Thursday, August 24, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #45

Legionnaires #45 (February 1997)
title: "Things Change"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Philip Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
associate editor: Ruben Diaz
editor (Morlo wrangler): KC Carlson
cover: Jeff Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, Magno, M'Onel, Sensor, Star Boy, Triad, Umbra, XS

Dreamer, Lori Morning, Marla Latham, Proty, Bielans, Science Police (Lt. Webb, others), Vyrgans (Matriarch, Xxyx Kyzzhn, others)

Emerald Violet, Mantis Morlo, Mordru, Proteans

Part of the Legion has been lost in time. Shrinking Violet, possessed by the Emerald Eye of Ekron, is still on the run. Lori Morning has just been returned to her normal age. The team's new rookies have recently defeated Legion rejects bent on destruction and found an open tomb for someone called MORD___...

The votes are in and Invisible Kid is the new Legion leader, over his protestations. Out in space, M'Onel finally finds Violet, but he is defeated, saved only by what's left of Vi refusing to kill him. The rookies are ordered to pick up Element Lad on Trom, where he has been making monuments to his dead people, while the rest of the Legion heads for Gates' homeworld of Vyrga, its Matriarch demanding their champion be returned to them for a special mission. The Legionnaires can't tell her Gates has been lost in time, so Chameleon stands in for the cantankerous insectoid.
Turns out a free-thinker called Mantis Marlo, wanting to emulate Gates, exposed himself to radiation. Though he did not get teleportation powers, he was mutated into a large, super-strong form. He has turned to terrorism and must be stopped. The Legion fights him and his forces, who are exposed as Proteans similar to the ones who once tried to detonate a fusion reaction in Metropolis. Marlo takes credit for that incident too. After he is defeated, the Vyrgans find much to praise in the Legion and its brand of team work.
On Earth, Star Boy and Dreamer are on a date when the latter has a vision of a giant "god" who will cause the Legion much trouble. On Biel, the prophecy appears to come true as a giant figure appears and absorbs the mystical energy in the planet's sacred crystals.
After all this time, we finally hear from Violet and the Eye. I’m having a hard time understanding how she could’ve stayed off the radar for so long. It’s good to see that part of her is still in there, trying to protect her friend. Although, feeling like she did after the encounter with M’Onel isn’t going to help anyone but the Eye. I’m afraid that its influence is way too strong for her to fight it alone. She needs help. I wonder where they went and what’s going to happen to M’Onel. It seems like the blast hurt him a lot and I can’t say that I’m pro passing out in the middle of nowhere in space. Hope he’ll be able to contact the group or that Kinetix will check on him soon.
Lyle is the new Legionnaire in command. I wasn’t sure at first, but appreciated the fact that he was also questioning his teammates' decision. This story really helps proving that he can become a great leader for the group. I must say though that the real champion of this mission is Chameleon! He was amazing when impersonating Gates and had the finishing blow. He did wonderfully well and I’m sure that he will become even more impressive under Lyle’s leadership. Now, if Proty is actually a pawn of this Mantis Morlo guy, can we actually trust it? Shouldn’t they contact Kinetix ASAP to let her know that this thing could potentially be dangerous. I mean, they technically already know that as they had to fight it a while ago, but still. Now that Morlo has been imprisoned by the Legionnaires on top of everything, I fear it might become more hostile.
And we finish it all with a new enemy who’s seeking powers that are not his in the first place… It’s becoming quite the cliché, no?

You're right that this has become a major part of the book through Violet and Kinetix, but what if I told you it was all related? As for Proty, he appears here only to remind us of the previous Protean story, as you'd really think his speaking scene would have been on-panel. As is, it's nice to see Lori act like a child, as if suddenly robbed of hormones she shouldn't yet have had access to, but the Proty stuff serves no other purpose. It's taken so long to reveal who was behind the Protean attack, I sort of chocked it up to the White Triangle and really wasn't thinking it needed to be resolved. And if it had to be resolved, I'm not sure I can that it's one of Gates' people, someone we've never heard of and aren't likely to see again (in this continuity, I mean). Cool look, but what's all this about growing Proties? Comes out of left field.I DO like that we learn Gates is some kind of "independent thinker", possibly a pain in the ass even on his homeworld despite being a fierce defender of its politics.
Speaking of politics, Invisible Kid's election was amusing (you don't get to put your name up for consideration, but it sure looks like it was unanimous from everyone's reaction in the monitor room), and his strategic field leadership during the mission shows how far he's come since the early days of the book when he was a maverick rule-breaker. And yet, he still uses deception and subterfuge, which is his bag. Great! Not only does the team win a decisive victory over the villain, AND change the minds of the normally strict Vyrdans about the value of the Legion experiment. That's a good first day.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1997/3.
  • First appearance of the Reboot continuity's wizard Mordru in the flesh.
  • In the previous continuity, Mantis Morlo was the creator of the Chemoids, first appearing in Adventure Comics #362, and not a Vyrdan.
  • Invisible Kid is elected leader in the wake of the former leader, Shrinking Violet's evil turn, replacing interim leader Live Wire.
  • Proty jumps onto Lori's head and turns into a Myst cap, possibly hinting at some puzzle or mystery about itself or about Lori.
  • One scene reveals the Pacific Coast has reached Arizona, a thousand years hence.
  • The next issue blurb tells readers to head over to Legion of Super-Heroes #90, though the next issue, as numbered, will actually be #89.

First appearance of Mordru in the Reboot continuity.


  1. I actually enjoyed this reboot immensely as Moy's artwork reminded me of the first Adventure Comics Legion series when I was a boy !

    Ah, nostalgia !!!!!!

  2. I can't believe I never realized the meaning behind "Pacific Coast of Arizona" before. Oy.