Wednesday, May 5, 2021

R.E.B.E.L.S. ‘95 #9

R.E.B.E.L.S. '95 #9 (July 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: Presumed dead, fugitive Vril Dox throws in his lot with the Blood Circle, a secret guild populated by the sort of thieves and cutthroats he opposed in his days as top cop of L.E.G.I.O.N. A mission on Circle's behalf - an assault on the powerful Worldbank - results in his capture.

Meanwhile, the R.E.B.E.L.S. seeking to avenge Dox's "murder" escape a fleet of L.E.G.I.O.N. gunships only to face the wrath of an old friend and ally.

Garv has finally located his wife, Strata, with Phase and Telepath aboard their futuristic ship, Di'ib. In his anger, he has convinced himself that the other R.E.B.E.L.S. have kidnapped Strata and forced her to help them. At first, Strata is happy to learn that he has been searching for her and she greets him with an embrace and a kiss. Her mood changes when he tries to take her back to his ship.
Her actions merely reinforce Garv's belief that she has been brainwashed by Dox. They wrestle until something a blast jars the ship, knocking everyone over.

John and other members of the Blood Circle are on Raxull awaiting the completion of Dox's mission at the Worldbank. They are concerned he may have been betrayed them since he missed two check-ins. John goes to call their backup agent, someone they all trust, who had been their original choice for this mission.

Dox was captured by the security system during his attempt to break into the Worldbank, and has been brought before his captors. He insists that he only innocently tripped the alarm and meant no harm to the Worldbank but they are well aware of who he is.
Dox accepts a drink from the security robot but immediately smashes the glass into its face. He takes advantage of the distraction and quickly disables the robot. Before his captors can reach the alarm, Dox rips off the robots head and uses its eye blasts to kill them.

Meanwhile, Marij'n, Stealth, and Borrb are being held aboard the L.E.G.I.O.N. space station. Rather than merely imprisoning them, Lyrl has other plans.
Lyrl has completed his reprogramming of the representatives from each of the  L.E.G.I.O.N. member planets. He orders all governing bodies submit their constitutions, charters, or bill of rights, and that such documents be considered suspended until they are approved. He also orders that all assets be deposited in the Worldbank so he can monitor all transactions. The representatives, who all see Lyrl as their savior, gladly agree.

Strata, Garv, and the others recover from the blast their ship received from the L.E.G.I.O.N. craft outside. When Garv learns that no one is flying the ship, he heads for the bridge. He is unaware that the ship absorbs alpha waves from the brain of its commander and hooks himself up to the control wires. Strata is unable to stop him in time, but it turns out that under his control, Di'ib is able to fight off their attackers.

Lydea takes Lyrl to visit his mother, Stealth, and the others undergoing brainwashing. She assures him that Stealth cannot see him under her blindfold but he remembers that she has enhanced hearing. His presence gives Stealth the motivation she needs to finally break free.
Lydea hands Lyrl to Davroth and tells him to flee, while Marij'n frees Borrb. He wants to help Stealth but she assures him that there is more at stake than he knows and they teleport away. They soon arrive at where the representatives are located and force them to each put on a headset. Marij'n reverses their programming, and they are freed from Lyrl's brainwashing. Davroth soon arrives with Lyrl, who is unaware that they are free of his control. Or that they are furious.
Stealth and Borrb return to Di'ib after failing to find any trace of Lyrl or Marij'n. Phase notices strange readings from the space station and it soon explodes. The fate of Lyrl, Marij'n, and the others aboard are unknown. But it seems certain that the representatives of L.E.G.I.O.N. member worlds are dead.

Dox has finally broken into the Worldbank and contacts the Blood Circle. John tells Dox that he should have called earlier because they gave up on him and called for back-up.
This series continues to pick up steam! What I loved most about L.E.G.I.O.N. was how well the various creators could balance such a large cast and several ongoing plots at one time. That was missing from this series during its opening issues, but we have seen a real return to form lately.

It certainly helps to have more of the prior cast return, such as Marij'n, Davroth, and the other new recruits. But the surprise appearance of Ig'nea at the end was especially intriguing. Until Lyrl showed up, no one had come as close to defeating Dox as her. Plus, they were engaged, so there is a lot of baggage here.

I am a bit concerned about Garv now that he is connected to the ship. Dox made clear that only an advanced mind such as his can control the ship without being destroyed so that does not bode well. I have been disappointed in the direction of Garv's character for a while, but I still held out hope that he would be redeemed. That is not going to happen if he is dead or a mental vegetable though. Hopefully, Dox can save him or perhaps there is something about his species that gives him an advantage. The one positive sign was how quickly he got the hang of the ship and fought off their opponents. 

The final pages confused me a bit since Phase and the others appeared to believe that Lyrl blew up the space station to save himself after the representatives were freed from control. But we did not see anything else to suggest that, and in fact, it would seem just as likely that Lyrl, Lydea, Marij'n, and the others were all killed. On the other hand, if they all died, the series would come to an end too quickly. I guess that was just Peyer's way of foreshadowing the next issue, although it did feel a bit awkward.

I am so relieved to see this series getting better and I hope it continues. I expected it to be a bit of a slog until I got to the 2000s series that I really love, but its been a pleasant surprise of late. So please check back with me next week as we learn the fate of everyone who was on the space station before it blew!

No comments:

Post a Comment