How DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy Brought Lobo & Brainiac 2 Together

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Brainiac 2, Lobo and a rag-tag team of cosmic DC heroes teamed up to form the Revolutionary Elite Brigade to eradicate L.E.G.I.O.N’s Supremacy.

The DC Universe has had its fair share of antiheroes and rule-breakers. Icons like Batman and the Suicide Squad have built careers around thumbing their noses at the law in the pursuit of truth and justice. But they all look like boy scouts when compared to DC’s Main Man, Lobo. When the intergalactic bounty hunter teamed up with Brainiac 2, they formed DC’s most rebellious group of heroes.-

In 1989’s L.E.G.I.O.N. #1 by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant, Barry Kitson and Mike DeCarlo, Brainiac 2 — the son of one of Superman’s greatest adversaries — became the unlikely leader of an intergalactic peacekeeping organization called L.E.G.I.O.N., or Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network. Based on the planet Cairn, L.E.G.I.O.N. operated similarly to the Green Lantern Corps, with the primary difference being that L.E.G.I.O.N. charged for their services. Brainiac 2, or Vril Dox, led the network with the help of his girlfriend Stealth. When their super-intelligent toddler, Lyrl, brainwashed most of the L.E.G.I.O.N.aires and orchestrated a coup in L.E.G.I.O.N. #70, by Tennessee Peyer, Arnie Jorgensen and Derec Aucoin, Vril and Stealth had to go on the run. With the help of Lobo, Borb Borbb and Strata, they formed the R.E.B.E.L.S.

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The R.E.B.E.L.S.’s sole mission was to regain control of L.E.G.I.O.N. and stop Lyrl from brainwashing the entire galaxy. Their simple goal was complicated by the fact that Lyrl had framed them for a massacre that left hundreds of innocent civilians dead. Luckily, Lobo was no stranger to living on the lam, and Vril was cold-blooded enough to adjust to the harsh new reality. Their toughness held the team together even when members were literally at each others’ throats. Their first mission as a team was to defend the peaceful fish-people of Ontaeus from Lyrl, who declared war on Ontaeus to extend his reach in the galaxy.

Vril and his comrades initially had the element of surprise on Ontaeus, but they were quickly outnumbered and outgunned by hordes of brainwashed L.E.G.I.O.N. soldiers. The R.E.B.E.L.S. had to retreat. Sadly, the Ontaeans weren’t able to flee in time and were killed by Lyrl’s minions. The tragic loss sent Vril into a depressive spiral. He and Lobo slipped away from the rest of the team and traveled to Raxull, an outlaw planet, where they could drink away their days without worrying about L.E.G.I.O.N. Lobo was more than happy to relax and indulge himself, regardless of the unfortunate circumstances. Unlike the rest of the R.E.B.E.L.S., he was never an official member of L.E.G.I.O.N. He was only there because Vril had hired him, so he was perfectly happy to fulfill that obligation while drinking in a bar full of criminals. But Dox was in no mood for Lobo’s joviality. The two argued and Vril terminated his comrade’s contract, so Lobo left.

Related: How Lobo Became the Justice League’s Most Brutal Member

Without Lobo, Vril was left alone on Raxull to survive assassination attempts and deal with the nefarious John Sin on his own. After losing a finger and infiltrating the Worldbank, he finally reunited with the rest of the R.E.B.E.L.S. Since their separation, the state of galactic affairs had severely deteriorated. Lyrl developed a way to broadcast his mind-control brain waves throughout the entire galaxy.

The team launched a last-ditch-effort attack on Cairn in an effort to stop Lyrl. Luckily, Captain Comet had been organizing a rebellion of his own and un-brainwashing citizens. With his help, the R.E.B.E.L.S managed to overthrow hordes of L.E.G.I.O.N. soldiers and destroy the Mind-Control transmitter. Vril confronted his son and shot him with an energy gun that seemed to rob him of his brainwashing abilities and his super-intelligence. Suddenly, Lyrl’s mind was that of a normal one-year-old.

The R.E.B.E.L.S were called terrorists and hunted across the globe by a power-hungry toddler. The rules didn’t make any sense, so they broke all of them and saved the galaxy in the process. Years later, Dox would be called upon to organize a second iteration of the R.E.B.E.L.S when L.E.G.I.O.N. was overrun by killer robots. Surely, if the peacekeepers ever lose their way, some version of the R.E.B.E.L.S will appear to set them straight again. Vril, Lobo, Stealth and their comrades set a high bar.

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