Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4
Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: George Perez
Inker: Scott Koblish
Letterer: Nick Napolitano
Assistant Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Artists: George Perez & Tom Smith
Alternate Cover Artists: George Perez & Hi-Fi
Legion of 3 Worlds makes my head explode.
I read it aloud to my sister over wine and cheese (because I’m all sophisticated, like) just to make sure, and I can now safely guarantee that this story is perceiveable only by those well-steeped in DC history. Sure, there are a few main threads that can be picked out by the uninitiated, but not without wading through a sea (or seas) of continuity and comic book logic. In order to explain the events of this comic to my sibling, I had to provide short synopses on Superboy, Legion of Superheroes, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Justice Society. Which I didn’t mind doing, despite making me feel like a nerd of mammoth proportions. Even then, it was too much for one person to absorb in five minutes, so it only helped a little. So Newcomers, Beware! This book is not for you.
If you’re still reading, then good for you! Either you’re a walking DC Encyclopaedia, or you’re thirsty for punishment. Seriously, the DC faithful will find Legion of 3 Worlds deeply rewarding. The more you know about the DC Universe and its characters, the more this book has to offer in terms of fan service. Geoff Johns proves himself to be the Biggest DC Comics Fan on Earth, juggling the cast of not only three incarnations of the Legion of Superheroes (post-Infinite Crisis, post-Zero Hour, and “Threeboot”), but also Superboy-Prime’s Legion of Super-Villains. All the while, George Perez proves himself to be the most capable artist of his time, rendering a ridiculously large cast of characters on the same page at the same time with confidence and clarity.
It’s more than appropriate that George Perez should draw this story, because in many ways, Legion of 3 Worlds is the spiritual successor to Crisis on Infinite Earths, moreso than the core Final Crisis series, or even Infinite Crisis. Indeed, some of the most significant beats pick up story threads from the second crisis, but it makes me wonder: does Geoff Johns regret some of the decisions that were made during Infinite Crisis? I can’t help but feel that each new crisis weakens the emotional impact, and often negates the literal impact of the crisis preceding it. That being said, Legion of 3 Worlds feels like a multiverse-spanning epic, and manages to entertain along the way. It may not claim to be a ‘crisis’ proper, but it serves as a fitting tribute to those stories that came before it.
Legion of 3 Worlds #4 – like its predecessors – is home to some genuinely shocking moments, which I won’t spoil for you here. The hilariously deranged Starman once again proves to be my favourite in Geoff Johns’ stable of characters. Superboy Prime once again proves to be the most annoying, though his dialogue is (purposely) so bad it’s good. Remembering the character’s inherent purity from the original Crisis, Prime’s bratty transformation and motivation for evil has always been difficult for me to swallow, but I think Johns is going somewhere with this. The rest of the dialogue is pitch-perfect – witty and entertaining – though not entirely free of confusing pseudo-scientific explanations, particularly from any of the three Brainiac 5s. Nonetheless, the core story is essentially an action-packed battle between good and evil. The cinematic presentation of Legion is reminiscent of Johns’ and Richard Donner’s “Last Son of Krypton” arc, lending the tale a sense of urgency, particularly in the final sequence.
Confusing though it may be, Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 presents a magical multiverse where anything is possible. DC readers will have plenty to sink their teeth into. To anyone else who is interested – I recommend you do your homework first.