Friday, March 8, 2019

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5, Part 2

Today I review Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5, part 2. This is the end of this mini-series.

Our national nightmare is over.

This mini-series has been like being on the Tea Cup ride at Disney World. It is dizzying. At times it is fun. At times it is nauseating. If you think about it too long, you wonder why it was ever made. And when it is over you say to yourself 'what was I thinking?'

Writer Geoff Johns, I am sure, had the best intentions. But the writing comes in fits and spurts. There are pages and pages of Titans and Superboy Prime. There are mega splash pages. Then there are pages with tiny panels and so much writing that they look like text pages. There is so much exposition to catch the reader up at plot points that have been glossed over. And in the end, there was very little Legion, and very little on page interaction of Legions working together.

George Perez is on art and, well, he is George Perez. The whole thing is beautiful.

I had little recollection of this series, perhaps a sign that my mind shut the whole thing out. I consider myself a savvy reader but at times I was lost. And most of all, I don't think this was what Legion fans were looking for at all. When I finished this book I literally asked myself 'what were you thinking agreeing to review this book?'

So on to this issue.

I may need a week off to recover from this.

Last issue, the Legions battered the Superboy Prime/Time Trapper at the end of time. Using one of the time portals, they bring that version of Prime to the 31st century to confront his 'current self'.

Well the 'current' Prime doesn't like seeing the old version of himself. After all, he thinks he will be eternally young and beautiful. He attacks the old version of himself which causes some 'straight out of Morrison Animal Man' devolution of him, from inks to pencils to thumbnails to disintegration.

Just like that, the threat of Prime is over.

Can anyone say 'deus ex machina'?

I wasn't exaggerating.

Straight out of Morrison Animal Man.

And in an oh by the way moment, we get told that off screen the new Mysa has defeated the entire Legion of Super-Villains. Yeah, that's cool story-telling.

We get a little exposition from Brainy about what the hell happened.

Prime being the Time Trapper was one possible future. When faced with that, it was like a 'giant cosmic reset button'.

I think this guy said it better.

"It's like a ... cosmic rebirth!"

Prime is sent back to a suddenly intact Earth Prime. All the people he thought dead, including his beloved Lori, are alive.

And they have been reading.

Yep, his parents have been witnessing their son's rampages in the pages of the very comic you are holding in your hand. And they can't believe they raised him that way.

Sometimes meta is cool. Sometimes it isn't.

Because so much time has been spent on that stuff, we then get several pages of Johns trying to wrap up the Legion story he has been neglecting. He does it in the form of Brainiac 5's report on the events. So we are told what happened. We do get some side panels to fill in some gaps. But these are narrow panels stuffed with dialogue.

The Legion begins rebuilding Takron Galtos as well as repairing all the damage on Earth.

They still aren't beloved by Earth Gov, making Garth still angry.

But we do get a look at the new Hall of Heroes, filled with statues of all those who died in this Crisis. I would have liked to see more of this. Legion fans love these moments.

But Johns gives us more Sodam Yat instead.

His heart in a better place, he knows he can be trusted as a judge of who is worthy. The rings fly out to their sectors to find ring-bearers.

And a page is given to us seeing the Black Witch ascend to the throne of Sorcerors' World.

Looks like she'll be evil to the evil.

There are still Legionnaires lost out there, including Star Man who is still in our time, carrying the Last Will and Testament of R.J. Brande.

Seems like an odd moment to stick into the end of this book. He had nothing to do with the plot.

But at this point I am so dazed I guess we'll roll with it.

This panel is probably the best encapsulation of my frustration with this series.

In the top panel, it is revealed that the Threeboot Legion is from Earth Prime. That is why that Element Lad's Kryptonite worked on Prime.

This is a big revelation. It explains a lot about the multiple Legions which were currently running around the DCU at the time. It secures their position.

It is a throw away line in a narrow panel. Shouldn't more time have been spent here? This is a Legion mini-series! They vow to look back in time to keep tabs on Prime, now supposedly powerless in the present.

On a souped up Cosmic Treadmill, the Legionnaires decide to head to their universe. But frankly, I am so confused about what Earth is what and which Legion is which Legion and Johns covers it so quickly, I kind of glossed over.

But this Legion crew decides they will roam the different dimensions looking for lost teammates, a new Wanderers.

Hmmm ... okay.

Skeets decides to abandon his universe to stick around in the 'real' DCU with the Johns Legion.

Everyone else gets shipped off.

A 'Long Live the Legion' moment happens. But it didn't give me the fuzzies the way it usually does.

And since this has been as much (if not more) of a Titans book than a Legion book we get two pages of Conner and Bart being reunited with their friends.

As a 'red skirt' fan, I am always happy to see a colorist make a mistake with Supergirl's costume.

But as a Legion fan, I was kind of irked that so much time and emotion was spent on non-Legion plots. Maybe Titans fans and Bart fans and Conner fans got warm and misty here. But I was side-eyeing this. Why was all the wrap-up in the 31st Century relegated to 'Brainy's report', told in a stale manner.

This was supposed to be a Legion book!

And we just can't escape Prime. He breaks the fourth wall, yelling at us that he isn't going anywhere.

I suppose he is the toxic fan we worry about in comics, even back then. And maybe I am a toxic fan given this rather harsh review.

But ultimately, I think this proves the old saying Caveat Emptor. I was the buyer. I should have been wary that Johns would make this less a Legion story and more of a vanity project, bringing back all the things he loves while baiting us Legion fans into parting with some dollars.

And so my friends, I open it up to you. What did you  think of this issue? This mini-series? Am I being too harsh?

At the very least, this assignment is behind me!


  1. I don't know what to tell you, Anj.

    I liked it the first time I read it. I have read it several times since then, and I still like.

    I'm sorry you didn't like. Reading your 2009 bullet reviews back in your blog you considered it flawed, jumbled, but not a "Why did I put myself through this awful torture?" ordeal. I'm sorry a second reading was such a bad experience for you.

    Regardless, "Legion of 3 Worlds" doesn't feel like a vanity "I'm going to bait those Legion suckers into buying my Titans story" project to me. I've never talked to Johns and asked what his goals were with this story, but it didn't feel like a malicious cash-grabbing scheme to me. This story felt merely like he was trying to tell a good story which fixed several then-ongoing continuity issues: he explained the existence of three Legions away, established which was the main one, and gave the other two Legions a "and the adventure continues" send-off, which in my opinion is better than getting killed off and erased from continuity.

    If he succeeded or not, it is up to the reader. Clearly, he failed to your eyes. But I don't think he was being deliberately arrogant or greedy.

    I think he definitely seized the opportunity to fix two then-recent developments that neither he nor many readers agreed with (Superboy's death and Impulse's aging and death), as well as kicking Superboy-Prime out of the main universe (which we should be really grateful for, really. Prime was gone and I think he stayed gone after this story, saving for a Blackest Night tie-in issue written by Sterling Gates. But I may be misremembering). And maybe the history would be better and more focused if Johns would have restrained himself, but I don't think it makes it bad or a Titans story in disguise (not that you have claimed such).

  2. Thanks for your comment. And I am glad you liked it. It actually makes me very happy to know there was an audience who appreciated it.

    Hard to believe I rolled with the jumbled Final Crisis main book but struggled with this.

    Part of it may also be that the 'work' of reviews was so great that I had to split issues in two.

    And, of course, part of it is expectations. I want an Legion book on the shelves. I am craving anything Legion. And this didn't fulfill me from that point of view either.

    Who knows, when (if?) I reread this 5 years from now, maybe I'll be in a better state of mind.

  3. I was disappointed that the whole "We need to redeem Superboy Prime" subplot was just dropped, especially since it could have dovetailed nicely with the "Time Trapper as sentient alternate timeline" concept. After all, Superboy Prime started as a heroic character, and the idea of his descent into solipsistic madness makes more sense if we assume the pre-COIE Time Trapper had somehow infected Prime with his essence before he/they entered the limbo dimension. The "Reset Punch" could have restored Prime to his true self, and all the blame for his omnicidal excesses could be laid at the Trapper's feet. Then we see the restored prime returned to his own world as Earth-Prime's first public superhero, and eventual inspiration of the Earth Prime LSH. Instead we get the sour taste of the unredeemed prime pulling a last-minute Karma Houdini as his powers gradually reboot. Yeah, Earth Prime is screwed...

    (And as I pointed out before, Element Lad-Prime's ability to make Kryptonite that could affect S-Prime makes no sense, as Krypton-Prime never exploded, being vaporized when its red sun went nova instead. So there shouldn't be any such thing as Prime Universe Kryptonite. Wibbly-wobbly inter-dimensionaly timey-wimey, I suppose...)

  4. I actually threw the issues away after this last re-read. Because after that time spent, and your recaps (thank you, it was great to hear other opinions), I have no need to ever put myself through that bait and switch Titans story again.

  5. Think the only thing you're harsh on is the whole Connor & Bart situation. Like yeah Johns wrote Teen Titans & used this book to undo their deaths in recent stories but they just have as much history with the Legion as anyone else tied to the team. It really comes off as a nitpick & I'm sorry for saying that.

    Opinions are subjective though, I liked the mini thought it was a good idea to newcomers on what to expect with the headache that is the Legion. (This was my first Legion story) it has flaws yes but it's no worse than stories that happened before or after this book.

  6. Thanks for comments!

    Perhaps if this was my first Legion story, or early in my Legion life, I’d like it more.

  7. I thought Anj was too nice. This story was a muddled mess. And I use "muddled" rather than a bunch of symbols above my number keys.

    The art was beautiful though.