Wednesday, September 9, 2020

L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #52

L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #52 (May 1993)
title: "Past Imperfect"
plot: Barry Kitson & Mark Waid
writer: Mark Waid
penciler: Scott Kolins
inker: Frank Percy
colors: Digital Chameleon
letters: Tim Harkins
editor: Dan Raspler
cover: Barry Kitson
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: Ig'nea and Stealth travelled to Mother-Beast, the creature who was caring for Stealth's baby. After retrieving the child, Ig'nea contacted the L.E.G.I.O.N. and demanded that Dox turn himself over in exchange for the safety of his son. To convince him, she murdered Stealth in front of the team.

Dox accepted her demand and ordered the core team and new recruits to get ready to accompany him. On Batrok, the team attacked and eventually overcame Ig'nea's troops. Dox learned that Stealth was alive, although badly hurt. He found Ig'nea and she was about to unleash her pet beast on him when Stealth jumped in to fight it. The body of the cyborg, Darrius, was destroyed, but his head lived, and Amon swore they would find his maker so he could be repaired. Ignea surrounded Dox's child with flame and was flown away by one of her soldiers. Borbb was able to enter the flame and retrieve the child, which he gave to Dox. The team was fearful at first to see Dox with the boy, but he gave him over to his mother, Stealth, realizing it was for the best. Dox and Stealth appeared to finally achieve some sort of peace with one another.

A panicked man runs to the information desk at L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters demanding to see Lydea Mallor. When it is explained that he cannot see anyone without filling out the appropriate forms and undergoing a thorough background check, he erupts in anger. He strikes the information officer and runs inside, setting off the intruder alarm.

Elsewhere, the new recruits gather around the decapitated head of their friend, the cyborg Darrius, to determine how to help him. Before deactivating, Darrius had asked to be taken to his Maker, and it appears that Amon is the only one with whom Darrius shared his origin. Amon explained that Darrius was an Earthman who had been abducted by a "flying saucer," and that he could only recall fragments of what was done to him.
They decide to appeal to Chairman Dox for help, but are horrified when they notice that someone has taken Darrius' head. While they began a search, the intruder is confronted by several guards. He knocks one down and takes his gun, which he uses to stun the others. 

The new recruits pass by Lobo's garage and stop to ask if he has seen Darius' head. He says no and that he has been busy retooling his bike and installing a new "head-light." Which of course turns out to be their friend's head.
Their fight takes them through a wall and right into the room where Dox is working. Needless to say, he is not happy to see them tearing apart their headquarters. At the same time, Phase encounters the intruder.
Phase disappears and the intruder is disturbed at the thought that he has vaporized her. Other troops arrive and the intruder blasts the ceiling above them so he can escape. Phase reappears through the floor and saves one of them from the falling debris. The intruder takes advantage of the fact that she has become solid and knocks her out. 

The new recruits explain their desire to help Darius to Dox and he examines the head. He discovers a microchip more advanced than even the technology of his home planet Colu. He suspects it may come from the remote planet Acheron, which is rumored to be a veritable foundation of cybernetic science.
Lydea discovers Phase and the other troops recovering from their battle. She learns that she is the one he is seeking so she decides to make it easy for him by returning to her room. He plan works but is shocked to learn why he was after her.
This was a very solid opening to two new story arcs. It was not a big shock that the intruder turned out not to be a threat, but I did not recall or guess that he was going to be revealed as Lydea's father either. His reaction to apparently vaporizing Phase earlier was a clue that his intentions were not malicious, and that he was acting more out of desperation. 

The other big surprise here was the reveal that Darius was originally from Earth. The mystery of his creation is intriguing, as is the planet Acheron, but that brings me to one minor quibble I had with this issue. Dox indicated that he had been meaning to chart an expedition for years but had not gotten around to it. However, if he believed there was a planet out there with technology that rivaled or surpassed that of Colu, I have a very, very hard time believing that he would not have tracked it down sooner. Dox is all about power and control, and he is also never one to leave potential threats unaddressed. If Dox believed such a planet existed, he would have made it a point to find it much sooner. A minor part of this story, but I could not help but scoff when I read that dialogue.

I have been very fond of the new recruits since their introduction and its been great to see them finally get some focus. For the most part, they have turned out to be a very likable, endearing group, lacking some of the emotional baggage that the original founders had (at least as far as we know). The only unpleasant one seems to be Davroth, who manages to always be the jerk in any situation. Even the Khund, Amon, has turned out to be a very loyal and noble member of the team, which is quite a departure from how Khunds are usually portrayed. 

It seems unlikely that Lydea will be accompanying them under the circumstances, which is a shame. Like her mother, she seemed to have taken on something of a leadership role among the group for a while. If she is not present though, I am very curious to see who among them steps up in her place. Both Diib and Amon seem likely candidates at this point, although everyone is a possibility.

Check back with me next week as we join the new recruits on their mission and learn more about Lydea Mallor's past!

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