Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #34

Legionnaires #34 (February 1996)
title: "Fallen Star"
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
special thanks: Mark Waid & Karl Kesel
cover: Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Leviathan, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad

Captain Tro Yesq, Chuck Taine, Lori Morning, Mysa, President Chu, Valor, Science Police, a shop owner, the president's bodyguards, U.P. ambassadors
Empress, Gatherers, Mano, Persuader, Starfinger (Alchemist), Sun-Eater, Tharok, Validus, Winema Wazzo

Brainiac 5 has been jailed on Takron-Galtos for conducting illegal time travel experiments. Kinetix has gone off in search of powers after losing hers and was shown the Emerald Eye of Ekron by the witch Mysa as a potential source of such powers. Lori Morning has gone walkabout in Metropolis, her inexperience with the 30th Century has gotten her arrested. And closer to home, a mysterious barely-verbal assassin we will call Starfinger has been targeting Legionnaires...

With a group of Legionnaires down, it's up to Shrinking Violet to defeat Starfinger alone. Sick and tired of being the wallflower of the group, she fights him with surprising force and triumphs. But her victory tastes bitter when the assassin is unmasked and revealed to be Jan Arrah of Trom, a sweet boy who Saturn Girl probes and finds has been brainwashed by Apparition's mother, Ambassador Wazzo, to destroy the team she believes is responsible for her daughter's death.
On Drak IV, desert home of the criminal Gatherers, Valor acts as a mysterious crime-fighter, leaving arms dealers for the Science Police to pick up, and only his heat visioned signature on walls as a sign that he was there. On Sorcerers' World, Mysa gives Kinetix a charge of mystical power and an elfish appearance, and sends her on a quest for the Emerald Eye. In Metropolis, Saturn Girl bails Lori Morning out of jail, and Shrinking Violet changes her costume to match her new attitude. Chuck Taine gets an accidental eyeful of her changing, and she doesn't even care.
hen the Legion exposes Wazzo's crime in front of the U.P. council, everyone is shocked, but the meeting is adjourned to deal with a bigger crisis: A Sun-Eater is heading for Earth. President Chu reveals that five beings were created to fight the threat of the Sun-Eater across the galaxy, and sends the Legion to meet up with these "Fatal Five" to stop the weapon of mass destruction together. This is apparently part of a greater plan, as a mysterious female figure confirms the Legion's participation to Tharok of the Five, who vows the destroy them.
Back in time, in Flash #111... XS delivers a message to Wally West from his aunt Iris who knows his future, and on the strength of that message leads Savitar deep into the Speed Force where the villain is absorbed by the power he sought. But can Wally make it back?
Violet is soooo badass. How can anyone underestimate her? Look at her fight in the first couple  panels. She’s quick, resourceful and absolutely clever. She’s finally accepting that she is part of this group and she is getting rid of her fears and inferiority complexes, slowly but surely. She’s the best!

That poor Jan though, this is not who he is. Ambassador Wazzo' need for revenge is out of control, and to take control of such a gentle soul is unforgivable. Now I wonder what happened to Ultra Boy. The last time we saw him (LSH #76, p.10-11), she was requesting his help to destroy the Legion. What has she done with him? Did he refuse to help her? If that’s the case, did she imprison him to stop him from revealing her plans? Now this talk of the Sun-Eater, it’s making me uneasy for so many reasons. Wazzo is too calm when Jan’s memory is exposed to the president and the rest of the U.P. representatives. Did she plant this image of the Sun-Eater herself to have the Fatal Five released? I understand the Sun-Eater is a major threat but WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY ARREST HER ON THE SPOT?? And that communication at the end. It has to be her talking to Tharok. I bet this was her plan all along! At least let’s give her some credit for pushing our heroes to finally work together again.
Meanwhile, Valor is out by himself as a vigilante now. He will certainly be an important element in the fight against the Sun-Eater and the Fatal Five. This might be his chance to integrate the team and be allowed to be seen in public, who knows? Kinetix finally got her powers back… Actually, can I call this HER powers? Of course, the whole talk about the Emerald Eye was a way of controlling her. This Mysa knows how to manipulate someone. This doesn’t smell good at all. I’m digging the new look though. Will these comics ever stop with the cosplay ideas?
Flash #111... Jenni is sent to The Flash in order to send him a secret message. Did she know the meaning of what she was about to tell him? Well, it’s hard to say, but what’s important is that she went headfirst anyway knowing very well that her life would be at risk. Still remains to be seen if she has more to do before heading back home.

I love shrinking heroes, and I certainly love Violet, and if her turn is a little abrupt - showing anger in battle is one thing; flaunting your body in social circumstances is another. But I'm not complaining. The outfit is certainly cute - I like that her flower moves to her hair - and I see echoes of the original Vi, who was rather demure until Yera took her place and she returned angry and more combat-oriented, leading to the hardened war veteran of the 5YL era. While I'm not ready to see this sweet girl become as harsh as that, we've had enough of the soft-spoken Violet, I think, and it seems Shotgun does too.
With Jan (AKA Alchemist), Valor and Kinetix (another face tat, right SG?), we have a trio of subplots that seem to bring us closer to an expansion of the Legion membership, and with Wazzo's treachery, we might even see some necessary independence from the United Planets ruling body that would allow it. Maybe it's because I come from a generation who could take a huge Legion cast for granted, but I can't wait. And that may be foolish, because sometimes it seems that even this limited group (which is still bigger than most superhero team books') can be hard to juggle.
And while it seems like we've had some fairly original stories since the beginning of the Reboot, the arrival of the Sun-Eater and promise of the Final Five is definitely a remixed retelling of one of the Legion's best known and most important stories. Since there's no Ferro Lad to sacrifice himself this time, it remains to be seen just how dramatic this version will be. But then, the Sun-Eater story has sort of been split in two, the second of which I won't spoil here...
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1996/4.
  • The Sun-Eater first appeared in Adventure Comics #305, but this story arc is set to repeat another of its appearances, which coincides with the Fatal Five's, i.e. Adventure Comics #352-353. All but Mano make their first Reboot appearance here, though for the most part as images on a screen. The Empress is not quite the Emerald Empress however, as the Eye of Ekron seems to have another destiny for the moment.
  • The last page of the issue mistakenly announces the story will be continued in Legion #79; it is actually #78.
  • Flash v2 #111, "Dead Heat Final Lap: Godspeed", was crafted by Mark Waid (writer), Oscar Jimenez (penciller), Jose Marzan Jr. (inker), Gaspar and Kevin Cunningham (letterers), Tom McCraw (colorist), Alisande Moralses (assistant editor) and Brian Augustyn (editor). XS' participation is crucial, but minimal.

First appearance of both the Fatal Five and the Sun-Eater in the Reboot continuity.


  1. The book was really firing on all cylinders around this time. No spoilers for Shotgun but I hope she's excited about where it all ends up.

  2. Oh man, I just love this storyline. The writers really managed to grind up all the pieces and sprinkle them about in a way that makes it endlessly enjoyable to go back and re-read them. Oh, and I also remember just being totally excited when these were coming out fresh!

    There's some sketchiness with the Fatal Five (Empress of Venegar in particular -- how the heck is she going to fight a giant cloud?) but it does make sense in retrospect.

    Vi's transformation ... well, it sure seems to be moving quickly, doesn't it? Hmmm... can't be a plot point or anything. Anyway, it's good to see her in action -- she's always a blast to watch kicking butt.

    Cameo watch: The USS Enterprise 1701-D saucer section shows up on a background viewscreen on Page 17 ... and possibly a Cyberman on Page 16.