Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 Review

Countdown: After this issue, we only have eight Legion comics left to look forward to (4 LSH, 3 FC:L3W and 1 LSH31C).

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The White Witch is Mordru's prisoner on the Sorcerer's World. A team of Wildfire, Dawnstar, Blok and Green Lantern (Rond Vidar) show up to bust her out. Unfortunately, this happens at the same time as Superboy-Prime and his new Legion of Super-Villains arriving to recruit Mordru into their club. There's a fight, and Rond sacrifices his life so that the others can get away. (We also learn that Rond had a son at some point.) Meanwhile, the Legionnaires back on Earth argue for a while about Superman's plan to redeem Prime, and then deploy on some missions of Brainiac 5's conception. Mon-El and Shadow Lass go to Oa (with Rond's body, and just behind his GL ring) to try to persuade Sodam Yat, the last GL and the last Guardian, to help out. Phantom Girl, the White Witch, and Brainiac 5 go to the Justice League's old cave in Rhode Island to summon the other two Legions; this is successful and leads to some entertaining backchat between the Brainiac 5s. Polar Boy, Wildfire and Dawnstar time-travel back to the 21st century for some reason we don't know yet. And most of the rest of the Legion, including Superman, fights the LSV in the sky over Metropolis, and, early on, it doesn't seem to be going well.


Perez's art is everything I could ask of it. And let me just point out again how many little panels there are. When you do that you can afford a splash page every now and then.

The story is still in startup mode, as Legionnaires are sent off on missions that haven't concluded yet. Nevertheless, there is a complete story told in this issue: the death and funeral of Rond Vidar. He goes on a mission, sacrifices his life to achieve it, and in the end Mon and Shady bring his remains to Oa. Still: is every issue of this series going to be (partially) about the death of an original-Legion supporting character? Anyway. I guess that's about what an issue-2-of-5 should do.

I am assuming that the main plot of this story is the redemption of Superboy-Prime. I may be wrong but it looks to me like that's how things are set up. No progress was made toward that goal in this issue; Prime's only interaction with the Legion so far has been fighty. Although one could see the Legion's (grudging, for some Legionnaires) acceptance of that as their goal to be a very preliminary kind of progress.

I'm not sure what to make of the introduction of Sodam Yat into the story. With Superman and three Legions in the story, not to mention the hinted arrival of Bart Allen, do we really have room for him? It's only a five-issue limited series! There was some speculation about just who the other 31st-century Green Lantern would be, and I guess there still is, since people want Rond's ring to go to somebody. I've heard the names Celeste Rockfish, Cary Wren, Jordana Gardner... One person on a message board said Kinetix should get it, and that's actually a pretty good idea. Or here's another: Brainiac 5. (Any of them.)

A couple of things I mentioned in my review of issue #1 and want to follow up on:
- I speculated about the Time Trapper being Lex Luthor. I still like the idea, but I have another facet to add to it. What is the Time Trapper? He is entropy. He is the heat death of the universe. He is what you get when all the stars die out. And for some reason he hates the Legion. The Legion are sponsored by R.J. Brande. R.J. Brande's business is making new stars. Of course there's conflict there!
- I speculated that Chameleon Boy was deep undercover someplace. Well, of course he is; that's what you do with Chameleon Boy in a story like this. I now also think that Element Lad and Dream Girl are probably working with him somehow.

Brainiac 5 tells the other two Legions that "we're facing a threat that could not only eradicate our universe, but yours as well". Just what does Brainy know that the rest of us don't? How is Superboy-Prime a threat to the other two universes? Or does Brainy suspect the Time Trapper? Or is there something else? After all, as far back as the Lightning Saga, Brainy was mentioning the 'Crisis of the 31st Century'...

Another bit of dialogue that struck me as key: Lightning Lad saying, "If the Legion is gonna survive, we gotta change who we are. And that means we gotta make some hard decisions." I wonder if that's just Garth telling Rokk and Brainy, or if it's also Johns telling us.

I'm still getting used to Johns's takes on these characters. Sometimes his interpretations bring welcome changes: Saturn Queen, for example, seems like a much more useful villain character now*. Or Polar Boy. Most of the time, he's writing them closely enough to their classic portrayals that any differences can be waved away as just the differences in style between Johns and (for instance) Levitz. Sometimes, as with the threeboot Legion, he's simplifying complex characters for ease of use. But there are also some that don't work for me at all, and I'm thinking of Lightning Lad and Blok. They're just not like that.

- "Look. Up in the sky."
- my guess for the mother of Rond's son: the White Witch.
- I wonder how many, if any, of the LSV are already planning to betray Superboy-Prime. I also wonder how many are going to be around by the end of the series.
- presumably, the preview of this series in DC Universe #0 takes place toward the end of this issue.

Still on track for a great series.


* although I liked her better 5YL when she married Tenzil.

Membership Notes:

So, was Rond Vidar a Legionnaire or not? It's not quite clear. I'm assuming 'not', but then I assumed that about Yera as well. Also: Dream Boy, Sun Boy, Dream Girl, M'Rissey and Cosmic Boy didn't show up with the threeboot Legion. I don't know if I should have expected them to or not, but they didn't. (Yet Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl did. I wonder what that's all about.) Plus, Andromeda turned up as part of the reboot Legion. But how?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy was in one panel of the Teen Titans/Legion cross over where they faced the fatal 500. Abid she has no interactions (like Gates) she was just *there* in one panel.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Did you also tell me this over on the Omnicom, or was that a different anonymous? Anyway, thanks; I still haven't gone to see for myself. (And even if she was in the Special, I don't know why she was.)

6:38 PM  
Blogger snell said...

At the risk of sounding cantankerous, so far the better title for the series would be "Legion of One World With A Couple Of Double Page Spreads Of The Other Two As Cameos."

Really, other than the three Brainiacs arguing, the other two Legions haven't done anything at all, and have barely even appeared, 40% of the way into the story. Green Lanterns have had more face time than the other two Legions, for heavens sake.

Granted, part of that is Johns' usual slow-slower-slowest method of pacing an arc (7 issues for Hal Jordan's "secret origin??"). And it's very obvious with which Legion Johns' interests/loyalties lie, which should give pause to anyone expecting anything from reboot or threeboot to survive this.

It's an entertaining enough story so far, and I love the Perez work...but calling it LO3W so far is like calling a story a JLA/JSA team-up when the JSA doesn't show up for the first two issues...

7:31 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, yes. But:

a) we knew it was going to be like that going in, and
b) there are so many characters in this story that Johns can't focus on them all, so he has to pick a few, and he can't please everybody.

So I'm more worried about how well he does what it is he's doing than I am about what it is he's doing. For now, anyway.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I expect him to focus on the "current" DC universe storyline Legion more then Threeboot or Reboot. As least they did something this issue.

I've not been able to comment on the actaul issue until today since its the first time I've made it to a comic store. Suprise Legion:FC is selling so well he had 20 copies and already ten were on reserve for someone. So far, despite its downs its been one of the better FC comics as far as I can make out.

Unfortuntly, the reaction to White Witch comfirms were able to loose some of our beloved characters. I'm already thoerizing who will die and will not. Part of me added "I'm expecting both Blok and White Witch to die" to the list.

matthew: sorry about that, with the world of the internet I'm so used to seeing people with the same name it didn't click. I'm embarressed mostly. I blame internet games (reglaurly MMORPG) where things like "Hunter1356276" and "Hunter987433" is a common sight.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Nothing to be embarrassed about; I'm glad to have the information here too.

I'm hoping we don't have too high of a body count in this series. For a few reasons. First, I think it's unnecessary. Second, I like these characters and quite naturally don't want them to die. And third, if too many of them get killed off in a short span of time, it's just asking for someone to resurrect them all down the line and bring back the same old confusion.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found Supes comment about Prime a bit weird (the being in Limbo stuff), considering Mon-El was standing right there and he never turned bad after all that's happened to him.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It is an obvious connection to make, isn't it? But I wouldn't be surprised (as I pointed out in my review of the first issue) if that and some other things the Legionnaires have in common with Superboy-Prime are touched on as part of the redemption process. Assuming there is a redemption process.

But remember: Superman sees Superboy-Prime as a younger version of himself, but he looks up to Mon-El. It's not much of a reach to think that Superman would believe Mon-El capable of handling something Superboy-Prime couldn't.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Off-Topic: The state of Georgia is preparing to execute a man whose guilt is very doubtful.

Appeals can still be made to the state board of Pardons and Paroles via

4:24 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

After thinking about it for a while, I've decided to leave that comment up. But in general I don't care for things that are that far off-topic. The mandate of this blog may be ridiculously narrow, by any reasonable standard, but that's the way I like it.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see how redeeming Prime would work. Plus, Ligthning Lad sort of gave it away Prime's fate when he said "make him the Legion's new Superboy?". I think it will just come out of the Legion of Super Villians falling apart.

White Witch said also that the Threeboot Legion are the ones who make a difference. If that was the case, then Threeboot perhaps doesn't rush in to help straight away (perhaps: none of their business? These guys are used to fighting for their own causes) while Reboot help without question (they'd put down their lifes to save other's without question). Then maybe after Threeboot's had a little been of convincing, enter the fray. I'm wondering if Reboot will make Retroboot Legion tie with Prime's group but not lack the power to stop them, but Threeboot will push the tide against Prime.

Either way, we've got three mor issues to redeem Prime in and then deal with the Time Trapper. The Time Trapper bit will be the last thing to happen.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't really share your take on the threeboot Legion. I mean, they're not the Legion of Neutrals or the Legion of Social Activists; they're the Legion of Super-Heroes. If there's trouble, they'll help out, full stop.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Sorry to bother you--I almost didn't post that on any of the non-political blogs I frequent.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It's okay. If you want to do something like that on here in the future, though, please ask me first.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew: I don't see themn as neutral, just a little rebellous. Though their the same age roughly as Reboot Legion, they are not the same Legion. Retroboot is your classic heroes, friends and comrades who are trying to shwo the universe what unitity is. Reboot is trying to show the universe what Heroism is. And Threeboot is showing what the youth an do. Okay, there is more then it to that, it is the simplest way I can put it.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That's fine, except that [i]whatever[/i] the threeboot is trying to do, they're trying to do it [i]through superheroism[/i].

(And I'd like to point out that the reboot Legion were championing unity long before the retroboot Legion was a gleam in Geoff Johns's eye.)

5:42 PM  

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