Thursday, July 11, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #5

Legion Lost #5 (September 2000)
title: "Omniphagos"
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, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire


Omniphagos, Progeny soldier

A team of Legionnaires is lost in uncharted space. Not long ago, the xenophobic Progeny boarded a pyramid floating in space, and freed... something.

Shikari leads the Legion's ship to a free-floating pyramid in space surrounded by Progeny ship debris, a structure she claims could be a way to get home, according to her pathfinding instincts. Brainiac 5.1, though he doesn't trust it, is sent over with a team of his choice - Shikari, Umbra, Wildfire and Chameleon - to investigate.
Inside, they find the pyramid isn't made of stone, but has simply been covered, inside and out, with cosmic dust. It is really made of hard light. Then a surviving Progeny soldier attacks and once disarmed admits he thought the variants were actually the Omniphagos, or "All-Eater", which their recon. Brainy forces him to take them where his cohorts were consumed and there the team finds an interdimensional portal. A way home? But it's less a gateway than it is the door to a prison, one opened by the Progeny which now allows the monstrous Omniphagos to attack the team.
The lone Progeny is consumed, but the Legionnaires rally and push it back into the portal before it came grow bigger and stronger. Thankfully, it isn't allowed to roam the universe unchecked, but Brainy is unable to adapt the portal to the team's own needs.
It is such a Brainy thing to record and log all his thoughts. It makes so much sense to learn more about his perspective of the situation through this thought process. Ever since Legion Lost started, or even before when the Blights were there, Brainy has become more caring and empathetic. It might be more of a surface thing, but still, I like it. I appreciated how he followed orders, against his will of course but still, and pushed the mission until they knew exactly what was going on in this place. I guess the Blight hurt him too and that’s why he seems to care about Umbra’s state of mind.
The only thing that’s bothering me after reading this, is how dishonest Brainy was with Shikari when she came to apologize. Her instinct brought them to an interdimensional doorway, and he knows it. There was no way for her instinct to know what the purpose of that doorway was. While I can see where he's coming from and how he wants science to outshine such concept as instinct and magic, he could’ve been more tactful with her. While this path put the team in danger, it was the closest they got thus far to getting home.
I rather think Brainy was ALSO apologizing for being wrong, but she takes it the other way, as you did, Shotgun. He of course doesn't try to clarify his statement, that's if he even notices her distress. Her path didn't lead to a way home, but Brainy's lack of faith in her unexplained abilities (doesn't mean they're magic) isn't warranted even if they're not his preferred method. I do wish the plot hadn't brought them back full circle, because the problem with "Lost in Space" stories is that it's too easy to fall prey to "Gilligan's Island" syndrome. Up 'til now, the Legionnaires have met with obstacles, but each issue gave them another tool to try and get home. Not this one, so you could skip this issue and not miss anything.
Like SG, I really like that Brainy acts as Saturn Girl's proxy. He doesn't change the game plan in the field. That's cool. I believe he records everything in his omnicom, but less that he needs to review his notes. I would have thought he'd have an photographic memory. I'm also guessing, the way he narrates the story, that his computer brain is actually connected to the omnicom, so it may be a matter of reviewing thoughts, which certainly isn't the same as if you'd recorded something in terms of retention. I also like that despite his lack of physical ability, he's still right in the mix when the Omniphagos shows up, even if he needs help putting his strategy into action. And his dispassionate attitude is perfect for bluffing and intimidation. His big mistake in retrospect is not bringing Kid Quantum along, given the quantum nature of the portal he found. But if each of these is meant to be a spotlight on a certain Legionnaire, Brainy's is probably the one that does that best to date.
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue is told from Brainiac 5.1's point of view.
  • Neither Kid Quantum II nor Monstress appear in this issue.
  • First appearance of the Omniphagos; it will return before the end of the series.