Wednesday, June 23, 2021

R.E.B.E.L.S. '96 #16

R.E.B.E.L.S. '96 #16 (February 1996)
writer: Tom Peyer
penciller: Derec Aucoin
inker: Mark Propst
colors: Stuart Chaifetz 
letters: Gaspar Saladino
editor: Dan Raspler
cover: Derec Aucoin & John Dell

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, along with Stealth, Telepath, Phase, Borb Borbb, Strata, and Garv, former L.E.G.I.O.N. officers. 

They have set their ship's course for the planet Cairn, where they intend to mount a last-ditch assault against L.E.G.I.O.N. leader Lyrl Dox, Vril and Stealths power mad son, who is cementing his rule by broadcasting a powerful mind-control wave throughout the galaxy.

A small group of the Blood Circle has remained free of Lyrl's mind-control wave, but they are struggling to stay ahead of both the wave and their former comrades. Their leader, Sin, sees no choice but to destroy those following them, but as soon as they have his own crew turns against him. They are still free of Lyrl's control but are tired of Sin's self-rightiousness and hypocricy.

Meanwhile, on Cairn, Lyrl is resting in his crib and thinking of his coming victory. Frustrated that his excitement is keeping him awake, he calls a slave to help.
Lydea Mallor is watching the scene on a monitor and arrives in time to save Lyrl. The child is furious and demands that all of the Argites pay for this attack. 

At the same time, the new recruits are gathered before monitors to watch the mind-control wave slowly engulf the galaxy. Davroth is thrilled but others are more troubled. Layla and Bek both admit to having strange visions of empty skulls and dead Argites. Davroth tries to reassure them but they get distracted by a distress call from one of their satellites. When they check a monitor they see it is under attack by Dox's ship.
Dox plans to use the Kregoiran Mind-Purifier that cured him of his drug addition to free others from Lyrl's influence, while on the surface, Captain Comet and Marij'n are freeing captive Argites. As Dox's ship approaches, Davroth begins to fire, but the ship is impervious to the blasts. Dox learns that the ship attacking them is manned by their former recruits, and he crashes into it so they can board. He plans to cleanse their mind of his son's control, but they are not going to make it easy.
The freed Argites have gathered into a small army under Comet's command. They easily take control of an armory and each of the Argites retrieves a weapon.
Davroth and his friends find the R.E.B.E.L.S. ship, but Dox wastes no time using his mind purifier on them, starting with the Khund, Amon Hokk. It is soon apparent that Dox's plan is working.
Davroth refuses to let Dox "pollute" any more of their minds, and dives for a nearby reactor. He pulls out his pistol and fires at it before anyone can stop him. The energy inside explodes and quickly engulfs the room.
Well, that was a fun cliffhanger! I am not exactly sure what Dox is up to in using the mind-purifier on Stealth, but I suspect it has something to do with the flirtatious overtures she has been making over the last few issues. Dox has obviously been uncomfortable with them, and not just because he tends to be a rather cold fish, but also because of her whole raping and murdering him early in the series. Up until now, I have wondered if she may be in heat, as she was then, and on the way towards losing her mind again. But now I am wondering if Lyrl was somehow responsible for this, perhaps not intentionally, but maybe this was an unintended consequence of him attempting to use his devise on his mother. In any event, I guess we will find out next issue.

This closing of this series does have a bit of a rushed feel to it, as if Peyer has been forced to draw it to a close sooner than expected. But nevertheless, I enjoyed this issue and felt it remained fairly well-paced. Seeing Comet and Marij'n get their own separate adventure is nice, and I loved that Amon is in his right mind again. He was my favorite of the new recruits in L.E.G.I.O.N. and I hated seeing him pushed aside. I hoped he might get a more prominent role as one of Lyrl's brainwashed servants, like Lydea did, but instead, he just occasionally showed up as mindless muscle. This felt like an unfortunate return to the Khund stereotype, which was something he had largely broken free of in the last series.

It was also fun seeing Garv back among our R.E.B.E.L.S., even if he seemed oddly quick in accepting Dox's leadership. His obsessive hatred of Dox early in the series did feel a bit out of character, but it's jarring to see it tossed aside so quickly. Still, having him back with Strata warms my heart.  We are barrelling towards a conclusion here, and I have a lot of thoughts and mixed feelings about this series. But I will save them until after next issue, once we see how things play out. Since I abandoned this series early during its initial run, I feel this has been more than two decades overdue!


No comments:

Post a Comment