Friday, January 10, 2020

Reboot: The Legion #13

The Legion #13 (December 2002)
title: "Meanwhile..."
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Kev Walker
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Jason Wright
seps: Digital Chameleon
associate editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel and Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
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

Chuck Taine, Coluan group mind, Ial Gix, Khunds, Kinetix, Orn Fex, Psiclone, R.J. Brande, Sharn Nux, Shvaughn Erin, Superman (flashback), Timber Wolf, Titanet adepts, Warworld operating system

Computo, Credo, Imperiex (flashback), Robotica, Singularity, Terrorforms

Computo and Robotica have taken over Earth and projected an impenetrable screen around the planet while they attempt to jumpstart machine evolution. The Legion has called U.P. and Khund forces to come and help, and Legionnaires have also secured the Warworld Dreadnought to try and break through. But while their priority is saving Brainiac 5 from his progeny, the Coluan expert brought along for the ride has other plans: destroying the Robotican threat even at the cost of Earth...

As the allied fleet, including the gigantic Warworld dreadnought, try to make a dent in Robotica's force field, Computer tells his "father" Brainiac 5 his story. That he was reassembled during the Imperiex war and went off into space where he observed organics' callous attitude towards machines. That in the 25th Century, machinekind had been given rights, but the Metallo Virus caused a setback when machines were quarantined and later junked. That he founded Robotica as a haven for machines and bid his time. And now he has made his move (indeed, Earth's defenses start firing on the fleet before it even makes a crack Quantum Kid's team can get through).
Meanwhile, R.J. Brande offers Timber Wolf membership in the Legion. Meanwhile, Singularity and his Credo cult continue to track down and kill Progeny (and their defenders) in the Kwai Galaxy. Meanwhile, the Coluans discuss having used the Metallo Virus on machine intelligences centuries ago lest they outpace organics, but now have to finish the job by unleashing an execution program on Robotica. Meanwhile, Shvaughn is shocked to see mechanical Terrorforms stalking the Earth; the Terrorformed Kinetix informs her that human evolution has stalled and machine evolution is at hand, and also that she is turning into a mechanical being as a result. Meanwhile, Robotican soldiers attack Saturn Girl and the Titanet being used to coordinate action against Earth.
In the end, Brainiac 5 admits Computo is his son and that he bears a certain responsibility, and will help him!

That was a lot of “meanwhiles”. As we approach the end of this war for Earth, so many things needed addressing. While I’m glad we learned why the Coluans want Robotica to be eradicated, I’m not a fan of the way they revealed they were the ones responsible for the machine virus. Learning of such an important fact from a casual conversation between two dignitaries is just too lame. It should’ve been the sort of things we would’ve learned after the fight is over, when the Legion interrogates their “allies”, arrested after the fact for acting rashly and putting the lives of millions in danger (of course, in that scenario, the Legion stopped them before they wiped out the Earth). It will surely be addressed later, so why even bother now?
I was also very underwhelmed by the way Brande offered Timber Wolf a spot in the Legion. He knows nothing about him except that he protected Tinya. Sure, it indicates his values align with those of the Legion, but is it really enough to offer up a spot on the team? Can Brande really bypass the election procedure and give someone a ring as the founder of the group? With Garth dead, Tinya and Jo with a baby and Karate Kid and Ferro stuck on another planet for a long while, there are some spots available. I wonder how Jazmin will react to this.
I liked the last issue so much; I seem to only be able to find flaws in this one. I guess I liked Brainiac’s banter with Computo, but also his change of heart. The Coluans tried to bring the end of artificial intelligence, and a Coluan will do just the opposite. Classic redemption tale, still one I enjoy.
If Brainy isn't planning to trick him, of course. Never trust a Dox is what I'm saying. Well, any Coluan, I guess. Speaking of Colu, I don't much mind the reveal that they were behind the Metallo Virus, because it sets up exactly what you're talking about re: Brainiac 5. He made this mess, and his people made it worse, and now it's up to him to fix it, somehow. But yes, because I wasn't reading comics in this era (some habits you have to give up to be able to pay the rent), I was almost as confounded as you were by all the history.
As for the rest of the issue, it may seem like time is standing still because it's one long conversation/infodump, and the fleet does nothing but throw special effects around. But I kind of like that. It makes Computo's shield all the more impregnable, the situation all the more desperate. We know they have to break through at some point (or do they? what's Brainy's solution?), but it's gonna take a while. It's really a case of making a bad situation even worse, with the Titanet attack, dueling agendas brewing, and Kinetix losing control. Only the Singularity stuff feels out of place.
R.J. Brande knows to invite Timber Wolf to the team because he was on the team in the previous continuity, duh! :-D

Science Police Notes:  
  • Timber Wolf is offered Legion membership in this issue.
  • The Imperiex storyline referenced by Computo occured in the Our Worlds at War storyline, as did the Warworld material.
  • The Metallo Virus is named after Superman villain Metallo.

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