Thursday, August 8, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #9

Legion Lost #9 (January 2001)
title: "Lost & Alone"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Pascale Alixe
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, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire

The Barontyk, the Dr'pp'rr, the Sumal


Several Legionnaires are lost in an unknown part of space. Apparition wasn't one of them, but to keep Ultra Boy sane, Saturn Girl projected an image of her into everyone's minds. After a psychic snafu, Imra was sent into a coma and a Legion rescue squad showed up. Also illusions. When Saturn Girl woke up, all her mental constructs disappeared, leaving the Legionnaires reeling...

As the Progeny tears across space looking for the Legion and committing genocide at every planet it finds, Saturn Girl quits the leadership of the Legion, permanently handing it to Live Wire. Thing is, no one trusts her anymore. She walks through the ship, overhearing conversations that condemn her actions, and sometimes tries to apologizes, with variable success.
Live Wire, struggling with his hydroponics damaged in the ship's earlier landing, feels he's at a crossroads in their relationship. Brainiac 5.1 confesses to her that she's been doing the same thing - building an engine that will never work, except to give the team hope. He rejects the 5.1 name upgrade, as he considers himself a failure. Ultra Boy is the least likely to forgive her, but he shares his faith that they will return home and in a moment of weakness, drawn into the illusory bond they shared while Imra was playing the part of Apparition, they... kiss!
They are interrupted by Wildfire who asks them to come to the bridge where they witness a fleet of ships from many different worlds, running from... something. The Legion ship is run over and damaged, and as it tries to limp in the same direction, a massive Progeny fleet comes upon them...
My first thought when I started reading was how Imra was going to get it and get it hard. I’m actually surprised at how “smooth” the recovery was. I mean they’re certainly not happy with the situation, but I seriously expected a total silent treatment or even fists. The team appearing out of nowhere to bring our castaways home was out of her control, I’ll give her that, so it kind of explains parts of the interactions. What I still can’t believe is the whole Apparition trick. She never was with them, that’s so crazy! And also plain manipulative... Imra should have more faith in her teammates. Instead of feeding Jo this illusion, she should’ve helped him focus on getting back to Apparition. And look where it got them... If there was something I didn’t expect to see, it was the two of them kissing after all that happened.
And then there’s the other illusion that’s been fed to the team by Brainiac. The kid really is lost, and I can’t help but feel bad for him. He’s never been so vulnerable than he is now. Admitting his failures just like that, it must’ve cost him a lot. Surely not as much as admitting it to himself though. When hope is all they have, they must protect it, but at what cost? I guess now they have much bigger problems, however. Problems they might actually be able to solve though. So bring it, Progeny! Let them fight, something they know how to do. Something they’ll do together and will help them forget, just for a moment, how lost and powerless they are.
This one's all about reacting to last issue's revelations, and the writers give us some well-written scenes to advance the characters if not the plot. Saturn Girl and Live Wire's relationship has never felt more adult (in the Reboot), both too wise for playing it as cagily as they do. I like the metaphor bandied about in the hydroponics bay, in particular the beautiful but useless flower Garth insisted on growing. Once, he would have given it to her as a gift. Now, he fling its existence in her face like an insult. Imra's mistakes have had a "bad roommate" effect on the team, pushing Legionnaires who never really liked each other together, bonding over the source of their irritation. In turn, an isolated Imra falls into Jo's arms, though it's unclear if that's going to cause problems later, or if it was just a psychic blip. And she does find allies. Wildfire is always a bit contrary, and her betrayal isn't as personal to him, while Brainy finds he's also been pretending. DnA also tie her feelings into the Reboot's contention that telepaths must wear a Saturn symbol to warn people of their presence, a type of isolation that's always been a fact of life, and a symbol of her guilt for abusing her powers. I just wish artist Olivier Coipel didn't feel it was an opportunity to focus on her chest so much.
While the drama unfolds, DnA use full-page spreads to build the Progeny threat, with their gorgeous sci-fi prose creating worlds and immediately destroying them. When we see a 1700-ship fleet coming, we understand that this whole corner of space is on the run, and maybe they even led the Progeny to the Legion to stop the carnage. It's all coming to a head and we're about to be hit with more shocks and surprises...
Science Police Notes:  
  • This issue is told from Saturn Girl's point of view.
  • Brainiac 5.1 changes his name back to Brainiac 5 in this story.

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