Friday, March 1, 2019

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #5, Part 1

Well, it is the beginning of the end for me as I start the review for the final issue of Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #5.

This has been something of a wild ride for me. When it was solicited, I could remember being quite excited about this. I was a bit awash in Legion continuity as the Threeboot book was happening, Geoff Johns had brought back the original group, and I was coming off my decade away from the team.

I was hoping for a deep Legion continuity dive. I was hoping for an untangling of continuity. I was hoping for fun.

Instead I got this.

This book has a lot of Titans stuff going on. The Legion occasionally seem like guest stars in a Superboy Prime book. And the plot careens along hoping the reader can keep up. I was hoping for a breath of fresh air. Instead I felt like I was trying to breathe through a straw filled with oatmeal.

All that said, the art is about as glittery as George Perez can be, flitting between massive double page splashes and intricate tiny inset panels.

So will it all be tied up neatly in a bow? Will we get the finale we deserve?

Superman and the original original three are at the end of time fighting the Time Trapper who has been revealed to be Superboy Prime. The time has come for action. And at this nexus point of all times, Imra has telepathic access to all the Legionnaires from all the time lines.

I thought this was a great page showing our heroes in a sort of Hypertime, glimpes of prior timelines and prior covers visible in portals. That's a Steve Lightle Superboy! There's Computo attacking Luornu!

Back on Earth, the Legions, Conner Kent Superboy, and now Sodam Yat all converge on Superboy Prime hoping to keep him at bay.

I like how Yat manifests other Lanterns in his beam attack here.

But most of all I wish Perez had a chance to do a Laurel Gand book. I guess his New 52 Worlds' Finest with Power Girl was sort of close.

Meanwhile, Imra contacts Brainy and tells him that the Time Trapper is indeed Prime. What's worse, since they are in the far flung future, the Trapper knows history and knows that this skirmish with the 3 Legions ends with the fall of our heroes.

I suppose this is all timey-wimey. And I know the Legion has done crazy stuff in the past to change futures. So I can't imagine Imra truly thinks this is set in stone.

But Prime is Prime and you just can't seem to keep him down. I have never liked the character. Well, I guess I haven't liked him since Infinite Crisis. (His more innocent beginnings in Crisis on Infinite Earths were fine.) This series has made me loathe him more.

And Johns just makes him too unstoppable to be interesting. An entire 3 Legions, Superman, and a Daxamite GL can't even slow him down?

Here he seems to kill one more hero. This time my favorite, Wildfire. Drake seems to sacrifice himself, running interference so Prime can't kill Dawnstar.

We've seen Wildfire blow through a million suits though. This isn't death.

Meanwhile, Mordru, having killed and absorbed Kinetix, is flush with another universe's magical energy. He then uses his new might to drain the Legion of their powers and refuel the fallen Legion of Super-Villains.

We always knew it was going to come down to a fight between Mordru and Mysa. She says a sacrifice is needed and so she gets to work.

Remember above when I said the plot kind of careened along? The LSV is one aspect of that. We are talking the entire rogue's gallery of the Legion joined Prime and Mordru. And yet, a couple of issues ago, they seemed to vanish. At least here Johns throws in one line saying they were all defeated and unconscious. But seems like their defeat and revival is a big chunk of plot to just dismiss that way.

Folks who come here should know that Wildfire is my favorite Legionnaire. Here, the Reboot Wildfire has mended the Retroboot Wildfire's suit, containing him once more.

I love the on again/off again, doomed relationship between Dawny and Wildfire. So I liked this moment where she pauses to say she needs him.

And I like the other Wildfire seeing that, maybe realizing he can find love as well.

In the Legion's time, Conner blasts Prime with heat vision, searing a scar into Prime's chest. In the Trapper's time, that scar manifests on that Prime's chest.

Suddenly Imra realizes that time is mutable. If injuries they are inflicting in the 31st century are becoming apparent at the vanishing point, then the Legion can make a difference.

We then get a little more exposition from Brainy. The Trapper can see some futures. The Trapper might only be focusing on the one he likes. Furthermore, the Trapper might be different people. The Time Trapper is a manifestation of a timeline fighting the Legion's path. As a result, different avatars can hold the role - Prime, Rokk (I suppose), a Controller.

I think the idea of a Timeline being the a manifestation of a rogue timeline and not an actual being is an interesting one. But again, a little tough to wrap my head around. At least it is an attempt to explain the various Trappers we have come across. But the point is that could have been a focus of this whole mini-series. Instead it is one line in one tiny inset panel in the last issue. If you skim read, you probably missed it.

So yes, in case you can't tell, focus is something of a problem with this book.

But now the time has come to attack the Trapper and defeat him once and for all. The original three know their powers can open up the time portals at the nexus and bring in reinforcements!

So once more, perhaps for the third time (maybe 4th?) in this series, we get a double page splash of all the Legionnaires coming together to fight. And we get all the Legionnaires!

Look, it's head band Kara!
It's Kent Shakespeare!
It's Cockrum Brin!
It's 5YL Laurel Gand!

Yep, let your eyes drink them all in!

As for the Mordru battle, he continues to blast away, nearly killing Blok from the inside out.

Mysa does sacrifice something ... herself. She takes Mordru and all his evil into herself, becoming the Black Witch, barely controlling her new impulses.

Poor Mysa. Ever naive. Ever innocent. Always doomed!

But the plan seems to be working.

At then end of time, the myraid of Legions and L.E.G.I.O.N.s hammer away on the older Time Trapper/Prime.

And this time, he actually succumbs to the attacks and is knocked out!

How could I not include a panel of Supergirl giving the Time Trapper a right cross to the kisser!

Suddenly Brainy is hit with an idea. The Original Three should take the Time Trapper back in time to confront Prime in the middle of the fight.

I know I have been damning this series. But here is one moment that I really truly loved.

In the midst of all this battle at the end of time, the young, original three, still in their original costumes (Rokk in a helmet? Imra in Yellow,black, and green?) see their older, wiser selves. And then they realize that Brande's dream does come true. They become heroes.

It is that sentiment of optimism and heroism that defines the Legion. These were the continuity zingers I was hoping to see throughout this.

And so we close the front half of this last issue.

Will Johns be able to tie up this story in a satisfying way in the few pages he has left?

We're now 4.5 issues into this 5 issue mini. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Wildfire is my favorite too, along with Jo & Tinya (both apart and together), Timberwolf (LOVE that Cockrum uniform), and Polar Boy.

    I agree that the story careened along, and that the LSV's threat-level was inconsistent. The George Perez art was fantastic. But so many Legionnaires got so little screen time. Again, the mini was a great idea with underwhelming delivery.