Thursday, September 19, 2019

Reboot: Legion Worlds #3

Legion Worlds #3 (August 2001)
title: "You Are Here: Braal"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
artist: Paul Rivoche
title: "On the Net"
writer: Dan Abnett
artist: Rick Burchett
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
seps: Digital Chameleon
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: John Cassaday
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Violet

Guests: 
Captain Doniger, Chuck Taine, Magno, Orin Fex, Orla Eidoor, Pol Krinn, Quenzla Turrish, Ruonos Mougo, Vin Kolkin, Wimena Wazzo; Braalians, Science Police, Titanians

Opponents: 
Dak Kroll, Nadir, Yantz, unnamed guy with Braal-blades, unnamed guys working for Wimena Wazzo

Recap: 
Half the Legion's been missing, thought dead, but they've just now returned after a year. While they were gone, Leland McCauley became president of the United Planets, disbanded the Legion, and holds a firm grasp on rare footstep technology that allows ships to more quickly cross interstellar space. The United Planets have seen better days...

Synopsis: 
Dyrk Magz, the now-powerless former Legionnaire known as Magno, has joined the Science Police and been posted to his homeworld of Braal where crime and drugs are rampant, especially on the occasion of Super-Magnoball Weekend. He and his partner Vin Kolkin are on the lookout for off-world drug peddlers, a local mob boss, and a pair of unlicensed vigilantes. And at the big game, they spot one of these, who leads him to the rest. Because before Magz and Kolkin can stop the drug deal, the two masked vigilantes show up to do so. But though the female vigilante gets away, Magz does manage to capture the other one, who turns out to be Rokk Krinn, Cosmic Boy!
Magz visits Rokk in a cell aboard a footstep-capable ship, awaiting deportation and trial on Takron-Galtos where he faces 3 to 5 years for vigilantism. He informs him the missing Legionnaires are back. Just then, an odd, blue bouncing ship comes crashing down on the footstep ship, apparently damaging it in such a way as to turn it into a bomb. Everyone is evacuated, but Cosmic Boy remains aboard when it is magnetically expelled off the planet as a precaution. Magz using his Legion flight ring to try and save Rokk, but aboard finds he, Chuck Taine (who was piloting the "Bouncing Boy"), Invisible Kid and Violet (who together were the second vigilante) are fine. This was an elaborate ruse by the the "Legion Subterfuge Team" to steal a footstep ship so they could save the day... but they can't get into it now. Magz agrees to keep their secret and "escapes" aboard a pod just as the ship seems to explode.
In "On the Net", we spend a day with Vice-President Wimena Wazzo who breaks in her new telepathic communications officer (TitaNet is now the only means of instantaneous communication between worlds), speaking to different world leaders/ambassadors, since President McCauley refuses to use TitaNet for "security reasons". Through these conversations, we find out the Athramites are suffering because they relied so heavily on trade, thousands of Carggites have mysteriously disappeared, and Colu threatens to quite the U.P. unless it addresses the Robotica threat right away. Then Wimena learns the Lost Legion is back, but it doesn't change her plans to have men go to Rimbor to presumably retrieve her daughter Tinya.
Commentary: 
Shotgun
It was almost too easy. Of course the vigilantes on Braal were led by Cosmic Boy! While that part was predictable, I was actually surprised with the rest of the plot associated with the vigilantes. It's great to see that not all past Legionnaires have decided to abandon their ideals and move on. The thing I got wrong is who were his partners. When Magz talked of a female I didn't know who it would be and I mistook the shield action on page 16 for super speed powers. So obviously my guess was XS. I went through the attack again once I knew who were involved and it makes a lot more sense now. Congrats writers and artist, I was fooled!
Something I certainly wasn't expecting to see is Bouncing Boy in action. Ever since we started reading and reviewing the Reboot, he's been nothing more than a side character. It was really nice to give him a bit of a spotlight and in a way showcase his powers. I was under the impression that he had no powers in this run, but here we are. This counts, right? The Legion Subterfuge Team, I like that. It's a nice throwback to the Espionage Squad and, at the same time, I can't help but read it as the Legion Sub Team. I'm probably just reading too much into this, but it's fun to think the writers were aiming at a subtle reference to the Legion of Substitute-Heroes.
Siskoid
They totally were. I love where DnA have their heads at. A reference to the Subs AND the return (so to speak) of Bouncing Boy?! That's what I'M talkin' about! Previous writers have been content to keep him in the background as a super engineer and NOT give him silly super-powers, but they restore the balance by combining the two versions. He recreates the effect technologically. Awesome.
And once again, they do a lot of world-building and turn a story that might otherwise just have been a boring cop drama (see the Science Police mini-series, for what it might have been) starring not exactly a Legionnaire, but one of their support staff, Magno, into something deeply interesting. I love the prose in this book, relating everything to the planet's highly ferrous qualities. Even the turns of phrase evoke this idea, and Paul Rivoche's art is detailed and full of depth to give us an even better sense of this world. The plot, in which we see the Legion covertly carrying on, is just the cherry on top.
We don't talk a lot about the back-ups in Legion Worlds, since they often amount to exposition, but in this case, it seems to hint as so much stuff that is to come. McCauley's secrecy. Wimena sending repo men after what is likely to be Tinya. The Robotican threat. Carggite disappearances. Xanthu's radio silence. Lots to mine in the coming months. And it's a nice way to catch us up on planets that WON'T be getting an issue of this series - Titan, Colu, Cargg, Athram (just seeing Athramites as more than weird comedy relief, but actually players in the galactic economy!), using a neat science-fiction concept. Overall, this is the best issue yet.
Science Police Notes:  
  • The issue is told from Magno's point of view and takes place on Braal.
  • Magno's partner Kolkin has a sister on Lallor, a rare Reboot reference to the world that gave us the Heroes of Lallor.
  • First appearance of Chuck Taine's ship, the Bouncing Boy, named after his previous continuity's Legion code-name, painted in the same colors and with the same absurd abilities.
  • The Legion Subterfuge Team is nicknamed the Subs, much like the old Legion of Substitute-Heroes was. It apparently a reconfiguration of the Legion Espionage Squad.
  • The Athramites have sent 47 petitions to the United Planets; 47 is a number referred too often in the modern Star Trek series as an inside joke, which has spread to other science-fiction properties.
  • Thanagar, AKA Hawkworld, a world better known for its 20th and 21st-Century history, is mentioned as one of the Affiliated Worlds (along with Khundia and Xanthu).

7 comments:

  1. This is pretty much Magno's last appearance right? Kinda a bummer he never got to reunite with the Legion (not even getting transferred to Legion World) but hey this does serve as a decent send-off to his character I guess.

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    1. More or less, though he's in the background of issue 6, then is seen in Legion of 3 Worlds and Justice League United.

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  2. Bullshit. McCauley hasn't invented a new faster than light travel system. He's just employing a Daxamite to push the ship really fast.

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    1. I'm just joking, by the way. That isn't a spoiler or anything. Because that would actually kind of a silly thing, even by Legion standards.

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    2. I put nothing past McCauley ;)

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  3. I loved the art (and still do) on the Braal 'Subs' story.

    And Dyrk Magz ties directly into my previous comment about this up and coming Bendis-Legion. Instead of drastic changes to existing characters, why not form the new team out of alternate inhabitants of each original's planet? Dyrk from Braal, Grev Mallor from Talok VIII, etc... And either retain the 'uniques' (like Wildfire and Colossal Boy), or create new characters to take similar power slots.

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    1. THAT was something I always thought the Silver Age Substitutes should have done. Recruit someone from Titan, Brall, Durla, Bismoll, etc. The Subs could have been almost as big as the regular Legion and a lot more formidable than they were with just five or six members.

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