Friday, March 6, 2020

Reboot: The Legion #21

The Legion #21 (August 2002)
title: "Dream Crime: Part Three"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Chris Batista
inker: Mark Farmer
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Jason Wright
seps: Digital Chameleon
editor: Stephen Wacker
cover: Tony Harris and Tom Feister

reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gear, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum II, M'Onel, Sensor, Shikari, Spark, Star Boy, Timber Wolf, Triad, Ultra Boy, Violet, Wildfire

Chuck Taine, Cub Nah, Dr. Dreamer; Legion World staff, Science Police

Universo; illusion: Apokoliptian Stormtroopers, Darkseid, Parademons

Saturn Girl, accompanied by Dreamer, has returned to Titan for some R&R. As soon as they got there, Dreamer started getting visions of some impending doom, and eventually, of Darkseid. Soon after, Imra is caught in a multi-layered dream she thinks is reality, initiated by Universo...

Dreamer calls Legion World and relates her vision of an impending attack by Darkseid's forces. Some Legionnaires have heard of him as one of the greatest villains of the 2nd Millennium and when they track energy signatures to see if any Boom Tubes from Apokolips can be detected, they can! Right there on Legion World! Apokolips has entered our dimension and is attacking the station!
On another deck, Ultra Boy is complaining to Apparition about her having put their baby in a quantum bubble without consulting him when the attack occurs. Cub's bubble explodes and a much older figure falls out of it. Sensor finally gets out of bed, still a self-loathing wreck after her genetic transformation and goes out to see what's happening. And Darkseid himself puts in an appearance defeating Star Boy and turning him into a living black hole while his friends are overwhelmed by Parademons and other soldiers.
Shikari hears a voice and her tracking sense pulls her out of the illusion. No battle here, just Legionnaires and Science Police standing around in a daze. She meets up with Sensor, who is immune to illusions, and they find Universo, the worst and most powerful telepath ever bred on Titan, broadcasting on all channels. He's responsible for all this. Still in a daze, the Legionnaires turn on the two unaffected heroines as if they were Apokoliptian enemies, or Darkseid itself. Rather than be killed by some of the more powerful members, they jump into the threshold to Karate Kid and Ferro, but the gateway is destroyed, apparently before they reach their destination...
Being able to create such a large-scale illusion, on so many people at once and from so far away… That Universo guy is good. Makes me wonder what’s part of the illusion and what isn’t. Like what about Cub basically turning into a preteen (or full on teenager, who knows) in a matter of seconds? Did that happen for real? We finally reached the confrontation point between Jo and Tinya, but they got interrupted by an emergency. Classic! That discussion will have to wait a bit longer too, now that there’s Cub’s problems to deal with. Imagine the trauma. At this age, any child is seeking to learn who they are and who they’ll become, but at least they had years on which to base themselves to find answers. That kid is going to be so lost!
Meanwhile, I’m so glad Sensor got out of her room. Maybe this is exactly what she needs. To explore and fight in her new state in order to regain her confidence. I know she would hate me for saying this, but I would kill to have her hair! So much volume. Such a beautiful colour. That flow… So so so fabulous!! I even like her level of sassiness. I know it comes from insecurities, which is a bad thing, but they did a real good job showing the general sense of disdain she feels for everything, everyone and especially for herself. Even her newfound strength seems to annoy her. Going into the threshold with Shikari, I wonder if they’ll find Ferro and Karate Kid and join forces to stop Universo, as the only unaffected Legionnaires.
Ok, I know I’m obsessing over this, but please can somebody get me Quantum Kid’s jacket? THEY LOOK AMAZING! I need one NOW!!!!!
The middle chapter of Dream Crime and one that, barring the results (two Legionnaires going into the threshold - and even that's gonna prove to be an overdone cliffhanger), the one that could easily be jettisoned. I'm really putting my veteran Legion reader glasses on here, but given that Darkseid doesn't mean anything to the Reboot Legion (the quick brush with the New Gods during Genesis did not involve him), Universo using him is suspect and doesn't resonate. It's Darkseid because older readers remember the Great Darkness Saga fondly, but since we get the carpet yanked from under our feet, it's more frustrating than anything. Whatever thrill we felt when Dreamer got her vision in Part 1 is gone, and we've soured on that original moment. "None of it happened" is a hoary old comic book trope that's difficult to pull off in the modern era, and new jackets aside, I don't think they succeeded here. Especially since between the previous issue, the title, and the cover, it's obvious what's going on.
And given we just got Ra's al Ghul, a villain from a thousand years ago is redundant. As to something that WOULD have resonated with the current Legion, how about the return of Mordru?

Science Police Notes:  
  • Darkseid's attack is mere illusion, an echo of the Great Darkness Saga in the Reboot era.
  • The next issue blurb proclaims "Legion Lost", which was the name of a recent Legion series.

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