Thursday, May 30, 2019

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #125

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #125 (March 2000)
title: "Extinction Event"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Angel Unzueta
inker: Jaime Mendoza
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel & Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, ERG-1, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum II, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS

Amber, Chuck Taine, Dune, Lori Morning (Dialed Hero: Helios), Magno, Repulse

None (the rift)

The Blight has been destroyed but left several worlds devastated, and booby-trapped the stargate near Earth's solar system. Now it's imploded and only the Legion, just stripped of its legitimacy by the United Planets council, can stop it from sucking in all of near space...

Hour's up for Lori Morning's H Dial and Helios is no more. Brainiac 5.1 uses the artifact to boost his force field and save both their lives, but it shorts out the Dial. At least they make it back to the makeshift Legion Outpost, where the rest of the Legion has just joined the away team. While the scientists of the group try to figure out how to close the rift, the rest of the team - and the Workforce - get busy repairing the Outpost so it can continue to sustain their lives as they make the attempt.
Here's the plan: Element Lad will turn all matter in the vicinity into tarnium, the phase-metal that powered the stargates, and that should contain the rift. Kid Quantum will then use her powers to mend it, with the help of the big brains aboard the Outpost feeding her vectors. And ERG-1, the newly deputized Drake Burroughs, will absorb and disperse the radiation that would otherwise kill the other two. They must succeed before the rift makes the outer planets spins into it, mere hours from now. As they make the desperate attempt, Saturn Girl accepts Live Wire's marriage proposal. Out near the rift, the plan seems to be working until ERG-1's containment suit fails, punctures, and sends his energies spinning into the rift.
Waves of destructive energy start beating at the Outpost once more and the Legion is forced to evacuate. Element Lad and Kid Quantum refuse to return, as they feel there's still a possibility of closing the rift, if at the cost of their lives. Some Legionnaires make it to escape pods, others don't. Holovid images reach Earth of the Outpost being torn in half by the rift's event horizon before the rift is, finally, closed. The solar system is safe, but the Legion will be mourned. End newscast.
What is there to say... I can’t accept that they’re dead. Seriously though, why would they have gone through the trouble of changing writers and artists if it is was to be done in a couple of issues? Obviously, this is not the end for the team, and they’ll come back, one way or another. I fully expect Imra to resign from the position of leadership because of this event. She sent her friends on an impossible mission and, for a while, she thought she had brought them all to their death. This will be such a trauma to live with, I doubt she will be able to keep leading them after this. I guess we’ll see how this plays out.
I want to take a second the applaud Lori’s attitude all through this. The little brat that I learned to hate has grown a lot since the last time we spent time with her. Giving away the dial is such a big deal. I don’t think she expected it to be destroyed, but now she’s back at square one and I can imagine how difficult this must be for her. Kudos to Jenni who knew exactly what to say. Lori might not want to hear this, but what XS said is absolutely true. By sacrificing her capacity to become an adult superhero, Lori saved countless lives in the Solar System. I hope she gets some sort of recognition for her deeds.
Well, Saturn Girl did make her intent to quit the leadership known earlier, in the wake of the Blight, and just hasn't hadn't gotten around to it. Who knows if that's even an issue going forward as a new status quo rears its head. And while I wish we'd gotten closure on Lori's story - I'm not one of those readers who, at the time, were afraid she'd be part of Legion Lost - I can't promise you that. Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4 ends here in a bleak jumping-off point, and even though it will be prove to have been only a cliffhanger until the next jumping-ON point, there are still matters introduced by the previous creative teams that will never be addressed. Lori's fate and her connection to the Time Trapper chief among these.
As a last issue, it may end on a downer, but I do like that the whole team is put into action. A few Legionnaires have to deal with the actual crisis, but the issue takes the time to give everyone a little something to do in fixing up the Outpost, etc. DnA once again show how good they are at making super-powers cool with such simple moments as Karate Kid finding stress weaknesses in materials around the base.
Another bit I like is that Drake/ERG-1/Wildfire is brought into the team, rather unceremoniously, but in a way that reminds me of his original-continuity first appearance. There too, his energy escaped the suit and he was thought dead. NO WAY does the creative team bring him in just to sacrifice himself. Wildfire is a beloved character and not one yet exploited in the Reboot. He will play a bigger part because we, the fans, demand it! See you later, ERG!
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 2000/5. This is the last issue to bear all-inclusive numbering, as the Legion goes to a single monthly title as of next month.
  • ERG-1 unofficially joins the Legion (deputized, not voted in), just in time to be seemingly vaporized along with several other members, the identities of which are not yet revealed. The name is the same Wildfire started out with in the original continuity.
  • The H Dial used by Lori Morning, which appears to be the same as Robby Reed's original Dial (except in this issue where it is misdrawn as Chris or Vicki's), is shorted out in this issue.
  • Saturn Girl accepts Live Wire's marriage proposal in this issue.

Last issue of the fourth volume of Legion of Super-Heroes.

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