Friday, February 22, 2019

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4 Part 2

Today I finish my review of the penultimate issue of Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds.

I am exhausted.

It has been hard for me to wrap my head around this series. And Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4 showcases my problems. There is an awful lot of casual death and violence. There is a boatload of Superboy Prime. There is a ton of exposition which should explain just what the hell is going on but doesn't really. Writer Geoff Johns continues to pile more and more plot and reveals into this series making it a cumbersome read.

Perhaps worst of all, so much time is spent filling in this insane plot that we barely have gotten the 3 Legions working together. We have a lot of Teen Titans! We have some Green Lanterns! We have a lot of Brainiac 5 interactions. But most of the Legion stuff seems to be happening as skirmishes in the backgrounds. Maybe we get a couple of panels now and then showing some Threeboots working with some Reboots working with some Retroboots. But not enough. The draw here, for me, was wanting to see these Legions mingling.

Of course, the art by George Perez continues to be exemplary. Perez just shines. It is lovely. And it is a mix of minute panels overstuffed with action and sprawling double page spreads.

But you need to remember this is issue 4 of 5. This book needs to be approaching a conclusion. Instead this book ends with a bombshell revelation. It also reminded me of one of my personal worst moments in Legion fandom. Johns is still adding story! How can he end this in one more issue?

And one more thing. I think it is somewhat damning that I had almost no recollection of this story as I reread for this review. Two major events happen in the back half of this issue, the portion I am reviewing today. I had completely forgotten them. I have to think that is a comment on how I feel about this book overall.

On to the review!

We left our last review with a rather murderous Element Lad (I never thought I would say those words together) turning all the rubble around Superboy Prime into Kryptonite.

Wracked with pain, Prime breaks free of Mon-El and Sodam Yat.

And Prime being Prime, he kills Element Lad, throwing a chunk of green K through Jan's chest.

Nothing says 'Superboy Prime stars in this comic' like a vicious and meaningless death thrown in to 'shock' the reader.

As I said last review, much of the ancillary LSV and LSH characters have sort of faded into the background. Only Prime and Mordru have stood tall.

One thing Johns does do is favor the original three members of both of the main universe Legions. Both the Retroboot Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy as well as Lightning Lord, Cosmic King, and Saturn Queen get some moments in the sun.

With the original LSH trio and Superman scooped up by the Time Trapper, Saturn Queen thinks the triple Legions morale will be crushed. But Mordru gets a vision that the key to the heroes victory is unfolding in Superman's fortress. Prime must head there.

I love Perez's little victory vision in Mordru's head.

You might remember that an away team was sent into the past to get Lex Luthor's hair. I thought it was going to be to restore a Luthor in the future, an evil to combat evil. Will I be right?

I do love how the Brainiacs all continue to just bicker with each other.

Frankenstein as a children's book. No wonder the Coluans are generally a little messed up.

Meanwhile, taking Mordru's cue, Prime flies off at top speed to the Fortress.

In hot pursuit is Laurel Gand and Sodam Yat.

Look, Yat is a Daxamite Green Lantern. His ring's block on lethal force has been dropped. And somehow he can't even slow Prime down.

I just can't tolerate how unstoppable Prime has been portrayed by Johns here.

The plan in the Fortress unfolds. Brainiac 5 inserts the Luthor hair into the Kryptonian regeneration chamber, integrating the DNA into whoever is in there.

All that is left is the right crystal to be inserted.

Thanks to his 'various interactions' with Supergirl, the Threeboot Brainy thinks he knows what crystal to insert. Hey now!

The battle raging outside shakes the very walls of the Fortress. A wall collapses, knocking out the Brainiacs. Prime is about to enter. Someone has to pick the right crystal.

For some reason, Polar Boy says that Dawnstar and Wildfire together have to pick the key. He'll run out and delay Prime.

I have to say I agree with Wildfire here. He should be the one to go out and delay Prime. Polar Boy has a better shot at picking the right crystal than Wildfire. This shouldn't happen. Heck, Polar Boy and Wildfire should go out together.

Instead, it becomes a suicide mission.

It looks like Polar Boy is going to die, his ice hand and Legion ring melted away. But the cavalry arrives. The original Sun Boy brings the heat and joins in the fray.

I do love how Polar Boy was clawing his way to get his ring on his finger, refusing to die without that being on his body. Of all people, he knows the struggle to earn the ring.

Johns has been playing a little loose and fast with Dawnstar's powers. Again, it isn't just tracking. She can 'find the path', the right way to do things to move forward. She picks the right crystal.

And then, we find out why we needed Lex's DNA. Brainiac was revitalizing Superboy! The Conner Kent Superboy! The Luthor/Superman amalgam who died in Infinite Crisis. He fought Prime in that mini-series too.

So yes, this was a big reveal, a big surprise! Conner emerges and immediately brings the fight to Prime.

But at this point I feel this has become less of a love letter to the Legion and more of a vanity project for Johns. He is bringing back all his favorites - Prime, Kid Flash, and now Superboy.

What follows is a nice page split down the middle.

On the left, Superboy fighting Prime.
On the right, Superman fighting the Time Trapper.

The pictures mirror each other as the Superman and Superboy batter their opponents.

And then ...

It turns out that The Time Trapper *IS* Superboy Prime.

I have one thing to say ...

I swear this mini-series is going to kill me.

I must have forgotten this so that I would not rip out my hair.

You may recall, of course, that it was Rokk being revealed as the Time Trapper that made me leave the Legion for the first time in my comic life. Now Prime is the Time Trapper! Maybe I am the Time Trapper!

I have no recollection how this all ends. But this seems like a crazy reveal with a score of pages left to finish the mini-series.

For those of you who have made it through so far, bless you!


  1. "I have to think that is a comment on how I feel about this book overall."

    Hmm... I checked back again your ten-year-old reviews in your other site. Younger Anj seemed to think this series was somewhat jumbled but decent. Or that's what I got, at least.

    "But at this point I feel this has become less of a love letter to the Legion and more of a vanity project for Johns. He is bringing back all his favorites - Prime, Kid Flash, and now Superboy."

    I don't mind Johns bringing Kon and Bart back. Killing them was a dumb idea that he didn't agree with (okay, he threw Kon under the bus to protect Dick, but he didn't agree with it), so he brought them back as soon as possible.

    I'm not sure that Prime is Johns' favorite. I mean, Johns uses Prime a lot, but he is always depicted as a dumb moron.

    "I must have forgotten this so that I would not rip out my hair."

    ...I have no issue with this, either. And I'm someone who thinks Cosmic Boy being the Time Trapper was a real stupid they-were-clearly-running-out-of-ideas move. As you'll find out in the next issue, Prime being the Time Trapper isn't quite true, either. And Cosmic trapper is actually explained away in a way I find satisfactory.

    Anyway, I'm sorry you aren't liking this series. I like it and I reread it every so often, even if I agree it's somewhat messy of a story.

    I don't want to be spoiler-y, but maybe it'll cheer you up knowing you can look forward to several Supergirl AND Andromeda sightings in the final issue?

  2. I reread this before your reviews began, and I've already forgotten most of it. Overall I'd say it was a grand and ambitious idea with tons of wasted potential. And I agree: FAR too much Bart/Kon Teen Titans stuff stealing Legion focus, and a little too much Green Lantern stuff. Though the Rond Vidar spotlight was great.

    I'm sure mileage will vary, but since I never really cared for the Threeboot Legion (despite wishing for improvement and giving the book 3 years of my money), there was a lot of wasted space.

  3. The Time Trapper is Superboy Prime, except when he's a Controller or old Rokk Krin.

  4. I haven't been re-reading this but it is important to point out that Kon-El was associated with the Reboot Legion, so unfortunately, your complaint about his inclusion is a matter of taste. Perhaps if they hadn't already resurrected Bart you might have felt a bit differently but the fact is that the Flash and Superman families were tied to the Legion well before this story.

    The lasting memories I have of this series are how Johns used Light Lass as a valuable member. Her powers were historically one of my least favorite but it takes a writer with an ounce of intelligence to make them useful, as Waid did in the Threeboot and now Johns here in L3W.

    Johns did a lot to try to make Dawnstar more interesting. There was a scene in one of the Adventure backups that saw her piloting a space cruiser. That makes much more sense than her flying beside it in space.

    Regarding the Trapper reveal, it was established in the Reboot that his identity was not fixed. It's all timey-wimey. If you don't like that, blame whoever put it forth. Roger Stern?

  5. I remember loving this series and especially the Perez art, but I remember *nothing* else about it. Besides how much I hate everything they did to Superboy Prime after his first appearance in DC Comics Presents.