Also check out the annotations by Douglas Wolk and Tim Callahan.
Updates on Tuesday night: added info on Jun and Mara; 30th century Smallville; Superboy Prime's last appearance; the Superman Museum
Updates on Wednesday: added pages 6-22. I'll make corrections and updates from everyone else's annotations starting tomorrow. Whew!
Starting early, due to the 5-page preview in Newsarama. Finishing up tomorrow night, after I recover from my brain meltdown (as predicted by inker Scott Koblish) from reading pages 6-15.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with rebooted dead!
... I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot!
Follow your spirit; and upon this charge
Cry 'Long Live the Legion! Annotate on!'
For first appearances and creators of all the characters, see these pre-annotations for the Pre-Zero Hour Legion (including Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis, Glorithverse, and Lightning Saga), Post-Zero Hour Legion, Post-Infinite Crisis Legion, and villains.
Written by Geoff Johns; Art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish; Covers by George Pérez
From the moment Kal-El landed on earth until the end of time, the Time Trapper has sought to erase Superman's impact on the universe. But the Legion of Super-Heroes have always been there to stop him. This time, though, even the Legion won't be enough. The Time Trapper has found the ultimate weapon to carry out his plan – a twisted mirror image of the boy of steel from a parallel Earth long dead: Superboy-Prime! Who will answer the Legion's call for help? Find out here as the Crisis of the 31st century begins!
Cover (full version): Three Garth Ranzzes, the Pre-ZH/Lightning Saga one featured, with the Post-IC version inside the lightning ball in back, and the Post-ZH one in front. But the last time we saw Post-ZH Garth, he was inhabiting the crystalline body of Element Lad.
Cover (sliver version): My shop sold out within hours, so I never saw the "sliver" cover.
- Panel 3 - The Time Trapper at his HQ at the end of time. He was last seen in LSHv4 #105 where we saw the Glorthiverse Legion and the Post-ZH Legions together. He said "Next time, they must rise to all of those challenges, and more - for the sake of existence itself!" Not quite so concerned this time. In that issue, he also alluded to XS's "ultimate role" which has not (yet) been identified. Vinnie Bartilucci at Newsarama suggests that this is the ruins of the Linear Men's HQ, Vanishing Point.
- Panel 5 - "I tried to rip their soul out. I tried to make them forget Superman." It's unclear here whether he's referring to the Pocket Universe Superboy, the removal of Superboy from continuity at the "Mordruverse" transition, or the recent Superman/Legion story in Action Comics.
- Panel 6 - Superboy-Prime, somewhere in the time stream, last seen caught in the explosion of Monarch (Countdown #13).
- Panel 11 - that explains how Superboy-Prime ended up in the 31st century
- Panel 1 - the time stream in the DC Universe has traditionally been shown with "year markers".
- Panel 2 -
is this the first time we've ever seen Smallville in the 31st (or 30th) century?RAB reminded me (after a brain fart) that 30th century Smallville first appeared in Adventure Comics #247.
- Panel 3 - Jun and Mara as farmers in Smallville obviously recalls Jonathan and Martha Kent (and they appeared in Action Comics #858, as Matthew and Doug remind me). Earth-Man was the lead villain in the recent Superman/Legion story in which he and his team tried (with assistance from the Time Trapper) to make Earth a human-only and Legion-less world, and denying Superman's heroic status. This story takes place some time after Action Comics #864, the epilogue of that storyline, as seen by Earth-Man's trial information. The newscaster is Marella Tao, a holo-vid reporter for "Metropolis Tonite" (first appearance: LSHv3 #36).
- Panel 4 - Earthgov (first appearance: Superboy & the LSH #240) is the government of Earth, while the United Planets (first appearance: Adventure Comics #336) is a group of affiliated worlds numbering over 150. Earth is a member of the UP. (Thanks for the references, exnihil!)
- Panel 6 - Jun shot and buried the last alien baby to land on his farm (Action #858 - thanks Patrick!).
- Superboy-Prime arrives. He doesn't get the same warm welcome that Jonathan and Martha Kent gave to their Kal-El.
- Superboy-Prime used his own
heat visionfinger to carve the "S" symbol in his chest. (It recalls this image of Clark Kent from the first season of "Smallville".) Jun and Mara are his first victims in the 31st century.
- Panel 1 - the sign would logically be in Interlac, like other signs in the town.
- Panel 6 - Superboy-Prime meets a dog-walking robot. (In San Diego, at his panel, Geoff Johns referred to this panel: He used the anecdote how Prime was out strolling in 31st century Smallville and met a robot dog-walker who told him to have a nice day. The dog growls at him and he tells the dog to shut up. Apparently that caption was removed.)
- Panel 7 - the sign on the building in the background reads "Din" in Interlac, presumably a "Diner".
- Panel 9 - the sign reads "Superman museum" in Interlac. There's a real Superman Museum in Metropolis, Illinois, and there was a Superman Museum in the Pre-Crisis DCU Metropolis.
However, we've never seen such a museumThe last time I recall seeing the Superman Museum in the 30th/31st century was in DC Comics Presents #59 (Superman and the Subs vs Ambush Bug - thanks IDLE!), except inin addition to the animated series (as seen here in episode 1.01).
- Statues: Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent, Pete Ross, Lana Lang, Jor-El and Lara with Kal-El's ship, the Kents with baby Kal, Superman with a car (from Action Comics #1), Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White
- bottom row of panels: Superman (For All Seasons?), Superman (1,000,000?), Superman (Kingdom Come/Earth-22), ???, Krypto, Superwoman (Kristin Wells of the 29th century, created by Elliot S! Maggin in his novel "Superman: Miracle Monday", first DCU appearance in DC Comics Presents Annual #2), Supergirl (current version), Superboy (Connor Kent)
- top row of panels: the Kents (from "Superman: Birthright"), wedding of Lois and Clark, Clark with Jimmy and Perry at the Daily Planet, Luthor, Power Girl, Steel (John Henry Irons), Lori Lemaris, the early Justice League of America (J'onn J'onzz, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Batman, Flash)
- Panel 3 - Superboy Prime activates the Superman Museum guide, Jimmy Olsen. The crystals are from the current version of the Fortress of Solitude (which in turn are based on the Fortress from the Superman movie of 1978 and the TV series Smallville)
- Panel 5 - "Strange visitor" is, of course, from the 1950s Superman TV series. The irony here is that Superboy Prime really is a strange visitor from another planet.
- Panel 8 - The Hall of 1000 Olsens is Jimmy from his various Silver Age incarnations. These names are taken from the cover captions: Human Octopus Jimmy (SPJO #41), Gorilla Reporter Jimmy (SPJO #116), Tornado Jimmy (???), Giant Turtle Jimmy (SPJO #53, after the July 1940 Thrilling Wonder Stories), Human Flame Thrower Jimmy (SPJO #33), Human Porcupine Jimmy (SPJO #65), Jimmy the Freak (fat red, SPJO #59), Bird Boy Jimmy (???), Human Skyscraper Jimmy (SPJO #28), Jimmy from Jupiter (SPJO #32), Super Brain Jimmy (SPJO #22), and Wolfman Jimmy (SPJO #44). Plus, of course, Elastic Lad (SPJO #31). Room probably named after the "World of 1000 Olsens" (SPJO #105), mostly reprinted recently in "The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen" TPB.
- Panel 1 - the bottle city of Kandor, and Superman and Jimmy as Nightwing and Flamebird (who really were the Batman and Robin of Kandor). The helmeted robot looks familiar but I can't place it. Above the newspapers the sign says "Olsen" in Interlac.
- Panel 2 - Don't know if those newspapers are from a certain story, but the sign above reads "Olsen Phot-" in Interlac.
- Panel 6 - the origin of Superman, on pretty much every version of Earth.
- Panel 8 - the sign above the statues reads "portrait ga-" (gallery). Beneath each image is the name of a former Superman artist: "-uster" (Shuster), "boring", "swan", "garcia-lopez", "-ne" (Byrne), and "hi-feld". In front is the "perez" version. Inker Scott Koblish said he put in two hidden "Ninas", no doubt the figure behind the Perez version is "Hirschfeld". If you squint really hard, you can see the two NINAs, one on each foot. In the far left corner, it reads "bu-", maybe for Burnley? On the back wall is the JLA, with Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter visible.
- Panel 2 - the sign on the Phantom Zone projector reads "-hantom zone" "on loan" in Interlac.
- Panel 3 - the Lightning Saga version of the Pre-Crisis Legion. Front row: Phantom Girl, Dawnstar, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Superman, Shrinking Violet, Cosmic Boy, Sun Boy. Second row: Invisible Kid II, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Girl, Blok. Third row: Polar Boy, Wildfire, Ultra Boy, Lightning Lass. Fourth row: Night Girl, Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass. Back row: Colossal Boy.
- Panel 4 - Superboy Prime read about the heroes of the DC Universe in comics when he lived on Earth-Prime before the original Crisis. In the background is a replica of their HQ and the United Planets globe, as first seen in Adventure Comics #367.
- Panel 5 - the three founders in the costumes first seen in Adventure Comics #247, although when they saved Brande they were in civilian clothes. This scene from their origin first appeared in Superboy v1 #147.
- Panel 6 - Leland McCauley III (first appearance: Adventure Comics 374, created by Jim Shooter and Win Mortimer) was Brande's rival, jealous because Brande was worth more than he was.
- Panel 7 - statues of the missing Legionnaires. From left: Quislet, Karate Kid, Bouncing Boy, Mon-El, Tyroc, Dream Girl, White Witch, Sensor Girl, Matter-Eater Lad, Star Boy, Tellus, Chameleon Boy, Duo Damsel (twice), and Element Lad.
- Panel 1 - the upside-down rocketship HQ is visible in the room that Superboy-Prime leaves. In the glass cases: Steel's hammer, Nightwing's costume (???), Superboy's jacket, Guardian's shield. Below the cases: various flavors of Kryptonite, including green, blue, red, gold, and black.
- Panel 2 - at upper left is Knockout, bottom left is Dubbilex, both from the Superboy v2 series. The key and door are from the Pre-Crisis Fortress of Solitude, and the text at bottom reads "-olitude" in Interlac. At right are a famous image of Clark Kent changing into Superman (similar to this Alex Ross cover, but the original was by Curt Swan, and I can't find the image), and Titano the Super-Ape.
- Panels 4-6 - thanks for the IDs.
- Panel 8 - Hank Henshaw the Cyborg, Toyman, and Metallo.
- Panels 4-6 - the ending to Infinite Crisis, though not quite the way Superboy Prime thought about it.
- Panel 7 - from the Sinestro Corps War.
- Panel 8 - Neutron was another Superman villain.
- Panel 10 - a statue of the Composite Superman
- Panel 12 - statues of the Teen Titans: Wonder Girl, Starfire, Kid Flash, Superboy (Connor Kent), Beast Boy, Robin, Raven, Cyborg
- Panels 4-5 - the Science Police uniforms read "spd" on the helmets (Science Police Department?) and "police" on the back. The Science Police are the law enforcement branch of the United Planets, and first appeared in Superboy #98 as the Galactic Patrol
- Panel 3 - left panel, Superman and Martian Manhunter; right panels, Captain Marvel's cape and Comet the Super-Horse, unknown armor
- Panel 5 - statues of Stone Boy and Color Kid at far left, Proty at far right. The Interlac underneath Proty's capsule reads "pr-".
- This UP Council chamber is new.
- Panel 3 - the Interlac beneath each of the three podiums reads "braal" (homeworld of Cosmic Boy; note that the speaker has the same type of disks on his chest that Cosmic Boy has), "taltar" (matriarchal world which recruited and gave powers to Spider-Girl), and "dur-" (Durla, Chameleon Boy's homeworld).
- Panel 1 - the Winath embassy (homeworld of the Ranzz siblings)
- Panel 3 - the Earth embassy, and the President of Earth (name as yet unknown)
- Panel 6 - the Colu embassy (homeworld of Brainiac 5). Note the Brainiac-looking robot.
- Panel 7 - the sign under the monitor reads "Colu" in Interlac.
- Panel 9 - the Saturn embassy (though it should be the Titan embassy, as inhabitants live on the moon and not the planet)
- inhabitants of the Phantom Zone, including General Zod, Ursa, and Non
- Mon-El has a confusing continuity. This is the Pre-Crisis Lar Gand (from Superboy #89) who was put in the Phantom Zone by the Pre-Crisis Superboy (Kal-El), while the Lar Gand (M'Onel) of the Post-ZH Legion was put in the Stasis Zone by Superboy (Kon-El, Superboy v2 #19) and the Lar Gand of the Post-IC Legion was put in the Phantom Zone by Clark Kent (Action Comics Annual #10).
- Panel 5 - Mon-El was absent in the recent Superman/Legion storyline because he was stuck in the Phantom Zone.
- Panel 7 - Brainy claims that he alone created the anti-lead serum. Saturn Girl invented Serum XY-4, which was a temporary solution, in Adventure Comics #300, but Brainy came up with the permanent solution in issue #305.
- Panel 9 - Sun Boy got a womanizer reputation under the Levitz/Giffen run.
- Panel 3 - Myg of Lythyl was the second Karate Kid, a member of the second Legion of Substitute Heroes on Cosmic Boy's team. We don't know how or when he became a member, when or how he left, and the circumstances surrounding the return of the first Karate Kid.
- Panel 4 - Shrinking Violet had been kidnapped by Imsk separatists, and Yera (later the wife of Gim "Colossal Boy" Allon and then Chameleon Girl) was hired to impersonate her.
- Panel 7 - That's Dr. Gym'll of Jaquaa (first appearance: LSHv2 #284, created by Paul Levitz and Pat Broderick)
- Panel 9 - probably the ruler of Talok VIII, homeworld of Shadow Lass.
- Panel 11 - H'Hrnath of Nullport (first appearance: LSHv2 #285, created by Paul Levitz and Pat Broderick)
- Panel 12 - J*ss Toor-Tsaquin of Kaffar, formerly warden of Labyrinth (first appearance: LSHv3 #22, created by Paul Levitz and Greg LaRocque)
- Panel 3 - Rene Jacques Brande was the Legion's financier (first appearance: Adventure Comics #350, created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Curt Swan)
- Panel 5 - the flight belt was used in between the rocket pack and the flight ring, first seen in Adventure Comics #300.
- Panel 1 - Takron-Galtos was one of the original prison planets, in use since at least the 20th century. It was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and was replaced by Labyrinth. Apparently in the interim Takron-Galtos was rebuilt.
- Panel 2 - Statues of dead Legionnaires Ferro Lad, Chemical King, and Invisible Kid I.
- Panel 4 - the Legion of Super-Villains. Front row: Radiation Roy, Tarik the Mute, Chameleon Chief, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen, Nemesis Kid, Terrus. Second row: Spider-Girl, Esper Lass, Sun Emperor, Tyr, Micro Lad, Ron-Karr, Titania. Third row: Zymyr, Silver Slasher, Magno Lad, Ol-Vir?, Hunter, Lazon, Neutrax, and Mist Master (in back).
- Panels 4-6 - the three founders in their Adventure 247 costumes, from when they went back to recruit Superboy.
- Brande was originally a Durlan known as Ren Daggle, but he was stuck in human form after contracting Yorggian fever (as seen in the Secrets of the Legion miniseries). He made his fortune creating stars.
- Teams looking for the missing Legionnaires Chameleon Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, and White Witch.
- The Post-Zero Hour Legion, last seen floating off in nothingness before a cameon on Earth-247 at the end of Infinite Crisis. Front row: Sensor, Gates, XS. Second row: Dreamer, Andromeda, Livewire, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Ultra Boy, Karate Kid, Shrinking Violet, Brainiac 5.1, Koko. Third row: Triad, Kid Quantum II, Ferro, M'Onel, Umbra, Spark, Chameleon. Fourth row: Monstress, Chuck Taine, Invisible Kid, Gear, Timber Wolf, Star Boy, Element Lad, Shikari. Fifth row: Apparition, Kinetix, Kid Quantum I, Thunder, Leviathan, Magno, Wildfire. Note that this can't be a group picture since Leviathan died early and Shikari and Gear joined very late.
- The Post-Infinite Crisis Legion, currently appearing in LSHv5. Front row: Invisible Kid, Chameleon. Second row: Light Lass, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Star Boy, Karate Kid. Third row: Shadow Lass, Triplicate Girl, Princess Projectra, Ultra Boy, Sun Boy, Element Lad. Fourth row: Mon-El, Dream Boy, Timber Wolf, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Supergirl, Phantom Girl.
Acknowlegements (in addition to the commenters here):
- Commenters at Newsarama for the preview
- More tomorrow