Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 Review


Zero. That's all for Legion comics; there aren't any more.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

At the end of time, the Time Trapper (revealed last issue to be an aged Superboy-Prime) spars with Superman, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy. Meanwhile, Superboy-Prime and the LSV fight the rest of the three Legions in the 31st century. Saturn Girl manages to communicate with the rest of the Legion and they realize that, despite what the Trapper believes, nothing about this fight is set in stone. They recruit a bajillion other Legionnaires from all over the multiverse and bring them all to the end of time to help stomp the Trapper into a paste. Then, while he's dazed, they bring him with them and return to their own 31st century.

Meanwhile, Mordru has absorbed all kinds of magic from killing Kinetix and is using it to raise hell. The White Witch decides enough is enough and turns to the dark side of the force in order to get enough magic to beat him. This works astonishingly well and she goes on to mop up the rest of the LSV, aided by the other Legionnaires (including Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel, now powered up to be Duplicate Damsel, who both show up for no particular reason).

Superman and the three founders put the Trapper in front of Superboy-Prime, and the two of them immediately annoy each other. Superboy-Prime punches out the Trapper, and both of them disintegrate and disappear. Superboy-Prime reappears on Earth-Prime, where his parents and friends now hate and fear him because they've just read Legion of 3 Worlds.

Sodam Yat returns to Oa to restart the Green Lantern Corps. The White Witch returns to the Sorcerer's World to become the Black Witch. The threeboot Legion returns to Earth-Prime. The reboot Legion resolves to wander the multiverse looking for other survivors of Crisis-type events, and rename themselves the Wanderers, except for XS and Gates, who remain with the retroboot Legion.


I noticed some things about Perez's art this issue that I've never seen before. In a few panels (like the one focusing on the Adventure #247 Legionnaires) it's like he's trying on an entirely new style, and it's a nice one. I can't decide who it reminds me of. Alan Davis? Immonen? Anyway, it's all excellent, of course.

This issue is a feast for those who like to annotate issues like this. Fortunately, I'm not one of them. Moving on.

What are the things worth mentioning here... the Superboy-Prime business, the new Legion status quo, the seeds of future stories. Anything else?

Superboy-Prime first. This comic book has more of a clever ending than a profound ending. Still satisfying, but on a different level. I was kind of hoping that more would be made of the redemption angle, but I guess that was never part of the plan.

Instead it's clever, and in kind of a mean-spirited way. That last shot of Prime in his basement seems to set up a comparison between himself and a) cockroaches and b) fans of DC Comics. There have been times in my life when I've felt more flattered than this. I mean, all in good fun and everything, but it's certainly an odd note to go out on.

The way he was defeated was... it wasn't a copout, and it also wasn't one of the possibilities I listed here. So that's good! Geoff Johns surprised me.

The new Legion status quo. A while ago, Dan DiDio said that after this series, there would be one Legion. It is not so. All three Legions still exist and are distinct, and we've also seen that there's a multiverse full of other Legions, including ones we've seen before. And I'm okay with that. But I wish that DC would stop teaching me not to believe anything they say.

Anyway, it looks like DC's go-to Legion for... well, for whatever they end up using the Legion for from now on; the Adventure backup and the odd guest appearance in Superman or whatever... will be the retroboot Legion, augmented by Gates and XS. But the door is certainly not closed on either of the other two Legions, or for that matter any of the other Legions of the multiverse, any more than it is for a return to active villainy by Superboy-Prime. There's not a lot that's necessarily final about anything that's happened in this series, unless DC wants it to be final. But we all know how that works.

Seeds of future stories. Let's just list them all, shall we? Superboy-Prime versus the threeboot Legion. The Wanderers looking for castaways in the multiverse. The retroboot Legion looking for their missing Legionnaires. Apparently Starman's up to something in the present day on behalf of R.J. Brande. The new Karate Kid. The new Green Lantern Corps. The Black Witch. Say one thing for Geoff Johns, he doesn't short himself on things to do.

It turned out to be more of a Legion series than I thought it was going to be. It was Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5 who came up with the key insights, and the turning point of the battle came when the Legionnaires accessed one of the key features of what the Legion is: their great numbers. I think Kermit the Frog said it best when he said, "That's it! That's what's been missing from the show! That's what we need! More frogs and dogs and bears and pigs and chickens and things!"

A good series. Much better than I was afraid it was going to be, not quite as good as it tried to tell us it was going to be, well above average for blockbuster crossover limited serieses.

I like the Legion of Super-Heroes. I'd buy another comic book about them if DC ever printed one. How about you?

- Lots of typos this issue--Mygg, Shakari, "I can asborb all of their abilities!"...
- When Wildfire blows up he says, "NNRRGG!" which was, of course, his codename during the Legion on the Run era
- That's why Kinetix had to die, and also why she had to have the magical aspect of her powers played up: it was all setup for this Mordru/White Witch business
- "You may want to keep your distance."

I've probably forgotten a lot of stuff I wanted to say about this comic! Oh well; that's what the comments are for.

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