Wednesday, December 9, 2020

L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #59

L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #59 (October 1993)

title: "Trinity, Part 6: Split Decision"
coplotters: Barry Kitson & Mark Waid
writer: Mark Waid
penciler: Arnie Jorgenson
inker: James Pascoe
colors: Gene D'Angelo
letters: Gasper Saladino
editor: Dan Raspier
cover: Barry Kitson

Recap: The Green Lantern Corps, the Darkstars, and the L.E.G.I.O.N. faced the Triarch, the supposed Gods from Maltus, the same homeworld as the Guardians and the Controllers. The Triarch were made up of Quarra the Creator, Archor the Sustainer, and Tzodar the Destroyer. They had slain their own father, Daalon, and then disappeared. They were supposedly returning to fulfill their destiny of destroying Maltus, which would lead to the rebirth of the galaxy.

Dox discovered that they were not true Gods, but instead creations of their "father" Daalon, a scientist. Dox also found Daalon alive, but in suspended animation in the mountains of Maltus. He freed Daalon, apparently expecting him to help defeat the Triarch. Instead, Daalon led the Triarch in a renewed attack on Maltus. During the battle, the L.E.G.I.O.N.airre Bertran Diib was killed. Surprisingly, the Triarch began to have second thoughts after seeing the extent of their destruction. They turned on their creator and sacrificed themselves so that their energy can be used to restore Maltus. In the aftermath, the Corps, the Darkstars, and the L.E.G.I.O.N. came to an agreement over the extent of their various jurisdictions to avoid conflict in the future.

A native of the planet Dexll is watching a broadcast of Vril Dox promising that the L.E.G.I.O.N. will keep a watchful eye over them. The broadcast is interrupted when a mysterious being suddenly phases through the wall.

Several weeks later, a L.E.G.I.O.N. squad arrives to investigate concerns over a group of phantom-like beings that have settled nearby. The group has set up a circus pavilion and welcomed the youngest inhabitants of Dexll to visit. Although they have shown no hostile intent so far, the Dexllian parents are becoming concerned over the strong bond that has developed between the outsiders and their children.

Stealth notes the similarity between these phantoms and Phase, and Phase acknowledges that she is curious as to whether it may be more than a coincidence. Since she has had amnesia ever since popping into L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters, she even wonders if one of these beings may recognize her. As they follow the Dexllian representative to the pavilion, we see that one of the phantoms has eavesdropped on their conversation.

The pavilion is beautiful and the phantoms are entertaining the children while their parents look on. Two of the phantoms transfer their power to one of the children so he can fly. Another parent tries to prevent a phantom from doing this with their child but they grab him at the same time, which disrupts the power transfer.

Violence erupts and the L.E.G.I.O.N. have difficulty stopping it until Zena uses her light power to temporarily blind everyone. By the time the effect wears off, tempers have cooled and the Dexllians began to return home. One of the phantoms steps forward and claims to recognize Phase. He insists that she is one of them and his claim causes the Dexllians to doubt that the L.E.G.I.O.N. is on their side.

On Cairn, Dox is furious that Bek has disappeared and that the care of his baby son has been neglected. He is even more angry at having to undertake that care himself, which includes changing diapers. Fortunately, he is soon distracted by a new development.
Comet and Marij'n are travelling in deep space, finally together as a couple like they have wanted. Comet is concerned about Bek's reaction, but she insists that their marriage was a sham and that he is over their split. They are both unaware that Bek is lurking in the back of the ship, listening to their conversation.

Phase has contacted Dox to update him on the situation and he is not happy. He insists that if the Dexllians believe she has a connection to the phantoms it compromises the L.E.G.I.O.N.'s integrity. He orders her to concede leadership of the mission to Stealth and report back to headquarters. She storms out and soon runs into the same phantom who had insisted that he knew her.

Phase is skeptical of their connection since she does not seem to share their abilities of flight or transfer of power. He insists she does and has merely forgotten. She asks that he show her and he takes her to meet the rest of his people at the pavilion.

Stealth questions their Dexllian representative but he does not provide them with any helpful information. It is suggested that perhaps it might be best if they just left and returned to Cairn.
They learn that children all over Dexll are also disappearing. They rush to the pavilion and see a long line of children entering the main tent. The children appear to be in a trance of some sort and have become phantoms just like the visitors. Once all of the children enter the tent it disappears, leaving behind the L.E.G.I.O.N., who are uncertain how to even began to follow without Phase.

Although the Trinity crossover did pick up steam for me at the end, I am very happy to be back to the regular adventures of our spacefaring heroes. Sadly, we do not have too many left as we are entering the final dozen issues of this series. That does not mean our heroes or my reviews are going anywhere though, as most of the cast move directly over to the sequel series R.E.B.E.L.S., which I will also be covering. I just mentioned it as something to keep in the back of your mind as you join me for the rest of this run.

When Phase first appeared, it was believed by readers that she was Phantom Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and had switched places with the Durlan when he was transplanted to the 30th century to become R.J. Brande. We have not had much development on the matter since and Phase has remained in the dark over her origin, with not even small bits of her memory returning. Despite finding a new home with the L.E.G.I.O.N., it is understandable that she would still long for a more familial connection. Still, she fell under the phantoms sway very quickly, as did the children, which suggests that their powers include some sort of brainwashing.

The story is an intriguing one and the abduction of the children gave it the feel of a horror tale at times. I was a bit disappointed at how clueless the rest of the team appeared to be once Phase was removed as leader, but I recognize that at that point, the phantoms had not yet taken any action that warranted their interference. And they certainly rushed to action once they learned of the children's disappearance.

The farther I get into this series, the less I actually remember from when I originally read it. So I have no clue how they are going to save Phase and the children. But I do know that the most important development of this issue had nothing to do with the events on Drexll. No, the most important event occurred when Dox was changing the diaper and his son uttered his first words. His very well spoken baby son. Given Dox's heritage, that can only feel ominous. And without offering spoilers to any new readers, I can promise that there will be huge ramifications for our team. So please check back with me next week as we learn the fate of Phase and the Dexllian children, and see if Dox decides to have a heart-to-heart with his boy.

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