Legion Lost #1-12 (May 2000 to April 2001)
Written by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Pencilled by Olivier Coipel (#1-3, 5, 7-8, 10-12), Pascal Alixe (#4, 6, 9)
Inked by Andy Lanning
Colour by Tom McCraw
Spoilers (from nineteen to twenty years ago)
The Reboot Legion of Super-Heroes were in a pretty moribund state when writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning took over the two series (LSH and Legionnaires) and basically wrecked them. They had the Earth invaded by some mind-controlling aliens, and in the end, the Legion and their mentor, President RJ Brande took the fall for leading the Blight to Earth in the first place. The team was suspended, but didn’t even have time to absorb that before the closest stargate to Earth, which was sabotaged by the Blight, exploded, opening a rift in space. The Legion were successful in closing it, but it appeared that they were all lost in the effort. At that point, both Legion titles were canceled, and a couple of months later, we got Legion Lost showing up on the stands.
Legion Lost featured a smaller group of Legionnaires, trapped in another place or time, having fallen through the rift. Olivier Coipel was the original artist on the twelve-issue series (he had some other artists fill in in places), and the book was a huge shift in direction for the Legion.
I remember being very excited to get my hands on this book (I had a lot of trouble finding the first issue), and seeing what happened to the reboot version of some beloved characters. I was excited to be excited about the Legion, something that hadn’t happened for a long time. I was also excited about the art, as Coipel was such a breath of fresh air at the time.
I don’t actually remember a whole lot about this title, except that I wasn’t too happy with something that was revealed near the end, but I’ll wait until we’ve gone through the issues together to talk about that.
Let’s track who turned up in the title:
The Legion of Super-Heroes
- Element Lad (Jan Arrah; #1, 7-8)
- Live Wire (Garth Ranzz; #1-12)
- Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen; #1-6, 8-12)
- Monstress (Candi Pyponte-LeParc III; #1-4, 6-11)
- Kid Quantum (Jazmin Cullin; #1-4, 6, 8-12)
- Umbra (Tasmia Mallor; #1-12)
- Ultra Boy (Jo Nah; #1-12)
- Chameleon (Reep Daggle; #1-12)
- Brainiac 5.1 (Querl Dox; #1-12)
- Apparition (Tinya Wazzo; #1-8)
- Shikari (#3-6, 8-12)
- ERG-1/Wildfire (Drake Burroughs; #3-6, 8-12)
- Spark (Ayla Ranzz; #7-8)
- Leviathan (Salu “Violet” Digby; #7-8)
- Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn; #7-8)
- The Progeny (#1-3, 6, 9-11)
- Shipmaster Loke (Progeny; #2)
- Omniphagos (#5, 11-12)
- The Progenitor/Element Lad (Jan Arrah; #6, 10-12)
- Singularity (#6-8)
- Enkenet (Matriarch of the Kwai; #3)
Let’s take a look at what happened in these books, with some commentary as we go:
- Three winged beings that look like they have exoskeletons fly into the tail of a comet for unexplained reasons, when one of them is killed. There are some aliens on flying vehicles that attack. The woman, Shikari, believes they’ll be able to get away from their hunters, the Progeny. Her companion is killed too, and she decides to hide in a nebula cloud. Within the cloud, which makes it hard for her to keep her sense of direction, she discovers the wreckage of the Legion Outpost. She slips onboard, looking to hide from her pursuers there. When she goes to touch a crystal, the image of Element Lad appears in front of her. Jan’s image explains that the crystals have been programmed by him to relay his messages. He explains that the Outpost fell through a rift in space, and that he can’t figure out where they are. He’s placed the others in hibernation in tromian crystals while he works to get them home (I have no idea why he wouldn’t have Brainy working on this problem instead of him). As his messages continue, we see from his growing dishevelment that he’s been at this for a long time. He explains the history of the Legion, and we see that he’s been growing some facial hair (that makes it seem like a lot of time has passed, as Jan is one of the youngest Legionnaires). He has a “process” to try that might get them home. At that, the messages end, and just as Shikari discovers the hibernating Legionnaires, the Progeny find her and start shooting at her (they call her a variant and want her killed). The fight between them cracks open the crystals, and the Progeny are hit with lightning. We see which Legionnaires have emerged from stasis – Chameleon, Ultra Boy, Brainiac 5.1, Saturn Girl, Live Wire, Kid Quantum, Monstress, and Umbra. Even though the Progeny and Shikari can’t understand their Interlac, the Progeny attack the Legion. The Legionnaires take them down, and Imra gives Shikari some telepathic ear plugs so they can communicate. Jo starts freaking out as he can’t find his wife, while Brainy tries to figure out where they are. He really can’t figure it out, and Shikari explains that she saw Jan’s messages. Jo freaks out even more, but Apparition, his wife, emerges from the floor saying she phased away during the fight. Brainy lets them know that a ship, a very large ship, has approached the Outpost.
- Monstress narrates issue two, which opens as the large Progeny ship draws the wrecked Outpost into its hull. The team meets, and Imra decides that their best course of action is to split into teams. Brainy stays on the Outpost for support, and to try to find an escape vessel in the hangar. Garth, Jo, Tinya, and Imra head towards the bridge to meet with the sentient in charge, while the rest head into the ship to disable weapons and propulsion. Umbra gives them cover, terrifying the Progeny with her darkforce. When Garth tries to use his flight ring, he collapses; Brainy has figured out that the metal that allows them to fly is inert. Brainy has figured out where the command deck is, and directs Imra there, but is unable to locate the things that Cham’s team are searching for. Shikari explains that she is a path-finder, and is able to see the way. Imra’s team run into some Progeny, and Jo is almost hurt, but Imra saves him. She complains to Garth that Jo is immature. Reep’s team locates a facility where the Progeny “delete” the variants (in other words, life that is not them) and recycle their bodies into energy. Shikari explains that her people, the Kwai, are nomads who were discovered by the Progeny and are now constantly running from them. Monstress insists on helping the people being killed, and Reep’s argument that they can help more by disabling the Progeny ship, but Candi insists. Shikari offers to help her. Umbra disagrees, and Candi ends up defending her to Shikari after they’ve left. Candi tells Shikari how she became Monstress – her father was a wealthy industrialist on Xanthu who treated his workers poorly. Candi was with him when a worker protested, and her father hit him. He had a gene-bomb on him, and when it went off, Candi was transformed into Monstress. Shikari pumps Candi up, and they attack the Progeny. At the same time, Reep, Tasmia, and Jazmin fight their way through some more Progeny. Jazmin is able to shut down their atomic reactor with her powers. Tasmia and Reep clash a bit, until Jazmin sets them straight. Imra’s group arrive on the bridge, where she appeals to them as a castaway, and they attack her. Imra shuts down the guards, and then speaks with Shipmaster Loke. She tells him they’ve disabled his ship, and want to take a vessel and supplies, which they will return once they’ve found their way home. He threatens her, but she makes it clear that she is in a position of power. Garth downloads the ship’s information. Candi and Shikari have finished knocking out all the Progeny in the recycling chamber except one, but discover that during the fight, the Progeny gassed all their prisoners, killing them. The Legion leaves in a commandeered shuttle, towing the Outpost with them. They discuss the depth of the Progeny’s faith that they are the only beings worthy of life. On the Progeny ship, Loke orders that reinforcements be requested from their central command, and then prepares to have himself recycled as defective for failing. Brainy explains to Imra that while they now have local location information, he doesn’t know the way home. Imra talks to Candi about what happens, and tells her that they are headed for Shikari’s ‘brief-home’, the ship the Kwai live on. Candi worries that the team is lost in more than geographical ways, but Imra believes their Legion values will help them.
- As the Legion flies towards the Kwai’s brief-home, Jazmin finds herself talking to the memory crystal images of Jan, telling him about their plight. Shikari joins her, and is taught to call people by their names (Jazmin doesn’t like being called Brown-Legion). They join the others, and Imra sends Jo and Jazmin to fly ahead with Shikari to make contact with the Kwai. We learn that Shikari is a bit of an outsider among her people. Jo and Jazmin fly down (I don’t think I knew that Jazmin’s powers allowed her to fly without a flight ring), and while they travel, Shikari explains that her people followed a “feral star”, which they saw as lucky, to this land, where they were discovered by the Progeny, who they now need to avoid. Shikari leads them to her township. Later, the whole team assembles and speaks with Enkenet, the matriarch of the Kwai. They prepare to leave (their town is a giant ship), but first have to collect fuel and other resources. The Legion help them, and learn about how they convert carbon waste into something called Use-Weave. Shikari finds Jazmin talking to Jan again, recording her thoughts onto a memory crystal. She lets her know that the Progeny are about a day away from them. Jazmin and Jo assist the Kwai in gathering some comets for their water. We learn that Shikari disagrees with her people, who want to flee from the Progeny instead of fight them. This is what marks her as a Lone Star, a bit of an outcast among her kind. Shikari points out the feral star that brought them to this part of space, and Jazmin recognizes it. She gets Jo to check it out, and then they quickly call Brainy. A little later, we see that the team has gathered around the star, which is actually Drake Burroughs, the energy being that was once two people – Atom’x and Blast-Off. Using Use-Weave, Brainy is able to contain Drake, who is still going by ERG-1 instead of Wildfire, in a suit, allowing him to move and interact again. The Progeny arrive and attack. The Legion fight them, with help from ERG-1 and Shikari, while the Kwai township flies away. The Progeny also retreat. Shikari promises to stay with the Legion to help repay their help in protecting her people. Jazmin talks to Jan some more, thinking about how much time has passed while she and the others were in suspended animation. Elsewhere, some Progeny come across a floating pyramid in space. They enter it to investigate, and find an energy source in what looks like a door. When they fire on it to “delete” it, there is a flash of white light and they are destroyed.
- Tinya narrates this issue. Reep is running a training session with Tinya and Tasmia, demonstrating fighting techniques to Shikari and Drake. Tinya bests Reep, but Tasmia gets the drop on her, using her darkfield with kinetic force. When Reep starts to spar with Tasmia, she overreacts at his attempt to make a joke, and hurts him before storming off. Garth and Candi have set up a farm in their ship, but is annoyed that Imra isn’t interested in paying attention to it or him. She catches on that she’s being distracted and spends some time with him, but gets offended when she tries to tease him. Jo is outside the ship, using his penetra-vision to look for home on a break. He’s been working at combining the fragment of the Outpost to the Progeny shuttle the team is flying. Tinya comes to check on him, and we learn that Brainy is making an experimental drive. Jo feels like there’s not much hope of getting home, but Tinya makes him feel better. Imra comes to Brainy’s lab, where she learns a bit about the shiftdrive he’s built. Jazmin has been helping him, and in the process learning about her own powers. Tinya wants to check on Tasmia, who she’s been worried about, and when she doesn’t answer, enters her room. She finds Tasmia talking to her ancestors, but thinks she is perhaps still affected by the Blight. Tasmia does not want to talk, and tells her to go away. Next, Tinya goes to see Jazmin, who is in the shower, to discuss how she is dealing with the fact that, like Tasmia and Jo, she was Blighted. Jazmin says she doesn’t let it affect her, and they talk about supporting the others. Shikari and Drake watch another training session, and as they talk, Shikari mis-translate’s Drake’s name as Wildfire,which he kind of likes. Later, the team assembles for Brainy’s first test of his drive. The ship moves sixteen light years, but also finds itself in the path of a large number of orange creatures that enter the ship and start to drain energy from the Legionnaires and then the ship. Brainy posits they are quantum parasites, attracted by the drive, and wants someone to jettison the power plant. Tinya is the only one who can move, saving the day. Drake follows the creatures, and blasts at them; he also tells the team to call him Wildfire now (thank you!). Later, Brainy says they can’t use his drive now. Imra feels a crisis of leadership coming on, and then asks Tinya why she was spaced out in the crisis. Tinya and Imra walk off together as Tinya explains that she just needed a push to get her through things.
- Brainy narrates this issue, mostly through the notes he enters into his Omnicom, where he is keeping ongoing lists of problems to solve (there are a lot of them). Imra’s called him to the bridge to show him the pyramid we saw a couple of issues ago; Shikari has led the team to it, sensing it might be a help to them. Brainy is skeptical of Shikari’s powers, but since they aren’t able to scan the space pyramid, Brainy suggests boarding it. He goes over with Reep, Tasmia, Wildfire, and Shikari. Tasmia senses a melodic vibration to the structure. Shikari helps them find an entrance, and they discover that sections of it appear to have been built out of light, with all the rock having just accumulated over centuries of drifting through space. Brainy can tell that a fight had happened there, likely involving the Progeny. One of the Progeny survives, and fires on the Legion, but when he realizes they aren’t the Omniphagos, it stops being aggressive. It explains that the Progeny had searched the structure, and by mistake let out this ancient thing that it calls Omniphagos. Tasmia wants to leave, but Brainy believes they should keep searching, in case they can find whatever Shikari sensed could help them. They approach a much brighter space where it is apparent that the entire structure was built to contain the Omniphagos. Brainy suspects that there is an interdimensional doorway there, but realizes that it serves to power the prison structure. The Omniphagos, a large rocky creature, finds them and attacks Brainy. The others fight, but Umbra loses control. Wildfire is not much good against it, and it kills the Progeny. Reep tries duplicating it, hoping to confuse it, but that doesn’t help. Umbra is the one that is able to contain the Omniphagos in her darkfield, and she admits her fear to Brainy. Together they push the creature back, but need help from Wildfire to get it back into its prison. Later, Brainy speculates as to how powerful the Omniphagos could have become had it fed more. Shakari comes to speak to him, apologizing for being wrong in leading the team to the pyramid; Brainy decides that he can only rely on his own science to get everyone home.
- Issue six moves away from having a single narrator for more than a few pages, but those are narrated by Umbra. Tasmia notices how people are sleeping – that Jo still has nightmares, while Brainy works all night, Monstress has insomnia (the image of her staring at her Omnicom all night was prescient in 2000, before anyone had smart phones to keep them up), Wildfire doesn’t sleep, and Jazmin has no trouble. Tasmia is haunted by the distant voices of her ancestors. Garth heads to his bridge duty, and sees Tinya, who tells him that Imra has shown up to take his shift; she comforts Garth that Imra is too distracted to spend quality time with him. He goes to see her, and they discuss how she uses the night cycle to check in on everyone telepathically. She tells Garth they’ll have time for one another later, and that she’s most worried about Umbra. As Imra tries to lessen her fear from a distance, she is hit with a psychic wave of some sort, and ends up radiating across the entire ship. Wildfire and Jazmin go to check on Umbra (Drake can tell that the energy came from her room), and they find a creature of darkness that engulfs them. We see that Umbra leaves in an escape pod. Brainy and Montress check on Garth and Imra; Garth is fine, but Imra is comatose. Jo is worried that he can’t find Tinya, Reep reports that Jazmin and Drake are unconscious too. The team convenes in the medical bay, where we learn that Jazmin and Drake have concussions (there is no explanation of how an energy being can be concussed). Garth assumes command, and wants Jo to go after Tasmia, despite the fact that he’s focused on finding Tinya. He’s to take Monstress with him (who is going to use a jetpack that Brainy’s built), even though Shikari would be the best person to track her with, while Cham and Shikari are to search for the possible intruder that attacked the others. Somewhere deep in space, we see a large ring-like structure called The Rosette, which was constructed long ago, and was home to a few races for many generations, but now is the home of the Progeny and their leader, the Progenitor. Shikari tracks down the intruder, a big darkness monster. Jo and Candi fly into the atmosphere of a nearby world, tracking Umbra’s escape pod, and find, as they clear the clouds, a massive city. The monster fights Shikari and Reep, knocking Shikari out. Reep takes on a monstrous form himself and starts to beat on the thing. Brainy figures out that the creature is a psychic projection of Imra’s, and that he’s hurting her. Tasmia emerges from her escape pod in the city we saw before, and a being dressed in yellow thinks she’s an invader, and moves to attack her.
- Ultra Boy and Monstress locate Umbra, who is fighting with Singularity, the apparent hero of Lorcus Prime, the world they are on. Jo and Candi join Tasmia, who is not all that happy to see that they followed her. When Jo puts his hand on her, asking where Tinya is, she hits him, hard, with her darkfield. Candi starts to fight with Singularity, who can only sort of understand what they are saying, and assumes that Monstress is calling herself a monster; it’s clear that Singularity is very strong. On the Outpost, Garth urges Reep to stop fighting against the monster he’s found. Brainy explains that Saturn Girl, who is in a coma, must have manifested this creature through Umbra’s darkfield power when she attempted to remove Tasmia’s fears; he believes that something must be behind the level of trauma we are seeing (other than the Blight?). On the planet, Jo tries to calm Tasmia, but is instead punched so hard by the Singularity that he goes flying out of the city (where he can suddenly hear that the Outpost is trying to call him). He quickly flies back into the fight, hitting Singularity with everything he has. Tinya turns up on the Outpost, trying to save Cham from the creature. Brainy and Garth arrive and, using a device of Brainy’s, contain the creature. That crisis over, they worry about not being able to reach the team on the planet. Brainy investigates the contained darkfield/mental energy, deducing that it’s a combination of Imra and Tasmia’s alpha-patterns. He suspects that with Tasmia’s fears removed from her, she’s going to be more difficult than usual. Candi helps Jo, and points out that Tasmia and Singularity are still fighting. Jo decides to fight Singularity, sending Monstress to calm Tasmia down. While the men fight, Tasmia calls Candi a ‘hideous freak’ and ‘ugly witch’, causing her to slap her, hard. Tasmia uses her powers to blind Monstress, and then cut off her oxygen, knocking her out. Jo finds himself knocked out of the city again, and able to hear from the Outpost, where he learns that Tinya is fine. She tells him to bring Umbra back in a hurry so she and Imra can be cured. When Jo switches his power from invulnerability to strength, he suddenly finds himself back in the city. Switching back to invulnerability, he sees a wasteland again, and realizes that there is something strange about this planet. Garth wants to land the Outpost to help the others, but Brainy’s not sure it is up to the job of landing and launching again. They agree to try anyway, but as they prepare to land, a small ship approaches them, moving quickly and docking with the Outpost. They rush to the docking bay, and are surprised to see that the ship contains Element Lad, Spark, Leviathan, and Cosmic Boy.
- The Outpost makes its way into the atmosphere of the planet, with Cham at the controls (he also narrates this issue). Spark talks to him as they make their way down. Garth comes to get them to say that everyone is convening in the medical bay. There, Rokk explains that the Legion was able to close the space rift that brought the lost Legionnaires where they are. Jan explains that he was able to keep everyone together, but they were outside of reality. He had to put everyone in stasis while he figured out what to do, but his plan sent him back to the Legion’s home galaxy (and also de-aged him), while the others were lost to him. Brainy asks detailed questions, but gets distracted upon learning that the newcomers borrowed an experimental drive ship from McCauley Industries that let them backtrack along Jan’s trail. Shikari meets Rokk while Jazmin hugs Jan. Ayla asks about Imra, and we are reminded that she is comatose and being tortured by the fears she took from Tasmia. Jo tries to explain to Candi how he figures that Singularity is the planet’s champion, but that something is going on, since whenever he turns on his invulnerability, he only sees a wasteland. Singularity tosses Umbra towards them, and just as Jo is about to fight the large man again, the rest of the Legion show up, and Vi sends him flying with one punch. Singularity starts to fight back. The whole team is engaged, but Rokk sends Monstress and Vi to take Tasmia back to the Outpost (I’m not sure why he wouldn’t pick two fliers). Jo tells Brainy about his experience of altered perception, and Brainy quickly figures out that the air is full of psionic imagers that are affecting how people perceive the planet. He takes Jo and Reep to investigate. Following Jo’s lead, they find a structure in the desert (the others see a fountain) where the signal Brainy is tracing is coming from. Jo wrecks the machine he finds, and suddenly everyone sees the planet for what it really is – a lifelike desert. Returning to the team, and the suddenly bereft Singularity, Brainy explains that the people of Lorca Prime achieved utopia with the help of Singularity, but since he no longer fit in their society, they dumped him on this planet, which operates like a massive VR chamber to keep him busy and happy. In a rage, he flies off, while the rest of the team returns to the Outpost. There, Brainy works on a device to fix Tasmia and Imra. He believes that the psionic imagers affected Imra, even in space, which is why she was able to create a darkfield monster. When he activates his device, both Tasmia and Imra appear to writhe in pain. When Tasmia wakes up, she feels fear again. Imra is still fighting Brainy’s work, but when he injects some medicine in her to block her telepathy temporarily, she relaxes. It’s then that Rokk, Ayla, Vi, and Jan fade away, and everyone realizes that Imra was projecting them as an illusion. At the same time, Tinya fades away too, leaving Jo devastated. As everyone takes in what just happened, Imra wakes up and asks why no one is speaking.
- Issue nine is narrated by Imra, and opens on a close-up on her chest that seems a bit gratuitous. She is nervous about talking to Garth after what happened, and when she goes to see him, she discovers that his garden was damaged by frost when the Outpost landed on the planet. Imra sees a metaphor in the situation, as she tries to reach Garth, who is upset with her for not telling him that she purposely decided to create a mental image of Tinya. The Barontyk are a client state of the Progeny, but their world is destroyed after the Progeny aren’t able to find the beings they are searching for there. Shikari chats with Candi and Wildfire about her “armor-skin”, a kind of carapace she is able to form around her for protection. Imra enters the room, and things get awkward. Drake takes her side, but Candi is upset with her, both for the Tinya thing and for the fact that it made it easier for her to create the other Legionnaires who came to ‘rescue’ them while she was unconscious. Shikari feels like she can’t trust Imra. When Jo walks past Imra, he doesn’t acknowledge her at all. Tasmia, Jazmin, and Cham hang out together, and talk about what’s been happening. Tasmia thinks it’s hypocritical for Cham to complain about someone being duplicitous; Cham is very upset that Spark was there, but wasn’t (remember, he’s in love with her). Imra hears their conversation. The Progeny kill the entire Sumal race. Imra goes to see Brainy, and figures out that he’s been pretending to create stardrives for the same reason that she created a fake Tinya; Brainy knows it’s his job to give people hope, but has no clue how to get them home. The Progeny commit genocide against the Dr’pp’rr, again because they can’t find the beings they are looking for. Imra finally corners Jo and explains that she knew he needed Tinya to be okay, and that she’d not intended for things to go so long. Jo understands, and somehow the two of them end up kissing (I mean, Imra did share some intimate moments with Jo, at least telepathically). They are interrupted by Wildfire, who tells them that they’re needed on the bridge. Garth, who has taken the leadership role since Imra stepped down, tells them that many thousands of ships are coming towards them. The ships are from many different cultures, and it looks like they are flying away from something. Cham tries to turn the Outpost around, but they get clipped by one of the refugee ships. They manage to get the ship under control, just as many Progeny ships begin to approach them.
- Wildfire narrates issue ten, which opens with him heading out to face the massive Progeny fleet alone, against orders. Garth sends Jo, Shikari, and Jazmin to support him, but at first, Drake does really well on his own, disabling many vessels. He’s a little unhappy that the others had to remind him not to kill anyone, and reveals that he’s worried that the Legion is not working as a coordinated group right now. Jo and Jazmin are effective against the Progeny too, while Shikari scores some small victories. The Progeny get past them still, and many of their ships snag the Outpost with anchor beams. On the Outpost, the other Legionnaires work to fight off the many Progeny who are flooding the ship. Wildfire can tell that the team isn’t going to make it through this one, not just because of the overwhelming numbers they are up against, but also because they lack the unity they always had before (which I guess he’s heard about, because he hasn’t been a Legionnaire long). When Shikari tries to rally the four that are in space, she is shot. Jo and Jazmin try to free the Outpost while Wildfire looks after Shikari, and facing down some massive guns, he surrenders. There is a huge flash of light. Later, Wildfire wakes up a prisoner of the Progeny, with the others around him. He’s told he is now Progeny property and has no rights. He and the other Legionnaires have restraint locks put on them. The Progeny tells them that they’re being taken to the Rosette – the homeworld of the Progenitor. Imra has dreamt of the Rosette, and explains that it is a ring of fused planetoids. After the Progeny leave them in their cell, the team talks about what to do. Garth doesn’t want to fight yet, opting to see what the Progenitor wants with them. Wildfire notices Jazmin holding the memory crystal that displays Jan’s image, and they talk about how she thought he would always turn up to save them. When they arrive at the Rosette, Wildfire is surprised by its scale and what that suggests about the Progenitor’s power. They are taken to the Progenitor, who it turns out, is Element Lad.
- The team is stunned to see that Element Lad is the Progenitor, who seems really happy to see them all. It quickly becomes apparent that Jan doesn’t really remember the details of who they are – he doesn’t know some of their names. Imra warns Garth to be cautious in talking to him. Jan uses his powers in a new way to show them what’s happened to him since they last saw him entering the rift. He explains that he transmuted himself into Tromium and cocooned everyone else in the same element to protect them as they passed through the rift (I’m not sure what protected the rest of the Outpost) and ended up outside of reality. There, Jan worked for months to figure out how to get them back. He had to leave the Outpost, and saw the vast nothingness of being outside of reality. He figured out a way to get back into reality with the team, but was separated from them in both time and space. He drifted for many billions of years before he began to explore newly formed worlds and watch life begin to evolve, sometimes helping it along. He starts talking about how he is basically a god now, having formed and influenced many civilizations. He admits he’d forgotten about the Legion until he received reports of them from the Progeny. He sent the Progeny to retrieve them, because now he’s decided to travel to Earth. He tells them that he’s found the Ark, the pyramid from a couple of issues ago, and tells Brainy that he’s trapped the Omniphagos, which he has been feeding. He takes the restraints off his former friends, heals a lesion in Brainy’s brain, and restores the arm that Garth lost years ago. He dismisses the team, who sit around their quarters trying to figure out what to do (Imra is cloaking their conversation telepathically, she hopes). Some Legionnaires, like Candi, believe that Jan is still their friend, but Tasmia and Cham are very suspicious. Brainy tries to explain how Jan is now above concepts of good and evil. The discussion continues, with Garth wanting proof that Jan is a threat. He proposes that they split up – Brainy, Shikari, and Jazmin are to investigate if the Ark can get them home or not, while Jo, Tasmia, Wildfire, and Garth are to prepare to shut down the Progeny if they need to. Imra is to take the rest to go see Jan and try to figure him out. Imra knows that she may need to use her power to shut him down. Brainy hacks some Progeny drones, and realizes that with Shikari’s pathfinding powers, he can get the team home through the Ark, but that he may need to destroy it to stop Jan from going through. Garth’s team positions themselves in a hangar bay. Imra, Cham, and Candi approach Jan, who refers to them as ‘blinkers’, as that is all their lives are to him. Candi asks Jan what he wants to do when he gets to UP space, and he says he wishes to make it better, like he did the area around him, although he intends to feed all of that to the Omniphagos when he leaves. Candi is upset, and Jan says he doesn’t remember ‘making’ her. She says he didn’t, so he ‘deletes’ her, killing her in front of the others. Imra tells Garth what happened.
- Garth narrates the final issue of this series, beginning with a look back over what led him to help found the Legion, and the ideals that fueled it. After learning from Imra of Candi’s death, he, Jo, Tasmia, and Drake start ripping apart the docked Progeny fleet. Brainy’s squad reacts as well. Jazmin can’t believe that her friend was killed by another friend, and it’s Brainy that helps her pull it together. Brainy says that he can use the Ark doorway to get home, but that he needs a ship. Tasmia suggests that they come to them to get one, and Garth is surprised to hear the emotion in Brainy’s voice. Imra and Reep ask Jan why he just killed Candi, but he’s already forgotten about it, and is suddenly surprised to see his old friends. Reep wants to attack Jan, and Jan baits him into trying to fight him. Imra turns her telepathy on Jan, keeping him frozen for a while. Reep reports to Garth what’s happening, also telling him that Jan intends to return to their part of the universe and play god there, leaving the Omniphagos to eat everything he’s leaving behind. Garth is joined by Brainy, Jazmin, and Shikari and fills them in too. Everyone agrees that they have to stop Jan. Wildfire tells them they’ve found a ship. Jan starts to recover from Imra’s attack, and threatens to un-make her. Jo arrives and attacks Jan, followed by Wildfire. Jazmin’s powers intrigue Jan, but when she tries to attack him, he swats her aside. Garth and the others confront Jan, but Tasmia calls on them to get away from him, quickly. It seems the Omniphagos has freed itself, and is coming after Jan. Jan grows in size and begins to fight it, while the rest of the team makes their way to the Outpost (that’s the ship that Drake found). Brainy confirms that he can close the doorway behind them, so the team boards and Brainy pushes the ship towards the Ark. As Drake and Jazmin boost the ship’s power, Shikari gives directions to Umbra, who tries to enter that data, and the data the Brainy provides her, into the nav-computers. Jo and Garth stand over Imra’s unconscious body. The fight between Jan and the Omniphagos ends with the two of them merged into one massive creature fueled by insanity and hunger. Garth realizes that it’s gaining on them too quickly, so he draws Jo and Reep close, and then shocks them to immobilize them. He asks Jo to tell Imra he loves her, and gives Reep his ring, as he resigns from the Legion, since he knows his next actions will break their rules. He exits the ship and flies towards the Janiphagos, and using his power at its fullest, gives it a stroke. We see the Outpost enter the doorway, as Garth thinks about the Legion and how they were never really lost before the series ends with the sight of his belt floating, alone, in space.
Well, that’s what I was missing in the Reboot Legion. This is the first time since the Legion was reborn that they felt like mature characters in a situation that felt dangerous and like it could have consequences.
DnA did a fine job of focusing on character development and interactions, while building suspense and moving the characters in new directions. After the shock of the Legion of the Damned arc, this series slowed down a little, and helped explore just what the Legion was for, and what they stood for. By having characters narrate from their perspective, the authors were able to dig into them a loot deeper, which I liked.
It’s interesting to take a look at how the different characters were portrayed, and how they grew across this run.
- Live Wire – When Peyer, Waide, and McCraw started the reboot era, they portrayed Garth as an impulsive teenager, as interested in girls as being a hero. He was really kind of a jerk, and while other characters grew up, he just got more whiny and selfish. I liked watching him react to Imra’s actions in this series, and then decide to sacrifice himself to save his friends. That decision did come on a little quickly, but not when you remember that the original Garth sacrificed himself early in the run.
- Saturn Girl – I’ve never been a big Saturn Girl fan, in either incarnation. Reboot Imra has now manipulated her friends a few times, and in intimate ways. Previously, she animated and controlled Rokk subconsciously, and now she’s made the decision to deceive Jo into thinking that Tinya is with him. This probably needed to be explored more, but maybe it gets touched on again in the subsequent DnA titles.
- Monstress – Monstress was an annoying and seriously under-developed character in the reboot. None of the previous writers ever gave Candi a name, so it was nice to see her get some screen time. It was only in this series that we got to see what she was really made of, as she kept drawing moral lines and refusing to cross them. That cost her in the end, and she’s not exactly a character that a new writer, like say Brian Michael Bendis, might want to bring back. I really prefer Coipel’s way of portraying her to Moy’s.
- Kid Quantum – Jazmin started off as a derivative character with a bit of a chip on her shoulder. I’m not sure that I liked her being shown here as so interested in Jan, but I guess they wanted to use that device to help prepare the shock of what happened to him. I’m curious to learn more about her powers, but I’m not sure if she was used much in the later DnA titles.
- Umbra – Tasmia was treated pretty poorly in her reboot. The original Tasmia was loyal and regal, the Legion’s version of the X-Men’s Storm, and I always thought she was a great character. In the reboot, Tasmia was xenophobic and a religious fanatic. I thought it interesting that DnA decided to dig beyond that, and reveal that everything she does is out of fear. It gave her some life.
- Ultra Boy – Other than being the victim of Imra’s creepy manipulation, Jo didn’t do a whole lot in this series. They needed a powerhouse, I guess.
- Chameleon – Reep, on the other hand, has spent most of his time in the reboot as a background character, so it was cool to see him take on the role of trainee, and to be much more forceful in terms of making his opinions known. This Reep is on the road to becoming the Cham who ran the Legion in the 5YL days.
- Brainiac 5.1 – There’s not a lot you can really do with Brainy that hasn’t been done before, so for the most part, DnA left him alone, but also started to make him a little more human and emotional.
- Shikari – She’s a good addition to the cast of the book, even if she could have just as easily been a reboot version of Dawnstar, sharing powers, aspects of culture, and a friendship with Wildfire with Dawny. Shikari looked really cool with her battle skin on.
- Wildfire – Wildfire was one of my favourite Legionnaires, and I was so happy to see him brought back to fine form, and in a very cool looking package. I like that they moved away from the notion that Drake is the product of an amalgamation between two other characters; instead, they started to build him as a character all his own. One thing that didn’t make any sense is how Wildfire got to the Legion Lost universe. When Element Lad had to move the others there from outside of reality, there is no sign of Drake’s energy-being in the area.
- Element Lad – Original Jan Arrah is another character I had a lot of fondness for, and I hated the way the earlier reboot writers portrayed him as perpetually high. I liked the notion of him being the big villain in this series, even if I didn’t think it matched his character very well.
Art-wise, this book is impressive. Coipel made the Legion look older and a lot rougher, while also making the title much more visually exciting. I liked his designs for Shikari and Wildfire, and was generally very pleased with his work. The alternate artist, Pascal Alixe, grew over his few issues, and by his last pages, his style really fit with the rest of the run.
While reading this book, I remembered being excited about it back in the day, as I reconnected with beloved characters in a way that reminded me of the original run. When this book ended, I remember being frustrated with the fact that we didn’t get to immediately see the characters return home. Following this title, there was a six-issue miniseries called Legion Worlds, that visited six planets and the Legionnaires that came from them. After that, there was the launch of The Legion, by DnA and Coipel. What’s weird is that I don’t remember a single scene or element of either of these titles. After The Legion, and more than a year of living with these characters, I’ll be done with this series.
If you’d like to see the archives of all of my retro review columns, click here.
If you’d like to read this story, you can follow this link for the trade edition:
The Legion by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Vol. 2 (The Legion by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning)
Tags: DC Comics, Legion Lost, Legion of Super-Heroes, Retro Reviews