Monday, February 09, 2009

Hit Me with Your Guest Shot

I held back some of my A material from that review because I also used it as a guest on this weeks Legion of Substitute Podcasters podcast, which was about FC:L3W #3 and related topics. Paul, Darren, Ric and Matt were kind enough to invite me to discourse on various and divers topics over their bandwidth with them, and I had a good time. I make a point of listening to their stuff every week and you should too. This week's is a long one, so pack a lunch.

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Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 Review

Countdown: Two Legion comics left.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Mon-El talks Sodam Yat into stopping feeling sorry for himself and helping out the Legion. The retroboot Legion's fight against the giant group of bad guys is going badly until the other two Legions show up and help. Superman tries to reason with Superboy-Prime but gets nowhere. Brainiac 5 diverts some of the Legionnaires away from the fight to summon Bart Allen out of his lightning rod. Casualties: Karate Kid II and threeboot Sun Boy.

Meanwhile, Polar Boy, Dawnstar and Wildfire, in the 20th century, steal a hair from Lex Luthor, back when he had any.


One thing that this issue brought home to me was the timespan covered by this series. It looks like the five issues, all together, probably fit into not much more than a day or two. (And when you consider that Mon and Shady flew all the way to Oa and back in that time...) I guess that's good. Makes for some immediacy, keeps things moving.

George Perez continues to be George Perez. One panel that struck me particularly was the one in the bottom left of page 19; three Legionnaire silhouettes in the Smallville evening sky.

We do actually get some motion on the redemption plot this issue, which I appreciate. Glad they haven't forgotten it. I wonder what has to be done to get Prime to shut up and listen for five minutes. Could Phantom Girl do it? He can't hurt her, after all, or at least I don't see how he could.

One complaint about this story. Earth-Man should be, right now, the most powerful being ever to exist. He's been in proximity to Superman, Superboy-Prime, Mon-El, Sodam Yat, Ol-Vir, M'Onel, Andromeda, Mordru, and several dozen other members of four different Legions of superpowered beings. He should be able to end reality with a thought. But does he? No. He's nowhere near as tough as he was in Action Comics.

That's because, for the most part, this is a Chumbawumba fight: everybody gets knocked down, but they get up again; nobody's going to keep them down. (Sun Boy and Myg are the exceptions.) Don't you think that if you were one of the characters in this fight, you'd take steps to make sure your opponents didn't reenter the fray? Somehow? I don't mean that the Legion should be cutting throats or anything, but they should have some provision for keeping these clowns in custody.

There's been a lot of speculation about what Polar Boy wants Luthor's hair for. All I'll say at the moment is that I have not been shifted away from my idiosyncratic wild theories.

I don't like the way 'Sub' has become an insult.

It's become interesting to see which Legionnaires Geoff Johns writes consistently with their previous portrayals and which ones he doesn't. So far, I'd say that he's way off on retroboot Lightning Lad and Blok, and I don't like it. He's slightly off with retroboot Brainy, but I don't mind it, and he's got a very different take on Polar Boy, which I do like. His Wildfire is a bit too moony over Dawnstar, and his Dawnstar is far more dedicated to the Legion than she ever was before, but that's okay. I don't like his threeboot Brainy, but he seems to have Gates down pretty well.

There's been some speculation that Superboy-Prime is going to be the villain in the new Adventure Comics. I'm against that. You know one thing that would prevent this miniseries from being one of the all-time classic stories? If it didn't have an ending. Which is to say, if there was no change to the status quo for these characters, especially Prime, after #5. Be it never so skillfully told, I don't want to read five issues of churn.

Anyway, it's coming along. Still looking forward to #4 and #5.


More thoughts about the general state of the Legion, in the wake of #50 and Dan DiDio's comments at NYCC.

Basically here's what I figure is going on. DC is good at accomplishing their top priorities, and at doing so with, at worst, some level of artistic plausibility. DC is not good at giving their full attention to their lower priorities. In this model, the weekly comics and Final Crisis have recently been among the top priorities, FC:L3W has been a priority but not quite at the top, and LSHv5 had become a very low priority. As such, FC:L3W has been pushed around on the schedule and LSHv5 has ended up taking it in the shorts.

I'm sure DiDio and everyone else at DC weren't happy about what happened with LSHv5 #50. Look, if we thought it wasn't good, they must have thought the same thing. And their colleagues, both at DC and at competing comics companies, must also have thought that. You think DC wants to look bad in front of all those people? But, at this stage, they didn't have much choice. The only way for them to play it was, “Here it is. Let us never speak of it again.”

It's not a good situation. I think it's a shame that the threeboot was reduced to this. But, having said that, what I really want to know is what we get coming out of this. If it's just a one-buttocked time-share in Adventure, and that's all, then it's not worth it. If there's something bigger than that for later on, something well-conceived, then maybe. Still won't change the fact that DC really dropped the ball on the threeboot, but the Legion is bigger than any one version.

One problem that the threeboot has is that it lacks that one tour-de-force centrepiece story that everyone loves and knows is an all-time classic. The original Legion has Great Darkness, the reboot Legion has Legion Lost, and the threeboot has... what? The Lemnos arc? Good story, but not that good. And there'll never be a better candidate, now. Might have been, might have been.

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