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Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 [Review]


Quick Rating: Great!
Story Title: Book One

Superboy-Prime is unleashed on Earth in 3008, prompting an already-have-their-hands-full Legion of Super-Heroes to call on their old ally to help attend to this particular crisis.

finalcrisislegionof3worlds001Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: George Perez
Inker: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letters: Nick Napolitano
Asst. Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Art: (Reg) George Perez & Dave McCaig, (Sliver) George Perez & Hi-Fi
Publisher: DC Comics

There was something to the buzz for this book that–coupled with my reading Superman and the Legion of Superheroes all in one sitting on campus a few months back had me looking forward to this book, despite some worries. After all, I’m not your biggest Legion of Super-Heroes fan. I’m also not the greatest fan of the return of the multi-verse, and the seeming trend toward bring back all the silver-age concepts that were ditched after the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. Plus, I’m less than thrilled with the Superboy from Earth Prime being turned into a villain, with one of my favorite Superman stories (Superman: Secret Identity) being based on the original vision of Superboy-Prime.

This issue opens with the Time Trapper hanging out at the end of Time, reflecting on his failures to destroy the Legion of Superheroes. Realizing he can use the time-tossed Superboy-Prime to do some damage to the Legion, he sends Prime back to 31st-Century Earth where death and destruction begins immediately. A couple of temper-tantrums and a tour of the Superman Museum later, Superboy Prime has the beginnings of a plan for revenge on all those who have (from his perception) wronged him. Meanwhile, the Legion itself, represented by Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl face the United Planets Council in a debate as to the Legion’s necessity to the United Planets in light of recent events (as seen in Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes). Several Legionaires also venture into the Phantom Zone for Mon-El, and things don’t go quite according to plan. As Superboy-Prime starts his plan into motion, the Legion takes Superman up on his prior offer to not hesitate in contacting him for anything, and the stage is pretty much set for the rest of the series.

Along with continuity concerns, I was slightly worried about feeling a bit taken with the $3.99 cover price. However, I count 36 pages of story…broken by a mere 3 single-page ads…nd those story pages are chock full of great stuff.

The story is very well-written, working things in that allow readers new and old alike the chance to enjoy what would otherwise be mere exposition. There are also a lot of fun little “Easter Eggs” scattered throughout, with nods to all sorts of Superman history (and I’m sure there’s plenty that I–as a relatively inexperienced Legion reader–missed). This story seems to grow quite nicely out of prior stories, and yet maintains its autonomy from those stories: I was able to appreciate elements more having read a couple of those stories, and yet there’s plenty that I can only assume references other stuff, and yet I failed to feel “lost” in my reading. My only real quibble/point of confusion is from a comment Superman makes regarding Superboy Prime and his own past, apparently blurring the lines between characters that were quite distinctly different during/since Infinite Crisis.

The art in this issue is top-notch–I tend to forget how much I really do enjoy Perez‘ work. There’s a great amount of detail throughout, and yet even when things may almost seem too crowded, I find myself marveling at the number of characters fit into a panel with such individual detail. If Johns‘ writing brings you to the table, Perez‘ art will make you enjoy your stay.

All in all, this is a very solid and–more importantly–enjoyable issue. I don’t quite see where it “deserves” the Final Crisis treatment from this issue, but frankly…I don’t really care–the content of the package is a great read regardless of the packaging.

Aside from budget issues, a wait-for-the-trade determination or being entirely opposed to reading anything having to do with the Legion of Super-Heroes…I see no reason for one to not give this book a look-see. Very much recommended.

Ratings:

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

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