Wednesday, February 24, 2021

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #70

L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #70 (September 1994) 
writer: Tom Peyer
penciller: Arnie Jorgenson & Derec Aucoin
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 with his death in a cave-in.

Telepath discovered that Lady Quark has been replaced but the new "Dark" Lady Quark threatened his life so 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 no one is aware of that yet.

Dox revealed his infant son's super intelligence to everyone and named him as Bek's replacement as Chief Administrator. The child, who took the name Lyrl, assumed Bek's duties and began to act suspiciously. He exerted 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. Before he could take action, Lyrl used a broadcast to place most of L.E.G.I.O.N. under his control, including most of the newer recruits. 

Meanwhile, Jo Nah, also known as Ultra Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes, appeared to take Phase back to the future. He initially thought she was Phantom Girl, but discovered that she was actually her cousin, Enya Wazzo. He still invited her to return with him so that they can learn the fate of her cousin together.

Dox returns to his office and discovers the body of a the drug lord Canis Biz, who he murdered early in L.E.G.I.O.N.'s history. As impossible as it seems for the body to be here now, in his office, a DNA scan confirms that it is him.

Stealth and Lady Quark are searching for Lyrl when they are confronted by the child and a group of their teammates who are firmly under his control. As they approach, Lady Quark uses her abilities to put out a light blast to blind most of them.
Jo Nah is preparing to return to the future while Phase stands nearby. She is concerned about leaving her friends while trouble may be brewing, but he leads her inside his time sphere and they disappear.

Garv and Strata are at the Chapel for their wedding ceremony. Garv is growing impatient but Strata insists on waiting for their friends. Borb finally arrives with Lobo, who is only there because he is expecting a party. 

Marij'n is struggling to carry a large weapon she built to use against Lady Quark. She was called by Telepath, but she is unaware that he is under the control of Lyrlr. In fact, she has been so wrapped up in seeking revenge for Comet's death that she seems to be unaware of any of the events that have recently occurred. When she arrives, she blasts Lady Quark, who starts to melt. Stealth tries to stop her, still unaware that Quark was replaced, but is stopped by Lydea. Stealth asks Lyrl if he plans to kill her too.

Dox has become distracted by mysterious chrono-temporal energy disturbances that are spewing anomaloys elements from different historical eras. (Note- These are tied to the events in the Zero Hour limited series.) It is happening all over the universe and he is concerned that the barriers separating the past, present, and future could collapse. He sends out a probe that he hopes will find the key to controlling the outbursts. 

His probe is destroyed by an object that emerged from a time warp and crashes to the planet. He is surprised when his order to disperse emergency crews is not followed and his authorization code is not approved. Stealth arrives with Lyrl and Lydea, hoping that they and the child can come to some sort of agreement. When Dox scoffs, Lyrl decides to prove how weak a position his father is now in.
Lyrl notes that his father is always getting people to do what he wants but never takes it far enough. He wastes resources and effort compromising, and its counterproductive. He asks his father to work with him so they can take L.E.G.I.O.N. to its logical conclusion. 
While Dox fights the guards, he orders Stealth to flee and find help. Lyrl sends some after her but orders that his mother not be harmed. She is almost caught but help comes from a surprising source.
As Strata and Garv complete their wedding ceremony, Lobo begans to beat up Borb for misleading him into believing this was the reception. Stealth and Phase interrupt and explain that the L.E.G.I.O.N. has been taken over by renegades. Garv refuses to get involved and insists that he and Strata have their own lives to lead now. But Strata cannot bear to leave her friends in such a desparate situation and decides to help, even if she has to do it without Garv.

Lyrl broadcasts a message announcing that his father is responsible for the Argite Massacre and presents orders that he forged as proof. He places his father under arrest and declares that he is taking possession of all L.E.G.I.O.N. assets. Strata, Stealth, and everyone who is not under the control of Lyrl burst through a nearby wall. Dox grabs a gun and warns Lyrl not to press the alarm, but the child can tell his father is bluffing.

They head to the shipyard and stumble upon an unusual ship that Dox realizes is the same object he saw ejected from the time warp earlier. They get aboard and attempt to take off, although the controls are unlike anything Dox has seen before.

Back on Cairn, Lyrl is frustrated by their escape. A L.E.G.I.O.N. officer warns that they continue to get reports of time disturbances on every one of their client worlds and asks what they are going to do about them. Lyrl shouts that he does not care, and that he only wants his mommy back and his father dead.

On the ship, Phase asks what they are going to do about Telepath, who they brought on board but who is still under the control of Lyrl. Dox can tell from Telepath's fear that they do not need to worry about him for now. Lobo assumes that with the L.E.G.I.O.N. dissolved he is no longer under contract, but Dox reminds him that his contract is with him directly. Dox says that they are in this for the long haul, but Strata pleads that she must get back to Garv.
So we have reached the end! After 70 issues, this title comes to a close, soon to be relaunched as R.E.B.E.L.S. As I have alluded to before, when this was originally coming out, I was very unhappy with the idea of a relaunch. Frankly, I began to mentally check out a bit even though I kept buying the series. As we approached the end, I was very hestitant about how I would feel revisiting these final issues because my memories were so vague. Fortunately, I was  pleastantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

The credit lay primarily with Tom Peyer, who did a wonderful job slowly building up Lyrl as a credible challenge to his father, and using the Argite situation as the tool by which Lyrl could take control. Sure, on the one hand, the image of this evil infant threating to kill his father one second and crying for his mother the next is a bit silly. But ultimately, I think it worked.

There are still a few minor things that bothered me. I would have prefered a bit more of a mix between the original members and the new recruits when it came to choosing the sides. Except for Borb, all of the newer recruits are with Lyrl, and, except for Bek, the originals are with Dox. As a result, I think we have gotten side-tracked from some solid character development that was occuring among the newer recruits. 

I am also unsure what to make of Marij'n's storyline. Even though her attack on Quark helped Lyrl, I still got the impression she was driven solely by her obsession for revenge, and not under his control. However, she was not fleeing with Dox's gang at the end, so her status at this point is up in the air. In any event, her storyline felt unnecessary in the end.

I am also still unclear as to whether the original Lady Quark is really intended to be dead, and what the point of her being replated was. I cannot shake the feeling that Peyer had other plans for that storyline but decided to change direction when the call was made to relaunch the series.

I do plan to continue with coverage of R.E.B.E.L.S. but I have a confession to make. I did not read very much of it. I was just too disheartened at  the time with the idea of a relaunch and my focus turned to other series after a few issues. However, I did read the mid-2000 R.E.B.E.L.S. series because by then nostalgia had made me miss these characters, and I loved it! So I am at least cautiously optomistic that I will find something to like in R.E.B.E.L.S. '94. So please check back with me to take a look at the new title and (mostly) same cast of characters! 

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