Friday, February 15, 2019

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4, Part 1

There is more behind us than in front of us when it comes to Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds! Here we are at Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4! This issue is just as crazy as the prior ones. Lots of action! Lots of words! Some death! And finally the Time Trapper!

As has been the trend in this book, I feel more like I am riding the wave of this story. A lot is happening fast. I am on a shifting foundation, just trying to maintain my balance. And I am hoping not to fall. I am sure this all made perfect sense to writer Geoff Johns. But to me, it is like a series of quick interludes with not much solid story. Maybe it all comes together in the end.

The George Perez art has also been a constant on this book. His work here is as impressive as any book of his I have read. There is so much action. There are so many characters. The story is so bananas. I hope Perez got paid by the pen stroke. He'd be a millionaire! (Hmmm ... come to think of it, he is retiring!)

Still, this has been a bit too wild for me to say it is a great story. I wanted so much from this. But at times I feel lost. I suppose that makes perfect sense given it is linked to Final Crisis, the most inscrutable of the tent pole crossover events.

On to this half of the book.

 We start out with Starman in the present.

He had been hanging out for some time, worming his way into Justice League and Justice Society stories for a bit. It was clear he was unhinged, raving at times. And I was waiting for the reasons for his time trip and his insanity to be revealed. Last issue, we heard that somehow Starman's costume was a map of some sort.

Here, we see him walking through a graveyard, counting out steps to get to his target.

And now he begins unearthing the grave of one of the Kents. Why doesn't he say that name Martha??? Maybe it's Pa.

Will we get a satisfactory explanation of this violation of Pa's grave?

 Back in the future, we see that the main villains of the piece have been boiled down to Superboy Prime and Mordru. It seems like a little bit too much of a legerdemain by Johns. Yes Prime is a powerful villain, requiring many Legionnaires to hold him at bay. And yes, Mordru has also fought the entire team to a standstill. But where are the rest of the LSV? It seems implausible that the fight can be focused just on these two villains while ignoring everyone else.

Still, it is great to see Superman sock Mordru in the face.

And I love that Mysa isn't curled in a ball somewhere crying. She is trying to mobilize her powers to fight her captor.

Last issue ended with Brainiac 5 bringing back Kid Flash from the Speed Force. We see Bart battering and pummeling Prime with XS at his side. Why we needed Kid Flash in particular? I don't know. Other than his being a favorite of Geoff Johns, there is no reason for Bart to be here.

It only makes it more confusing in my mind. Even Light Lass is confused.

Brainy does give some exposition here. But it is similar to last issue's exposition. It is a long explanation ... that unfortunately doesn't make sense.

Here Brainy tells us that Bart needed to be tossed into the Speed Force so he wouldn't age dramatically. Now Brainy has removed Bart's 'adulthood' like a cancer so he can exist without rapid aging. Hmmmm .... okay ....

At the very least, Bart isn't able to defeat Prime on his own. Superboy is still an unstoppable machine. Even the joint blasts by the Ranzz's barely slow him.

Throughout this, we keep hearing Brainy, the Retroboot Brainy, talk about his ultimate plan.

There is one more 'nail' the Legion need to get to stop Prime. One more piece to his solution. Hopefully his doppelgangers' built Legion rings as as good as his are.

At this point we are about 30 pages away from the end of this mini-series. We are adding another side mission?

I suppose we are to think that this quiet conversation can happen because all the other Legion members are fighting the other members of the Prime's LSV off camera.

Because this issue all we get are Mordru and Prime.

Here Prime is able to hold off Kid Flash and XS, the Ranzz family, a Daxamite Green Lantern, and now Superman and the Legionnaires Three.

I get it ... he's powerful.

But I am kind of sick of Prime and his whining.

I do love that last panel though. Cool upshot heroic shot of our original Legion members!

Since the very beginning of this mini-series, we have known that The Time Trapper is the real big bad, manipulating everything from behind the curtain of time.

Finally ... FINALLY ... he decides to enter the conflict.

Reaching out, he grabs Superman, Cos, Lighting Lad, and Saturn Girl.

Nice array of inset panels by Perez showing the shock on the other Legionnaires faces when they realize that the Trapper is also fighting them.  And great panel of the giant mummified hand snaring our heroes.

But, as always, as a reader, this far into a mini-series that I am barely following in any deep way, I found myself thinking 'how the hell is Johns going to end this??'

Finally we hear the Trapper's plot. Similar to his inserting his Pocket Universe Superboy into history, the Trapper realizes he needed to replace the inspiration of Superman from the Legion's history.

So if he can't eliminate Superman, he'll replace Superman with Prime. And then the Trapper will take his time killing his most hated foes slowly.

Nice recap panel at the top harkening back to the end of the Baxter series and the Conspiracy arc.

Still, wouldn't it make more sense to send Prime back in time to kill Kal when he is powerless as a kid in Kansas than try to have Prime dominate in the future?

Am I asking too much?

Meanwhile, back in the future, Prime continues to lash out.

Of course, if you have Prime in a comic he has to kill people. Last issue he shattered a Sun Boy. Here, he blasts Kinetix with his heat vision, killing her.

Now I know I have talked about how I just dislike Prime. But this is such pure Prime that I had to nod and acknowledge it as a good character moment. Only he would say something as ridiculous as 'Hocus Pocus' and 'Ta-da' as he vaporizes someone.

He is so loathsome. This only makes him more loathsome. So I suppose that is a success.

But too make matters worse, Kinetix' essence was absorbed by Mordru. She doesn't even get the peace of the afterlife.

The Retroboot Sun Boy has been drowning his problems in booze. He was used by Earthman to keep the planet under a red sun. His powers depleted and his will power eroded, he has been a quivering pile of self-loathing and impotence.

But after seeing another Dirk bite the dust, it looks like he is starting to stir.

I don't know why he is being so hard on himself. The entire Legion was over-run by Earthman back in that arc. He didn't willingly join the ranks. So this seems like a little self-indulgent angst.

But the battle rages on.

Interestingly enough, one of the Element Lad's has had enough of Prime's shenanigans. Legion code and Trommite ethics be damned, this Jan is ready to kill Prime to balance the universal scales.

He arrives and turns the ground around Prime into Kryptonite. In the past, standard K hasn't hurt Prime because it isn't *his* universe's Kryptonite. But this seems to work. Will Prime finally be brought to heel?

Or will Element Lad be killed?

Well ... you have a week before you find out ... but if you have been reading along you probably have a good idea.


I said this mini-series would kill me to review. Hopefully, after 6 reviews under my belt I have built up some sort of immunity.

What did you think of this glorious mess?


  1. I'm sure Johns just saw this as an opportunity to undo what Didio forced him to do to Bart during Infinite Crisis because Johns refused to kill Nightwing.

  2. "self-indulgent angst"?
    Sun Boy went through a HECK of a lot more than any other Legion member in that story. He was basically used as a flower-making frosting bag to turn yellow sun radiation into red, for who knows how long. I think he earned a bit of time to 'get back to normal'. The physical and mental trauma had to have been enormous.

  3. The Kryptonite-Prime thing made little sense to me even when the explanation was eventually given, for the simple reason that the Prime-universe Krypton didn't explode; it was destroyed when its sun exploded -- ergo, no Kryptonite. Perhaps that factoid skipped Johns' memory...