Friday, May 8, 2020

Reboot: The Legion #29

The Legion #29 (March 2004)
title: "Foundations Part Five"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Chris Batista
inker: Chip Wallace
lettering: Ken Lopez
colorist: Sno Cone
editor: Stephen Wacker
cover: Tony Harris and Tom Feister

reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Dreamer, Ferro, Gear, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Shikari, Spark, Star Boy, Superboy II, Timber Wolf, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, Wildfire, XS

Amazons, Batman (alternative 2019), Bruce Wayne, Chuck Taine, Clark Kent (pre-Superman and corrupted by Apokolips), Demon Etrigan, Enemy Ace, Flash I, Flash II, Jonah Hex, Martha Wayne, Robin (alternative 2019), Sgt. Rock, Thomas Wayne, Wildman

Anti-Monitor, Darkseid, Parademons, Servants of Darkness (Big Barda, Firestorm, Green Lantern, Orion)

A fossilized Darkseid has mobilized his servants to create a time dam 10 years in the past by siphoning the universe's dark matter into a massive Boom Tube. But for what purpose? The Legion takes the fight to him just in time to see a younger Darkseid emerge from the time stream...

Ripped from the 8th Century A.D., the removal of Darkseid from the timeline creates a massive temporal shockwave that starts destroying history on both sides. Chuck Taine detects it from Legion World, but the Legion has no more than a half hour to do something about it.
On Apokolips, fossilized Darkseid explains his plan to his younger self and to the Legionnaires trapped in his power. It's time for him to rise again, but his power is on the wane. So he's brought his younger self forward, and created a time dam to stop the shockwave before it hits the year 3003. He'll then steal the younger body and rule the future. Young Darkseid likes the plan, but HE should rule, of course. They fight, and the Legion fights at young Darkseid's, err, side, for a time, though the Legionnaires are committed to defeating both. Young Darkseid is amused that fossil Darkseid created servants from heroes snatched from history, especially Orion, who is fated to kill him. He grabs the corrupted hero and makes the prophecy reality, aiming his weapons at his older self and destroying him.
Meanwhile, what few Legionnaires were left on Legion World hatch a plan, and with the help of Live Wire's new elemental powers, cover themselves in trontium so they can ignore the temporal anomalies. As Darkseid's servants fall behind the winner of the fight and overwhelm the Legionnaires, it's Superboy, Kid Quantum, Live Wire and Violet to the rescue!
You know how sometimes you can see the plot coming from miles away? I used to hate that, preferring to be surprised by some sort of plot twist. The more I consume all sorts of media, the less surprised I am which makes sense. So saying I predicted that there would be infighting between the two Darkseid, that ultimately the winner of that encounter would turn against the Legion and that the Legionnaire left behind would be the ones to save the day in the end wouldn’t be very constructive, would it? I’m glad I outgrew the need for constant twists because it’s much more fun to enjoy the way they get there instead of the result. In this case, I really enjoyed the dynamic and colorful fighting sequences as well as the inserted exchanges. On top of it, seeing Garth finally getting some recognition and helping out was just so lovely!
Although I mostly enjoyed this issue, I must say that I HATED how helpless the Legion suddenly was the moment Young Darkseid turned against them. Sure, they were distracted by the death of Relic Darkseid but still… I have a hard time excusing “plot convenience” when it goes against everything that was shown immediately before that moment. I’ll just pretend the rest of the team, the ones that are not visible on page 21, are actually fighting back even though we all know it’s very unlikely.
Am I the only one who thought “Oh that kid’s going to die!” when Tom told Nura he’d love her until the end of time (page 17)? She did foresee his death so I just can’t help it.
Hopefully he'll be okay, because I really like that moment, a kind of calm in what could be the most chaotic fighting sequences I've experienced in a comic. There's little in the way of choreography, everyone's too close to the camera (except the Darkseids in the back), so that's a cute moment, which speaks less to Star Boy's chances (I hope) and more to the "Crisis" element of the world ending.
This all seems rather familiar to an old DC dog because history being eaten at both ends (or here from the middle) was the plot of Zero Hour, the very event that created the Reboot. DnA put their own spin on it, and we certainly can't accuse them of not going EPIC enough with their storylines. Obviously, this stuff can be undone or else there wouldn't be a Batman comic to buy next week, and DC can't have that. Still fun to see all those cameos from the Demon (in Camelot) on through 2019, which was in the comic's future, but still managed to get it right in the sense that the year HAD to be represented by Batman characters.
I also like how Fourth World lore is used to simultaneously destroy the redundant Darkseid (he really underestimated his own ambition) and commented on the choice of Servants back in The Great Darkness Saga (though you could say it spoke volumes about Darkseid's power that he had corrupted the son who was meant to defeat him). I like to think this is where Darkseid's timeline truly ends, and he'll be sorry to have killed himself when he's returned to the past to wait it out. Depending on how the story resolves next issue, of course.
One quick note on Garth's status in the team. The way Kid Quantum readily accepts his help, I have to wonder if his isolation wasn't self-imposed, taking his cue from the way his sister and fiancé reacted to him, or if perhaps Saturn Girl was quick to sideline him, and recommend sidelining him, the others accepting that this is what he wanted. That's just how it reads to me.

As for Superboy's "Let's go, Legion!", it's underwhelming. That's not the proper war cry.

Science Police Notes:  
  • Darkseid's plot is notably similar to Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, the crossover event that launched the Reboot. Siskoid should know a little about this seeing as he co-hosts a podcast dedicated to it.
  • The Crisis on Infinite Earth is shown as having happened in the timeline, but the date is ????, which could mean it happens simultaneously in many times, or simply that the writers are being cheeky about just how this event happened without a multiverse. (The events depicted occurred in 1986 from our perspective.)
  • The Batman Family shown in 2019 includes an older Tim Drake potentially accompanied by a young, leather-jacket clad Batman. He's calling on the New Team Titans, which seems to amalgamate the New Teen Titans with Team Titans, at least in terms of nomenclature.

1 comment:

  1. It's a shame how the Legion has been misused for the last 25 years or so. They get a series, it gets going really well, things are moving along nicely and CHOP! Reboot! Things get going really well, things are going nicely and CHOP! Reboot! Things get going really well, things are going nicely and CHOP! Reboot! Here's hoping this current incarnation gets more than 3 or 4 years to spread their wings and not get CHOPPED! Rebooted! again!