Tuesday, November 12, 2019

L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #15

L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #15 (May 1990)
title: "Nightmares"
co-plot: Alan Grant and Barry Kitson
script: Alan Grant
penciller: Barry Kitson
inker: Mark McKenna
letterer: Gasper Saladino
colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
editor: Art Young
cover art: Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon
review by: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: Garryn Beck was leading a mission into deep space when his crew encountered a strange emerald eye. The eye formed some sort of telepathic link to Bek and he was unable to gain control over the eye or his own thoughts. By the time he arrived back at L.E.G.I.O.N. headquaters, his mind had become unbalanced. He demanded to see Dox, apparently intending to kill him. The team was unable to stop Bek or the eye, but when he finally found Dox, Bek merely collapsed to his knees in tears and began begging him for help.

This issue opens with Dox having a dream about his missing friend, the Durlan. They are climbing a mountain and the Durlan is trying to help Dox, but Vril is too preoccupied with asking his friend about his disappearance and how he knew Dox needed him to return to help him.
When the Durlan disappears, Dox wakes up to find the Emerald Eye hovering above him. He storms out of his room in frustration and finds Lyrissa, Phase, and one of their new recruits, Garv, in the hallway. Most L.E.G.I.O.N. troops have passed out so they go to investigate why.
They find a maddened Garryn Bek proclaiming that he is ready to elevate himself to Godhood. While most of the team is confused, Dox realizes it is time to call in some help.

Meanwhile, on Talok VII, the Computer Tyrants of Coulee are continuing to brainwash Lyrissa's daughter. Upon discovery by their chosen liaison of Talok VII, they threaten to execute him but agree to keep him alive as long as he is useful.

Elsewhere, Lobo is trying to infiltrate a gang of pirates by starting a bar fight. Their leader is skeptical and asks their telepath what he thinks. The telepath insists that Lobo is the top assassin in the galaxy and they need him.
Their leader, Dagon-Ra, welcomes Lobo but at the same time spreads a toxic gas intended to bring him under control. He warns Lobo that if he thinks of betraying him he can make the gas fatal.

Back at headquarters, Dox asks Marij'n if there is a way to syphon off Bek's power. She agrees to try and they go to visit Bek, who is surprisingly happy to see her. He tells Dox to leave so he can speak with her, and she holds back while he indulges his ego. He goes off on a mad power binge but she appeals to his better nature. He calms down but comments that he is not comfortable listening to her in her lab coat and transforms her into another costume.

Lyrissa meets with Stealth and Strata. She is hopeful their techs will restore Strata to normal, and as they leave Stealth encounters Phase.  They go to have a drink and Lyrissa notes how friendly they have become. Strata confides that while she did not want to speak out of turn, she sensed from her time with Stealth that she was pregnant. At the same time, Dox tries to approach Stealth but is turned way.  As expected, Dox does not plan to take no for an answer.
The issue wraps up with a quick check up on most of our storylines. We see Lobo with the pirates and Lyrissa inspired by Stealth's pregnancy to remember her own daughter. This is followed by the Computer Tyrants of Colu calling forth her aged daughter as a weapon to use against L.E.G.I.O.N. in a sign of things to come.

This was an interesting issue in that until the final page nothing major happened but it remained intriguing throughout. It was a perfect example of what made this series so appealing. I mean, how often is a subplot involving Lobo one of the least interesting storylines in a series??

Not that his storyline won't build into something more interesting soon. But I was far more interested in just seeing the interactions between out regular cast. Stealth and Phase seem to have bonded but it is unclear what signifcance that will hold for the team. We also got to meet a new team member, Garv, and its uncertain as to whether he will play a significant role. (Spoiler...he will!) 

And the tense undercurrent of Stealth and Dox's dynamic following his rape remains and it is...uncomfortable to say the least. Most of the team seems to have moved on but not Dox, which is certainly understandable. I do not meet to sound like a broken record but I still feel troubled by how quickly everyone on the team seemed to except Stealth after what she did. And what makes it particularly troubling is that Dox is such an unlikeable character but he is definitely in the sympathetic role in this. But that sort of tension is what makes this series as good as it is. Its hard to balance the idea that Stealth is an alien who could not control her actions, and most of the teams acceptance of that, with the horror of her actions by our standards. And having it involve Dox, the most complex character in this comic, just makes it more complicated.

Similarly, I am also uncomfortable with how Dox is using Marij'n to try to control Bek. She was not the most pleasant person when we met her, but she clearly still had feelings for her husband Bek and the way she was used here bothered me. 

Overall, this issue involved baby steps but they were important ones and it was still enjoyable. Next issue, however, we will finally get some payoff to a storyline that has been building for a while!

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