Tuesday, November 26, 2019

L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #17

L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #17 (July 1990)
title: "The Power of Positive Thinking"
co-plot: Alan Grant and Barry Kitson
script: Alan Grant
penciller: Barry Kitson
inker: Mark McKenna
letterer: Gasper Saladino
colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
editor: Art Young
cover art: Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon
review by: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: Dox introduced the newest L.E.G.I.O.N.aire, Lar Gand, a Daxamite with powers similar to that of a Kryptonian. Dox also almost killed Lar Gand when he demonstrated that lead is poisonous to his species. Fortunately, Dox administered an antidote he had developed, but his demonstration did not make his new recruit very pleased. Garryn Bek continued to grow even more full of himself since his bonding with the Emerald Eye and informed Dox he was taking over the team. Fortunately, Dox convinced Bek that he could do more by serving as an inspiration, or guiding light, for the team, rather than troubling himself with the mundane details. Lobo successfully infiltrated the criminal gang of Dragon-Ra, but found the leader to be far more powerful than he expected. He also discovered that Dragon-Ra is holding both Lady Quark and Captain Comet prisoner.

In the dungeon of Dragon-Ra, Lobo is cursing Dox's name and blaming him for his situation while Captain Comet looks on confused. Lobo hears a voice that he thinks is Captain Comet but turns out to be that of Dragon-Ra's telepath. Known only by the name Telepath, he tells Lobo that he knows why he is here and assures him that help is on the way.  He also offers to make Lobo's imprisonment more tolerable by stimulating the pleasure centers of his brain, but Lobo politely declines the offer.
Back at L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters, Dox assembles all of their forces to lead an attack on Dragon-Ra's asteroid base. Lyrissa insists that he is leading them into a battle in which they are seriously outnumbered and that it is not worth the risk. He dismisses her concerns and mentions in passing that Stealth has gone on a secret mission before leaving Lyrissa in charge of their headquarters in his absence. After his departure, we check in on Lyrissa's daughter, who has been brainwashed by the Computer Tyrants of Colu into believing her mother and the L.E.G.I.O.N. are her enemy. She appears to be traveling, presumably to visit her mother.
Meanwhile, at Dragon-Ra's base, Telepath explains to Lobo that he only serves the pirate because he killed all of his brethren and threatened to kill him as well. Their conversation is interrupted by Dragon-Ra, who informs Lobo that his ex-friends, the L.E.G.I.O.N., are coming. He offers to free Lobo if he wishes to help wipe them from existence and Lobo sees no other option as this point but to accept. Dox advises his fleet that by now Lobo must have been successful in his mission and Dragon-Ra must be dead. He sends Lar Gand to scout ahead, expecting minimal resistance.
At headquaters, Lyrissa checks in on a much thinner Marij'n, who is about to try siphoning off some of the Emerald Eye's energy to see if it will help restore Bek to normal. The experiment causes Bek pain and in retaliation, the Eye blows up her lab. Out of anger, he lashes out and orders the Eye to punish them, but when it does not, they realize that the Eye seems to also have formed some sort of bond with Marij'n. 
After taking some of Dox's lead poisoning antidote as a precaution, Lar Gand enters Dragon-Ra's base. Instead of meeting minimal resistance he comes under attack from Lady Quark. Dox follows, expecting that whatever resistance remained would not have been able to withstand Lar Gand's power. When sensors began to detect a massive energy surge, he realizes he has led them into a trap. His fleet is attacked and in the chaos Dox notices that Lady Quark is fighting Lar Gand. 
Dox also notices that Lobo appears to have turned traitor and orders Lar Gand to forget Lady Quark and to kill both Lobo and Dragon-Ra. Lar Gand heads towards the duo but collapses after Dragon-Ra uses his powers to turn his blood into pure molten lead. 
Although we could see Dox's failed attack coming from a mile away, this was still a fun issue. Given Dox's obnoxious ego and how dismissive he has behaved towards Lyrissa, it was nice to see him get taken by surprise. My only hope when I first read this story as a teenager was that no one else on the team would have to pay for his arrogance. 

It is interesting that although Lar Gand has been set up as being Dox's new ultimate weapon, he was pretty easily dispatched by Dragon-Ra. With the pirate now having defeated Lady Quark, Lobo, and Lar Gand, he has been set up as a pretty formidable opponent for the L.E.G.I.O.N. and for Dox.

Since most of the issue was a build up to Dox's attack on Dragon-Ra, not too much else happened, except for some slight developments involving Garryn Bek and the Emerald Eye. We have seen hints that the Eye was causing physical changes in Marij'n but it became very obvious this issue when it was shown how thin she had become. We also learned that the Eye seems to be fond of her since it resisted Bek's order to hurt her. Perhaps something to do with Bek and Marij'n's history? Although they have not been on good terms in this series, they have been married for many years and maybe deep down Bek cares more than he has let on.

We were given a glimpse of Lyrissa's daughter, but it looks like we are a ways off from her confrontation with the team. While I cannot recall for sure, I suspect things will proceed as they did with the Computer Tyrants for a while with quite a few brief teases over several issues before anything substantive happens. That is fine though because I not only do we have the culmination of the Dragon-Ra story next issue, but then we have a crossover with Superman to look forward to and a reunion between Vril Dox and his father!




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