel is working as Earth's superhero, Kinetix and Magno have joined the Science Police.
  • Gates is among the statues of the lost, presumed-dead, Legionnaires, despite not being part of Legion Lost.

Milestone: 
First issue of Legion Worlds.

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