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R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 Review

4 min read

As the Black Lanterns cause chaos across the galaxy, Vril Dox simply couldn’t care less.

What They Say:
It’s an oversized BLACKEST NIGHT tie-in issue as the Black Lanterns fight the Sinestro Corps with the R.E.B.E.L.S. caught in the middle! While super-jerk Vril Dox and his team of renegades plot to stop Starro the Conqueror’s rampage, they’re forced to confront this major battle raging in space! Dox is in trouble, too, because these particular Black Lanterns wanted to kill him when they were alive!

The Review:
Way back when it was first introduced, coming out of the Invasion storyline, the LEGION book was one of my absolute favorites. When the title finally got relaunched, I was all over the first trade and loved it, but timing kept me from the rest. So when DC Comics offered up a couple of issues via the Blackest Night tie-in, it was a series I really wondered how Vril would take advantage of things. He ability to use everything at his disposal with long range plans and the added ability to be quick on his feet with changes to it makes him very dangerous. Not as dangerous as his son, which we get caught up on through the initial memory download by a Black Lantern ring at the start as Stealth is brought back to go and raise hell against Vril.

Considering his role in the galaxy in general, at least when he was leading LEGION prior to becoming a rebel of sorts, Vril doesn’t pay much mind to what’s going on, and for fairly good reason. His focus is on containing and boxing in the massive Starro fleet that’s out there and he’s done just that. Adam Strange and Captain Comet do fill him in on events, but it’s just a distraction to take account of at this point. The Blackest Night angle doesn’t figure into a good chunk of the book, but seeing Stealth coming back and seeing what happened to her in and her son in the past was well done in showing her motivations. For Vril though, his story takes an interesting turn when his son Lyrl, who has been altered by Vril so he can’t use his high level intelligence until he develops some sound judgment, finds himself caught up in Starro’s plans by being captured and taken back to the ostensible leader of the invasion force. And unleashed from his restrictions as well once he’s taken over. Lyrl, taking the name Braniac 3, certainly is given a lot of credit as being the most dangerous being in the universe, as Vril is intent on making sure that he’s simply killed the minute he and his group catch up with him.

The Starro storyline is definitely intriguing and seeing the mad dash Vril makes to get to where Lyrl is leads them smack dab into the Blackest Night fight. Coming across a group of Sinestro Corps members that are fleeing a fight themselves, Vril’s crew becomes cover to distract them when they show up. It certainly sends a message when the Sinestro Corps members are afraid of something in their own way and that even makes Vril take notice. One staple of many comics is the surprise ending and this issue certainly supplies that when one of the Sinestro Corps members die and Vril’s ability to inspire fear makes him a prime candidate. There’s something about the thought of Vril’s intelligence combined with that power makes him a Sinestro on steroids with far more self control and a huge bucket load of advanced intelligence.

Digital Notes:
This Comixology edition of R.E.B.E.L.S. has nothing extra to it compared to the print edition as there were no variant covers made for it. I do wish the second printing cover was included, even if it is the same artwork but with a purple filter over it.

In Summary:
R.E.B.E.L.S. continues to be one of my favorite books, one that I desperately wish was available digitally more than the Blackest Night arc, and the use of this tie-in provides for a really fun connection. Because of the galactic nature of the Blackest Night storyline, it makes sense for R.E.B.E.L.S. to be involved in some form. And Bedard uses it well here by spending more of his time on the core storyline of the series with Starro and then throwing a huge wrench into how things work. While I certainly don’t expect Vril to retain the yellow ring, it certainly offers a whole host of possibilities for him and his twelfth level intelligence to take his group in a very different direction and a much more interesting (and darker) potential for a LEGION he could leave. There’s a lot to like here and even with the flashbacks spent highlighting material that’s familiar to R.E.B.E.L.S. and LEGION fans, it’s done well enough to bring up to speed new readers and hopefully hook them. This is a book that needs to grow and grow as it has so much potential as one of the best of the space based series DC Comics has to offer.

Grade: B+

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