Friday, June 26, 2020

Reboot: The Legion #36

The Legion #36 (Late September 2004)
title: "For No Better Reason, Part Two: Personality Conflict"
writer: Gail Simone
layouts: Dan Jurgens
finishes: Andy Smith
lettering: Rob Leigh
colorist: Sno Cone
editor: Stephen Wacker
cover: Kevin Maguire and Wayne Von Grawbadger

reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Dreamer, Gear, Karate Kid, Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, Wildfire

Chuck Taine, Dr. Gym'll, Legion Academy (named: Nightwind), Lialla, Lt. Renslie, Trudy Trusoe, Wimena Wazzo; Metropolis citizens, Oasis One personnel, Upper Metropolis Advanced Med Center personnel

Oasis One inmates, Organ thief, Persuader, Spike (Arrow, Canary, Devil)

A super-powered terrorist group has kidnapped Dreamer to enhance one of their members' ability to shut down power sources within a certain radius. They want to show people just how dependent they've become on technology... and on the Legion. A group of Legionnaires is caught in the epicenter of the chaos while attending a dedication ceremony, a moment the terrorists have chosen to try and assassinate the U.P. president, Apparition's mother! Meanwhile, Karate Kid is delivering an organ thief to Oasis One, a maximum security prison hovering over Metropolis on the same day the Persuader's daughter comes to visit. Its systems fail as the power outage radius increases...

President Wimena Wazzo is dying, and Ultra Boy thinks she's too far gone, but Tinya convinces him that as the only remaining flyer, he must try to save the president's life. Not without regrets, he takes off with her. Apparition puts journalist Trudy Trusoe in charge of setting up a field hospital. Chameleon is wounded and one half of his body won't shape-change. Brainiac 5's inhibitor implants having failed, his mind is exploding. After a good couple of slaps from Umbra, he starts to concentrate on a plan. Meanwhile, on Oasis One, the Persuader walks out of his cell with his daughter in tow and he finds Karate Kid trying to contain all the convicts freed from theirs. Elsewhere in Metropolis, Devil makes a groggy Dreamer throw a syringe like a dart, at crudely painted Legionnaire symbols to choose the group's next target. And up above in Legion World, Chuck, Gear and Wildfire discuss options and end up sending the Legion Cadets with glider wings that will work without a power source thanks to Nightwind's powers. Dr. Gym'll decides to go along, since he is a rarity in this century: An actual surgeon!
Ultra Boy finds this out the hard way when he brings Wazzo to a hospital, but no one knows how to operate on her, being dependent on medical machines to do the work. Maybe the Spike had a point. Up above, Oasis One start to pitch and is about to fall, but the organ thief decides it's more important to kill Karate Kid. The fight is interrupted by the Persuader, the baddest badass of the bunch, who tells the inmates they should first follow Karate Kid's lead and try to save Oasis One from crashing, and if they survive, THEN kill him. Meanwhile, Timber Wolf is helping reunite families and trying to sniff out a telepath so they can get some idea of how big this thing is. Violet wakes up and starts to help evacuate buildings. The Cadets arrive to lend support. People are volunteering to help Trudy.
Oasis One's inmates with the appropriate power sets start to push and pull the prison towards a less populated area, and when it finally falls, it does so in water. Arrow shoots Dr. Gym'll to prevent him from getting to the president. And Timber Wolf, hearing a scream, runs into an apartment to an awaiting Devil who spears him with her trident and informs him he lost the dart toss.
The cadets get to see some action! I’m so happy this happened. Would’ve been such a bummer to have them brought up so late in the Reboot and then never really seeing them in action. I love how everyone, actually let me say that again, EVERYONE shines in here. Even Gears and Chuck get to show off their knowledge and amazing grasp of the direness of the situation. Big shout-out to Umbra who just beats the paranoia out of Brainy, simply amazing!!! It’s also amazing how Simone can turn the secondary characters into incredible heroes: the guards fighting alongside Karate Kid, Dr. Gym’ll, and even President Wazzo, who I learned to hate so much since the beginning, suddenly turned into a selfless person at death's door.

Now, I know the finale is fast approaching, but can we PLEASE stop murdering people?! I am soooo upset that Timber Wolf fell for this trap. For a second, I forgot I was reading DC Comics and was like “pfft… Wolverine has fast healing abilities you moron! He’s gonna be fine”. Now that I realize it isn't Logan who just got pierced by a trident, I am suddenly the moron! A pretty concerned moron to be exact. How could he possibly survive this? I’m mad, and sad… I hate her!!!
And it all happens in 13 minutes. Which is maybe my one problem with this issue. Sure, a lot happens concurrently, but it botches the ending for me. I don't know how Timber Wolf went from trying to find a telepath in the crowd to suddenly inside the building Devil is squatting in, so it all feeds rushed and coincidental. And spoiler, I do believe Timber Wolf DOES have a healing factor (Wolverine was based on HIM, after all). In comics, I don't believe it until I see a body, and even then. Wazzo doesn't breathe her last, we don't see Gym'll get hit, and Timber Wold ain't dead yet, not anymore than anyone on Oasis One.
Otherwise, this is a great issue that's PACKED with story, showing a now veteran team of heroes adapting and reacting to a situation, together or in singles, with great efficacy. My favorite bit is undoubtedly Brainiac 5 taking a distracted micro-second to check whether Pi is actually infinite, but there are loads to like - you named several of them, Shotgun - like getting to see Nightwind in action (I don't think she even got that in the previous continuity), Tinya giving Trudy crap about sensationalism before putting her in charge, Karate Kid having the villains steer the prison away from a populated center (with help from a decidedly badass Persuader), and Ultra Boy's bit about going out to make regrets. Personally, I have very few about how The Legion is wrapping up (except the fact it is).
Science Police Notes:  
  • The issue is dedicated to Rob Harris, "who always loved the Legion".
  • First Reboot appearance of Nightwind, a long-standing Cadet in the previous continuity.


  1. I kinda wish Gail had a fair shake at writing the Legion instead of just 4 issues to end this series.

  2. I'd agree with that on any day of the week, sight unseen, but given this brief sample, yes, totally.