Wednesday, November 3, 2021

R.E.B.E.L.S. #18

R.E.B.E.L.S. #18 (September 2010)
title"Sons of Brainiac, Part 1: Brainchild"
writer: Tony Bedard
penciller: Claude St. Aubin
inker: Scott Hanna
colors: Tanya Horie; Richard Horie
letters: Travis Lanham
editor: Brian Cunningham
cover: Kalman Andrasofszky

Reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Recap: With the defeat of Starro the Conqueror, Dox wanted to rebuild the L.E.G.I.O.N., but was surprised to find that the population of Maltus blamed him for Starro's attack. He decided that they need a new world for their headquarters so Adam Strange took him to the planet Rann, which had recently been decimated by a God-like being. The surviving population fled and the planet no longer had an atmosphere.

On the planet Kalanor, Desparo was about to execute Starro, when his former soldier, Storm-Daughter arrived to rescue him. She used her powers to restore Starro's strength and they fled Kalanor together. Meanwhile, Starfire was visiting the site of her homeworld Tamaran, which had been destroyed. She was in tears, watching the asteroids that once made up her world, when a bright light appeared and suddenly a planet was sitting where Tamaran once did.

She learned that Dox had transported Rann to its location to prevent a disaster from the loss of so much mass in the solar system. Starfire chose to join the L.E.G.I.O.N. while her sister, Blackfire, took advantage of the influx of refugees to mask the invasion of Rann by her army of Tamaranean survivors. But Dox, with the assistance of the Thanigarians, called for a truce and invited the Tamaraneans to settle on their new homeworld in its Southern hemisphere.

Lyrl Dox, also known as Brainic 3, is attempting to communicate with the entity, Pulsar Stargrave, the he helped to create using a pulsar star. He explains their familial history, stretching back to the original Brainiac on Colu, to the rebellion of his own father and Brainiac's cloned son, Vril Dox.
Dox continues with his plans for rebuilding L.E.G.I.O.N. on Raan and meets with the media. A reporter mentions rumors linking him to Blackfire but he dismisses them and expresses happiness that she and her people have settled on the Southern continent of Raan. Starfire watches the news and is disgusted, although Ciji suggests he is merely playing to the cameras. Wildstar asks if everything Dox does is to manipulate, and Bounder observes that he tricked her into becoming a being of pure energy. She hesitates in her response, and notes that she was crippled when he found her and she doubted her own sanity. She says that he gave her purpose but Amon implies that she was manipulated as well.
Comet has travelled to Earth to visit the grave of his sister. He regrets not coming sooner and is about to tell her about Starfire, but is interrupted by a message from Starfire. She asks if the grave is that of his wife and he explains that it belongs to his sister. He shares his origin going back to Earth of 1955 and she is intrigued by his history.

Dox is on Colu and taking stock of the situation. He is pleased by the reception from his people and goes to visit the supposedly inert body of his father.
Brainiac awakens and scoffs at his son's comments, but they are both thrown off guard by a seismic tremor.  Colu is under attack.
Comet explains his origins on Earth of the 1950s and Starfire alludes to the man on Earth who broke her heart. She says that being with Comet eases the pain, but she admits that she is still in love with Dick Grayson.

Meanwhile, Colu is dealing with the attack by a large Pulsar under the control of Lyrl Dox. When Vryl learns that it is actually a being called Brainiac 3, he takes action.
This one was a mixed bag. There were several developments I enjoyed. In particular, the relationship between Comet and Starfire was nice to see, even if it moved very quickly. Its still fairly rare in this series to see relationships that do not involve Dox get explored so this was a big plus.

It was also nice to see Amon get some focus, even if it was just a few minutes of complaining that Dox cannot be trusted. While I was hoping for more from the last of our "new recruits" in the original series, his comments do show what serving with Dox does to just about everyone over time. Dox has a pretty long history of leaving misery in his wake for those closest to him.

The development of Brainiac 3, or Pulsar Stargrave, is moving very quickly, almost too much so. For fans of the Legion of Super-Heroes, or the prior L.E.G.I.O.N. series, this character has some importance, but I feel like its introduction has been a bit abrupt in this series. It does hold some promise for the next few issues though, so we will see. I do plan to give a bit of a back story of the character next week so everyone can get put him in context and get a better idea of his significance. Please joint me next issue to see what Brainiac 3 has in store for our heroes!

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