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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