Wednesday, February 26, 2020

L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #26

L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #26 (April 1991)
title: "Bangs and Whimpers"
plot: Barry Kitson and Alan Grant
writer: Alan Grant
penciller: Barry Kitson
inker: Barry Kitson
letterer: Gaspar Saladino
colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
editor: Art Young
cover art: Dan Brereton
review by: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: After the death of Lyrissa Mallor, Dox turned his attention to the menace of the Khundian Empire. The L.E.G.I.O.N. freed the planet Ogen from being terrorized by the Khunds and Telepath discovered from a prisoner that they were using a captured scientist to build a Doomsday weapon. The team tried to use a captured Khund craft to gain admittance to where the device was being built but the plan failed. Most of the team fled the craft using escape pods but Lady Quark and Bek remained behind in hopes that the pods would confuse Khundian radar.

Back on Cairn, Captain Comet and Marij'n have grown disturbed by the experiments that Dox is conducting on Lydia Mallor to deprogram her. Particularly worried that Dox will use the enhanced charisma mode that he used on the Coluans, they have gone to confront him.

The Khunds destroy the L.E.G.I.O.N.'s captured craft but Lady Quark and Garryn Bek survive the explosion. The pair retaliate by destroying their attackers but have trouble locating the Khund base they have been searching for. It turns out that the base is cloaked but the duo eventually get through. They are soon joined on the surface by the rest of the team as their escape pods arrive one by one while Bek provides cover.
On Cairn, Comet and Marij'n are appealing to Dox to stop his experiments on Lydea. Dox insists that the circumstances require harsh measures since she murdered one of them but Comet plead that she is just a child and that reconditioning her to be his slave is not the answer. Dox kicks them out of his lab but then recalls a similar plea from his friend the Durlan. During their initial adventure on Colu, the Durlan had tried in vain to convince Dox that using his enhanced charisma mode on them made him no better than the Computer Tyrants. Dox did not listen to his friend then, but this time it seems the message has finally gotten through.
Bek and Lady Quark lead the main attack against the Khundian base but Bek finds that the last remnants of the Emerald Eyes powers are fading in and out. Phase and Telepath go to search for the plans to the Doomsday device while Lobo tracks down the captured scientist, and Strata and Garv have fun with their own mission.
Lobo finds the scientist but the man begs not to be rescued. He tries to explain why, but Lobo grabs him and ignores his pleas. Phase and Telepath are also successful in finding the plans but run into a large Khund patrol. Fortunately, Strata and Garv come barreling through the walls just in time to help.

A lucky Khund blast temporarily stuns Lady Quark, leaving Bek alone. His powers leave him again but Bek charges ahead to keep the Khunds busy long enough for Lady Quark to recover.
Lady Quark and Bek reunite with the rest of the team and Lobo picks them up in another captured ship. As explosions ring in the background, Lobo assures them he has made arrangements to ensure that they are not followed, but he refuses to answer their questions as to the location of the captured scientist.

Later, the team gives their final report on the mission to Dox. While most of the team was successful in their objective, we finally learn what happened to the scientist that Lobo was sent to free.
Action, action, action! There was almost no slowing down in this issue except for the brief interlude of Captain Comet confronting Dox, but that did nothing to slow the momentum of the story. Despite the fast pace, the creators did a good job of working in some subtle character development. Strata and Garv are forming a strong bond (with a hint of romance dropped at the end), and Lady Quark is trying to prove herself to both Dox and her teammates. Lyrissa's death left a hole in the L.E.G.I.O.N. and Lady Quark seems to want to take her place. Whether or not she can with her more naturally abrasive attitude remains to be seen.

I have to give some credit to Bek here, who has never been a character I cared much for. Even with his powers failing, he stayed in the frontline and was willing to sacrifice himself to give Lady Quark time to recover. As with Marij'n, the madness that he experienced thanks to Emerald Eye has faded and I am happy to see it gone. There was only so much of his Emerald Eye-enhanced ego I could take.

Dox once again surprised me by actually listening to Comet's concerns, even if it was ultimately the memory of the Durlan expressing a similar sentiment that persuaded him. We have a gotten few glimpses of a more thoughtful Dox over the last few issues, which raises the question of how much Lyrissa's passing has effected him. I have no doubt that Dox is still the manipulative, obnoxious character at heart that we have come to know over the last 26 issues. But I do think the losses he has experienced, particularly the Durlan and Lyrissa, and his confrontations with his father and the Computer Tyrants, have led to at least some introspection on his part.

Lobo has started to wear on me a bit in recent issues as the comic relief of the book. I cannot recall if his actions here in letting the scientist get killed are just another example of the creators playing him for laughs and shock value, or if this is going to lead Dox to having concerns about what Lobo really brings to the team. I hope it is the later, but I fear it was likely just more comic relief. In any event, I did very much enjoyed this issue overall. I suspect I was probably more fond of Lobo when this issue originally came out and it is only the fact that I later grew very tired of him that is coloring my view now.

Please check back here next week to see if Dox plans any further steps against the Khunds and more on the budding relationship between Strata and Garv!


  1. Isn't Stealth on some other planet giving birth? Did you mean Telepath and Phase find the plans? I don't remember this issue specifically, but I think that this may be just a minor mistake.

  2. Yes, thank you! That was a mistake. I will see if I can correct it.