Thursday, December 6, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #70

Legionnaires #70 (April 1999)
title: "Enter: Domain!"
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 and Al Gordon
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Live Wire (flashback), Saturn Girl (flashback), Star Boy

Andrea, Dirk Morgna, Dragonmage, Dreamer, Ewa Krinn, Giselle King, Hu Krinn, Khfeurb Chee Bez (AKA Antenna Boy), Kuniko, Lori Morning (flashback), Magno, Mysa, Pol Krinn, Warden Sur, Zyzan guardian; magnoball players and fans, Science Police, unnamed Braalian reporter

Alux Cuspin, Domain, Luck Lords (flashback), Xotar (flashback)

When the Legionnaires first met, Saturn Girl exposed Cosmic Boy's magnoball manager as an embezzler and he went to prison. Months ago, Dragonmage lost his ability to focus his magical powers in battle with Mordru - the same battle that cost Magno his magnetism...

Four months ago, Cosmic Boy's manager Alux Cuspin was released on parole and went to live in Brazil. Though was a model prisoner, he still has hate in his heart for Cos, and hires an interdimensional assassin called Domain to kill his former pupil. Today, the United Planets magnoball championship comes to Earth, and Cosmic Boy is the guest of honor, seeing as his brother Pol is playing for Braal against the Earth team managed by Dirk Morgna.
Of course, Domain uses this opportunity to attack, taking Cos, Pol, a fan, and a reporter to another dimension for a stand-off. In a topsy-turvy world much like the engravings of M.C. Escher, Cosmic Boy must help them all survive energy spheres crashing through the trademark staircases. As they can't be affected by his magnetics, Cos uses Pol's magnetic field as an anchor to propel himself to and way from his brother, trapping Domain in between the spheres - though not before he reveals Cuspin was behind the hit - and critically wounding him. As Domain falls into infinity, they are all returned to the stadium in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Star Boy asks Dreamer if he'll ever regain her powers, but she doesn't give a straight answer. And on Sorcerers' World, Dragonmage has a similar problem and finds answers in an old scroll. He follows its directions to the planet Zyzan where he tries to magically blast a shrine open. A ghostly guardians warns him away with the promise of Armageddon, but he won't listen.
Wow... I had completely forgotten about Dragonmage and Mysa. What a throwback! You would’ve thought by now that Dragonmage would have recovered a little. It’s sad to see that it’s not the case, but I understand his frustration. We take for granted so many things we’ve had all our lives, it’s really when we lose them that we realize how much we needed and depended on them. To be honest though, I think the one I feel the most for is Mysa. After dealing with Kinetix’s thirst for power, now she has Dragonmage to worry about. Or who knows, maybe SHE is the one to put him on the trail of this great power. Old habits die hard and we all saw how manipulative she was with Zoe.
Domain is an interesting villain in the way that it gives the artists the opportunity to give an homage to well known pieces of art – classic and popular! It was drastic of him to give away his life, just so he could get away with all this. One that must be worried right now is Cuspin. I feel his need for revenge is rather exaggerated. Shouldn’t you be madder at Saturn Girl for revealing your plans instead of seeking revenge on the one who listened to her? And does Rokk, or Imra depending if he would’ve picked her instead, really deserve to die because you’re a crook? You did all this shady stuff, all they did is expose you for what you are. Deal with it, idiot!
I have this habit of taking short notes on the comic while reading it. Then I put them in order and elaborate on what I find most relevant or important. Today, I am sharing these quick thoughts with you, in the order they came to me as I read, because I don’t really know where else to include them, but I thought they were worth sharing:
-The magnoball logo (which I guess is the magnoball itself) looks so much like a pokéball... the Premier ball type to be more precise... It’s basically identical!!!
-Cuspin is paying that eyeball creature on page 3. Aren’t they the same as the ones Tinya’s dad dealt with? The lords of luck or something like that? Is this a hint? Are they finally going to explore that storyline?!!
-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOT DIRK... ANYONE BUT DIRK. He might look humble here, but we all know that he’s pretending... Come on!!
-AH! I like how I mention the Pokéball thing and BAM! Giant Pikachu! Plus, that girl that is stranded with them is Misty. Nice references, guys!
-Love the way the blood on Rokk's face is drawn. Subtle, but visually striking!
Domain is neat in concept - loved seeing the Kirby dimension, for example, along with great works of art (plus Moy's anime references, sure), but I don't think this is the best story for him. He's this cosmic-powered villain and he's visiting petty crooks and getting paid as a hit man? And just how does this hit work? He spends most of his time gloating and talking about what a great challenge Cosmic Boy represents... he doesn't act like a hitman. And I'm not entirely sure I understand his trap. First of all, are his powers so clumsy that he brings three people along with Rokk to the other dimension (including two randos... they might have given the reporter a name, as big a role as she gets). Second, if the balls can't be affected by magnetic powers, how does Rokk attract them to himself and Domain in the climax? The team work between him and Pol is cool, but that finish doesn't work within the rules established.
As for the rest, I think I've seen enough of Star Boy's whining to last a lifetime. Dragonmage offers much of the same, but at least we haven't seen him in a while. I think again, the writers know they're on their last year of stories and are looking to resolve a few dangling plotlines. The magicians from te Mordru fight... whatever happened to Dirk Morgna... and so on. I doubt anyone thought his old manager wanting revenge was one of these, though.

Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1999/7.
  • This issue signals the first appearance of Cosmic Boy's crooked manager since the Reboot Legion's origin story in Legion of Super-Heroes #0. It is revealed here that he had dealings with the Luck Lords.
  • Sorcerers' World's connection to Gemworld is referenced in the magic circle Dragonmage meditates in - there are differently-colored gems all around it.
  • The magnoball design pays tribute to Pokémon balls. Indeed, a stadium sign shows the ball and the word "Pokemon" in Interlac. Pol's greatest fan, Kuniko, is dressed like Misty from the Pokémon anime.
  • Earth's magnoball team is called the Lodestones, which may or may not be a reference to the Doom Patrol member, Lodestone.
  • Blink and you'll miss him: The sportscaster with the magnoball jacket and odd ears, page 8, panel 1, appears to be Khfeurb Chee Bez, who in another continuity, became the Legion of Substitute-Heroes' Antenna Boy, and later, a newscaster. This appearance is at odds with that of the kids who were told several Legionnaires' stories in Legends of the Legion, though they may have been a tribute to the Subs rather than the characters themselves.
  • Domain's makeshift worlds pay tribute to several artists: Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, manga (appearances by Pikachu and Tenchi Muyo's Ryo-Ohki), Jack Kirby, M.C. Escher, and Vincent van Gogh.
  • All the talk about "Infinity" might indicate Domain is the Reboot version of the Infinite Man, and certainly his look has echoes of that, but not enough to make a definite call.


  1. C'mon Shotgun, give Dirk a chance. Yeah, some characterization have him being kind of misogynistic and a jerk, but look at some of the characterization of Superman over the years. Dirk served with distinction for decades before he got painted with that brush.

    1. Haha! To be fair, while reading the comic, the thought that it wasn't the same Dirk as the one I learned to hate came to kind. He *is* being humble but I preferred to pretend disgust as it is a bit more entertaining.

      They say hate is the emotion closest to love ;-)