Thursday, November 23, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #51

Legionnaires #51 (August 1997)
title: "Picking Up the Pieces"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Gaspar
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

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

Andromeda, Chuck Taine, Dragonmage, General Hol, Lamar Zandoz, Lori Morning (using H Dial), Mysa, R.J. Brande, Uncanny Amazers (Kid Quantum II, Monstress), Wimena Wazzo, Workforce (Karate Kid, Particon, Radion, Spider-Girl); a doctor, a newscaster, Science Police, U.P. Marines (Reyep and Rimmer named); in flashback: Atom'X, Blast-Off, Mordru's Anatacian grandson, mystics

Leland McCauley, Mordru (inside bubble); Emerald Eye of Ekron (in flashback)

A task force composed of members of the Legion, the Uncanny Amazers, and Work Force have just defeated Mordru, at the cost of two of their number - Blast-Off and Atom'X - with several others injured - Dragonmage, Magno, Violet (now free of the Emerald Eye), and Kid Quantum. The witch Mysa, for her part, has had her youth returned to her...

On the planetoid known only as JS-1967, where Mordru has just been defeated, Kinetix, Andromeda and M'Onel use their powers to destroy Mordru's artifacts once and for all, though Mysa is frustrated that her new-found youth is interfering with her magics, making it difficult to make sure Mordru lies dormant for good.
President R.J. Brande addresses the United Planets, telling them of the task force's bravery and sacrifice. As news gets out, various parties react, including Marines who think the fight should have been theirs (immediately dressed down by their general), Ambassador Wimena Wazzo forced to apologize for the mining rights she approved that then unearthed Mordru's tomb in the first place, and Leland McCauley angry that he lost one employee and had another maimed. Particon and Radion try to quit, but he wants to hold them to their contract, forcing R.J. Brande to buy them out.
These two return home on Wazzo's shuttle, but Monstress quits the Amazers with every hope of joining the Legion (though she hasn't spoken to them). Andromeda returns to her sisters, though Invisible Kid asked her to rejoin the team. Back at Legion HQ, Chuck Taine finds a mystery superheroine in the halls, but loses her after turning the corner and bumping into Lori Morning. And as the ships leave JS-1967, we check in on the wounded heroes and find Dragonmage perhaps falling for the young Mysa, Magno unable to use his powers, and Violet... suddenly turning into a giant!
We get a bit more of Mysa’s backstory in the issue. She’s still dedicated to stopping her father at all costs, so she’ll surely remain obsessed with finding the Eye which is understandable. Her loss of powers must be so frustrating in this particular moment. At least she’s young again and she looks amazing with her face tattoo! I see great cosplay opportunities here, hihi! *ahem* Interesting to see the Legion’s opponents getting some much-needed shaming. While I enjoyed seeing McCauley and Winema being put back in their places, it’s the interaction between the Marines and their general I preferred. It’s encouraging to see a leader within the U.P. give credit to the team. I know I said earlier that I thought Monstress would be next to join the Legion, but at this point, I hope she doesn’t. You can’t just join the team because you want to. Plus, during this whole issue it felt like she was getting too involved in matters she doesn’t even understand. I’m afraid she can’t mind her own business. Now for the random girl – damn she looks like a pin-up version of Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus – Chuck saw. There’s no way they took a whole page for this encounter if it meant nothing. Could it actually be Lori? But how? It is pretty suspicious that she hasn’t seen anyone and that her only reaction to an intruder in the building is to tease Chuck...
I'm glad they gave us some medical updates from everyone. While Kid Quantum and Dragonmage are definitely better – there’s even romance in the air for the latter - we have reason to worry about the rest. Radion’s condition seem to be under control but the poor boy is disfigured for life, plus he seems to think he’s a threat to anyone close to him. I love how they hid his face in the roll call, it kept the mystery going a little longer. I don’t know if we’ll hear from him again, but I sure hope he’ll get better. Concerning Magno, I can’t say that I’m surprised by his condition, but I feel bad for him. He really tries his best to appear strong yet he’s clearly panicking. Sensor had to know how he really felt, but it’s good of her not to press him any more than needed. Now Violet seems to have acquired new powers. Is this some side effect from being too close to the Eye? I wonder if she’ll keep this new asset or if it’s temporary. That would be an odd way to replace Leviathan’s power within the team. Not sure I’m a fan of the idea, if that’s what the writers are planning.
I'm going to put the stuff about the mystery woman in the Notes below, Shotgun, so if you don't want to be spoiled, look away. It'll all become clear in a couple of issues anyway. People who know me know I'm rather excited about this.
Otherwise, it's the required breather after an all-action issue, to see how Mordru's attack and defeat will shake up the status quo. On that front, it's less than satisfying. We get hints, but nothing tangible, like what's happening with Violet, Mysa, Monstress (and Kid Quantum?) and the wounded kids, or else confirmations of non-changes (Sister Andromeda NOT rejoining the team). They're gonna make us wait a little more before solidifying any changes to the Legion, so it's the Amazers and Work Force who get real shake-ups, and we don't really care.

But do I mind the lack of immediate gratification? Not really. I remember at least SOME of what's to come, so I can afford to be patient, I suppose. But more than that, these quiet moments - Sensor's empathy towards Magno, Monstress' over-confidence and free spirit (and lack of self-consciousness when talking to Radion), Mysa's frustration, R.J. Brande buying out some of the Work Force's contracts, XS' newest crush on M'Onel, Kinetix decrying the destruction of mystical artifacts - all have value. I've said this before, but a great part of why I enjoy the Legion (in ANY incarnation) is, for lack of a better term, the soap opera. Their lives and interactions.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1997/15.
  • The planetoid JS-1967 appears to have been named after Jim Shooter, who was indeed a Legion writer in '67 (his run started in '66, however).
  • The named Marines are Reyep, a palindrome of Peyer (one of the book's writers), and the other Rimmer, possibly a Red Dwarf reference.
  • Chuck Taine sings a parody of "Happy Days Are Here Again".
  • The mystery woman Chuck sees is the first identity dialed by Lori Morning after get a hold of the H Dial back in Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #91. She does not have a name, nor does she use any powers, but her general look evokes that of the Legion villainess Glorith who replaced the Time Trapper in the previous continuity - a hint that Lori may be the Reboot's Time Trapper.


  1. Not to "Well, actually" you, but in your Science Police notes, you say Chuck is singing a parody of the Happy Days theme song. That's actually a parody of "Happy Days are Here Again," a late-20s song made famous again in the 60s by Barbara Streisand.

    Also, the two UP Marines are named "Reyep" (Peyer backwards, obviously a shoutout to Tom Peyer) and "Rimmer" (a Red Dwarf reference?), according to their helmets.

  2. Keep 'em comin'. I want to know why the Dialed heroine has "JW" on her belt.

    1. Is it a JW, or is it JM? Jim Mooney drew the original Dial H series, didn't he?

    2. I guess it is a W. I just noticed her boots have the same design.
      Something like "Justice Woman" maybe?

    3. It springs back up to make a W, but an M would make more sense. Mooney also drew some Legion stories via his Supergirl work.

  3. When you guys get done with these, try showing Shotgun some of the older issues with SunBoy - before Levitz turned him into such a ----------.