Thursday, December 5, 2019

Reboot: The Legion #8

The Legion #8 (July 2002)
title: "Terror Incognita 2: Hypersapiens"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
seps: Digital Chameleon
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel and Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Gear, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum II, M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Shikari, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, Wildfire

Chuck Taine, Kinetix, the Kwai, R.J. Brande, Terrorforms; doctors; flashback: Batman, Superman

Abyss, Brainstorm, Mr. Venge, Ra's al Ghul, Repulse, Robotica, Twine

President McCauley, revealed to be Ra's al Ghul, orders the destruction of the Legion and Legion World appears to have been destroyed by the U.P. fleet. He has transformed the Moon into an engine of change and as it crashes towards Earth, evolution is kick-started. Kinetix has already been turned into one of many "terrorforms" meant to guide the population to its new form. Meanwhile, part of the Legion has gone to Kwaispace to get help, and M'Onel is at death's door after being shot by Ra's under red solar lights...

Part of the problem is that the doctors don't know M'Onel is a Daxamite because that would out him as Valor, a secret he means to keep. Triad is torn - should she tell? But it's taken out of their hands when Kinetix walks in...
Meanwhile, Cosmic Boy is broadcasting to all Legionnaires and Science Police that Ra's al Ghul is responsible for the cataclysm and must be taken down. Mr. Venge teleports away and as soon as the Legionnaires break into Ra's compound, all his allies surrender and leave him to it. But Ra's is ready for them, and starts to take them down one by one using techniques and technology appropriate to each one's skill set. He is dealt a blow when Gates teleports Kid Quantum to safety, taking Ra's hand with them, leaving the despot leaking Lazarus Pit energy from his arm, but he teleports away. At the same time, Brainiac 5 is coming up empty on how to prevent the Moon from crashing into Earth in the next two hours.
Ra's thinks he's safe, but is surprised by a recovered M'Onel, having been healed by Kinetix. The Daxamite punches Ra's through a wall, and into a chamber with hundreds of his clone bodies. But he doesn't know what they're doing there, and thought of himself as the one and only. He panics and hits M'Onel with his energized stump, stunning the hero, so Triad jumps in and kicks Ra's al Ghul into an empty stasis chamber where he is frozen like his "brothers".
But what about the Moon? The Terrorforms, led by Kinetix and armed with suddenly evolved gravitic powers, fly into orbit and start pushing at it. This gives the Legion time to stop the so-called terraforming machine from pushing the other way, but it's not enough. That's when Legion World shows up, guided by Kwai who accepted Saturn Girl's deal, at just the right spot to counterbalance the Moon in Earth's orbit, though it may never be able to leave again lest gravity take its course. Legion World wasn't destroyed after all, it was just an illusion cast by Sensor. Now the Legionnaires are left to ponder what Ra's evolutionary process will do to Earth, what the Terrorforms will do, and just what is the deal with Ra's clone banks!
Take that Ra’s! You underestimate the Legion and that’s what you’re getting for it. You have to appreciate the fact Gates is the one to wound him simply because Ra’s never thought of him as being a threat as he was in captivity. And the way Triad took care of him in the clone chamber... Damn that was good! Now, I wasn’t concerned with the clones at first, but then Ra’s lost his composure because he knew nothing of them. Who created those clones? What is their purpose? My guess, and it feels like a stretch, is that Venge had something to do with it. That guy gives me the creeps! Why did he leave? I feel like he couldn’t have known Ra’s Al Ghul was going to lose. Sure, there was no way the Oversight Watch could succeed against the Legion, but Ra’s was very well prepared for the team. This was most likely not the last we’ve heard of Venge.
You can’t just bring a planet-sized base out of nowhere and expect us to accept the simple explanation that was given. I suppose the next issue will take us back in time to show what happened to the rest of the Legion while Cos and the rest were dealing with the Terrorform. Even the fact the Kwai are now in our universe, we’ve never heard how and why they ended up accepting Saturn Girl’s proposition. There’s a lot to be addressed from their perspective, and then there are the others who are making their way towards Earth: Apparition, Dream Girl and the people of Xanthu and, of course, Robotica’s forces.
Hey cover, I know M'Onel is cool and everything, but he got chumped and Triad did all the work! Anyway... I'm not sure we'll get all that much more from the Kwai. They thought about it, they decided to help, and here they are. What we DON'T know is where and when Singularity's army will strike, but looks like it'll be on our side of the universe. As for Venge, note the pixelly exit. If that doesn't link him to Robotica, I'll eat my mouse pad! If he's the true power behind Ra's throne (and indeed, the clone banks tell us he was the manipulator being manipulated), then there's lots more to come. So this feels like a big finish to The Legion's first arc, but it sets up about as much as it resolves.
Great fight with Ra's, of course, with lots of cool tricks from distracting Kid Quantum with all the possibilities of what DC calls Hypertime (which is definitely quantum-based) to that quick nerve-cluster attack on Shikari. He's a formidable opponent and definitely a great opposite number to Batman, i.e. if he has time to plan, he's unbeatable. M'Onel gets a nice, splashy return, and from there, Ra's is completely discombobulated and loses. The rest plays out on an epic scale as Earth gains a second Moon of sorts. The only thing I don't really care for is that Kinetix is turned into a Terrorform to make all this happen, and though it seems like part of her overall arc (remember when she was always looking for new powers?), I really don't want it to be a permanent state.
Science Police Notes:  
  • When fighting Cosmic Boy, Ra's al Ghul makes a Doctor Who reference as he "reverses the polarity". It should be noted that writer Dan Abnett had already worked on the Doctor Who comic strip in the '80s and '90s, and would write Doctor Who and Torchwood novels in the 2000s and 2010s. It's just a coincidence that the injured Ra's leaks a golden regenerative energy, as this was not how Time Lord regeneration looked until the new series, which had yet to debut at this point.

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