Thursday, October 24, 2019

Reboot: The Legion #2

The Legion #2 (January 2002)
title: "Fight or Flight"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
seps: Digital Chameleon
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel and Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy (silhouette, presumably), Kid Quantum, Invisible Kid (behind the scenes), M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire

Chuck Taine (behind the scenes), Science Police

Abyss, Amelia Crugg (corpse), Brainstorm, Leland McCauley (corpse and impostor), Mr. Venge, Repulse, Twine

The lost Legionnaires have just returned to an Earth rebuilt and protected by President Leland McCauley and his Oversight Watch (which includes M'Onel). Before they can get their bearings, Shikari is put into quarantine and the Legionnaires on a shuttle that promptly explodes...

Thanks to Saturn Girl's early warning, the Legionnaires survive the explosion thanks to a combination of Brainiac 5, Kid Quantum and Umbra's powers. The Oversight Watch (minus M'Onel) are quickly on the scene and try to finish the job. The Legion has to play a little dirty, but gets away, though Umbra fears the worst for Talok VII, when her powers suddenly vanish.
Hearing the news, McCauley and Venge scheme to get them killed by any means necessary. Triad gets Shikari out of detention with three clever disguises, bringing her to the roof of the Science Police building, where a door opens in mid-air... Back in the tunnels underneath Metropolis, the Oversight Watch catches up to the Legion, this time with the unkillable Mr. Venge among their number. Only putting him in a time anomaly courtesy of Kid Quantum's powers allows the Legionnaires to slip into a sewage pipe and escape. This is where the McCauley administration apparently buries the bodies and the Legionnaires are shocked to find the remains of McCauley himself! But if that's him, who is President?
The pipe also serves as the waste outflow for Metropolis' reactor and Venge calls for an immediate purge of toxic coolant. At the end of the pipe, hearing a roaring behind them, the Legionnaires find a pit of toxic waste, and thankfully, Shikari leading the Bouncing Boy to their location!
I know I should probably feel ashamed for bashing McCauley the way I did in the past few reviews, but even if he’s been dead for a long time, his impersonator didn’t really do anything the real McCauley wouldn’t. I guess what I’m saying is I’m not sure why the writers decided to kill him off if they were gonna replace him with someone who did all sorts of things that still weren’t out of character. Seriously... What’s the point?! I predict that he was killed just so Venge could be the one holding real power. But let’s be honest, they could’ve done that anyway while still having the real McCauley cluelessly being used instead. All I’m saying is killing him off does not make him more likeable a character. I wonder when they did the switch. That’s really the only thing I care about regarding this “plot twist”.
The stranded Legionnaire really can’t catch a break. After being almost killed by one of their own, they finally got home. Instead of getting a bittersweet reunion with their friends, they go through an assassination attempt. How lovely! I fear how badly they will crash once they’ll get even a short moment of respite. I surely hope that escaping this trap will actually give them this much needed break, and that joining forces with their teammates will help them see this world as not being completely lost. I’m ready for the long awaited Legion reunion!
I am appreciative of our readers that they've kept the secret of McCauley's replacement this far, and will hopefully continue to do so. I don't know if the eventual reveal of what's happening will speak to you, Shotgun, or if it will allay your concerns, but there is more information coming. I can say that. The way it's played isn't great, as it's a bit of a leap to look at a skeleton and recognize it (especially given different artists draw characters differently and no, those were not McCauley's glasses in past issues). Good thing Brainy had a tricorder--I mean, Omnicom. The shock we're supposed to feel is also hampered by our knowledge that a great big wave of sludge is coming, but there's no urgency to the scene. I know it's probably a long pipe, but don't show a wave coming if it's not going to impact the characters.
Otherwise, there are two distinct fights between the Legion and Oversight in the issue, which takes up a lot of space. The way DnA write super-powers, however, I can scarcely complain. In the first one, we see the Legion cut loose (Brainy and Imra particularly), so that when Venge joins the bad guys in the second fight and seems impervious to everything, it's actually scary. Oversight has proven to be pretty dangerous with or without him, honestly, so the rest of the team getting there on the final page is just what the doctor ordered. I say the rest, but they're not all on the Bouncing Boy, I know. They're keeping some of the more awkward reunions for later, but how many Legionnaires do we actually need to defeat Venge? More than we have? Fun stuff.
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue reveals that the Leland McCauley currently appearing in the series is an impostor. Next to McCauley's skeletal corpse is that of his Khundish paramour Amelia Crugg. Seeing as Lori Morning never reappeared in the series and was last seen as their ward, some fans have postulated that she's also among the bodies buried in the sewer. Her cameo in Legion Worlds #6 either contradicts this or means the real McCauley became president and disbanded the Legion and was only killed later.
  • Abyss' force rings were first used by the Ringers in Legion: Science Police.

1 comment:

  1. OH. MY. GOD! Thanks for bringing up the slowest radioactive waste wave ever!!!! It was really frustrating to see the feeling of urgency die down as soon as the Legion started slowly investigating what was around them. I just couldn't find the right words to express how stupid it looked.