Also check out the annotations by Douglas Wolk and Tim Callahan.
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.
My annotations for issue #1 (main, follow-up).
Written by Geoff Johns; Art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish; Covers by George Pérez
Geoff Johns and George Perez continue crafting the Crisis of the 31st Century! As Superboy-Prime leads the Legion of Super-Villains against everything and everyone inspired by the legacy of Superman, the Legion of Super-Heroes are forced to call for help from beyond their world. Meanwhile, contingency plans are created by Brainiac 5 as he attempts to overcome Colu's devastating betrayal, Dawnstar and Wildfire pull off a startling rescue, but at a horrible cost to the universe, and Saturn Girl uncovers the source of the Legion's troubles. DC Universe | 40pg. | Color | $3.99 US On Sale October 15, 2008
Cover (full version): Three Saturn Girls, the Pre-ZH/Lightning Saga one featured, with the Post-IC version and the Post-ZH one in the background.
Cover (sliver version): Lots of Legionnaires from all three groups.
From here on, I'm going to refer to the three Legions as L1 (Pre-Crisis + Lightning Saga), L2 (Post-Zero Hour), and L3 (Post-Infinite Crisis). The "Glorithverse" Legion I'll call L1.5.
- Shikari, of L2. They're still lost (a reference to the series "Legion Lost"). When last we saw them, they were lost in the time stream, but Shikari had discovered the L3 Earth. She briefly reunited with the team during the Infinite Crisis on Earth-247, but the team hasn't been seen since.
- The Legion has faded out to white with each reboot; see examples here In particular, note the last one, with the L2 Legion fading out; they fade in here much the same way.
- Panel 1: The L1 White Witch is on the Sorcerer's World, held captive by Mordru. This echoes the Glorithverse version of the Legion; Mysa was held captive by Mordru at the beginning of the v4 series as well.
- Panel 2: She's also the sister of L1 Dream Girl.
- Panel 3: White Witch has somehow tapped into her sister's prophetic dreams. Shikari (misspelled here as "Shakari") and L2 Dreamer - not related to the White Witch in their continuity - can see into the L3 timeline.
- Panel 4: Lightning Lad, Light Lass, and Star Boy at the memorial statue to the deceased Dream Girl, all L3. At the foot of her statue, in Interlac it reads "Nura Nal/Dream Girl". The "Light" of the Legion - a reference to Light Lass?
- Panel 5: Superboy-Prime gives his rings to L1 Saturn Queen and Lightning Lord, in a dark homage to the Legion's flight rings.
- Panels 6-8: The Time Trapper doesn't want anyone to see any future that he doesn't control.
- Panels 1-2: L1 Mordru and his mages have stolen her magics.
- Panels 3-8: it's Blok, Wildfire, and Dawnstar to her rescue. Blok and White Witch had a relationship, as did Dawnstar and Wildfire. Due to their natures, Blok and Wildfire could not have physical relationships with their partners as other humans could.
- Panel 1: Rond Vidar, son of Universo, was a Green Lantern, a fact unknown to the Legion for most of the time they knew him. His father was a Green Lantern before him, and when he was expelled from the Green Lantern Corps, the ring passed to Xenofobe until Rond was old enough to wield the ring. By this time in the 31st century, Rond is one of only two Green Lanterns left.
- Panel 5: Mordru. He's got a new helmet these days.
- Panels 2-3: Mordru calls up the dead - Glorith, Dragonmage, and Evillo. Glorith, in pre-Crisis continuity, was a minion of the Time Trapper. She failed in a mission and he turned her into protoplasm. In the L1.5 continuity, she was restored and took the place of the Time Trapper. Dragonmage was a magician who joined the SW6 Legionnaires. Evillo was another magician, the dictator of Tartarus. Mordru says that these three died at his hand; it's unclear how Glorith may have been killed by Mordru, as she was killed by the Time Trapper. This is the first we have heard that Dragonmage and Prince Evillo were killed by Mordru.
- Panel 1: "I saw Legions dying, and I saw a new one rising." A prophecy of the future.
- Panel 3: The White Witch first appeared as the old crone The Hag, an associate of Prince Evillo. In her next appearance, she was young and beautiful. It was never revealed how this change took place; Mordru says here that he transformed her as he taught her magic.
- Panel 3: Rond Vidar says that he beat Mordru once in the past. The only time they met was in L1.5 after the reformation of the Legion, so something similar must have happened in the L1 past.
- The newest incarnation of the L1 Legion of Super-Villains, all wearing their S-rings. From top to bottom, left to right: Neutrax, Beauty Blaze, Golden Boy, Universo, Persuader, Terrus, Lazon; Zymyr, Tusker, Lightning Lord, Mist Master, Silver Slasher; Ol-Vir, Storm Boy, Superboy-Prime, Mano, Tyr; Emerald Empress and the Emerald Eye, Grimbor, Saturn Queen, Spider Girl, Black Mace, Esper Lass; Sun Emperor, Cosmic King, Micro Lad, Radiation Roy; Validus, Tharok, Echo, Dr. Regulus, Earth-Man, Hunter, Chameleon Chief, Titania, Magno Lad. Several of these have never been associated with the LSV before (such as Universo, the Fatal Five, Earth-Man's Justice League). There are some continuity problems with this lineup.
- Beauty Blaze and Echo had never appeared in the L1 timeline before, they were members of the LSV during the Adult Legion story (later revealed to be an alternate timeline). Echo "appeared" and was a Legionnaire during the Five Year Gap in the L1.5 timeline.
- Validus had been revealed to be the son of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, taken back in time and mutated by Darkseid, shortly after the end of the Crisis. He was later restored to his normal appearance as a child. Thus, it is unknown if Validus's parentage is still valid.
- Tharok had been killed in a clash with the Dark Man, a clone of his. He somehow returned in the L1.5 timeline, the method of resurrection not revealed (as far as I can remember). It is unknown how Tharok has been resurrected.
- Likewise, the Emerald Empress died immediately after the Crisis in the original L1 timeline.
- Panels 2-5: Some of the events of the Sinestro Corps War with the Green Lanterns.
- Panel 3: Superman says of Superboy-Prime, "... he lost everything. Earth-Prime was destroyed. His friends and family killed. He was banished to limbo for years. Who knows what that kind of isolation can do to somebody?" Umm, hello, how about Lar Gand, who you put in the Phantom Zone for a thousand years? He turned out OK.
- Panel 2: In Interlac, the sign with the Legion "L" symbol reads "anominaly vector 386"; the sign with Dr. Regulus's head says (in mirror image) "-ulugus"
- Panel 7: As mentioned earlier, Universo was a Green Lantern before he was expelled from the Corps. His son Rond Vidar was given his ring.
- Panel 10: Universo refers to Rond Vidar's son. That's new; in L1.5 continuity, he had a daughter with Laurel "Andromeda" Gand.
- Panel 4: Is Mysa saying "no" to Rond Vidar's death because she disagrees with Saturn Girl that he's dead, or is she saying "no" because she can't believe it?
- Panel 13: That's the lightning rod that contains what is widely theorized to be Bart Allen's energy.
- Panel 4: The ruins of Oa. Last time we saw Oa was a flashback which showed why the Guardians were banned from Earth, due to interference from Green Lantern who would soon be known as Universo.
- Panel 5: Statues of past Green Lanterns, including (facing the reader) Katma Tui, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner.
- Panel 6: fallen statue of Hal Jordan.
- Panel 9: we find out who this is at the end of the story.
- Panel 1: the Legion visits the original HQ of the Justice League of America. The cave had been used by other groups after the JLA, but appears to have been restored to the early JLA's decorations.
- Panel 4: Phantom Girl uses Aquaman's old security code to deactivate the alarm.
- Panel 6: I'm not a Silver Age JLA expert, so I'll miss many of these artifacts. That's Despero's chess set at left, Wonder Woman's shield at top, and pictures of the Demons Three (Abnegazar, Rath and Ghast) with their artifacts (the Green Bell of Uthool, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath and the Red Jar of Calythos). The Legion met the Three and Mordru in the midst the annual team-up of the JLA and JSA when the two teams were on Earths-1 and 2, respectively (JLA 147-148).
- Panel 7: that's Starro, Amos Fortune's card, Amazo, and the Time Commander's helmet. The JLA of this era never fought Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor.
- Panel 10: With the JSA portrait in the background, Phantom Girl holds the "crystallized mexus of all earths from all parallel universes", which is how the JLA first contacted the JSA (JLA #21).
- Panel 1: Wildfire, Dawnstar, and Polar Boy are at the Time Institute to get a Time Bubble to travel back to the 21st century for reasons as yet unknown. The Time Institute, run by Chronarch Circadia Senius, housed (among other things) the Time Beacon which allowed time travellers to home in on the correct timeline. In the background are images of time travellers Rip Hunter, Goldstar (Booster Gold's sister), Skeets, and an unidentified man (Booster Gold?).
- Panel 5: Mon-El and Shadow Lass are off to the Sorcerer's World and then to Oa. Those of you who have read the Sinestro Corps War should know who the Daxamite on Oa is.
- Panel 2: White Witch mentions a red sky, a reference to the red skies of the Crisis but also a reference to The Bleed, the space in between universes. The two Legions that assisted with the Tornado Twins must be a reference to the original team-up of the Legions of Three Worlds. The Tornado Twins are Don and Dawn Allen, the twin children of Barry Allen from when he and his wife Iris were in the 30th century immediately prior to the Flash's death in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's not clear here which timeline the Twins belong to; the Silver Age L1 Legion first met the twins, who said they were the descendants of Barry Allen. In the L1.5 timeline, the twins were killed by the Dominators. In the L2 timeline, the twins were the parents of Bart Allen (father Don), aka Impulse, and Jenni Ognats (mother Dawn), aka XS.
- Panel 7: note the presence of lightning, a common symbol of the Flash family.
- On the left, it's the L3 Legion; on the right, it's the L2 Legion. On the L2 side, note that Livewire is still stuck in the crystalline body of the deceased Element Lad.
- L3 Legion, left to right and top to bottom: Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Star Boy, Colossal Boy, Atom Girl, Saturn Girl; Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Light Lass, Ultra Boy, Triplicate Girl, Lightning Lad; Projectra, Karate Kid, Chameleon Boy, Timber Wolf; Triplicate Girl, Brainiac 5, Shadow Lass
- L2 Legion, left to right and top to bottom: Umbra, Karate Kid, Ultra Boy, Chameleon, Triad, M'Onel, Ferro; Brainiac 5.1, Andromeda, Sensor, Star Boy, XS; Spark, Cosmic Boy, Timber Wolf, Shrinking Violet, Dreamer; Kid Quantum, Saturn Girl, Apparition; Gates, Live Wire/Element Lad, Wildfire; Triad, Invisible Kid, Shikari, Gear, Kinetix.
- Panel 1: White Witch suggests that the L2 and L3 Legions may not be able to return home. I smell foreshadowing.
- Panel 9: Heh, I like the Brainys bickering. L2 Brainiac 5 refers to his time travels to the 20th century while the team was split (the other half remained in the 30th century).
- Panels 1-6: Sun Boy is still moping. Wonder when he'll recover?
- It's AWWWNNN!
- Panel 3: One of those Validuses is likely a Reep Daggle.
- Panel 8: Don't forget, the Time Trapper is behind everything.
- See? It's Sodam Yat, the Daxamite Green Lantern. Geoff Johns has said this isn't just a Legion story, it contains elements of all the books he's worked on, whether it's just cameos (the Teen Titans last issue in the Superman Museum, the Rip Hunter/Booster Gold images in this issue) or major characters (Superman, from Action Comics) or storylines (the Green Lantern legacy and the Sinestro Corps War). At this point, Sodam Yat is over 1000 years old, having been introduced in the Sinestro Corps storyline, where he was destined to be one of the greatest Green Lanterns. He was last known in the 21st century as Ion.
One thing to note: Since we see Sodam Yat here, that pretty much confirms that this version of the 31st century is the future of the current DC Universe (or rather, that of New Earth of the 52-Earth Multiverse). Until recently, it had been strongly suggested that the L3 Legion's 31st century was the future of the mainstream DCU.