Thursday, July 18, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #6

Legion Lost #6 (October 2000)
title: "Burnout"
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

Singularity (unnamed), Umbra's ancestors

The Progenitor, Progeny, shadow beast

A group of Legionnaires is lost in an unknown part of space, several after being released from the Blight's power, which still haunts them...

Night aboard the Legion Outpost. Some can sleep, others can't. Umbra is having a particularly hard time because her experience with the Blight has made her afraid of the dark. Due to her powers, and the incessant chatter of her ancestors in the back of her mind, the dark is always with her, which explains why she's been so tense. On the bridge, Live Wire shows up for shift, but Saturn Girl is already there, pushing herself too hard as usual. They discuss their on-hold relationship, but mostly, that she's been using her powers to keep a careful watch on their teammates' psyches. Umbra has been the hardest to deal with, and just then, Imra gets locked into Tasmia's mind, creating a psychic shockwave that wakes most of the Legionnaires up.
Whatever just happened, Saturn Girl is thrown into a coma, and Umbra has launched herself in an escape pod towards a nearby planet. Possibly with Apparition, who appears to be missing. Live Wire takes command at Brainiac 5.1's request, and Garth assigns the Legionnaires to various tasks, Brainy will try to bring Imra out of it, Cham and Shikari will search the ship for a possible intruder, and Monstress and Ultra Boy will follow the escape pod. The former find a shadow creature in Tasmia's quarters created by Saturn Girl's mind and fight it, while the latter find a large empty city on the planet. Umbra is in there somewhere, and she's being attacked by a super-powered being.
Elsewhere, the Progeny gather at their Progenitor's feet, on an artificial, halo-like world. The Rosette was created over a dozen star lifetimes ago by something that created other worlds, other peoples before, but tended to grow bored with them. The Progeny, perhaps the most perfect of creations, were fashioned not long after the Rosette, and a million of them live on its surface.
Wait... Am I reading this right? Is that golden guy at the end the same the Progeny are following, the Progenitor? But he looks so human, well I guess humanoid would be the right term. How can the Progeny, a race that see threats in everyone but their own, be following that guy? It doesn’t make sense to me. I can’t wait to see how the writers explain this in the next issues. [You are not reading it right. This planet and the Rosette are two different places. According to the next issue, this guy is called Singularity.]
Man, did Imra screw this one up or what? She has the weight of all surviving Legionnaires and their trauma on her shoulders and yet refuse to see she also needs help. She changed so much, touching minds when she never would have dared before. Her intentions are noble, but clearly the execution was terrible. It really feels like she violated Umbra’s privacy and, in a way, I am kind of glad it backfired. Imra needs to be reminded of the boundaries she established and used to respect. Sure, Umbra needs help, but forcing yourself in her mind to ease her pain isn’t going to solve the issue. And even if it does, what will happen the next time you won’t be around to calm her? I trust that the team will bring both of them back to the outpost. I hope eliminating that darkness from Umbra’s mind will help her get better. But I also hope Imra will step down, get some much-needed rest, and surrender command to someone else.
I’m actually really impressed at the way Garth is handling himself as acting leader. Even when the one he loves is hurt, he remains calm, gives clear orders and focuses on the task. He has my vote to replace Saturn Girl after this misadventure.

On the Progenitor: You are not reading it right. This planet and the Rosette are two different places. Moving on...

I like that this story takes place at night and proposes to shine a spotlight (so to speak) on Umbra. That's pretty perfect. As is her door, graffitoed like a teenage girl's. But then it abandons that notion by whisking Umbra away. Not that I mind the focus on Imra and Garth, who have grown up quite a bit since DnA have taken the reigns, but it still breaks from the format. This is especially discouraging since Umbra is probably the character who needs the MOST help from a spotlight issue. The next story has Jo on the cover, but she's obviously going to play a prominent role. There's hope for her yet. But I agree with Shotgun, Live Wire is coming off very well here, a huge step up from the whiny hot-tempered boy we got through most of the Reboot to date.
In danger of being all talk, the issue does find reasons for action. The darkforce creature in Tasmia's quarters provides an okay fight, though I'm not enthused by the shapes Chameleon adopts. I rather like Monstress and Jo piercing the thick atmosphere of the planet, making do without flight rights. For Candi, that means a heavy backpack. But while the world building there is cursory, there's a very intriguing (and somewhat confusing) intermission in the middle of the issue that introduces us to the Progeny's world. And there we find they are artificial constructs and so is there Ringworld-like abode. If it's confusing, it's because the very sci-fi references to other alien races makes you think they once lived on Rosette, but I don't think that's the case. Had to read it a few times. I enjoy it when DnA indulge in purple SF prose, but comics aren't novels, and the brevity of those passages isn't always in service of the story's clarity. If this part of space is full of artificial constructs (like the pyramid prison in the previous issue), are they all the work of the Progenitor?
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue's opening pages are told from Umbra's point of view. The rest of the issue isn't, breaking the convention the book has followed since issue 1.
  • First mention of the Progeny having a Progenitor leading them.


  1. Just wondering why Ultra Boy is never listed on the Mission Monitor Board in this series, when he's been in every issue?

    1. Not much of a mystery. Obviously an early omission that was copy-pasted several times over.