Thursday, November 10, 2016

Reboot: Legionnaires #29

Legionnaires #29 (September 1995)
title: "Rising Sun"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Mike McAvennie
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Leviathan, Saturn Girl, Spark, Triad, XS

Alchemist, Derek Morgna, Dirk Morgna, Live Wire, President Chu,  Ultra Boy, Valor, Science Police

Dr. Regulus

In the wake of two Legionnaires' apparent deaths at the hands of the White Triangle, genocidal Daxamites who also destroyed the planet Trom... United Planets interference in Legion affairs has kept Cosmic Boy from adding members to the roster and put him in a foul mood that has alienated him from the rest of the team. Meanwhile, at Morgna Industries, Dr. Zaxton Regulus, in retaliation for having been fired, steals armor that allows him to project great heat and immediately uses it to murder fellow employees...

Dr. Regulus has taken over the Morgna Industries lab and is keeping the owner's son Dirk hostage in a chamber where he is being exposed to radioactive gold. When the Science Police charge in, he flame-broils them.
Back at Legion HQ, the team still thinks Cosmic Boy is a jerk, and moreover, in the U.P. President's pocket. But is he? Or is he playing a dangerous political game? Nevertheless, it's Chu who assigns him to intercede in the Regulus case, since Morgna is her friend. The team will not have access to Ultra Boy, however, because Cos has asked him to leave, nor to Live Wire, who finally leaves to find his brother Mekt. Cos tries to shake Brainiac 5 out of his funk and force him to do his duty, but fails to find him - he's in his lab working in a beer formula(?) and somehow invisible. On Trom, Jan Arrah tasks himself with turning the charred corpse of every Trommite into a crystalline monument to pay tribute to their ultimate transformation.
On Cosmic Boy's orders, Spark, Leviathan, XS and Saturn Girl attack Dr. Regulus and attempt to free Morgna's son. Regulus' armor is damaged in the fray, but they are unable to get to Dirk before they must escape a fiery explosion. Regulus survives, however, his armor melted on him, but its powers now permanent. Before he can do too much damage though, he is permanently blinded by another figure. It's Dirk, who has become a living boy of bright flame!
THAT B*TCH! (Talking about the president here...) What the actual hell. Sending the Legion without even briefing them about the dangers they might encounter. Plus, to help a "very good friend". RED FLAG!! There is an obvious crisis at this location, but the way she presents it to Cosmic Boy, the smell of corruption is unbearable. She’s sending them on a suicide mission and she knows it very well. She wants them to fail. Well, the joke's on her because they didn’t and actually stopped whatshisface. Not without some trouble of course, but at least they did.
Garth is finally leaving to find his brother. About time! Don’t get me wrong, I like the character, but I am 100% behind Spark when she called him out about his inaction. Normally, I would’ve asked myself if we would follow him in the coming issues, but the teasers at the very end of this issue clearly indicates that his mission will be the main focus. Speaking of the teasers... SPOILERS!!! Come on! Lightning Lord... REALLY? I wonder who that might be... I will make sure never to read these caption boxes ever again. Gosh I’m pissed and I hope there’s more to it than what I interpreted.

For the rest of the story now... Where shall I begin? Cos has given up. He didn’t even follow the team to Morgna Industries. Where did he go? Jan walking his home planet turning every single one of its inhabitants into crystal is heart breaking. I do remember this part of his story from the Hot or Not articles, but it doesn’t make it any easier to read. As for Morgna’s son - Dirk is it? - So is he that guy that’s basically made out only of energy, Wildfire? I hope they find him a suit ASAP because even for the readers the amount of light is hard to bear. Whatshisname receives quite the punishment from him. Not enough that the suit is now melted on his body, let’s blind him on top of that!
Sorry Shotgun, we're not ready for Drake "Wildfire" Burroughs yet, but given your particular hatred for Sun Boy, I can understand you not remembering who Dirk Morgna used to be. Well, you seemed angry enough as it was without my mentioning it. Drake-Dirk, all sounds the same, amirite? But will there be a Sun Boy? The Reboot has given us two viable options. The female Inferno that's a member of Workforce, and now Dirk himself. I happen to know the answer in this case, so I'll shut up for now.
Well okay, I can talk a little bit about Doctor Regulus. Between this issue and the last, we don't seem to have much to say. I think I can put words to the feeling. For one thing, his armor looks silly with its elongated helmet. I think the original, pre-Crisis Regulus looked much better. Second, and most importantly, he's a two-dimensional villain. He needs that helmet just to keep from twirling his mustache. His motivation and disproportionate methods show him as just plain evil; there's absolutely no gray area and that makes him kind of boring.

I had to read the issue three times before I realized Cosmic Boy HADN'T given up, but actually running a scam on President Chu. The writers very smartly put Invisible Kid in the splash page roll call, only for him NOT to appear in the issue. So I looked for his invisible self on my second read. Then a third time. And that's when I saw it. An Omnicom pad thing moving from a shelf by itself behind Chu. Is the Legion going to cause a whole government to fall? Man, I sure hope so, cuz the U.P. has been one major pain since the Reboot began.
And no idea what that whole sequence with Brainy drinking beer was all about. Kind of annoyed me, if you want to know the truth. (See the Notes to find out, with thanks to Todd for the help.)
Science Police Notes: 
  • The first appearance of the Reboot's Dirk Morgna gives him a similar origin to the original Sun Boy, exposed to radioactive gold by Dr. Regulus, he develops light and fire powers.
  • The figure Saturn Girl has been seeing in bright lights since Legionnaires Annual #2 speaks for the first time; it will be revealed to be the 20th-Century Daxamite hero Valor in Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #73.
  • On page 5, orange Triad is watching an alien version of the Three Stooges, where they look like Andorians from Star Trek.
  • Invisible Kid is announced as being in this issue on the splash page, but does not seem to actually appear. Look again. He's behind President Chu on page 6.
  • Brainiac 5 returns from his cameo in Guy Gardner: Warrior #29 in this issue, in which he appeared in a party scene at Warriors Bar (explaining the big "W" on his beer mug).

First Reboot appearance of Dirk Morgna who, in the previous continuity, became Sun Boy.


  1. About the Brainy sequence: I remember this one! Brainy made a cameo appearance in Guy Gardner: Warrior #29 at the grand opening of Guy's new bar, Warriors. He's not invisible; he's just invented time travel?

  2. Of COURSE, that's what that big W is about! Thanks a lot, I'll add it in the Science Police notes!

  3. It's funny, since this was one of the issues I ended up having to track down, I never had a question about what was going on with Brainy. The bit I never understood was what happened to Cosmic Boy? He promised he'd handle the Regulus problem personally, summoned a team, then went looking for Brainy, and then ... just didn't show up? That just seems weird to me.