Wednesday, January 27, 2021

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #66

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #66 (May 1994)
writer: Tom Peyer
penciller: Arnie Jorgensen
inker: James Pascoe
colors: Gene D'Angelo
letters: Gaspar Saladino
editor: Dan Raspler
cover: Arnie Jorgensen & Barry Kitson

Recap: After discovering that Bek stowed away aboard their ship, Marij'n was furious that he ruined her romantic trip with Comet. She became even more furious when Comet seemed to take the development in stride and made her anger clear by kissing Bek in front of him. Lady Quark was dispatched by Dox to retrieve Bek but got attacked by a powerful duplicate of herself. The being appeared to kill Lady Quark and leave her body floating in space as it departed for Ith'kaa to complete her mission. She arrived and demanded Bek's return. Although they agreed, she lost patience with how slowly they were moving and ended up in battle with Comet, which appeared to end in his death in a cave-in.

Several members of the core team were dispatched to the planet Nuhass to investigate a series of abductions. They themselves were taken captive and at first suspected the culprits were slavers. It turned out that those responsible, led by the Brain Bandit, were extracting chemicals from people to make drugs. The Bandit took a particular interest in Stealth because of her unusual physiology and ordered that the other prisoners be ejected into space.

Borbb teleported himself and Telepath back inside and they were able to return everyone who had been ejected to the ship. The Brain Bandit was tripping on the chemicals that he extracted from Stealth and his assistant, Doctor Kroker, used the situation to take over. When Kroker left him alone, the Brain Bandit freed Stealth, but what he did to her caused her body to transform into a monstrous creature. The team awakened Lobo, who had been sedated earlier so as not to jeapordize their undercover mission. With Lobo's help, they took over the based and returned Stealth to normal. Kroker tried to escape but did not realize that the escape pod had already been used by the Brain Bandit, and was ejected into space.

On Cairn, Garv is watching the city in his superhero disguise, the Masked Avenger. In a Frank Miller-esque recap, he recalls leaving the L.E.G.I.O.N. because he could no longer accept Dox's approach, and instead chose to fight injustice on his own. He stops a gang of muggers called the Bag-Lady Boys but is knocked out when one of them strikes him in the head with a brick. Fortunately, another masked adventurer arrives to help.
At L.E.G.I.O.N. headquaters, Dox puts out an address to discuss rumors that are circulating. Specifically, a rumor that he has gone mad and given a position of authority to his infant son, who cannot yet speak. Dox debunks the first part and insists that he has not gone mad. He also confirms the second part and explains that his one-year old son is the new administrative director. He turns the floor over to the child, so the entire L.E.G.I.O.N. can hear from him.
Dox resumes his speech and assures everyone that his son enjoys an intellectual capacity that most of them cannot even contexualize. (They do not find that very reassuring.)  He also instructs them to afford him the same respect that they have given him.

Soon, Stealth returns with the rest of the core team and is excited to be reunited with the boy. But Lobo shoves his way past her because he is furious that he was sedated on their mission.
Dox advises Stealth that their child has taken over Bek's job and become their new administrative director. As Dox walks away, she attempts to speak with him but is stopped by the child, who has some news.  Before he can tell her himself, Lydia runs up to tell them how happy she is that Stealth named the baby after her mother, Lyrissa Mallor. This is obviously a surprise to Stealth and her son explains that he has adopted the male version of the name and is calling himself Lyrl. Lydea is concerned that she started an argument but Stealth says she approves of the choice and was merely caught off guard.

The mysterious masked adventurer tries to awaken Garv, who assumes she is one of the Bag-Lady Boys and punches her. She ties Garv up with her whip and introduces herself. 
Before she can explain who she is looking for, Garv turns his attention to the gang that she has already subdued and tied up. Garv threatens them if they do not reveal their leader and his location, but they scoff. He eventually offers them twenty credits to spill, and they agree after he raises the offer to fifty. Meanwhile, Strata has disappeared.

Dox informs Phase and Telepath that Captain Comet is dead and that he is suspicious of Lady Quark. He tells them that he does not believe her report as to what happened and orders Telepath to scan her mind while she sleeps. Telepath sense an appetite within her and witnesses the creature's memory of attacking and replacing the real Lady Quark. He also sees her attack on Captain Comet, but begains to sense a consciousness. He realizes that the creature has sense his presence, and it threatens Telepath by forcing him to see his death at its hands. Telepath is terrified by what he sees and lies to Dox by telling him that Lady Quark has been truthful.
Garv finds the base of the Bag-Lady Boys and bursts in expecting a fight. Instead, surprisingly, their leader says they do not want any trouble with the Masked Avenger and agree to turn themselves in. After they are taken away, Leather Rose steps out of the shadows and tells the Avenger she followed him in case he needed help. He pushes her away out of anger and says he wants to be left alone, but she pulls out a photo of the man she is looking for. He sees that it is of himself and it suddenly dawns on him that he is talking to Strata. Ecstatic, he rushes to her and asks her to marry him. She agrees.
This was not the most exciting issue but I got what I wanted with the reunion of Garv and Strata. I was not expect them to agree to marry so quickly, but hey, it was touching. These two characters have always been the most noble and kind of our cast, even if Garv's temper has led him to make some stupid choices sometimes. He never should have left the team, given how much it could use more people like him, and he seems...not really cut-out for the vigilante lifestyle. He moped through much of his time as the Masked Avenger, obviously missing Strata and regretting his decision.

Everyone's reaction to Dox's announcement about his son was amusing and certainly understandable. Until now, the child's advanced intelligence had been kept a secret from everyone by Dox and Stealth. So far, the child has only demonstrated the best of intentions, but taking it upon himself to choose a name without discussing it with his mother was surprising. For anyone who has not read this serious before, I want to avoid spoilers, but those who have know that big developments are coming with the boy. He plays a key role not just in the transition of this title to R.E.B.E.L.S. in a few issues but also the revival of that title in the 2000s. In addition to their intelligence, he has also inherited the ego of both his father and grandfather.

Another amusing touch was seeing how dismissive both he and his father were towards Bek, who spent much of the issue pouting in his bathtub. While everyone else was shocked and concerned over an infant being appointed as the new director, Bek had to live with the humiliation of that infant stealing his job. 

Telepath agreeing to lie for the creature disappointed me a bit given how angry he had just been upon learning of Comet's death. His character started off as a captive of the pirate Dragon-Ra, forced to do his bidding and traumatized by witnessing everyone on his homeworld murdered. He was forced by Dox to join the L.E.G.I.O.N., under threat by Lobo, but he has since proved himself to be a valuable member. But given the severe trauma he went through, its not unbelievable that being forced to witness his own murder might cause him to experience extreme fear. I hope that he eventually takes action to warn Dox and the others, but its been so long since I read this I honestly cannot recall.

That wraps up this week's entry but please check back with me next week as the story of the ursurper Lady Quark starts to kick into high gear! 

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