Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reboot: Showcase '95 #6

Showcase '95 #6 (July, 1995)
title: "The Alienation of Unification" / "Learning Curve"
writer: Beau Smith / Gregory Wright
penciller: Mike Huddleston / Wade von Grawbadger
inker: Jim Mahfood / Mark Farmer
lettering: Kevin Cunningham
colorist: Lee Loughridge / Gregory Wright
editor: Mike McAvennie
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Andromeda, Apparition / Leviathan

Brawler, Cannus, Tomb / Gigi Cusimano, Shvaughn Erin, Sybelle Deacon

Motarian pirates / unnamed criminals

In "The Alienation of Unification", Andromeda and Apparition ferry three recruits for the U.P.'s Legion Academy, who learn to work together when Motarian pirates attack their ship... or when Andromeda forces them to, really.
In "Learning Curve", Gigi and Shvaughn follow a difficult rookie who gets into trouble with armored thugs controlling genetically engineered dragons, until Leviathan bails her out.
The Alienation of Unification – Oh, they are introducing the Legion Academy already. I don’t know why, but I expected that if it was to be part of the Reboot, it would be brought up a lot later. Mind you, the only thing I really know about the Academy is that some of the Legionnaires that we rated became teachers for it. I don’t know why, but I like the Moxian. Is Brawler really his name? Ok, the name sucks and his attitude is absolutely outrageous but I don’t know... I don’t think he’s Legion material, but anyone who can face Andromeda the way he does deserves some respect. Tomb’s powers are scary, but I see how useful they might be in a combat situation. I could see him take his place within the Legion, but I’m still not convinced. Cannus, well... I always said that I was a dog person, but this short story brought a whole new meaning to that expression. I don’t really like him though. He just seems boring.

Now the moral of the story, the whole becoming a team thing, was pushed way too strongly on us. This short would’ve been a lot more fun without it being so obvious. It reassured me regarding Andromeda though. It looks like she’s slowly accepting her place among the other Legionnaires. She knows the Legion’s code of conduct and she realizes that she must follow it whatever the circumstances. I don’t think that we will necessarily see any of the three recruits again in the actual comic, but it was an efficient way to explain how the recruitment for the Academy works.

The first thing I notice about Beau Smith's writing is that he's terrible with names. I mean, they're going to the planet Warnabros? Warner Bros.?! Come on. And the dog-like recruit is from the planet Anthropologia? They sure didn't name it that themselves. I found all attempts at humor remedial, the art very 90s and difficult to follow, and all three recruits disagreeable as continuing characters. The creative team can't even make their abilities clear to the reader. I miss those halcyon days of the Silver Age Legion where everyone had to label their powers on a name plate. Ugh.

Science Police in Learning Curve – OMG!!! PEACEFUL PROTECTOR DRAGONS?! I WANT TWENTY OF THEM!!! They’re adoooorable! *Ahem* Yes... right... the story... What is it with people and following orders in this universe? When you get to be part of an organization like the Legion of Super-Heroes or the Science Police, don’t you know that there will be a chain of command and that you won’t be able to do as you please? Is common sense a dying concept in the 30th Century? Oh wait... It is already dying, who am I trying to fool?! I can’t wait for the S.P. to finally accept the Legion and stop being so pretentious and condescending when they’re around. The superior attitude is getting old real fast.
Thematically, it's interesting that both Legion-related stories have to do with new recruits learning the value of team work (though they're all in the wrong business if they don't know that by now). And I like this one much better than the first, because though Sybelle Deacon is a pain in the ass like the Legion recruits were, she's more badass, and uses her brain to solve a problem too. Once Leviathan saves her life, she lets him off the hook for everything but his silly costume, a nice comic touch. I like her attitude and in this case WOULDN'T mind seeing her again, under Gigi's command or something. The weakness in this story is the villains. They seem interesting, but don't get any names. Who are these techno-thieves hijacking dragons? Or how about making that nasty trio in the first few pages a renegade Carggite? I want them to be more than they are, and all it would have taken is a line or two. Oh well.

Science Police Notes:  
  • The lead story of this comic, which teams up Lobo and Bibbo, is not Legion-related, though like the first Legion story, it also features an anthropomorphic dog.

First mention of the Legion Academy in the Reboot continuity.


  1. I know they had dropped it by this point, but the Legion Academy is a good compromise to the "Every UP world gets a Legionnaire" and the Legion's independence.

  2. Good point. That was the sort of edict that couldn't really be respected unless they kept the number of member planets down.