Thursday, August 21, 2008

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1 review

Up front, this issue is one massive cocktease.

Okay, it's a long issue but I'm going to keep this short. This is basically the direct continuation of the Action Comics story, Superman and the Lgeion of Super-Heroes. Superman Prime lands in the 31st century, in Smallville on a farm of a very xenophobic old couple. He winds up in the Superman Museum, which details the life and history of Superman. He's greeted by a holographic Jimmy Olsen who leads him around showing Superman's allies, villains, etc etc etc. However, when Prime realizes that he's not included as a major Superman villain, he goes off on one of his tantrums. He's like, "Fuck this shit, man, I fucked that guy up, I get no respect waaaaahhhh!!!!!' But after learning about the Legion of Super-Villains, he finds out the location of the prison planet they're being held on. He burns down the museum, burns down Smallville, releases the prisoners who were all, apparently, inspired by the villainy of Superman Prime and they get their shit together.

Meanwhile, the Legion of Super-Heros is under political attack by the United Planets Council. After the events of Superman and the Legion, xenophobia ia rampant on Earth and humans are being attacked on other planets in turn. Earth is talking about secession and they are all talking about disbanding the Legion. While Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl (God, those names!) are dealing with the UP, Phantom Girl, Lightning Lass and Shadow Lass are in the Phantom Zone attempting to rescue Mon-El while keeping General Zod from escaping. Back at teh UP, the Legion's original benefactor, RJ Brande, returns and does some of his own speecifying in favor of the Legion. However, an od rival in disguide assassinates him right on the floor of the UP. As Brande dies, it's slowly revealed that he was secretly a shape changing Durlan. Damn. When Cosmic Boy goes for the assassin, he crumbles to dust in Cos's hands. There's another mysterious player involved in all of this who wants to see the Legion finished. With that, the Legionaires return back home and discuss their future when they turn to the news and see what's been happening. An emergency call is sent out to Superman back in the 21st century and is summoned to their time. They all see the giant S symbol burning on the prison planet, Takron-Galtos, the one that Superman Prime has assaulted to release all the villains. With God knows how many villains on the loose, and the Legion in disarray, Brainiac 5 gets the idea that this is going to require contacting the Legion of two other worlds and bringing them in on the fight. Everyone is cool with the idea, but one final thing Superman notes is that this isn't going to be about killing Superman Prime, this is going to be about redeeming him.

All told? Set up, set up, set up.

This series is basically like Revelations in the way that it's tying up previous stories and continuity, if it's all a bit more recent. Unlike Revelations, it's a lot better as an introductory book. Now I'm fairly caught up with where things are in regards to the Legion (I think) but with Revelations I was completely lost. Good book if you're a Gotham Central fan (I wasnt even reading comics at the time that series came out) but bad if you were new to characters. This, at least, makes the attempt at being a good jumping on point.

Some of the events are.....a little rushed. Mon-El? Yeah, that's jammed in there. Bring Superman back to the 31st century? Yeah, it sort of comes out of nowhere. "Shit, problem! Call Superman!" Superman Prime.....I don't know what this redemption stuiff they're talking about at the end of this issue, personally I want to see them kill the guy. Man, what a whiner! Powerful, and could be really bad ass, but his personality sucks. Although, one thing that caught my eye, was that they repeatedly referred to the character as Superboy. I thought DC lost the rights to that name, or at least had to pay up. I gotta check that out. But I digress. As whiney as Prime gets, once he goes apeshit it is cool and I think this issue promises a lot of that. I'm not quite sure what this series is going to try to accomplish, if it's going to be yet another Legion reboot or just ends the Silver Age and post-Zero Hour continuities, but if all it does is feature Prime killing loads of people at the drop of a hat I think it will be a winner.

The only real downside is nothing really important happens this issue. Well, the death of RJ Brande (but who's to say that won't be retconned later), but nothing that will hurt the next issue if you miss this one. Like I said, this issue is a massive cocktease. The art by George Perez is fantastic and reason enough to buy this issue, but if your dealer is sold out, don't worry, it'll all be apparent what's going on in the next issue.


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