Wednesday, December 22, 2021

R.E.B.E.L.S #25

R.E.B.E.L.S. #25 (April 2011)
title: Starstruck, Part 2
writer: Tony Bedard
penciller: Claude St. Aubin
inker: Scott Hanna
colors: Tanya Horie; Richard Horie
letters: Travis Lanham
editor: Brian Cunningham
cover: Aaron Lopresti

Recap: Dox asked Blackfire Komand'r to join him for dinner to learn how the Tamaranean refugees were adjusting to their new homeworld. Her report was encouraging and the two hit it off surprisingly well. Dox was returning from their date when his ship came under attack by Starro's agent, Smite.

Meanwhile, Lobo was teasing Comet over his feelings for Starfire when he caught the scent of Czarnian pheromones nearby. Believing that he killed every member of his race, he confronted her but she easily distracted him with a kiss. It created the opportunity for her to drug him so she could absorb his energy and use it to restore Starro's strength.

Smite crashes through Dox's ship and pushes Tribulus out the other side. Dox falls from the wrecked craft and is picked up by Storm-Daughter.
Starfire joins the battle and incapacitates Storm-Daughter, but is unable to prevent Smite from retrieving her body and fleeing with Dox. He takes Dox before Starro on the newly conquered homeworld of the Psions.
Lobo has returned and reports his encounter with Storm-Daughter to Adam Strange. Strange insists that they need to a plan to move against Starro, but Lobo ignores him and leaves to track down Storm-Daughter alone. Fortunately, Wildstar may not have Storm-Daughter's scent, but she does have Lobo's, so everyone heads to the spaceport to follow. They leave Lyrl behind in hopes that he can save Tribulus, who was injured in the fight.
Dox is horrified by Starro's plan to unleash an army of Lobo's, but his protests end when he gets possessed by one of the starfish. Starro uses their psychic connection and Dox's intellect to figure out why they have been unable to control the cloned Czarnians. Storm-Daughter detects the approach of Lobo, who we learn they were hoping would track them down. She sprays herself with more Czarnian pheromones and goes to confront him, expecting another easy fight. But Lobo is prepared and has put a clothespin over his nose to protect himself from the pheromones.

I am still enjoying this storyline and I appreciate seeing more of our cast, even if they were just quietly following Adam Strange around for much of the issue. My only complaint, which is relatively minor, comes from the involvement of Czarnians, which means a prominent role for Lobo. He has always been a ridiculous character, and I often found myself tolerating his presence in L.E.G.I.O.N.-related series more than enjoying it. He works best in humor books, like Justice League International, where things are expected to be over-the-top, or in guest appearances. But his schtick of being the last of his race because he killed everyone else and his obnoxious attitude can get tired quickly, particularly in a fairly serious book like L.E.G.I.O.N. or R.E.B.E.L.S. 

Admittedly though, Bedard has come up with a pretty interesting idea in having Starro clone his race and I have learned to trust his writing on this series. I just hope Lobo's presence does not take away from our last opportunity to see the supporting characters get more attention before the series wraps up in three issues.

It is interesting to see Lyrl back in the fold, even if it is unclear how trustworthy he is. The fact that he insists on being called Brainic 3 cannot be a good sign, but so far he is not showing any signs of plotting against his father or the team. Blackfire is a bit of a surprise, as she and her people seem to be assimilating well and she appears quite fond of Dox. Despite being positioned as a villain in most appearances, she genuinely cares about her people and has been shown to be a capable leader. Its refreshing to see this side of the character get explored. I am also thankful they have avoided the cliche of having her and Starfire constantly bickering.

I am not sure how I feel about Comet's attraction to Starfire.  She does not appear to be reciprocating his feelings, and he is not handling it well. He is almost becoming obsessed and spent part of the last two issues drowning his sorrows in a bar. Its not a particularly good look for Comet, who has always been more of a fun character. Hopefully, this will not go down any darker direction in the final issues.

Please join me next week as Adam Strange and his team catch up to Lobo on Psion, and we can see how successful Starro is at maintaining his hold on Dox!


  1. I never cared for Lobo after his initial appearances in the Omega Men's original book. All art is subjective, but his reimagine as a hyper-violent 'bastich' had zero interest for me.

    And also, this kind of relates to your dislike of Captain Comet's behavior (with which I agree): the DC universe is a VAST place. Not every 'space character' or race has to show up in every book, and adjusted to fit the tone. I very much appreciated Paul Levitz neatly avoiding a 30th century Starfire-like character (or Omega Men, for that matter) in the Lgeion book by saying in a casual aside that the Vega System had been cordoned off. And also how he sidelined the Green Lantern Corps.

    'More' does not always translate as 'better.