Wednesday, February 17, 2021

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #69

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #69 (August 1994) 
writer: Tom Peter
penciller: Arnie Jorgenson
inker: James Pascoe
colors: Gene D'Angelo
letters: Gaspar Saladino
editor: Dan Raspler
cover: Arnie Jorgensen & James Pascoe

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.

Telepath discovered that Lady Quark has been replaced but the new "Dark" Lady Quark threatened his life and he agreed to keep her secret. Marij'n tried to convince everyone that Lady Quark murdered Comet, but no one believed her and Telepath avoided her so she could not ask him to probe Quark's mind. Although they held a funeral for Comet, he was still alive and dug his way out of the cave-in, although they do not know yet.

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 child, who took the name Lyrl, assumed Bek's duties and began to act suspiciously. He appeared to exert some sort of mind control over Lydia Mallor and slowly started to undermine his father's command.

After the L.E.G.I.O.N. rescued the natives of Argo-Prime, the government of Cairn agreed to let them resettle on their world. Unfortunately, tension quickly developed between the new immigrants and the native population. Dox's son, Lyrl, exploited this tension and caused a riot. He also ordered L.E.G.I.O.N. troops to shoot to kill the Argites and arranged for them to be blamed in the press. When Dox learned what happened, he immediately knew his son was responsible.

Strata informs Dox and Phase that she has decided to leave the team. Dox blames Garv but she explains that it was the recent events involving the Argites that drove her decision. She never realized the team's potential for corruption before and fears that the L.E.G.I.O.N. has become too powerful. But she also has some good news to share as well.
When Dox does not respond, Strata rushes out in tears. Phase is about to go off on Dox when a flying man in green bursts through the ceiling. He calls her by the name Tinya and introduces himself as Jo. This sparks a memory in Phase and she calls out his full name, Jo Nah (also known as Ultra Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes). Dox raises an alert but Jo Nah insists he is not there to hurt her. In fact, after mentioning that he has travelled a thousand years, he embraces Phase and kisses her. 
Strata is one her way out when she notices Garen Bek kneeling before the laboratory door.  He has been locked out by Marij'n and fears she may have become suicidal. Strata breaks open the door and they see Marij'n working with some equipment. She is furious at the interruption because her work is at a critical phase and she storms away. Strata tries to reassure Bek and begins to change the subject by telling him that she is getting married, but he walks away before she gets the chance. 

Bek goes back to his office of the administrator, which was his before he lost his job to Lyrl. He turns on the computer and immediately sees something alarming, so he calls for Dox to come quickly. An announcement comes on throughout headquaters, which is the same one that Lyrl showed Lydia Mallor that made her fall under his control. Lydea has made sure that all of the new recruits are near a monitor so they can also see the announcement.
Almost everyone in L.E.G.I.O.N. sees Lyrl's announcement, although Lobo shuts off his screen in disgust and Lady Quark smashes her screen after sensing the attempt at mind control. Dox arrives in the administrator's office in response to Bek's call, but Bek said he was mistaken and there is not any problem that they need to discuss. After leaving, Dox runs into Stealth and they begin to argue over Lyrl's responsibility for the Argite massacre. They are interrupted when Lady Quark crashes through the ceiling and attacks Dox.

Jo Nah and Phase retreat to a nearby mountain where he apologizes for kissing her. He explains that he thought she was Tinya (Phantom Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes) but realizes now that she is Tinya's cousin, Enya Wazzo. She tells him that she cannot remember anything of her past, so he gives her a brief summary.
Phase asks what happened to Tinya and he invites her to return with him to the future so they can find out. At the same time, Lady Quark accuses Dox of trying to brainwash her. 
He insists that he has no idea what she means, and once she scans his mind, she realizes that he is telling the truth. He demans to know what is going on so she tells him about the transmission that was sent out. 

Lyrl and the new recruits go to one of the L.E.G.I.O.N. jail cells and demand that an Argite prisoner be released. Once he is, they each taking turns beating him until he finally collapses, apparently dead. Lyrl is now confident that he has the recruits full obedience. Dox puts out a priority-one alert ordering his son to report to headquarters and that any personnel who sight the boy escort him directly home. He further instructs that any electronic communiques with Lyrl's signature are to be considered confidential and off-limites, and that under no circumstances is anyone to follow his orders. 
FINALLY. When I started revisiting this series for the blog I remembered that Phase was originally intended to be Phantom Girl and that it was ultimately revealed that she was her cousin, Enya Wazzo. But I could not recall precisely when this change occurred in this series or the circumstances surrounding it, other than a vague recollection that it was tied to Zero Hour. So it is a relief to finally get here aftere 69 issues, even if I remain disappointed to this day by the retcon. I know big changes are occuring with the LOSH around this time thanks to Zero Hour, but since this title takes place a thousand years earlier, I really think they could have found a way to keep Phase as Phantom Girl, regardless of what was happening with the LOSH. The ties between the L.E.G.I.O.N. and the Legion have always been very tenuous, and losing this connection only makes them moreso.

In any event, I still very much enjoyed the issue overall, mostly because Lyrl finally made his move to rest control of the L.E.G.I.O.N. from his father. The final scenes involving the death of the Argite, while dark, were pretty damn effective at showing how strong Lyrl's control is. It is interesting that Telepath was included among those under his control since he is the only one who has been aware that Lady Quark is an imposter. Presumably, he will provide that information to his new master once Lyrl learns that she escaped his brainwashing. 

With Bek, Telepath, and the new recruits all under Lyrl's control, we are only left with a handful of our cast who is not. Strata obviously remains free since she quit the team at the outset of this issue. Dox, Lady Quark, and Stealth are all shown to still be free, although Lady Quark left Stealth in pretty bad shape when she attacked Dox. Marij'n seems likely to also still be free thanks to her obsession over proving that Lady Quark is responsible for Comet's death. Its unlikely she would pause from whatever project she was working on to listen to Lyrl's announcement. Phase is also free, although this issue raises doubt as to whether she will be sticking around to help. 

With only one issue left, Peyer has done an excellent job of resetting everything in anticipation of the relaunch of this series as R.E.B.E.L. When these issues were initially being released, I was very disappointed that the series was ending and lukewarm at the prospect of it being rebooted with a different title. Revisiting this decades later, I am enjoying the ride much more than I did and I have a much greater appreciation for Peyer's work.

There is only 1 issue left to go before the relaunch, so please check back with me next week for the big finale, which is also billed as a Zero Hour crossover!


  1. I am really enjoiing your revisiting of this wonderful series, one of my favorite of DC. I hope you will carry on with R.E.B.E.L.S.

  2. Phase's identity will be retconned yet again a few years later.

  3. I hated this retcon. Phase will always be Phantom Girl (the original Tinya Wazzo) to me. The best version of Phantom Girl ever!