Thursday, December 26, 2019

Reboot: The Legion #11

The Legion #11 (October 2002)
title: "System Burn"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Jason Wright
seps: Digital Chameleon
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel and Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Gear, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire II, M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Shikari, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Violet, Wildfire, XS

Coluan group mind (behind the scenes), Cub Nah, JLA (Atom, Batman, Flash III, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Martian Manhunter, Superman, Wonder Woman), Kinetix, Sharn Nux, Shvaughn Erin, Terrorforms, Timber Wolf

Computo/Mr. Venge, Robotica, Robotican Terroforms, Tharok (behind the scenes)

Ra's al Ghul has been defeated, but almost immediately, Robotica has come to Earth and is spreading through the planet's technology. Just before this happened, the Terrorforms spawned from Ra's accelerated evolution scheme had taken a place in orbit...

On the planet, Brainiac 5, the Terrorform formerly known as Kinetix, and Officer Shvaugn Erin fight the Robotican soldiers coming out of the walls with no small amount of desperation. Robotica had seemed to disappear in space, but had merely converted itself to energy and "faxed" itself to Earth's technology, through Tharok, who they had modified. Things go from bad to worse when Brainy is captured.
In orbit, the Legion tries in vain to pierce the planetary shield strengthened by Robotica. Not even teleporter Gates or threshold pathfinder Shikari can find their way past the machine intelligence's defenses. At the same time, half the Terroforms have started to show machine traits and are fighting the other half. Coluan scientist Sharn Nux believes it means they've decided machines are Earth's next evolutionary leap, but Invisible Kid rather thinks it's because Robotica itself wants to evolve and has come to Earth expressly to hijack Ra's stimulated hypertaxis. Plans are made to use the Coluan group mind to calculate a frequency that will penetrate the planetary shield and M'Onel brings a group to Pluto to revive Warworld as a weapon against Robotica.
Just then, Apparition and Timber Wolf show up at Legion World, having been rescued by Science Police, and she has information about the Robotican threat. Down on Earth, Brainy is at the mercy of Mr. Venge who has been manipulating events since the beginning. You see, he's actually Brainiac 5's "brain child" Computo! And on Warworld, the Legion meets... the JLA?!
The “theory” I put into words last week regarding the reason why the Terrorforms didn’t fight the Robotican invasion seems to be pretty flawed. Still, if I got the same guess as Sharn Nux, does it mean I have superior intelligence? Seriously though, if the Terrorforms really wanted this transformation of Earth to be the next evolutionary step, why would they fight against the robotic-terrorforms. Had to go back a couple issue to see when exactly Robotica left in a hurry to Earth and it’s exactly when the Terrorforms appeared (The Legion #7). Invisible Kid’s explanation seems to be the better one. I actually love how snarky he is with Nux. Can’t blame him for being annoyed at the one with superior intellect being wrong or, even worse, only stating the obvious.
Now it was getting pretty obvious Venge was the puppet master all along. What I definitely didn’t foresee was Computo’s return though. To be honest, I had entirely forgotten that storyline ever existed. Gotta give it to him (it?) though, it’s incredible he actually fooled Ra’s al Ghul. I wonder what Brainiac’s role will be in dismantling Computo’s plan since he’s the only one in direct contact with him, while the rest of the team can’t even pierce the Earth’s defense. Although, Apparition’s intel could be very helpful too. Or, you know, maybe the Justice League who appeared on Pluto aren’t a simple hologram – which is my current theory – and they will join the Legion to defeat the Robotican threat.
Quick final thoughts: I can’t wait for Jo and Tinya’s reunion and I’m glad they finally showed the Kwai’s perspective when they’re traveling through the threshold. I love how it looks chaotic yet so pretty at the same time and the way the path through this madness is presented.
Mr. Venge's real identity is a secret I've been sitting on since The Legion started, the kind of thing the co-writer of a feature like the Legion of Super-Blogger's Who's Who would have come across long ago, and remembered. It's another big shocker from the pens of Abnett and Lanning, and there's something quite fun about both villains (McCauley and Venge) actually being other, better-known villains in disguise, and Computo (finally! I don't have to acronym its name!) was the real mastermind, yes! Since Ra's was a bunch of clones, it could be we could chalk everything up to Computo, which really elevates Brainy's Frankenstein's monster to a new level. Here's hoping Triad doesn't meet her previous continuity self's fate, going forward.
Lots of things to like in the issue besides. They make good on the promise of Warworld. Kid Quantum's take-charge attitude. Robotica faxing itself because it doesn't care if it's destroyed and re-created (the fear of true matter transporting) because it is a soulless being. M'Onel's conversation with Star Boy, standing on the planetary shield. The military look of the Robotican foot soldiers. Apparition's return... Now I do think Gear should be given a bit more to do considering his power set, but this chapter of the story is  only really gearing up (pun!).
Science Police Notes:  
  • Pluto replaced by Mongul's Warworld in the Our Worlds at War event in 2001. M'Onel discovered this fact in Legion Worlds #5.
  • In this issue, Mr. Venge is revealed to be Computo. Computo, or as it was known then, C.O.M.P.U.T.O. was created by Brainiac 5 while the Legion was trapped in the 20th Century. It had not been seen since Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #100.

1 comment:

  1. Computo's return might have been the high point of the DnA run for me. Such a great twist.