Wednesday, April 28, 2021

R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #8

R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #8 (June 1995)
writer: Tom Peyer
penciller: Derec Aucoin
inker: Mark Propst
colors: Stuart Chaifetz 
letters: Gaspar Saladino
editor: Dan Raspler
cover: Derec Aucoin & Mark Propst

Reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: Vril Dox, the super-intelligent founder of the interplanetary security agency L.E.G.I.O.N., was deposed, branded a criminal, and apparently killed by agents of his power-mad infant child.

But as his comrades invade a L.E.G.I.O.N. stronghold seeking to avenge him, they remain unaware that Dox has survived and vanished into the galactic criminal underground known as the Blood Circle.

Dox is meeting with the leaders of the Blood Circle, including John, the man who rescued him from the explosion that led Lyrl and everyone else to believe Dox was dead. John is discussing the new aggressive approach the L.E.G.I.O.N. is taking on various planets to solidify their control of the populations.
John reminds Katua that they may be outlaws, but they only steal and do not kill. And they do not turn in anyone to the cops. 
John brings up the Worldbank and Dox's plan for galactic martial law, which his son is implementing. Dox insists his plan was only drawn up as a contingency in case some threat destabilized the galaxy and that the Worldbank plan is not as dangerous as it might appear. Its merely intended to centralize econimic functions and move them to a secret, fortified locations. John reminds him that in the process, only electronic transactions would be honored, cash would become worthless, and the L.E.G.I.O.N. would control the flow of wealth.

Elsewhere, the R.E.B.E.L.S. have lost control of their ship and are slowly drifting into a L.E.G.I.O.N. space station. Their descent slows as it crashes through the stations landing deck, but the ship remains intact. Impressed by its impervious nature, they name the ship after their deceased teammate, Di'ib. Phase notices that the ship is transmitting a signal and realizes that it is a false sensor echo intended to say that they did not survive. Strata suggests that Dox's intellect must still be powering the ship in some way, despite how low it is on fuel. Phase suggests they try to clear out, but Strealth refuses and has Borbb teleport her to the station to find Dox's killers. 

Aboard the station, everyone felt the crash of the ship and is trying to figure out what caused the tremors.
The representatives of various L.E.G.I.O.N. worlds who came to attend Dox's funeral are going through the final stages of Lyrl's brainwashing process. Bek notices that Marij'n has slipped away and he is sent to find her. Bek remains the only person in L.E.G.I.O.N. who is free of Lyrl's brainwashing, he is sent to find her.
The Blood Circle is sending John and Dox to find the Worldbank. Before boarding his ship, Dox keels over in pain from the injuries he sustained in the explosion. John offers another sin-patch, but Dox is fearful of becoming dependent on them.
A L.E.G.I.O.N. patrol has located Di'ib and is surprised to find the ship intact after its collision with the space station. Phase is alarmed to see a second ship approaching as well, but it turns out to be Garv and he fires on the patrol.

Stealth and Borbb are investigating the Space Station when they stumble upon several of Borbb's fellow "new recruits" from their L.E.G.I.O.N. days, the Khund warrior Amon Hakk, Davroth Catto, and Zena Moonstruck. 
While they battle, Marij'n locates the brainwashing array and takes out the two guards protecting it. Once Stealth and Borrb are defeated, Lyrl sends the recruits to protect the array until it has finished its work on those he is trying to enlighten. They arrive to find Marij'n attempting to disable it.
Phase and the others are jolted as they feel a ship attach itself to Di'ib. They are expecting an attack but find a joyful Garv, who has come to take his wife Strata home. Meanwhile, John and Dox have arrived on the planet Gant to find the Worldbank.
They approach a temple and John is disgusted at the thought of the wealth of the Worldbank being hidden on such a primitive world, and especially, in a Church. He stays behind while Dox enters the Church and heads to the lower level. He expects a defensive laser system to attack but is instead grabbed by several tentacles that come out of the wall, which pull him further below.
Finally! I have been waiting for some of the new recruits to make their return, and even though they still brainwashed by Lyrl, I am happy to see them. The more the cast expands, and the more the subplots expand, the more this title starts to feel like L.E.G.I.O.N. again. It was great to see Marij'n taking action against Lyrl's plan, even if she failed, and to see Dox off on his own separate mission entirely. The idea of everyone believing Dox is dead is intriguing and I am curious to see how long the situation continues.

The Blood Circle is interesting, as is John's continued reference to them having their own code of honor. John does seem a bit too noble to be a professional criminal though so I cannot help but be a little skeptical. It is not that I do not trust him necessarily, but I feel like there has to be more to his character.

One particularly nice touch is that all of Lyrl's actions have been accomplished by using his own father's technology and plans. The takeover of L.E.G.I.O.N. by his son is already personal enough, but for Dox, seeing that son turn his own tools against him has to really sting. 

I am curious to see where the cliffhanger seen involving the Worldbank goes, but I am less excited to see what happens with Garv and Strata. Garv was one of my favorite characters for a long time, and I loved seeing his romance with Strata develop, but I have not liked the direction he has taken in this title. His loathing of Dox seems to have finally made him snap, and he seems to have built up this fiction in his mind that Strata did not willingly join up with the R.E.B.E.L.S. The innocent smile he gave Strata when he arrived was unsettling.

Otherwise, I think the series has taken a strong turn for the better lately and I hope it continues. Peyer knows how to handle an expanded cast well so hopefully everyone is here to stay for some time. Please check back with me next week as we find who those two weird guys hanging out underneath the Church are.

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