Wednesday, June 16, 2021

R.E.B.E.L.S. '96 #15

R.E.B.E.L.S. '96 #15 (January 1996)
writer: Tom Peyer
penciller: Derec Aucoin
inker: Mark Propst
colors: Stuart Chaifetz 
letters: Gaspar Saladino
editor: Dan Raspler
cover: Derec Aucoin & Mark Probst

Reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: Vril Dox: Super-Intelligent founder of the interplanetary police agency L.E.G.I.O.N. Now a fugitive from his own organization.

Lyrl Dox: Vril's power-mad son, who now runs L.E.G.I.O.N.- and is now cementing his rule by broadcasting a powerful mind-control wave throughout the galaxy.

Stealth, Telepath, Phase, Borbb, Strata, and Garv: Former L.E.G.I.O.N. officers, now Vril's fugitive comrades.

The Presidential Guardsman: Bodyguard to Dox's ally, the President of the L.E.G.I.O.N. planet Devan.

Now Lyrl Dox's mind-control wave hold Devan in its grip, along with a hundred other worlds...

The people of Devan-6 have been hit by the brainwashing wave sent by Lyrl Dox and they ascend on our R.E.B.E.L.S. The lead Guardsman who had been present when Dox fled from his deal with the leaders of his planet arrives, and Dox is expecting to be attacked.
Dox explains that they were trying to outrun a mind control wave that L.E.G.I.O.N. was broadcasting from a powerful satellite to take control of his people. Their ship comes under attack and the distraction causes the Guardsman to pause. The ship appears to be caught in some sort of trap, but when Dox connects his mind to the ship he discovers that it took itself home to the beings who built it. Two mysterious creatures appear and when the Guardsman confronts them he is immediately knocked out.

The beings question Dox and he sees it as an opportunity to learn more about how the ship works. He also connects the fact that the ship runs by mind control with his son's brainwashing technique and see this as an opportunity to gain the upper hand. They explain to Dox that they make the brains that they use to control the ship, and he agrees to allow himself to be scanned. They detect his recent dependency on the patch that had been placed on him and free him of it. He is curious about the purifier device they used, and they agree to show him if he is willing to offer something in exchange.

At the same time, the R.E.B.E.L.S. and the Guardsman are given a meal, but the Guardsman loses patience and attacks one of the serving robots. Before a battle can break out, Dox interrupts and explains that he promised their keepers access to their nervous systems.
After the procedure is over, the mysterious beings send forth robots that attack the R.E.B.E.L.S. Our heroes are able to get back to their ship and flee. Once they have fled Borrb approaches Stealth, and she insists he stop trying to discuss his feelings for her because it is giving her the creeps. Meanwhile, Dox connects his brain to the ship and prepares to fight their attackers. Stealth joins him to provide support while Borbb looks on.
Dox pauses and Stealth immediately suspects what Borrb has done. Phase suggests that they have to rescue Borbb but Dox notes that his actions demonstrate a desire to allow them to return home and that he would not approve them trying to do so. Stealth tries to argue but Dox insists that this is what Borbb would want. Dox commands the ship to warp out but they do not go through space, and instead Dox feels says he thinks they travelled 10 millions years in the past. The next dialogue is confusing but it appears that they are now back and on course to return to Cairn.

Well, I guess I enjoyed this issue but it also left me a bit confused at the same time. A little while ago, I was worried that Tom Peyer felt pressure to resolve things too quickly, but then I got the sense that this was unfounded and that the resolution of the series would be well-paced. But then he introduced the creators of their ship from the future and it again feels like he may be trying to cover too much in a short period.

I have been a bit skeptical at Borbb's attraction to Stealth, and now I am worried about his fate. I am still a bit disappointed at how the new recruits were side-tracked and I do not want to see the only one who "graduated" to the core group die. But it seems unlikely he will return.

The absence of Captain Comet and Marij'n was a bit disappointing given how few issues we have left. I am still very intrigued with where this series is headed, but we have so few issues left I do not expect a very satisfactory ending. In any event, I still have to the subsequent 2000s series to look forward to, which I recall really enjoying. Check back with me next week for the penultimate issue to see how Peyer plans to wrap this up!

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