Thursday, October 12, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #48

Legionnaires #48 (May 1997)
title: "Dawn of the Dark Lord"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Barrios
editor: KC Carlson
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

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

Doctor Gym'll, Dragonmage, R.J. Brande, Science Police, Sklarians, the People of Anatac, Outpost Delta personnel

Emerald Violet, Mordru, Mysa

The wizard Mordru has been awakened and is responsible for a rash of murders on planets with links to mystical powers. Dragonmage tried to warn the Legion, but they sent him away, at which point he was recruited by the witch Mysa to try and stop Mordru's advance...

Mordru visits the planet Anatac which used to be part of his empire, but when members of his bloodline refuse to join him, he destroys them and absorbs their innate magical powers. He is trying to amass enough that he can reclaim the Emerald Eye of Ekron, which makes the Eye skittish, something it tells Violet.
Back at Legion HQ, where Star Boy's new powers have stabilized, President Brande calls an emergency meeting where he explains who Mordru is (elsewhere, Mysa and Dragonmage have much the same conversation). Looking at pictures of the people Mordru's killed, Kinetix is shocked to see Anatac's mystics have the same tattoo she sported on her face when she was gifted with magical power by Mysa. Before the lead can be followed, Mordru kills Science Police officers and uses their cruiser to attack the planet Sklar. The Sklarians, believing this an attack by the United Planets, make an angry call to Brande, and most of the Legion is called in, only to find the ship manned by dead men.
On the planet surface, Mordru is digging a hole to the planet's core to gain its power. The Legion attacks, using a successful hit and run tactic, well supported by Sensor's illusions. Unfortunately, Live Wire gets carried away and sticks around too long, which allows Mordru to beat him and turn the tide. Within minutes, all the Legionnaires are captured, then released with a message to the U.P.: It's no use fighting Mordru. As the rest of the Legion is called in, Kinetix is pulled through a portal by Mysa, and Mordru destroys Skar!
Mordru’s showing off a lot in this issue. I must say that, for once, I feel like this guy is a pretty great threat to the team. I mean, dear God… a whole planet? Was that actually necessary? It took significant efforts and amazing team work to get the upper hand on him for a couple of minutes. If only Live Wire hadn’t gotten too close to the action. But then, just when I thought this would get interesting, with him keeping the team as hostage or something, he simply releases them! UGH!!! Why are villains always doing that? It’s as stupid as explaining your plan before “killing off” the hero. What do you expect from them? That they will leave and tell everyone to stay away while you destroy everything in your path? A single free Legionnaire could’ve done that you know, no need to release them all. Just saying… I should be a villain counselor or something…
Reinforcements will certainly be needed as Brande told Kinetix. Now she’s just been abducted by Mysa. This will probably lead to these two working together alongside Dragonmage. No problem here, the team will need all the help it can get. That leaves XS, Umbra and Cham that are still at Legion headquarters and will have to meet up with the rest of the gang. Now here’s something to consider: Where did Lyle go? He didn’t follow the rest of the team and didn’t contact Brande. There’s no need for him to be invisible in the Legion’s cruiser either. Could it be that he is inside the Science Police’s ship, spying on Mordru? It makes sense considering his type of powers, but as the elected leader, it’s a big risk to take and could leave the team disoriented without someone to guide them. I’m quite excited to see how the fight against Mordru will unfold.
Good to see you want to Mordru to win ;-). I'm forgiving of this move because we're told again and again that he's an arrogant villain with a God complex. He seems to think the Legion is no threat, and it looks like he might be right (though quick to forget the first few minutes of the fight). You're not wrong, but this is a guy who just beat Star Boy by using M'Onel as a club. The only real casualty, it seems, is Element Lad who's been turned into a crystal statue.

But yeah, while not a Mordru fan exactly - I agree with the Legionnaires, they've been going up against magical villains too often since the Reboot began - their first meeting here is a great sequence. Real team work from them, making us think they actually have a shot, followed by a mistake that derails the whole thing, and Mordru shown as the force he truly is, culminating in the destruction of a world (one with a long connection to Legion history too) with his face laughing inside the giant explosion... he's truly becoming a god.
Just a few words on the Rebooted Mordru before we go... I think it's interesting to have made him the ruler of an empire in the past, one who essentially seeded his worlds with children who could one day be used as an elite under his control, or at least fuel for his powers. It's very, very creepy. I don't know how long the people of Anatac live, but it seems odd that he's there trying to recruit his grandson, yet he's had time to "pass into legend" while buried in his tomb. It's just a couple generations. Problem with the historical records? Anyway, as the number of editor's footnotes in this issue reveal, there are a lot of running subplots about to come to a head...
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1997/9.
  • Star Boy's powers now mirror his original appearances - essentially a Kryptonian/Daxamite power suite, with electric vision instead of heat vision (in addition to his gravity power).
  • Sklar, famous for spawning female pirates and the 5YL era's Kono, is destroyed.

1 comment:

  1. I love this issue and this whole three-parter. But I gotta say, my favorite part of this one is the shot of Mordru coming off the S.P. cruiser when he gets to Sklar. Basically just took his usual outfit and added the helmet and shoulderpads from one of the poor officers he killed.

    He looks like such a doofus. And it's kind of glorious.