Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 Review

Before I get down to business I'd like to ask everyone reading this a favour. DC has decided to cancel Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, the Johnny DC comic based on the now-cancelled cartoon, with issue #20. We knew they were going to do it eventually, but this is too soon. There are too many stories still to be told about the animated-series Legion. Therefore I've started an online petition here, and I call upon everyone to go sign it. If there's a decent response I'll send it along to DC.

(And if you're a Legion fan who hasn't been reading this comic, you've been missing out. Sure, it's pitched for kids, but it's the most satisfying Legion storytelling I've come across in a long time. Every issue you get a straight-ahead done-in-one story with some nice touches in it. Don't be afraid of hunting down the back issues, either; it's worth it.)

--

Anyone interested in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds should also be checking the Legion Omnicom regularly, as Michael, the proprietor, is annotating the series. The Omnicom should be everyone's first stop for Legion information.

--

I'm writing this part of the review before having read the first issue of FC:L3W. I just want to establish some assumptions and baselines.

George Perez is drawing the comic book. Perez is great, of course, and I'm sure the art in FC:L3W is going to be just fine. We've seen him draw the Legion before, recently, of course, in the pages of The Brave and the Bold. On that occasion, his art was all right but it didn't knock me out the way I'm used to Perez doing. (Maybe I'm reacting to the inker. That's not fair, is it? If it's great, it's because Perez is great; if it's not, the inker must have messed it up? I don't want to slag the inker unfairly.) So that's our first baseline: is the art of FC:L3W better than that of the Legion issue of B&B?

We know, from various previews and interviews and stuff, that three of the major characters in this miniseries are going to be Superman, Superboy-Prime and Bart Allen. My working assumption, and I seem to recall that it's supported by somebody's statement somewhere, is that the story will be primarily about Superman and Superboy-Prime, and will not primarily be a Legion story.

This is the third large story prominently featuring the version of the Legion introduced by Geoff Johns recently as the original Legion. It seems to me that Johns is being very smart about easing this Legion into the mainstream of DC Universe goings-on: he keeps giving them big supporting roles in major DC titles, and gets people excited about them and used to them. By the time he's done, they should be quite ready to carry their own regular title (should DC decide to go that way), because so many readers will know them and like them. These stories have generated a lot of excitement among fans who miss the original Legion, and many of those fans have declared Johns's Legion to be an unqualified success. I have been a bit more skeptical about things, in many ways, and here's what I think:

- Whatever Johns's Legion's relationship to the original Legion, his Legion must stand or fall on their own merits.
- Johns's Legion has not yet had the chance to stand or fall on their own merits, as they've only been supporting characters to this point.
- When it comes to the Legion, at least, the rule is that the storylines that introduce a new era in Legion storytelling have been quite successful artistically and among readers. It's the subsequent storylines that are the true test of someone's take on the Legion.
- Therefore we won't be in good position to judge Johns's Legion until the second arc of whatever regular series they get.
- Still, we can look at some early indications. On the negative side, Johns has mostly reused old characters and storylines for his Legion. This does nothing to reassure me that his Legion is other than an exercise in nostalgia. On the positive side, he has brought in some new elements, like the notion from the reboot era that the Legion should be ambassadors of diversity in a world of xenophobia. He's tweaked the characterization of some of the Legionnaires, like Lightning Lad, Blok, Brainiac Five and Polar Boy. He seems to have something in mind for where all this is going. And it's clear that the majority of fans are willing to go along with Johns on all this, which certainly counts for something.
- But none of that will be resolved in FC:L3W.

FC:L3W is a big crossover. Big crossovers tend not to be very good. Sometimes you're lucky if you can actually identify a coherent storyline in such a comic book. That'll be another baseline: is there a real story here and is it at all interesting?

George Perez is on record that he wants to try to draw every Legionnaire ever in this series. That's nice and will provide us with hours of amusement as we try to spot them all, but it has nothing to do with how good the comic book actually is. It's a story, not a checklist or a Where's Waldo? book.

Many of us are expecting this series to fix the Legion Problem. It might or it might not. I'm going to be very interested in whether it does, and I will be commenting on it, but, again, nothing to do with how good the comic book actually is. And I think that's an important point! What do we want from these freaking comics, anyway? Story? Art? Heroism? Characters? Humour? Action? Spectacle? Emotion? Even, and I can't believe I'm about to say this, nostalgia? All of those are legitimate and fine; if you want any or all of those elements to be part of your comics-reading experience, you've got my support.

But, continuity mechanics? No.

Not that there's anything wrong with tinkering with continuity. In a complex serialized universe like DC has, sometimes it's unavoidable. But it's not our problem. It's the writers' and editors' problem. It's okay by me if they want to fix the cosmic plumbing of the multiverse in a comic I'm reading, but it had better not be the only attraction. I am, after all, paying for this.

--

Now that I've read it, let's see what the first issue has for us:

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Time Trapper yoinks Superboy-Prime out of his time and sends him to the future to exterminate the Legion. Superboy-Prime blunders around a little for a while, but eventually figures out where he is, and hits the Superman Museum to learn a little about his surroundings. Eventually he decides to destroy everything, and goes to Takron-Galtos to get help from the Legion of Super-Villains. They greet him as a messiah, and set everyone free on Takron-Galtos, killing all the guards and stuff.

Meanwhile, the United Planets is debating kicking the now-xenophobic Earth out of their club, and disbanding the Legion while they're at it. R.J. Brande shows up to inject some sanity into the proceedings, but just as it seems the Legion is about to carry the day, Leland McCauley shows up out of nowhere and assassinates Brande. McCauley quickly ages and dies himself, indicating that he was a tool of the Time Trapper.

Phantom Girl, Lightning Lass and Shadow Lass bust Mon-El out of the Phantom Zone and start him on the road back to good health. Sun Boy is still not himself after the events of the Action Comics story. Legionnaires are also searching for Chameleon Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, the White Witch, Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, Matter-Eater Lad, Tellus, Quislet, Sensor Girl, and maybe some others, but with no luck yet.

The Legionnaires are debating whether to disband when they see on their monitors a giant flaming S-shield on a burning Takron-Galtos, and summon Superman to help. Superman identifies Superboy-Prime and Brainiac 5 proposes calling in the reboot and threeboot Legions. Superman states that the only way to deal with Superboy-Prime is not to beat him, certainly not to kill him, but to redeem him.

Review:

Well, that was much better than I was expecting! And I was expecting it to be pretty good!

Where to start?

Broad strokes: the mission Superman sets out for the Legion, to redeem Superboy-Prime, is a) worthy of Superman, b) sensible, c) a possible interesting setup for Superboy-Prime joining the Legion someday, and d) an excellent subject for a major superhero comic-book crossover series. So, that alone makes this issue a success: the first issue of a five-issue series isn't good for much other than setup, so all you can do is judge how well the setup was done, and if it looked like it was worth doing. A+ on both counts here.

Perez's art is up to his usual superlative standards and I do in fact like it better than that issue of Brave and Bold.

I have said about Lex Luthor (bear with me here) that the struggle between Superman and Luthor was whether Luthor could destroy Superman before Superman could redeem Luthor. Also, Luthor, like Superboy-Prime in this issue, has been somewhat concerned about how history would treat him. What McCauley (who is, like Superboy-Prime, a tool of the Time Trapper) says about Brande in this issue, that Brande cheated him out of his role as the greatest human industrialist on Earth, could have come straight out of Luthor's mouth as a complaint about Superman. Meanwhile, Superboy-Prime talks about Smallville and Superman's past as though it had nothing to do with him. He says that Superman was an ugly baby, but after all, he must have looked the same. What I'm getting at is that this comic book is associating Superboy-Prime more with Luthor than with Superman. Which is doubly interesting because of their connections to Kon-El. I wonder if we're working up to some kind of revelation that the Time Trapper is really Lex Luthor... After all, Action Comics #864 (the one with Batman, that was #864, right?) seemed definitely to hint that the Time Trapper was now more of a Superman villain than a Legion villain.

The more I think about that idea the more I like it. Think about all it would mean! Superman vs. Luthor is the key conflict of DC Comics. If Luthor is the Time Trapper, then that means that Superman was never able to redeem him. Not even by the time eternity comes to an end! But it's not a defeat for Superman, because look at what the Trapper is doing: he's still trying to wipe out the Legion, Superman's legacy. It actually explains a lot!

While I'm on a roll I'll make another prediction: Chameleon Boy, one of the missing Legionnaires, is not exactly missing. He's deep undercover. And he's going to reveal himself at a key moment in issue #3 or #4 of this series, in the best Chameleon Boy tradition. (Chameleon Boy, I have decided, is as close as the 31st century can come to Batman. Well, original-recipe Cham was, anyway, and I'm assuming Johns is going to use that characterization. Reboot and threeboot Cham aren't quite the same.)

This issue recreates a couple of origin stories: Superman's rocket crashing to earth, and the assassination attempt on R.J. Brande in the presence of Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy. In this case, both end tragically, and with the deaths of the older mentor figures. Not sure what to make of it yet; maybe future issues will develop this.

Now, this business of Superboy-Prime being redeemed. First, note that Saturn Girl said, when pleading the Legion's case, "I have peered into the minds of those that hold onto hate and I have seen the potential to change that. We can bring out the best in them, just like Superman brought out the best in us." There's the plot of your series right there, but we didn't know it when we read it. That's something that your good writers will do: they'll use the parts of their story to help out the other parts of their story, and not let you know that they're doing it.

It's easy to imagine that Superboy-Prime, unlike Luthor, is achievably redeemable. He was a hero, after all. Sure, he's crazy, and he's killed Frith knows how many people, but he's got the seeds of Superman in him. It can be done.

As for who's going to do it, well... we've seen the Legion take on Kryptonian-level characters before and help them along towards heroism. Kon-El, Supergirl (in the threeboot), Superman-X, and of course Superman himself have all been in this position. Of course, it's not quite the same thing: what Superboy-Prime has done is worse than everything the others did put together. Plus, there's this: Superman had to learn the nuts and bolts of superheroism, of using his powers effectively, from the Legion, while the Legion in turn learned about goodness, about heart, from Superman. Superboy-Prime doesn't need help in learning to use his powers; all his problems are in the heart area.

Still, the Legion does have a lot of people around who can help Superboy-Prime. Like him, Blok and the White Witch have been villains. Like him, Mon-El has spent a crazy long time in interdimensional exile. Like him, Andromeda has struggled simultaneously with redemption and tremendous power. Like him, Shadow Lass has had to deal with inner darkness. Like him, Brainiac 5 and Matter-Eater Lad have struggled with madness. Like him, Sun Boy is now dealing with having given up on being a superhero. There's help available if Superboy-Prime is smart enough to accept it.

Speaking of Sun Boy. Anybody else notice that the conversation between Sun Boy and Polar Boy had echoes of their interaction in the infamous downfall-of-Sun-Boy story in the Five Years Later era?

Remember I had that theory about how threeboot Mon-El was the same guy as Geoff Johns's Mon-El? Oh well; wrong again. If his dialogue on the last two pages is any indication, anyway.

There's one image in this comic book that I keep coming back to. I swear it must mean something but I can't think what. It's the tablecloth on page 2. It's got a black-and-white check pattern. It could mean nothing at all, of course, but I wonder. Is it a reference to the pattern DC used on their covers in the '60s? Does it allude to a perceived 'sees-the-world-in-black-and-white' worldview of Jun and Mara? Does it imply that the conflict of this comic book is a big chess game? If there's anything there I swear I'll figure it out.

Perez's promise to show every Legionnaire ever... I'm not going to keep count; I'll leave that to others. Still, it was nice seeing Myg in this issue. One Legionnaire I was sure I wasn't going to see was Superman-X, and I still think I'm not going to see him, but there was a real chance to slip him in there in the Superman Museum scenes. Oh well. Hey, the Superman Museum's a neat place, isn't it? Or it was, anyway.

A note on the big panels featuring the reboot and threeboot Legions on the last two pages: they each show Legionnaires from all across the histories of those two teams. They aren't snapshots of any individual moment for either one. If they were, there'd be discrepancies galore--Leviathan and Kid Quantum I appearing in the same picture as Shikari and Gear, for instance. Or Atom Girl, Dream Girl, Dream Boy, Sun Boy and Supergirl all at once. Not a mistake; just poetic license.

Okay! So!

Let's keep our expectations in check for the second issue. First issues are notorious crowd-pleasers; second issues are trickier. There could be a bit of consolidation but that's okay. Perspective.

This was a good start. If the rest of the story can live up to it, FC:L3W will be one to remember for a long time.

Your comments? Anything I forgot to discuss?

Labels: ,

29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was over 300 names on the TV series petition. Perhaps you can use that petition if its still around as well to buff up the fact the 31st century comic still has a following for this legion?

6:58 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think that would involve a few tenuous assumptions.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Cristiano Silva said...

Just from the beginning, when I've read that Superman suggested to redeem Superboy-Prime in LO3W #1, I've instantly remembered about another history; not from DC, but from Marvel. I'm sure, Matthew, that you remember the old and very good X-Men saga entitled "The Dark Phoenix Saga" of John Byrne.

In my paperback brazilian edition, there was a special part with commentaries of the editors, registered when they were planning the whole saga. What I've noticed the most was the commentaries about the decision of killing or not Jean Grey. They wondered: could we let her live after she, as Dark Phoenix, has destroyed an entire planet, with billions of people on it, even if it was a natural instict of a super cosmic being, i.e., just to feed? In the end, they've decided that she needed to die because of this; letting her live in the end of the saga could be the wrong decision, a very "easy" solution.

So, that's what I've instantly thought about redeeming Superboy-Prime: is this right? Hasn't he destroyed an entire planet in Countdown series? You know, just to make it clear: I, as a christian, believe in Redemption, but also in Justice. There are a lot of crimes that Superboy-Prime need to answer for. Won't Superman bring Superboy Prime to Justice because of his actions (I'm not talking about death penalty here)?

These are the thoughts I wanted to share here. What to you think?

And congratulations for this review. It's really very good, insightful and complete; a very "professional" job. ;-)

Regards,

Cristiano.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks very much.

Note that you're comparing two things that aren't quite the same: an editor's debate over whether to let Phoenix live, and a character's debate over what to do with Superboy-Prime. An editor's job in this case is to protect his brand, the Marvel brand in Phoenix's case, and to ensure the comic book has integrity and saleability. The character only has to behave consistently.

Which is not to say that DC doesn't *also* have the editorial debate. (These are the same DC editors who invited Terror Firma to join the threeboot Legion.) But Superman can't be held to the same standards as Jim Shooter.

Besides, Superman's decision here is a practical one as well as a moral one: he knows by now that fighting Superboy-Prime just isn't going to get you anywhere.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Cristiano Silva said...

Hi!

In fact, my intention was not to compare Superman's decision with the editor's choice, yet I've cited Marvel editors to introduce the idea - but ok, my fault, I didn't make myself clear. I was intending to talk about the character, about a redemption of Superboy-Prime that some people are considering, after reading LO3W #1, as being possible to happen, i.e., making him "good" again, in the same way it was thought once a possible "redemption" to Phoenix/Jean Grey.

So, it's the question they made about her that I'm wondering: how the character Jean Grey, made good again, could live with the memory of killing billions of people? How Superboy-Prime, made good again, could live with the same type of memories?

Maybe, it's more like a Hal Jordan's like question then... for him, the solution was that he was possessed by an ancient evil entity - so, it was not in fact the Hal we know. What about Superboy-Prime? I don't see that a simple "making him good again" would be a simple solution for a genocidal like him.

Thanks,

Cristiano.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I see what you mean.

Well, in Jean Grey's case, didn't they give themselves the out that Phoenix and Jean are two separate entities? (Which actually makes the Hal Jordan comparison a good one.)

Superboy-Prime doesn't have that excuse. It was all him. (Unless we find out that it wasn't. But I don't really see that happening; how many times can Johns go to that well?)

A lot of people are speculating that he'll sacrifice his own life in some way to redeem himself. That would work, although it's pretty cliched.

Maybe Saturn Girl could wipe his mind.

I think the best approach is for them to do it the hard way. You killed a bajillion people and we'll help you get through it. Morally, it's quite tricky, but... well, what do we want from our prisons? Punishment or rehabilitation? If it's rehabilitation we want, then it's just as sensible to have him in the Legion's custody as anyplace else, especially if they can get some use out of him. If it's punishment (also tricky, since a) he's a minor (isn't he?) and b) he's freaking insane), then, well, how do you do it?

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Legionnaires have a lively debate on this topic.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Cristiano Silva said...

"Maybe Saturn Girl could wipe his mind."

No, enough of mind wipes in DC hehehehehe

"I think the best approach is for them to do it the hard way. You killed a bajillion people and we'll help you get through it. Morally, it's quite tricky, but... well, what do we want from our prisons?"

Yes, we have prisons for that. But, you know, they didn't put the Nazis on prison, they sentenced them to death, I mean, the "big" ones like Goering and Rosemberg; because for them it was not a simple matter like going to prison. And they were also insane in their way, in their idea in how the world should be "arian".

And it's Superboy-Prime, a crazy billions-killer...

"I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Legionnaires have a lively debate on this topic."

Yeah, like us: since it seems no prison can hold him, and fight will lead to more fighting, what to do? Superman approach to truly redeem would be the better solution, no doubts, the problem would be gone. But I still don't know...

Well, ok, maybe I'm making this subject greater than it really is. The fact is I'm really glad that such a great issue like LO3W #1 was released in the first place. Anyway, thanks for discussing and congratulations again for the blog.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks again. And, no, you're not making too much of it. It's an important topic. Maybe one of the fundamental topics of the superhero genre.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous peter vandeneng said...

*SO* glad someone else noticed the 5YL parallel in dirk's brooding.

i'm just betting that, months or years from now, i'll stumble on an earlier appearance of sonia and aad'm.

LLL!

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something I do note about the 31st century is that when season 2 ended, the comic promised to write a 3rd season. New costumes, everything. If they end with 20 issues, they are going back on that. The current storylines only concern themselves with 2nd season stuff.

All I know is they made a lot of fans happy when they said they'd continue the series, those fans are upset now. When the TV series ended they had all moved over to them as a way of keeping a dying flame alive. I guess thats life.

For the most part, I'd like to see how the storyline handles the three Legions. A lot of people are watching this. In the past when they've done simulair things (Reboot Legion Vs Time Trapped and the Legion variants) its always been confusing. I'll say this much though, I'd forgotten how big reboot was in comparison to threeboot. Man... That makes threeboot feel insignificant, and I've only just learnt to love them.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Peter: I just hope that's not the end of the 5YL content in this series. Legion storytelling has never been so powerful as it was then.

anonymous: When your comic comes out twice a month for six years, you can pile up a lot of history. It's one of the (early) reboot's strongest points: quantity brings with it its own quality.

4:34 PM  
Blogger snell said...

Anyone else notice Myg's statement, "I was briefly a member, following in the steps of Val Armorr until his return."?

Taken with Star Boy's comment during the Lightning Saga that Val had already died once, it appears that in Johns' version of 1.0 Legion (1.5?), KK was killed and later resurrected. How, and by whom? Magic? Cloning? Another damned lightning ceremony? The Time Trapper?

(Nutsoid theory: Trapper resurrected Val but with a morticoccus infection, as a way to destroy the Legion and their whole era. Brainy cleverly sidesteps this by sending KK to the past and leaving him stranded. Of course, this would be a colossally stupid move, because that would destroy the Legion's past. Unless Brainy knew somehow that KK would end up dying in an alternate universe. OR this Legion 1.5 isn't from "New Earth's" future, so he protected the Legion's present by sending KK to an alternate past...Legion 1.5 is from the 31st century of Earth-2, or 8, or Pi...)

Anyway, John's clearly has a plan here, but I'm damned if I can see it...

10:43 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't know anything about the morticoccus - didn't read an issue of Countdown - but the Karate Kid thing doesn't trouble me at all.

Chronology:
- LSH #1-4. Karate Kid dies fighting Nemesis Kid.
- LSH #12 or thereabouts. Projectra rejoins the Legion as Sensor Girl.
- LSH #18 or thereabouts. Crisis on Infinite Earths. Last contact between Superman and the Legion for a long time.
- Sometime after that in the 30th century. Karate Kid II joins.
- Sometime after that in the 30th century. Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy use a time machine to save Karate Kid an instant before his death. They rig it so that this isn't obvious to anyone who was there when it happened. Karate Kid returns and rejoins the Legion in time to take part in the Lightning Saga.

Simple.

11:36 PM  
Blogger snell said...

But if we except that chronology, the begs the question, "why?" As in, why use the time machine to rescue Karate Kid? Was there some particular reason they needed him, or did they just miss him?

And more importantly, if they did that, why not resuce Ferro Lad "an instant before his death?" Why not Chemical King or Lyle Norg? If they have the "get out of death free" card, why play it only once, and why only for Val?

9:06 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Maybe they did!

I certainly suspect that that's what they did for the third of Triplicate Girl that got killed by Computo, and that's where Una came from.

4:37 PM  
Blogger snell said...

Except in Countdown, Una confessed to having a long-time crush on Karate Kid, and of course the third of Triplicate Girl was killed before KK ever joined the team...

Oh, Countdown, is there nothing you can't ruin??

8:04 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I'm sure there's a way around that. Especially if the Una-third was allowed a brief reunion with her other two-thirds before leaving for Countdown.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...And this is why they went for reboots #2 and #3. To wipe away these messes. Not to mention this there is all this mess without even mentioning the storyline with the Phantom Girl/Phase/Apparition thing.

The most notable thing I can say is that with one of the reboots, someone mentioned the problem with the Legion was their size. Every writer has to learn 30+ background sories before they start writing. Eventually, because of the cast size things hiccuped every so often.

I think, the SW8 batch (sorry if the names wrong, memory is asleep this morning) causes a lot of confusion for some of the much newer Legion fans. (E.G. "Where do they fit in?"). Their comic book they were given, I must admit, feels pretty detached from the normal storyline yet they existed at the same time or something.

I must admit though, the one thing I have never been able to explain is the countdown storyline to some of the newer fans. Countdown really shook the whole DC storyline, but not always did it result in good results. I would love to see the whole thing in a chart someday explain the confusion, haha, but whoever did that would have their work mostly cut out for them.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That may be why they went for the reboots, but it didn't, doesn't, and won't make reboots a good idea.

I just wanted to have that said.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Darrell Lawrence said...

Mon-El should kick Primes butt from one end of the universe to the other!

2:25 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

You'd think so. And yet it bet it's going to go another way.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

a few things..

love this blog

love the adv 247/ shooter/levitz/ giffen team

the original mon-el and ultra boy are (or should be) both at pre-crisis power levels and more than a match for superboy prime (superboy and the legion # 205 anyone?)

also, in the 5yl storyline (also a big fan of at least the early giffen 5 years works)the shrinks on labyrinth were able to reorient mekt ranzz's homicidal pathologies and make him a productive member of the lightning plantation's staff, trusted by his former foes taken in by imra and garth and treated like a member of the family...


granted superboy prime is a bad egg, probably the worst egg, but there is precedent in the 30th century (or one variant of the 30th century) for precisely that kind of reconditioning..

of course legion of three worlds depicts a massive prison break on takron galtos (a planet chewn up and spat out during COIE) so labyrinth might not be a viable option

still, its a thought.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks very much.

I'll buy Mon-El as a match for Prime, but Ultra Boy has to do all the switching back and forth and that just won't work against Prime. And they've left themselves an out with Mon-El; he's still a little weak from the Zone and the lead poisoning.

Point taken about the advances in criminal rehabilitation in the future, but they still have to get him to stand still and take his medicine. And if he won't do it then he won't do it.

(Seems like 5YL was crawling with reformed villains: Mekt, Roxxas, Saturn Queen, Spider Girl...)

8:03 AM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

inevitably it depends who is doing the writing, but Ultra Boy did just fine against the servants of darkness, the five dev-em clones, the controller's thug and the teen of steel himself in the aforementioned Superboy & the legion #205 so i wouldnt write him off out of hand...

and they COULD always drag dev-em himself out of whatever limbo the former knave-from-krypton-turned-secret-agent-ladies-man has been ensconced since COIE and have him thump on prime as well

4:31 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Now that you mention it, I'd be surprised if we didn't see Dev-Em.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

I notice they conspicuously destroy the phantom zone projector otherwise it would be a short series..


also figure duplicate boy from the heroes of lallor would mop the floor with prime if they really needed a foil and couldnt think of anything better...

7:28 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I dunno... didn't I read somewhere that Prime has already escaped from the Phantom Zone once?

As for Duplicate Boy, I don't think Prime has anything to fear from him. Because Duplicate Boy is, as Bugs Bunny would put it, a maroon.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Finally got this over the weekend. Three things came out at me:

* I've come to not really like Perez' artwork over the past decade, much like I don't much like Byrne's any more. Don't know if that's the inkers (self-inking usually for Byrne) or I've simply reached my limit. (I would like to see Romeo Tanghal on Perez again some day, just to be sure.) But this was better than most of the recent Perez work I've seen.

* The splash images of the other two Legions really made it apparent to me: although I grew up on the Levitz Legion and would love to have that continuity again, the reboot Legion is the one that holds magic for me, with both touchpoints from the prior continuity but also realms never broached before, just like a reboot should work. And for the threeboot, I reach way down to the bottom of my soul and I felt... nothing. (Sorry, Broadway moment.) The only time they have really clicked for me was when Supergirl was a member.

* I still remain terrified of the bulk of issue #3, since that's where the killing will occur. No one escapes a Crisis unscathed -- we know this at DC - - and Superboy-Prime has (a) ripped through the Titans (taking off heads, arms, and cleaving bodies in two) and (b) ripped open Captain Atom/Monarch and destroyed at least Earth-51 and maybe it's entire universe. This raises the thread, of course, of how many Legionnaires can be "acceptable losses" -- representative of the danger without being a bloody purge.

I say a max of 8 can die without it being too much (that's out of 60): no more than three from any given team, although any number of Luornu's equal a max of 1, and similar for extra reboot Tinya bodies. No more than four maimed/depowered but otherwise alive, too. Preboot Sun Boy is going to be one, and I expect XS will as well (since a Flash always dies in a DC Crisis, and if they get Bart back, she is "expendable"). Shikari is also likely, if Johns is a Dawnstar purist. From the threeboot, Element Lad is a cipher and wouldn't be missed, but the black Star Boy is probably safe. Several LSV will bite it as well, although none of the big three.

Superboy-Prime, of course, will be redeemed at the end of #4, and then die taking out the Time Trapper in #5.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

You may be right about any or all of that... but I hope not.

2:21 PM  

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