Wednesday, February 3, 2021

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 '#67

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #67 (June 1994) 
writer: Tom Peyer
penciller: Arnie Jorgensen
inker: James Pascoe
colors: Gene D'Angelo
letters: Gaspar Saladino
editor: Dan Raspler
cover: Barry Kitson

Reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: After discovering that Bek stowed away aboard their ship, Marij'n was furious that he ruined her romantic trip with Comet. Lady Quark was dispatched by Dox to retrieve Bek but was 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.

On Cairn, Garv was fighting crime as a vigilante named the Masked Avenger. He attempted to capture some muggers but was knocked unconscious. Fortunately, Strata arrived to help, but in disguise as a masked hero named Leather Rose so he did not recognize her. Eventually, he succeeded in taking down the criminal gang and she mentioned that she was in search of a man named Garv. He finally realized it was Strata under the mask and hugged her. He was overjoyed to see her and immediately proposed marriage, which she appeared to accept.

Dox finally revealed his infant son's super intelligence to everyone and named him as Bek's replacement as Chief Administrator. Everyone was shocked by both revelations, and seemed to be weirded out at the prospect of following a baby's orders.

The Lady Quark pretender has been called by local L.E.G.I.O.N. officers to assist with a hostage situation. The victims are "Chill-pops," which are rich old man who have themselves frozen just before death in hopes they can be thawed out and saved later. Unfortunately, no heirs have stepped forward to pay the ransom because they do not want the old men thawed out to someday to reclaim their businesses. Dark Lady Quark scoffs at being called for a task she views as beneath herself and begins to fly away.
At Telepath's direction, she returns and quickly subdues the kidnappers. But her carelessness leads to the melting of the Chill-pops before their time, leaving them all permanently dead. She is confronted by one of the officers but she merely laughs, amused that this would happen even though she thought she was trying to be careful.

Telepath is furious and in a panic over becoming trapped in this situation of helping her. He receives a message from Marij'n, who says she knows that Lady Quark killed Comet and begs him to read her mind. She tells Telepath that Comet always liked him and asks that he call her as soon as possible.

On Ith'kaa, Comet emerges from the rubble under which he was buried, but struggles because his body is so weak. He recalls his fight with Lady Quark and realizes that Bek and Marij'n must be in danger.
He finally makes it back to their camp and discovers that everyone is long gone. From the trace of exhaust, he realizes that they left several days ago. He wonders how she explained his absence but assumes he will find out once a rescue ship arrives, since the L.E.G.I.O.N. would never give up on him.

Vril Dox's son, Lyrl, is meeting with Bek in his new position as Chief Administrator to discuss some important matters.
Everyone gathers for the funeral, including the newly returned Strata and Garv, even though Garv has no plans to officially rejoin the L.E.G.I.O.N. Phase notices Lobo hiding in the woods nearby and goes to check on him. He explains he is waiting for Marij'n because she is crazy with grief and may start wailing or even collapse. Just when Phase starts to think he is showing genuine concern, he mentions that it might mean getting a real good look at her butt.

The last to arrive is Dark Lady Quark, who arrives with flowers that she offers Marij'n. When Marij'n turns away without accepting, Dox begans the funeral by inviting a distinguished spritual leader, Pax, who knew Comet, to the stage. After a fiery but remarakbly short eulogy, Garv errupts in anger and confronts Dox. 
Strata is furious at Garv's behavior but he explains that he cannot deal with Dox anymore. He says he wants Dox out of his life, and if she still wants to marry him, that means out of hers too.

Lydea finds Lyrl crying and picks him up to provide comfort. She asks what is wrong and he tells her that he never gets any help. He explains that he was going to make a broadcast with Bek but that Bek left him all alone. He mentions that he tried to make a recording himself and asks if she will watch it because he is concerned it did not turn out right. She agrees and the recording appears to merely show Lyrl reminding everyone of the need to complete L-119 forms for every arrest. However, Lydea stiffens up while watching and walks away like she is in a trance. Lyrl tells her to go back to her quarters and that he will call when he needs her.

Stealth finds Lyrl alone and Dox soon joins them. Dox suggests they all get lunch, and Lyrl agrees because they have much to talk about.
Marij'n tries to catch Telepath at the funeral but he avoids her. Bek asks how she is doing, and she says she is worried that Telepath thinks she is crazy for suspecting Lady Quark. He tries to reassure her that she has reason for her suspicion but she suddenly becomes frightened by something she sees.
Peyer has really kept the momentum going over these last few issues with some tight plotting and good characterization. I was concerned that the series might lose its way a bit as it reaches its conclusion, but Peyer appears to have a very clear idea of where things are headed. Even though I barely recall these issues from when I first read them, its not hard to already imagine how this series will lead into R.E.B.E.L.S.

So far, most of the scenes involving Lyrl have been played for laughs with very little indication of anything ominous. But the expression and demeanor of Lydia after viewing his recording suggests that the apple isn't falling very far from the Brainiac tree. I do feel a tiny bit skeptical as to how trusting Dox is of his son since he has only ever trusted anyone when under some sort of mind control, and there is no sign of that here. But it is his son, who is still an infant despite his intelligence, so I suppose even Dox can have a blind spot under the circumstances.

I remain disappointed in Telepath even though I understand he has good reason to fear for his life. I just feel that after all he has seen Dox and the team accomplish he would at least try to reach out to him or Phase, rather than hiding Dark Lady Quark's secret. I was also a bit disappointed in Garv for his ultimatim to Strata at the end. His feelings towards Dox are justified, but Strata has been with the L.E.G.I.O.N. since the beginning and has seen it do alot of good. It seems unfair for him to expact her to throw all of that way, regardless of his own feelings about Dox.

I waited so long to see Marij'n and Comet end up together that it frustrated me to see how quickly they were torn apart. There is still a chance they could get together again, but with Bek at her side, I fear that the longer they are apart there is less chance of that happening. I am not quite sure what to make of the last scene. At first, I thought Telepath might be causing her to crack up to cover for Quark. But once she declared that she understood everything, I wondered if Comet had reached out and somehow managed to contact her telepathically. The figures of Quark and Comet suggest that she does understand precisely what happened, even if the cause of this sudden flash is unclear.

Regardless of what happens, these last few issues have been very enjoyable and has me cautiously looking forward to the series conclusion. It will sadden me to see "L.E.G.I.O.N." disappear from the cover, but it will still have most of the same characters and Peyer has crafted a very interesting storyline. So please check back with me next week to see if there is any immediate fall-out from Marij'ns declaration! 

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