Thursday, July 4, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #4

Legion Lost #4 (August 2000)
title: "Makeshift"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Pascal Alixe
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, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire


The Blight (flashback), Quantum parasites

A team of Legionnaires is lost in uncharted space. They have recently been joined by an insectoid pathfinder called Shikari, and the energy being known as ERG-1...

The Legion is lost in space, but they haven't despaired, though Umbra is showing more and more anger, perhaps as a result of the Blight taking her over. After blowing her top during combat practice, she heads to her quarters. Elsewhere, Live Wire is becoming more and more impatient with Saturn Girl who, as leader, is growing more distracted and distant. He's spending his time growing food in a makeshift hydroponics bay. Outside the ship, Ultra Boy is finishing connecting the Progeny shuttle and the Legion HQ, under Brainiac 5's supervision. He certainly doesn't mind Apparition stopping by.
While Brainy prepares to initiate his new quantum jump-drive - which the others have dubbed the makeshift, snickering at his proposed Doxshift - Apparition's mission seems to be to bolster morale by visiting various Legionnaires, especially the ones that were Blighted. Jo seems to be doing well, but Umbra is not. Invading her quarters sure doesn't help things. Kid Quantum shares that she tries to just ignore her memories of being Blighted, but her trauma is still evident. Meanwhile, Shikari makes a translation mistake and calls ERG-1, Wildfire. He likes it and adopts it.
Brainy's quantum drive works, jumping the ship 16 light-years, but blows out the power. It also attracts quantum parasites that infiltrate the ship and attack the Legionnaires, draining their powers. Apparition is slow to act, even phased, but when she does, it releases Wildfire who destroys all the parasites. The Legion isn't too keen on his lethal solution, but he argues they were mindless creatures. Finally, Saturn Girl thanks Apparition for her work, admitting that she may be leader, but the others listen to Tinya.
The Blight... It hasn’t been that long since the Legion fought them and yet I had already forgotten all about it. They are the reason the team is stuck in this strange place, so it makes sense that we get to talk about them some more. I can imagine how their influence must’ve worked on Umbra when she was already so cold and negative to begin with. Having these thoughts amplified and brought to the surface by the Blight’s influence must’ve had quite the impact on her. If the others “enjoyed” being able to release this hidden part of themselves, imagine how she felt.
I appreciate Apparition’s effort, but she should know better than to enter Umbra’s room without permission. Tasmia is already in a volatile state, don’t give her reasons to want to shut herself off even more. Going to Quantum should’ve been Tinya’s first step towards understanding what happened to her friends. I’m glad they’ll keep an eye on her, and the other victims of the Blight, and I sure hope she’ll get better. The last thing we need is a fractured team. I’m glad to see the rest communicating a lot better and working together toward getting back home.
It’s finally Wildfire now. Way easier to pronounce than ERG-1, that’s for sure! That’s another one who will need some supervision. If at least his goal was to retrieve the quantum drive by killing the parasites, but it looks like it just destroyed the unit at the same time as them. Exactly the kind of impulsive behavior that needs to be kept at a minimum. I wonder what Saturn Girl will do with this.
I'm really struggling not to blow some of the surprises coming down the pike as this is one issue that reads pretty differently once you know what an old dog like me knows. Or rather, I should call it a distraction. I kept wondering if such and such a moment were meant to be a clue, or whether it just confused the issue. I know Shotgun's gonna read these words, so I won't say more, but it did bug me. Of course, on first read, it doesn't feel ambiguous or suspicious. The other thing that increasingly bugs me is Umbra's attitude under DnA's pen. I like "Shadow Lass", but she's gone from bad to worse since the Blight. Seems to me she's stronger than that; she should be dealing with it the way Quantum is.
Rehashing the Blight stuff with a couple of action scenes at both ends doesn't yield very many favorite bits for me this time, but I'll give a shout-out to Live Wire being a born farmer, because he WAS raised on Winath.
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue is told from Apparition's point of view.
  • ERG-1 becomes Wildfire, at Shikari's suggestion.

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