Comic Book Review: Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2

The Revolution was less than impressed with Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1. Johns has failed to convince me that he understands the Legion given his work with them over on Action Comics. And up to this point, Johns still has not convinced me that he is the man who should be entrusted with the job of “fixing” the Legion.

I fully understand that my love for the Legion and years of bitterness over how DC has continually screwed the Legion ever which possible way has left me a very jaded Legion fan. So, I have a hard time believing that Didio and Johns know what they are doing with this title. Still, it is out of my control so all I can do is hope for the best with this title. Maybe Johns will stun me and win me over with a strong effort on Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: George Perez
Inks: Scott Koblish

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Shakari (I never liked that cheap Dawnstar rip-off.) flying in a blank white void. Shakari says that there is nothing but empty limbo. But, Shakari says that they are not lost forever. Shakari says that the path to freedom is coming. That their Legion will be found.

We cut to the Sorcerer’s World where Mysa (White Witch) is shackled in a dungeon. White Witch then catches glimpses of her sister, Dream Girl, in the Post-Zero Hour Legion and the current Jim Shooter Legion. White Witch then gets a glimpse of Superboy-Prime gathering his Legion of Super Villains. Time Trapper then appears and robs Mysa of her visions of the future. Time Trapper says that Mysa will not access her sister’s precognitive powers. That no one sees the future unless the Time Trapper allows it.

Suddenly, we see Blok punching a huge hole into the dungeon’s wall. In enters Blok, Wildfire and Dawnstar. Blok frees Mysa. The two lovers then exchange some romantic and sweet dialogue about how they love each other and missed each other. Dawnstar snaps that they do not have time for this and for everyone to follow her.

The Legionnaires fly through Mordru’s castle. Wildfire comments how Dawny should cut Block and White Witch some slack. That the two are just following their hearts. Dawnstar says that they do not have time to follow their hearts. White Witch comments that Mordru will pay for what he did to her.

Dawnstar then says that following their hearts took them off the path of rebuilding the Legion. The path that will earn them back the faith of the United Planets. Dawny says that she can see that path and that it is the only path that they can take. Wildfire asks what is the good in walking a path that you walk alone. Dawny snaps that they do not have time for this right now. Wildfire then asks why Dawnstar is shutting him out.

Dawnstar suddenly shouts “No!” Dawny says that the lines are blurring and their paths are crossing. We then see the Legionnaires’ back-up, Ron Vidar, the last Green Lantern, holding off Mordru’s attacks. (Rond Vidar rocks. I always loved his character. Of course, this means that Johns will probably slaughter Rond off in this story.)

The Legionnaires then lock horns with Mordru who is pissed that they took White Witch from him. Mordru then goes on this incredibly long and exceedingly graphic rant about killing Rond Vidar. That Mordru will slit Rond’s throat and hang him upside down like a pig. Then Mordru will use Rond’s stomach lining and teeth to perform an incantation removing all the willpower from the rest of the Legionnaires. Mordru then says that White Witch and Mordru will then feed Rond’s organs to the rest of the Legionnaires, and then White Witch and Mordru will make love while bathed in Rond’s blood. (Seriously? Sometimes less is more, Johns.)

Dawnstar then exclaims that the paths out of here have vanished. Mysa then comments that this is the vision she saw in her nightmare. The dawn of a new Legion. (Sarcastic “Yay!” We so have not seen this about three times before.) Suddenly, Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Super Villains arrive on the scene.

Rond Vidar’s ring immediately recognizes Superboy-Prime from his actions during the Sinestro War where he killed 55 Green Lanterns and Guardian 7. Rond comments that his power ring is afraid.

Mordru looks at Superboy-Prime and asks “Who dares disturb Mordru?” Superboy-Prime responds “Who dares question my dare?” (……) Superboy-Prime tells Mordru that he is about to see Legionnaires die in ways that he never imagined. (And this is exactly why I have never been a fan of Johns getting his Freddy Krueger clawed hands on my beloved Legion.)

We slide back to Legion HQ where Lightning Lad is cussing out Superman for suggesting that they rehabilitate Superboy-Prime. Garth correctly points out that Superboy-Prime is a monster and a killer. Superman responds that he hopes they can help Superboy-Prime to grow a conscience and turn himself in. Superman continues that Superboy-Prime’s planet Earth-Prime was destroyed in the original Crisis. That Superboy-Prime lost all of his family and friends. And then Superboy-Prime was banished to limbo. Superman comments that who knows what that kind of isolation would do to a person.

Garth retorts that they should break the Legion’s code of no killing just this one time while dealing with Superboy-Prime. Timber Wolf agrees with Lightning Lad. Ayla disagrees about killing Superboy-Prime. Cosmic Boy steps in and says that they are not killing anyone. Period. Not now. Not ever. Cosmic Boy gets up in Lightning Lad’s face and asks Garth if he understands.

We cut back to Rond, Wildfire, Dawnstar, Block and White Witch battling Mordru, Superboy-Prime and the rest of the Legion of Super Villains. Rond creates a sphere around himself and the Legionnaires that is holding off the combined attacks of the villains. Rond says that he cannot keep the shield up much longer.

White Witch then summons her strength and conjures up a stargate back to Legion HQ. Rond says that he will stay behind and hold off the villains for as long as he can. The Legionnaires refuse to leave Rond behind. White Witch exclaims that she cannot keep the stargate open much longer. Rond them grits that if the Legionnaires won’t leave on their own then he will make them leave. Rond then uses his power ring to create a giant shovel that pushes the Legionnaires through the stargate.

The stargate closes and Rond stands alone against the assembled villains. (Great. I knew this was going to happen.) Superboy-Prime comments that Rond is the last Green Lantern and that Prime hates Green Lanterns.

We snap back over to Legion HQ. Lightning Lad lists all the terrible things that the Legion has been through that we read about over in Action Comics. Garth says that it is time for some hard decisions. Cosmic Boy retorts that he makes hard decisions every day while leading the Legion. Cos asks Garth if Garth thinks that Cos has it easy. Garth snaps that Cosmic Boy is leading the Legion to extinction.

Imra steps in and tells Garth to take it easy on Cos. Garth snaps for Imra to stop always taking Cosmic Boy’s side in everything. Garth points out that the three of them were founding members so why is it that Cosmic Boy is always the leader. Why does Cos always put all the burden on his shoulders.

Cosmic Boy blasts Lightning Lad with a magnetic pulse. Cos screams that he always assumes the burden so that it is not on Garth or Imra’s shoulders. So that Garth and Imra can have a life together outside of the Legion. Lightning Lad stammers “I’m sorry.”

Cosmic Boy continues to vent that he has given up his life and his relationships so that Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl may have one. Cosmic Boy emphasizes that he has to pull the Legion back together because it is too damn important. (Wow. That was a really good scene. This was the best scene that Johns has given us up to this point.)

Brainy then alerts Cosmic Boy that four Legionnaires have just appeared in the lobby. The Legionnaires rush to the lobby where we see Wildfire, Dawnstar, Blok and White Witch. Dawnstar tells the rest of the team what happened on Mordru’s planet. That Superboy-Prime showed up along with the Legion of Super Villains. Dawnstar says that Rond is still there holding off the villains.

Cosmic Boy tells Mysa that she must create another stargate so they can go rescue Rond. Mysa doesn’t know if she has the energy to do so. We cut back to Rond putting up a valiant effort against the Legion of Super Villains. Of course, the villains eventually get the upper hand. Superboy-Prime grabs Rond and screams “I hate Green Lanterns!” (Yes, you have said that already.) Superboy-Prime breaks Rond’s hand.

Universo then steps forward and states that he does not care about his son’s life. (Rond Vidar is Universo’s son.) But, Universo does want the power ring in Rond’s possession. Rond stammers that the ring will never be his father’s to have. Rond then spits in his father’s face. Superboy-Prime then snaps Rond’s neck and kills him. (Of course. I am so psyched that John brought back to life a cool character like Rond who was retconned away years ago just so that Johns could slaughter him off. Sweet.)

Superboy-Prime then says “One down. Like a zillion to go.” (And to be sure that Johns is going to slaughter off many more characters before this story is over.) Universo reaches down to take the power ring off of Rond’s finger. Suddenly, the power ring flies off Rond’s hand and zips past Universo and blasts off into space in a search for a replacement. Universo is pissed that they let the most powerful weapon in the universe escape. Cosmic King retorts that they already have the most powerful weapon in the universe: Superboy-Prime.

Mordru then attacks Superboy-Prime exclaiming that he will not follow a Superboy. Superboy-Prime shrugs off Mordru’s magical attack stating that it tickles. The rest of the villains tell Mordru that they all might disagree on many things, but they all agree that the Legion must be destroyed. That this is a temporary alliance. Mordru agrees to join Superboy-Prime’s Legion of Super Villains.

We cut back to Legion HQ where Mysa tells the Legionnaires that Rond is dead. Garth asks Superman if he still thinks that Prime has a conscience. Dawnstar says that she can sense the villains’ path and that it is headed right toward the Legion. Brainy then pulls out the small lightning rod from the JLA/JSA Lightning Saga story arc and says that it is time for them to divide into teams and show the universe how smart Brainiac 5 truly is.

We shift to Rond’s power ring flying through space unable to find a replacement. The ring then flies to a desolate dead planet where a shadowy hand grabs the ring. The hand then tosses the power ring into a huge pile of other power rings. The shadowy person says “Mogo…you are missed…like all the others.”

We slide over to Happy Harbor in Rhode Island which is the JLA’s original headquarters. Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl and White Witch enter the old headquarters and begin searching for a mystic crystal globe. They find it and Brainy says that this device will serve as a catalyst for White Witch to establish contact with the Legions of two worlds.

We zip over to the Time Institute where Wildfire, Dawnstar and Polar Boy are searching for something. Polar Boy radios Brainy and states that they really should be telling Superman what they are doing. Brainy responds that their trip to the 21st century must remain a secret from Superman.

We then cut to Mon-El and Shadow Lass picking up Rond Vidar’s body and taking him to Oa. Mon-El says that Brainy thinks that they will find help on Oa. That the person they are going to seek help from is a Daxamite so Brainy thinks that the person might listen to a fellow Daxamite in Mon-El.

We shift to Superman and the rest of the Legionnaires just about to lock horns with Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Super Villains. We cut back to Brainy, Phantom Girl and White Witch all around the crystal globe. Purple smoke appears and suddenly the Post Zero Hour Legion appears in the room and so does the current Jim Shooter Legion. Unfortunately, the crystal globe blows up in the process and now they have no way to return these two Legions back home.

Brainiac 5 then addresses the two other Legions and informs them that they are facing a threat that could eradicate all of their universes. The current version of Brainy calls Brainiac 5 “grandpa” and refuses to listen to him. The Post Zero Hour Brainiac 5 disagrees and suggests that they listen to the older and wiser version of Brainiac 5. The three Brainy’s then begin bickering between the three of them.

We then cut to Sun Boy getting drunk and watching Superman brawl with Superboy-Prime. Sun Boy comments that “At least a fire is burning somewhere.” Superboy-Prime rants that he is going to kill Superman and all of the Legionnaires and then he is going to destroy the Earth. We see Time Trapper watching the battle through a mystic portal.

We shift to Mon-El and Shadow Lass arriving on Oa. They take Rond Vidar’s body to where the giant lantern battery and the huge pile of power rings are located. The shadowy figure appears and tells Mon-El and Shady to give him Rond’s body and then to leave Oa. Mon-El states that they are here to ask for help in avenging Rond’s death.

The figure responds that he is unwilling to help. Shadow Lass demands to know who the shadowy figure is. The figure steps into the light. It is Sodam Yat. (Uh, that’s it? Such a huge build up for a rather minor character? And on that is not even related to the Legion on top of that.) Sodam Yat introduces himself and states that he is the last of the Guardians of the Universe. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 was an average read. I do think that most comic book readers will probably find this to be a more exciting and interesting story than I do. Johns does deliver a nicely plotted issue. Johns is weaving an enjoyably complex story composed of multiple plotlines. All of the plotlines are rather interesting. What is particularly impressive is how Johns has managed to deftly juggle such a massive roster of characters. Johns is doing a good job making sure that most of the characters have a purposeful role to play in this story.

Johns quickly breaks up the large roster of the Legion into several teams that provide for several interesting plotlines. We have one team working on bringing the other versions of the Legion to their world. Then we have another team on Oa trying to convince Sodam Yat to join their cause. And then there is the team that is being sent back to the 21st century. This is the plotline that interests me the most. I have no idea where Johns is going with this, but I am sure that it is going to be exciting.

Johns also does a fine job continuing to build off of the Lightning Saga story during the JLA/JSA team-up. It appears that we are finally going to learn just who or what the Legion trapped inside of the small lightning rod. Since Wally made his dramatic return during the end of the Lighting Saga we know that is not the speedster in the lightning rod. And since Barry has made his own return during the events of Final Crisis we know that he is not the speedster in the lightning rod. That only leaves one person left: Bart Allen. And since Bart is from the Legion’s time period I think that Bart would be a natural fit with the Legion. Plus, we are already overloaded with Speedsters in New Earth’s present day era.

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 was a rather fast read. This issue never drags or gets bogged down. Of course, it helps that Johns stuffs plenty of furious action in this issue. We get plenty of brawling that should satisfy most action fans.

For the most part, Johns crafts some solid dialogue. While some of the Legionnaires talk in a bit of a generic voice, most of them have nicely developed voices. The character work is average. But, to be fair, Johns is working with such a massive roster and only has five issues to tell his story. It would be unfair to expect Johns to crank out strong character work like what we get on titles that center on solo characters or teams consisting of just six to seven members. Johns at least manages to hit on the stereotypical and traditional personality traits of the various Legionnaires.

Despite my general displeasure with the concept of exhuming the corpses of all the previous versions of the Legion, I have to admit that it was pretty cool to see the two different Legions together in the same scene. As a life-long Legion fan, this was definitely a scene that I never ever expected to see in a DC comic book.

It was also wonderful to see all the different old school Legion villains in Superboy-Prime’s Legion of Super Villains. I saw characters that I never thought I would see again. The incredible cast of characters in this version of the Legion of Super Villains presents a delightful Easter egg hunt for Legion continuity buffs.

I enjoyed the opening scene to Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2. I found this to be an excellent way to kick off this issue. It was fast and exciting and it was full of drama and action. Johns certainly grabbed my attention immediately and got me sucked into his story with ease.

It was nice to see White Witch and Blok together again. I always liked those two characters. And we have not seen Blok since the Legion got rebooted during Zero Hour. And I never liked any of the versions of the White Witch that we have gotten since the re-boot and the three-boot.

I am a huge fan of Wildfire and Dawnstar so I was glad to see Johns giving those two characters plenty of panel time. These are two more characters that were virtually ignored since the Zero Hour re-boot. Out of all the Legionnaires, Wildfire and Dawnstar and probably the two that I think Johns has the best feel for. Johns did a fine job picking up on the strained romance that exists between these two characters. Despite the romantic feelings between the two, there was always an ever present aura of tension and friction that often led to the couple having much heartache.

I absolutely and completely loved seeing Rond Vidar once again and slinging his power ring. Rond Vidar is a fantastic character who was created by Jim Shooter, Mort Weisenger and Curt Swan. Rond is a classic Legion character who has pretty much been ignored since the Zero Hour re-boot. The version of Rond Vidar that we only occasionally saw after the re-boot was much different. He was not Universo’s son and was not a Green Lantern.

It was just fantastic to see this wonderful classic Legion character back in action once again. It is an absolute shame that Johns had to unceremoniously junk such a great character in Rond Vidar. At least Johns let Rond go out in a blaze of glory. There is no doubt that Johns presented Rond as a selfless and brave hero.

The best scene in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 was the one between Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad. That was simply excellent. Of course, I am a little biased when it comes to Cosmic Boy. But, the fact remains that Johns did a wonderful job delving into the relationship that exists between the three founding members.

Johns displayed an excellent feel for Cosmic Boy’s character and why he does what he does for the Legion with unrelenting passion and dedication. It was a pretty powerful moment when Cosmic Boy just unloads on Garth about how he has always assumed the burden of leadership and sacrificed his own personal life so that Garth and Imra could have a life together.

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 had some truly gorgeous artwork. I have to first openly disclose my love for George Perez. Perez is easily my all-time favorite artist. Over my comic book reading life, there is simply no other artist who can match the body of work that Perez has compiled during his career.

Perez does a wonderful job with the art in this issue. Perez has an attention for detail that is rarely found in other artists. Perez willingly dives into double page splash shots that would make most other artists curl up in the fetal position and cry.

And what beautiful double page splash shots do we get in this issue! We get a couple of them and they are just jaw dropping stunning. I would recommend buying Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds just for George Perez’s breathtaking artwork. And I almost never recommend buying a comic book based on the artwork alone.

The Bad: Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 certainly had numerous defects. Even though this issue moves quickly due to all the furious action scenes, the fact remains that this is actually a slow story. Johns tries to disguise the fact that the story is lumbering along by delivering so much action and employing very short and abrupt scene changes in order to give the sense of chaos and plot progression.

However, in reality, the story itself does not progress all that much in this issue. We have gone two issues and all that has happened is that Superboy-Prime has gathered together his Legion of Super Villains and Brainiac has pulled the two versions of the Legion into their world. Of course, this slow unfolding of the various plotlines should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Johns’ work. We all know that Johns is in love with decompressed storytelling.

Johns has utterly failed to present an intriguing villain to this story arc. Mordru was poorly written. I know that Mordru is a huge Legion villain and an extremely bad guy. But, I found that Johns went a bit too far with his dialogue with Mordru. The dialogue was so over the top and hammy that I expected Mordru to twist his moustache and cackle “Mwuh-ha-ha-ha.” I found myself chuckling at Mordru’s overwrought dialogue. And I do not think that is the response that Johns wanted to elicit from the reader.

Superboy-Prime remains the main villain of this story arc. And that is unfortunate for me since I find Prime to be an incredibly boring and one-dimensional villain. Prime is quite possibly one of the most tiresome and lame villains that I have read in a while. And I liked Prime during Infinite Crisis. It is just that he is a one trick pony and his act is getting stale fast. A story is only as good as the villain and I think that Prime will end up being the Achilles ’ heel of this story. I know that Prime is supposed to be a brat. I get that. But, that does not make Prime’s horrid dialogue any less cringe inducing. Prime’s dialogue just grates on my nerves.

I was incredibly disappointed that Johns slaughtered off Rond Vidar. It just serves to remind me that Johns is simply bringing back all these various versions of the Legionnaires so that he can butcher them at an alarming pace. The body count in this story will probably eclipse the number of dead Titans from Infinite Crisis. It also appears to me that Sun Boy is being set up to be a martyr near the end of this story. And I hate that fact since I have always liked the Pre-Crisis Sun Boy.

The hook ending to this issue was a total flop with me. Sodam Yat? Really? That is the big surprise? A very minor character with no history at all with the Legion? I mean, Yat barely even appears over in Green Lantern Corp. I would have much preferred Johns pick a character that at least has a history with the Legion. Or maybe swerve us and have it be a character from the Green Lantern Corp that people actually know and care about like Guy or Kyle.

Maybe Johns will get me to change my mind over the course of the next few issues concerning the inclusion of Sodam Yat and the Green Lantern Corp. But, at this moment I am not sold. We have gotten more than enough of the Green Lantern Corp during the Sinestro War and we are slated to get a huge helping of the Green Lantern Corp in DC’s next big event in the Blackest Night. I do not think that we also needed to get more of the Green Lantern Corps over in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds.

The plotline involving Sodam Yat and the Green Lantern Corps would have read better if this was a Green Lantern title. Unfortunately, last time I checked, this story was supposed to be about the Legion. Not Superman. Not the Green Lantern Corps.

I have continually gotten the distinct impression that Johns does not truly get, understand and love the Legion like he does the Flash, Green Lantern and Superman. Johns already relegated the Legion to the status of second class characters over in Action Comics as they were completely subordinated to Superman. The inclusion of Sodam Yat into this story just feels a bit like Johns shoehorning one of his pet characters into the Legion’s story for no real reason. And the plotline involving the future of the Green Lantern Corps appears to be getting more weight and attention than the Legion’s future. I just do not think this is the time and place to be addressing the future of the Green Lantern Corps.

Johns already has more than enough on his plate with the three different versions of the Legion. That alone presents more than enough plotlines and characters for Johns to work with. I do not see where this plotline involving the Green Lantern Corps is necessary at all. I would much rather that Johns just focus all of his energy and attention on the three versions of the Legion and do his best to try and present a classic Legion tale.

Overall: Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 was a very ordinary read. I simply do not think that Johns is the proper writer for the Legion. Now, I fully understand that as a life-long Legion fan my impression of this title will be radically different from non-Legion fans. I would expect that non-long time Legion fans will probably enjoy Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 more than me.

I think that the inclusion of Sodam Yat and the Green Lantern Corps was a wise move by Johns in an effort to make this title have more mass appeal. Sodam Yat played a large role in the Sinestro War. And the Sinestro War was a wildly popular event. And the Green Lantern Corps is a popular franchise at the moment and will be playing a huge role in DC’s upcoming Blackest Night event. So, while this move may not appeal to me, it will more than likely get non-Legion fans excited and more interested in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds.

If you dig Geoff Johns then you will certainly enjoy this title. And non-Legion fans should find this story to be a rather exciting story. Johns has certainly done his job in making Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 very new reader friendly. Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 is a balanced issue that has drama, mystery, action and adventure that should make it appealing to a wide range of comic book readers. This title also has a fun big event feel to it that should give it plenty of mass appeal.

4 Comments

  1. Sodom Yat has a whole lot of history with SuperBoy Prime.
    It would be interesting to see him and Superman trying to deal with Prime in entirely diff ways.

  2. while reading this issue i got the sense that Rond Vidar is going to be brought back to life, and with him the whole GL corps. kinda like a GL:Rebirth 3008, just a hunch

  3. The original lightning rod was intended to put life back into a dead body. Isn’t it likely that Dawnstar and crew are going back to the 21st century to dig up Bart? Where is he buried, anyway? (And where is Conner Kent, just in case they are throwing us a curve?) We can’t rule out Barry in the rod, since in Final Crisis he was running back from the future to catch that bullet, but smart money’s still on Bart.
    The GL thing seems shoe-horned in, but now we have, on Earth, a groups of heroes who will need help–and are used to wearing rings–and on Oa, a whole bunch of rings that need people to wear them and act as heroes. I don’t know if Johns wants that much fun to interfere with his body-ripping, but I’m thinking the Legion of Super-Lanterns might be a blast. And when they are finished, they can give the rings to new lanterns that we don’t have to meet until some other time.

  4. ..

    Obscene. NOT for children.

    This a yet ANOTHER “kill” book. I would hope at the next DC panel Dido is peppered with questions on why every “important” book becomes a GRAVEYARD.

    Obscene, to say the least.

    P.S. If Suberboy Prime gets ripped in half by Black Adam and imprisoned in the Source Wall irrevocably I won’t object.

    ..

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