Thursday, October 25, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #67

Legionnaires #67 (January 1999)
title: "Here Be Heroes!"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
cover: Chris Sprouse
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Element Lad, Ferro, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Ultra Boy; cameos: Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Quantum Kid II, Thunder

Lori Morning; visitors and tour guides in the Crystal Caverns (including a 10-year-old boy called Dennis)

Kono, Stormfront, an unknown collector (possibly Leland McCauley)

Saturn Girl has recently become leader and split the team in two - half stays at Legion HQ, the other at Outpost Allon in orbit. Star Boy has yet to see Dr. Gym'll about his untrustworthy new powers.

Deep in the Crystal Caves outside Metropolis, the phasing Sklarian thief Kono steals priceless crystals from an inaccessible cave, without much help from her partner Stormfront. Up in the sky, Ultra Boy is trying out a new flying car, which his wife Apparition lets him buy. In the monitor room, Live Wire and Lori Morning are both angry at Saturn Girl's decision to split up the team. Lori because Brainiac 5 is on the Outpost with her Dial, Live Wire because he's the victim of reverse discrimination, apart from Imra so she doesn't show preferential treatment. And in the gym, Monstress and Element Lad help Star Boy test his unreliable powers, but like a watched pot that doesn't boil, they seem fine during the exercise. Thom and Jan decide to go out for a while and bring Ferro.
Meanwhile, a group of tourists are getting a tour of the Crystal Caves, and a kid called Dennis goes exploring by himself. There's a cave-in, and he's trapped while his family escapes with the rest of the group. Star Boy and his team are passing by and pledge their help, especially Ferro who is struck by the couple's love for their son, something he never felt. Star Boy's powers decide to fail him while he's in the cave, causing all sorts of problems, and leading the philosophical Element Lad to wonder if the boy is just fated to die. He's the one who finds Dennis, and he instead chooses to save him and not let destiny unfold by default. He gets the injured boy out and learns a valuable lesson about agency. The couple is so happy they make Ferro an adopted member of the family, and Star Boy decides it may finally be time to see Dr. Gym'll. Elsewhere, Kono hands the stolen crystal over to an unknown collector.
I started reading this and thought about how we haven’t seen Jan in action for a very long time. As a Legionnaire, he hasn’t done a lot. It’s about time we give him a mission in which he can truly shine and this one was just perfect for his abilities. I always felt like his role was mainly to contradict some members of the Legion with his opinion regarding death and change. I can see how this sort of thinking is problematic for a hero, as he might simply let things go their way because fate is at play. I’m glad he came out of this adventure with a bit of a change of heart. I’m also terribly glad he didn’t approach the panicking parents with his views on life and death. Imagine how they would’ve reacted!
This issue really was about introspection for all the Legionnaire featured. Garth and Imra on their relationship as well as her capacities as a leader, and Ferro with his family issues driving him towards heroism that could very well be more destructive than helpful. I spoke of Jan’s view of the world already so there’s really only two characters left. Concerning Star Boy’s powers, they are becoming a hazard for himself and others. I’m glad that, as he said it himself, he was wise enough to get out before it really got out of control. He will be seeking help, no matter how frustrating or time consuming it might be. He needs to work this out. Finally, Kono has a lot to think about now. I’m sure a life of petty crime isn’t what she wanted out of life. Hopefully, she won’t just think about doing better and she will act sooner than later. I don’t know a lot about her, but I feel like she’s getting too much attention ever since the Dark Circle not to be of significance to the Legion.
Same here, because Kono was one of the most engaging Legionnaires created for the Five Years Later era, and I'd hate for her to end up as a footnote on the villains' side in the Reboot. I think I'm in the dark now, probably having stopped reading just before Thunder joined, so I don't actually know how things turn out (for the most part). For all I know, she may not even appear again, and we may never know who the mysterious collector was, or why he needed those crystals. (My money's on McCauley though.) I'm finding that pacing out mysteries is a real weakness of the Reboot era. Even though it has two titles to play with, we're nevertheless saddled with subplots for more than a year (Star Boy's malfunctioning powers are a good example) before they're resolved, and if there's a changing of the guard, they may never be resolved at all! Result: I admit to have stopped caring by the time it's finally addressed. Certainly the case with Star Boy. Will the mystery of the H Dial also become a casualty?
As for the A-plot, it's a fine little rescue mission, and as you say, Jan was in deep need of attention. Tough the Fires of Creation recently made some Legionnaires unknown quantities, Element Lad suffered his transformation ages ago during the fight with Mordru (that was issue #50!). He's been less than useful ever since, a little too ethereal to be tracked as a character. This issue undoes some of the damage, while also giving us some possible closure for Ferro's long-running subplot about feeling out of place. And for all that, I get the most joy out of Ultra Boy's joy ride in an orangey flying car, because whether on purpose or not, it reminds me of Chemical King's sweet ride you girls made a big deal out of back in the Hot or Not feature. I find it amusing that in THAT story, Ultra Boy was car sick.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1999/1.
  • The kid who gets into trouble is no doubt named after Dennis the Menace.
  • The collector could be Leland McCauley who has at times worn shirts that flare in the same way this character's does.


  1. It's been awhile since I read these issues so I don't remember if they ever said who the Collector was but the way they emphasized the word Vandal twice in the final panels I wonder if it was intended to be Vandal Savage.

  2. It could be Universo--he also has a fondness for fancy dress.

  3. Vandal Savage also wears the frou frou sleeves at times. Could be!