Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at the first volume of R.E.B.E.L.S. by Tom Peyer….
The current REBELS series is a good series, but I am still partial myself to the original series, which was written by the great Tom Peyer.
There were three things that Peyer really mastered on REBELS…
1. Unpredictability – partially because of the characters that he was dealing with, Peyer had a lot of freedom to do what he wanted, and it really showed in the series
2. Ramshackle action – the plot of the series was that Vril Dox’s son, Lyrl, frames his father for crimes he did not commit and coupled that with a massive brainwashing campaign to take over Dox’s LEGION operation. Lyrl turns his father (and when his mother, Stealth, turns against him, her, too) into an outlaw. Vril only has a small group of his former LEGION allies at his side along with a mysterious ship that has a symbiotic relationship with Dox (he pilots it by connecting tentacles to his own mind) and he is basically turned against the universe (Tony Bedard used a variation of this to launch his current REBELS series, where Dox is set against the brainwashed minions of Starro).
3. Character development – characters like Stealth, who had not exactly been given a whole lot to do the last year or so of LEGION were really given space to develop in REBELS. Plus, the unpredictability led to stuff like a LEGION rookie, Borb, getting a lot of development. Also, we got to see a reckless, “man of action” side of Vril Dox that you rarely get to see – Dox is still the brilliant tactician and manipulator he always was, but he also kicks ass in REBELS.
After Arnie Jorgenson started the series, Derek Aucoin drew the majority of the series’ eighteen issues.
As a good example of what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at an issue late in the run, #15, an Underworld Unleashed crossover!
The hitman known as the Iceman tried to kill the REBELS last issue, but Stealth saved them all – by transferring his consciousness into the ship!!!
Neron (the demon who spent Underworld Unleashed going around and trading power upgrades to villains for their souls) strikes a deal with The Iceman to give him a body again. But now the ship has no pilot!!
Borb is funny – he had a crush on Stealth, but one of the neat sub-plots of the series is Stealth starting to gain actual emotions for Dox (she mated with him, but that was not a matter of love – her species goes into heat, basically). So Borb, who is one of the few straightforwardly HEROIC people in the book, is thrown to the side.
Let’s look in on Stealth and Dox’s kid…
Finally, as for unpredictability, as the team faces off against the now corporeal Iceman…
Of course, we learn later than Vril sold A soul…he didn’t say WHOSE…
Great stuff – Tom Peyer should have an ongoing book again! He’s a great writer who works better when he has room to work with his sub-plots and stuff.