Thursday, June 27, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #3

Legion Lost #3 (July 2000)
title: "Lone Star State"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel & Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Element Lad (recordings), ERG-1, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra

Enkenet, the Kwai


A group of Legionnaires has been sent to another part of the universe by an exploding stargate. Put in stasis by a now missing Element Lad, they have been freed by Shikari, an alien girl trying to escape the xenophobic Progeny, which are now also after the Legion. Using a ship liberated from the Progeny, the Legion tows its broken HQ towards Shikari's present-world...

The Legion approach the temporary home of Shikari's people, drawn to this sector by what they call a "feral star", a luminous object not on their star charts, considered lucky. The path-finder brings a couple of Legionnaires to her brief-home to meet with Enkenet, the leader of the Kwai, and ask for help.
Soon, the Legion and Kwai are great friends, the young heroes helping the nomadic aliens to pull up camp before the Progeny can arrive, speeding up their resource program, get water reserves from a comet, etc. At the same time, the Kwai use their bone-spinning technology to shore up the Legion HQ, and after spotting their "feral star" and realizing it is actually Drake Burroughs AKA ERG-1, who was drawn into the rift and thought dead, spinning a new containment suit for him.
Then the Progeny are upon them, and the Legion fights to detail the xenophobic aliens so the Kwai can escape. Before they leave, Enkenet makes it clear Shikari's impulsiveness and wish to fight means she is a "lone star", and should forge her own way. She joins the Legion on their travels, travels perhaps now better guided by her powers and the Kwai's vast star charts. Elsewhere, Progeny scouts find a mysterious pyramid floating in space. Investigating it, they are destroyed by unknown "variants"...
I said it already, but I’ll say it again. I really like how every issue is being narrated by a different Legionnaire. I guess I enjoy stories that are told from different points of view, but it’s interesting to see they don’t feel the need to show the point of view of the same moment. Imagine how boring it would’ve been to reread the same point in time from a different angle anyway. I agree with Cham, Kid Quantum came a long way since she joined the Legion and I’m glad she’s becoming more and more reliable. I never really felt like there was a connection between her and Jan though. Maybe it’s only guilt, maybe it’s something more. Whatever it is, it made me feel sad for her.
I guess this means Shikari is now an official member of the team... sort of... I’m glad Jazmin said something about the bold, fair, green Legion. She still has some names to learn, but I’m looking forward to the moment she will be able to address them all properly. I know she doesn’t know it, but most of the made-up names are pretty offensive (Brown-Legion... issshhhh) so glad we’re walking away from that.
Now what was that thing the Progeny found at the end. Is it really a Pyramid? And if that’s the case, who's kept dormant – well not anymore – in it? Good riddance though. Shooting before even being able to identify the creature inside. I hate the Progenies and will never feel even a tiny hint of sadness when they get their ass beaten.
I like the shifting perspectives too, and especially the insight into the lesser-known Legionnaires (like the former Amazers). I could do with a little less recapping, but that's the curse of having and reading every issue, and on a weekly basis. In this case, we get recaps of things that haven't yet happened on the page, like first contact with the Kwai, and that's where Abnett and Lanning actually start shining. I like how they're bringing science fiction into the mix, and their aliens feel much more interesting than the Legion's future normally affords (i.e. these guys look human but have magnetic powers, and so on). Shikari's people don't just have an alien society and point of view, but the writers are actively evoking Dawnstar without actually giving us Dawnstar, who they might feel is a problematic depiction of Native Americans, I dunno. So it's very Easter Eggy for me, and it's something that tickles my tummy feathers when it comes to reboots and revamps.
And then there's the return of a much better integrated Wildfire (ERG-1, whatevs) who doesn't call himself a "we" anymore. In an issue that evokes Dawnstar? It's kind of part of the joke, isn't it? He's the reason the Kwai came to this space, so his story is all wrapped up in what's happening, giving the two famous "star-crossed" lovers of the original continuity a greater bond (and star puns abound). So I'm liking all this and how each Legionnaire gets something to do - I guess a smaller cast, while not as "Legionny", is an advantage.
Now if only I could stop looking at Kid Quantum's and Ultra Boy's funky fingers on the cover...
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue is told from Kid Quantum's point of view.
  • Shikari's link to the original continuity's Dawnstar is strengthened when her people refer to her as a "Lone Star". Their leader Enkenet's appearance also evokes Native Americans. Some have also said that "Lone Star" evokes Timber Wolf's original name, Lone Wolf, which along with Shikari's claws might make her a stand-in for him as well. (As Timber Wolf later makes an appearance in the Reboot, we'll ignore it.)
  • It is fair to say that, at this point, Shikari and ERG-1 are members of the Legion.
  • ERG-1's new containment suit includes Wildfire's emblem, a star with wings, which the Kwai associate with their "Feral Star". Another word for "feral" might be "wild".
  • The previous issue's letters page provided an Interlac alphabet to decode the Interland in issue #1, but in case that was too much work, the letters page in this issue provides the translations.

1 comment:

  1. From articles way back when the series came out, when DnA pitched the series, they were given the option to create new members. Upon designing a prospective new member who would act as the Lost Legionnaire's guide, they realized she was similar to Dawnstar and asked if they should just make her the Reboot Dawnstar. They were told "no", perhaps recalling the decidedly mixed reaction when Sensor was introduced. So Shikari is not intended to be Dawnstar, but they definitely noticed the similarities after creating her.