Wednesday, May 12, 2021

R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #10

R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #10 (August 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: The fugitive R.E.B.E.L.S. return to the outlaw world of Raxull, seeking a way to detach their old ally Garv from their ship's mysterious mind-siphon.

Meanwhile, their leader, Vril Dox, is presumed dead - and is secretly working for the Blood Circle, a thieve's guild. His mission, to destroy the powerful Worldbank, leads him into the clutches of a hated enemy.

When Dox failed to report in, the Blood Circle moved to their original first choice for the mission, Dox's former love Ig'nea. She caught Dox by surprise and blasted him from behind. He is injured, but still conscious and able to fight back. She reveals that she was the one who convinced the Blood Circle to recruit him. After blasting him again, she turns her attention to emptying the vault, but she is unaware that Dox is wearing a patch that dulls his pain.
While Ig'nea is busy trying to break into the vault, Dox finds the head of the robot he dismantled earlier and rewires it to use it against her.

On their ship, Di'ib, the R.E.B.E.L.S. are trying to awaken Garv after the ship's mind-siphon attached itself to him. The ship requires the alpha waves of a brain for its power.
Garv is not responding but Strata begs him to set course for Raxull so they can seek medical attention. He does not respond verbally but the ship sets course for Raxull.

On Cairn, Lyrl is being advised that 87 L.E.G.I.O.N. worlds have formed a joint commission to investigate the massacre of their heads of state, who he killed after his failed attempt to mind-control them. He advised Lydea to cooperate with the probe but also find a way to convince them that his mother, Stealth, is responsible.

Ig'nea is overcoming Dox in battle and changes her mind about wishing him to die slowly. After a particularly powerful blast, she believes she may have succeeded in killing him.

Strata and the others arrive on Raxull but they have still not been able to awaken Garv. Borrb tries to comfort Stealth, and she suspects they he is using the situation to come on to her. He denies this but appears sad when she declares that she does not want a lover and is perfectly happy on her own.

A doctor tells Strata that there is nothing he can do to help Garv and that he simply does not understand how the mind-siphon works. He suggests that it would take a Coluan to puzzle it out but that the only one on Raxull is an outlaw. This draws their attention and Stealth has Telepath read his mind. They learn that Dox is rumored to still be alive and may be working with a group called the Blood Circle.

In their headquaters, the Blood Circle are discussing what they plan to do with their loot from the Worldbank when Di'ib comes crashing in.
Phase emerges from the craft and demands that they tell her where Dox is. They attempt to fight but the R.E.B.E.L.S. quickly gain the upper hand.  One of them is trying to flee when Dox suddenly appears.
Despite how frustrated they had been with Dox, the R.E.B.E.L.S. are thrilled to see that he is alive. Even Strata, who was ready to walk away a few issues ago. Most shockingly, Stealth grabs Dox and kisses him, although Borrb is not happy with that development.

On Cairn, the L.E.G.I.O.N. has taken down an attacking ship and several troops have gone to investigate the wreckage. They are ordered to subdue any survivors and it does not take long to find one.
I cannot believe we are over halfway through this series so far. That went so fast. The first half a dozen issues were a real struggle and reminded me of why I dropped it back in the early 1990s. But it has continued to improve since then and makes me wish I had stuck with it. However, I was clearly not the only one to depart early since the series ended with 17 issues.

Nevertheless, the last several issues have really reminded me of the heyday of L.E.G.I.O.N. and I think Peyer has (mostly) recaptured much of the magic of that title. The return of several long lost members of our cast is a big part of that and I was thrilled to see Captain Comet finally return at the end. One quibble though...I HATE when people try to update Comet's costume. To me, that defeats the entire purpose of using his character. Comet first appeared in the 1950s and his original design is very specific to that era He was arguably the first Silver Age superhero. From the 70s to the early 2000s, DC maintained the origin that he first appeared in the 1950s and aged slowly because he was a mutant. For fans of the character, his 1950s origin was integral to his appeal and attempts to update him almost always take away from that. However...putting the costume change aside, I was still happy to see him return.

The issue did have a few other surprise developments, including Borrb's attraction to Stealth. They have had a nice moment or two together, but I really had not picked up that he has a crush on her. It is interesting to a degree but did seem a bit out of the blue. Similarly, the moment where Stealth kissed Dox really caught me off guard. They have a complicated history, to say the least, but despite having a child together, there has never been a hint of romance between them. I mean, she did rape and murder him after all. But I am inclined to think that this was a spur of the moment action by Stealth, out of excitement of seeing he is alive, and not read too much meaning into it.

Now that much of our cast has reunited with Dox, and Lyrl is losing control, I am excited to see where we are headed. So please check back with me next week as we see if Captain Comet's presence changes things for the better!

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