Thursday, August 15, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #10

Legion Lost #10 (February 2001)
title: "Rosette"
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:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Element Lad (image), Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire

Progenitor, Progeny

A team of Legionnaires is lost in a remote part of space, and perhaps time, having slept in stasis thanks to the intervention of the since-missing Element Lad. They've been on the run from the xenophobic Progeny ever since, but now the Progeny fleet has caught up to them...

Wildfire goes off half-cocked and attacks the Progeny fleet, irked that the Legionnaires caution him not to kill anyone rather than tell him to be careful. Ultra Boy, Shikari and Kid Quantum - the other flyers - join in on the fight. But the Progeny soon overwhelm the Legion Outpost and board it. Shikari is shot, and to save her life, Wildfire also surrenders.
When the Legionnaires wake up aboard the Progeny mother ship, it is headed for the Rosette, an artificial habitat acting as the aliens' homeworld. They have been fitted with devices that will explode if they attempt to escape, but even though Brainiac 5 cracked their code minutes after he woke up, there's nowhere to go. The Progeny themselves are confused that the Progenitor didn't want the "variants" deleted right away, but instead wants to meet them. And when we get to Rosette, we understand why. The genocidal Progenitor is none other... than Jan Arrah, Element Lad!
I was going to say that Wildfire sounds like two different people – a poet, and a jock who cares only for sport and action. And then I realized he is two different persons, turned into energy and living in a makeshift suit. I don’t know if the way his thoughts are laid out for us to read is a testimony of his dual personality or if I’m reading too much into this. Overall, I liked his analysis of the situation and his drive. Once they were captured, he immediately admitted his fault for jumping into action without reasoning or waiting for a plan, causing the team to work as individuals. I can’t say that him staying behind would’ve helped the team to be more united though.
Two things that really pleased me while spying on his thoughts: First, the way he described every single one of his maneuvers like a sport commentator. I relate so much! In my case it’s more a Formula 1 race type of commentary when I’m driving. Glad I’m not the only one who tries to make a boring task more entertaining! Second, I loved the part about his needs. The kids were going through puberty when they became pure energy and of course, their mind reacts the same way it would have if they’d remained human. Those panels were gutsy and really helped build his character’s story and motivation. How frustrating must this situation be for him!
Now regarding Jan... He used to be so peaceful and respectful of life in all its various forms. How can he be the one leading the Progeny? Is it the time alone that drove him crazy? I’d love to think this is just the Progeny not being able to understand his orders and going berserk without him knowing, but going back to what was said about them and other races in Legion Lost #6, I doubt this is the case. Poor Jan... What could you possibly have gone through?

The fact that Wildfire couldn't consummate his relationship with Dawnstar was a big part of the original continuity, but this is the first time it's been referred to in the Reboot. To be fair, there hasn't been a lot of time, and this is our first look inside his head. I, too, loved the running commentary here, for the reasons Shotgun describes, yes, but also because it's pretty strong at explaining superhero tactics. When the character is just flying around, throwing energy blasts, you don't necessarily realize he's using tactics, but he is, and it makes the action that much more interesting. Not that the art doesn't do that too. This is Coipel's strongest issue yet, very dynamic and making great use of light and shadow.
Wildfire also has some key insights, like how they all forgot to be a "Legion" except Shikari, who calls them Green Legion, Bold Legion, etc., a reminder of who they ideally are. And that without their unity, they are lost. A Legion Lost, the title taking on new meaning. Well done. Once the battle is over, it's really a waiting game until we see the Progenitor, with Brainy doing the best by deactivating the explosive devices because he was bored. That's why he's my favorite. And then there's the reveal, perhaps telegraphed by Kid Quantum talking about him earlier, but still a shocker. He's a character that, in the Reboot especially, has become synonymous with change. Did he take it too far? The next issue blurb is as ominous as anything: One Billion Years of Solitude! Readers at th time must have been spinning all of the theories.
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue is told from Wildfire's point of view.
  • The Progenitor is here revealed to be Element Lad.
  • Wildfire's knowledge of baseball idioms has basis in Legion continuity. Both his constituent parts are from Xanthu, home of Star Boy. In the previous continuity (5YL), Star Boy was manager of a baseball team after his retirement from the Legion. So baseball seems to have survived and spread to other planets even in the Reboot continuity.

1 comment:

  1. Why not? If Domino's Pizza of all things (as we saw in the Bizarro arc) can make it to the 30th century why not baseball?