Wednesday, April 29, 2020

L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #34

L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #34 (December 1991)
title: "Major Quake"
plot: Alan Grant & Barry Kitson
writer: Alan Grant
penciller: Barry Kitson
inker: Barry Kitson
letterer: Gaspar Saladino
colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
editor: Dan Raspler
cover art: Kevin Maguire & Karl Kesel
review by: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: Things had seemed to be going well for a while despite the loss of Lyrissa Mallor. The team had ensured that free planets would not be endangered by the war between the Dominion and the Khunds, and membership was exploding. But soon after welcoming a new gang of L.E.G.I.O.N. recruits, we learned that one of them was likely a mole planted by the gangster G'odd. At the same time, agents of L.E.G.I.O.N. throughout the galaxy started to act more like villains than heroes, placing the team's reputation in jeopardy.

Lobo has tracked down the assassin hired by G'odd who beheaded one of his pet dolphins. But getting vengeance is not as easy as he planned and he walks into a trap.
Strata tries to convince Dox that there is a traitor in their midst and points to how many planets have recently withdrawn from the L.E.G.I.O.N. Dox dismisses her concerns and demands that she and several others accompany him to Opatosho-Alpha for an announcement. She tries to refuse but gives up after Dox threatens to expel them from the team. 

Phase appeals to Dox's girlfriend, new recruit Ig'nea, and pleads that the trip is a bad idea, but Ig'nea is more concerned with letting Dox down. After Dox leaves with his chosen group, Phase is left behind with Garryn Bek and Lady Quark, but Quark is focused on her frustrations with Dox. She only stayed with the team because she viewed him as a potential mate, but feels insulted by his recent romance. Meanwhile, Lydea Mallor fears that the senior leaders will never forgive her for murdering her mother despite the fact that she had been brainwashed and she considers resigning. 
Most of the new recruits try to reassure her, but Davroth suggests they form their own group. The Khund, Amon Haak, of all people, puts the kibosh on that idea by pointing out how inexperienced and undisciplined they are. Everyone agrees, although Davroth thinks it may still be a good idea in the future.

G'odd basks in the success of his plan, confidant that the L.E.G.I.O.N. will soon fall. We are given a glimpse of how evil he is when he decides to offer up one of his most loyal and trusted lieutenants as food for his pet.
Phase is trying to reassure planets who are rethinking their membership after the bad behavior of many of L.E.G.I.O.N.'s agents. Many withdraw, but some offer her a chance to prove that the L.E.G.I.O.N. can still be trusted.
Elsewhere, Lobo has recovered and finally meets the being responsible for killing his pet dolphin.
Sadly, he merely falls for another trap and ends up at the bottom of a pit with thousands of tons of rock piled on top. 

On Opatosho-Alpha, Strata sits fretting over the team's troubles, awaiting a speech by Dox. She is accompanied by Captain Comet, Stealth, Telepath, Garv, and a love-struck Ig'nea. Most of them are unhappy to be there, but also preoccupied, and none of them are prepared for what Dox is about to say.
While I find the idea of a spy intriguing, I felt a little confused as to exactly what the spy was up to. There were mentions in this issue and last issue that members of the L.E.G.I.O.N. throughout the galaxy had begun to act more like villains than heroes, and that is responsible for so many planets withdrawing. So I get the basic idea of what is going on. However, it is very unclear how just one spy can be responsible for so much. Although I have read this run before, my memories are very vague and in many ways this is like reading it for the first time. I hope as we move along a little more detail is provided as to what was going on behind the scenes to cause all of this because so far everything is moving a bit too quickly.

The recruits are an appealing group and I look forward to seeing more of them. It was a nice touch to have the Khund be the one to shoot down the idea of them setting off on their own, and it made sense in context. It was also good to see them forming a bond, particularly one that seems to be starting off stronger than the ones the founders had in the beginning. Of course, the recruits are choosing to be here, whereas the founders were escaped prisoners who were manipulated into all of this by Dox. 

The Adam Warlock-like character battling Lobo is interesting, but I wish there had been more fighting in their scenes. Lobo is often protrayed as letting his temper get the better of him, but seeing him so easily defeated weakens the character. I suppose they were trying to emphasize the craftiness of his opponent, but really, these traps were relatively simplistic. If Lobo can fall for these so easily, how can he ever be much of a threat to anybody?

As you probably figured out, my feelings on this issue were mixed. I like the idea of where they are going with the traitor, but it feels like there are too many holes to that storyline, and Lobo's scenes were unimpressive. However, there were other parts of the issue I enjoyed, particularly the scene with the new recruits, as well as Phase and Strata worrying for the team.

So check back with me next week and we can see the fallout from Dox's announcement. Has he brainwashed? Is he just that in love with Ig'nea? Or is this all part of one of his master plans as often turns out to be the case? We will find out! 

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