Almost a year ago - August 19, 2008 - I posted these words:
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!'
So, 11 months later we finally have issue 5 of "Legion of 3 Worlds".
Doing these annotations has been fun for me, trying to see what I can remember with my aging feeble mind, but I have had to look a lot of stuff up. It would have been next to impossible without the internet. And of course, you guys, who help me with what I didn't get. So thanks for playing along, we'll do one more shot at this.
- Superman, L1 Lightning Lad, L1 Saturn Girl and L1 Cosmic Boy at Vanishing Point at the end of time as scenes from the Legion's past appear (as seen via cover shots). Clockwise from upper left: the war between Krypton and Earth (ADV 333); Triplicate Girl's death at the tentacles of Computo (ADV 340); Polar Boy leads the new Legionnaires (which issue is this?); the rebooted L2 Legion (LSH v4 0); Darkseid (Great Darkness Saga TPB); Superboy joins the Legion (ADV 247); Rokk restarts the Legion (LSH v4 1); the SW6 Legionnaires appear (LGS 1); the Legion vs the Sun-Eater (ADV 352); Superboy right before his death (LSH v3 37); the L.E.G.I.O.N. (L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 1).
- Superboy/Conner fights Superboy-Prime with L2 and L3 Ultra Boys.
- L2 Andromeda, Superboy, L1 Polar Boy, L2 Wildfire, and XS along with Sodam Yat and the whole brand new freakin' Green Lantern Corps (or are those just constructs?). Bart and Conner were members of the Teen Titans prior to Final Crisis; Conner was a Titan when he traveled to the future and became a Legionnaire.
- Panel 1: L1 Mon-El vs Superboy-Prime in the 31st century, Superman and L1 Lightning Lad vs Time Trapper at the end of time.
- Panel 3: A Dominator appears through a rift in reality. This is the panel that makes the rest of the story possible - a way to access every parallel universe and every Legion that's ever existed. Right at this panel I knew my annotating skills were going to be put to the test later.
- Panel 4: L1 Cosmic Boy and L1 Saturn Girl contact all three Brainiac 5's, Gates, and L3 Light Lass.
- Panel 1: L2 Andromeda, L2 Valor, L1 Sun Boy, and L1 Polar Boy vs Superboy-Prime.
- Panel 5: L1 Wildfire - "Stay away from my girl." Nice!
- Panel 6: "Wildfart", heh. Nice sound effect, "NRG".
- Panel 7: I don't know why she's that concerned, his suit has been blown up before lots of times.
- Panel 2: In a new development, we hear that Kinetix had all of the remaining magicks from Universe-247. And Mordru ate her. Oops.
- Panel 3: L1 White Witch and Blok, vs Terrus (who apparently is made of flying insects).
- Panel 4: Not sure whose boots are in the upper left corner, but that's L3 Chameleon Boy, L3 Colossal Boy, L2 Kid Quantum, L3 Saturn Girl, L3 Star Boy, L1 Chameleon Girl, L1 Invisible Kid, L2 Ferro, L2 Sensor, and L2 Timber Wolf getting blasted by Mordru.
- Panel 5: Dr. Regulus, Silver Slasher, L1 Lightning Lord, Mist Master, and Mano
- Panel 6: L2 Violet vs Titania with L1 White Witch looking on, not sure who's getting blasted
- Panel 4: L2 Wildfire has helped out L1 Wildfire.
- Panel 9: In Final Crisis, Superboy (Conner) died in the arms of his girlfriend Wonder Girl.
- Panel 4: Now it gets interesting. What they do to Superboy-Prime in the 31st century affects him at Vanishing Point, although the synchronization of things in two different time periods always makes my brain hurt.
- Panel 9: The Time Trapper's story is retconned, but in the sense of "what you saw before was true but there's more to it". L1 Brainy theorizes that the Trapper is a "sentient alternate timeline rebelling against ours. His own history changes, I'd guess even his identity could alter, as the true timeline marches on."
- Panel 11: L1 Cosmic Boy is about to give me a headache in a few pages...
- the L1 Legion founders link their powers to send a multi-universal distress signal. Interestingly, in panel 8, the years in which Saturn Girl sends out her signals are going forward, from 3058 to 3104 A.D., instead of backwards to 3009 (or so).
- I think I actually yelled "Yeah!" when I saw this. Then I said "oh shit I'm going to have to identify all of them for the annotations." We've got multiple versions of the same Legionnaires - I think Perez just wanted to draw every costume variation ever. And they did say we'd see everyone who was ever a Legionnaire (though this also includes some from the L.E.G.I.O.N, the Legion Academy, and other associates too). Let's see how well I do. Roughly top to bottom in columns, then left to right:
- Unknown (blue pants), Tiger Girl (name never officially given, applicant), unknown (fire guy), L1 Sensor Girl (v3 costume); L3 Dream Girl, L1 Laurel Gand (from the v4 retcon of Supergirl), Thunder, L1 Duo Damsel (1970s), L1 Duo Damsel (1980s), L1 Polar Boy (v3 costume), L1 Karate Kid II, L1 Laurel Gand (v4), unknown silver hand, Crystal Kid, L1 Shrinking Violet (1970s), L2 Leviathan, Devlin O'Ryan
- Unknown green suit and boots, Power Boy, Celeste Rockfish as Green Lantern, L1 Lightning Lass (v3), L2 Dragonmage (new costume?), L1 Mon-El, unknown gold container, L1 Stone Boy, Kono, Kid Psycho, L1 Ultra Boy (original costume), Kent Shakespeare, L1 Violet (v4)
- L1 Supergirl (Crisis-era), L3 Triplicate Girl, L1 Triplicate Girl (1960s), L2 Triad, L1 Porcupine Pete, L1 Saturn Girl (ADV 247 costume), L1 Cosmic Boy (ADV 247 costume), L1 Lightning Lad (ADV 247 costume), Computo, L1 Bouncing Boy, L1 Cosmic Kid, L1 Color Kid, L2 Ferro, Strata
- L2 Karate Kid, L1 Wildfire (boots), L1 Lightning Lad, Laurel Kent, Visi-Lad, L1 Invisible Kid I, L2 Inferno, Proty II, Veilmist
- Atmos, L1 Cosmic Boy, L1 Cosmic Boy (1970s), L2 Sensor (snake version), L3 Colossal Boy (?), Streaky, Chemical King, L1 Timber Wolf (1970s), L1 Insect Queen, L2 Umbra
- L1 Infectious Lass, Dawnstar (1970s, behind the caption), Stealth, Tellus, L1 Saturn Girl, Computo (as majordomo), Lightning Lad (1970s), Catspaw, Kinetix (original costume), Quislet, Colossal Boy (1960s), Lady Quark, Calamity King, Saturn Girl (1970s), Chameleon Boy (1960s)
- Bloodclaw's boots, unnamed Academy member, Night Girl, L1 Invisible Kid II, L2 Matter-Eater Lad, L1 Element Lad (1970s), Krypto, L3 Cosmic Boy, Elastic Lad, Beppo, Princess Projectra (1970s), Tyroc, Firefist
- L1 Phantom Girl (1970s), L2 Element Lad, Reflecto, L1 Spider-Girl (hair only), Flederweb's arm, Plant Lad, Echo, Monstress, Furball.
That's 100 characters. Scott Koblish said there were 101. Who did I miss?
- Panel 1: Shikari tied up by Spider-Girl, Mist Master, Magno Lad, Micro Lad, Dr. Regulus (?), Grimbor, Gear, Lazon, and who's that in the red and black getting hit?
- Panel 3: Saturn Queen watches as Mordru blasts Blok
- Saturn Queen, Cosmic King, Chameleon Chief, Radiation Roy, Spider-Girl, Tharok, and Echo(?) watch as Mysa absorbs Mordru's magicks (and by extension, those of Kinetix from Universe-247). She wins, but at the cost of turning her from White magic to Black.
- Panel 1: L3 Lightning Lad vs Validus. If that's L3 Saturn Girl, shouldn't she be thinking instead of saying that?
- Panel 2: L2 Saturn Girl, Kid Quantum, and Tyr
- Panel 3: L1 Lightning Lord, Mano, Chameleon Chief, Earth-Man, Black Mace, Tusker, unknown glowing girl
- Panel 4: L1 Bouncing Boy's back!
- Panel 5: L1 Lightning Lass
- Panel 6: L1 Duplicate Damsel! That's new, although Geoff Johns mentioned this at the Legion panel at the 2008 San Diego con.
Q: Will we see more of the Legion Subs?
A: Johns kind of sidestepped that one, but said that (he paused at this point, and said "what the hell, I'll spoil it here") he had big plans for Luornu (who he suggested be called "Una Damsel"): "I don't know how I got anything done with just three of me". She will be called Duplicate Damsel and can multiply into many, not just three.
- Panel 2: That's Phase and Garv from the L.E.G.I.O.N.
- Panel 3: This must be the 1960s-era Supergirl. She has the big "S" logo, so it's not the Crisis-era or 1970s hot-pants era, and it's not the crop-top Supergirl who was with the L3 Legion.
- Panel 4: Ultra Boy as v4-era Green Dragon
- Panel 5: L2, L1 (1970s), and L3 Colossal Boys, with L2 Cosmic Boy, Blok (v3 chains), and unknown
- Panel 6: L1 Lightning Lad (1960s with robot arm), L2 Inferno, L1 Wildfire (1970s), unknown woman, L3 Lightning Lad, SW6 Inferno
- Panel 1: In the background, that's L1 Star Boy (1960s), Kinetix, L1 Dream Girl (1960s), Quislet, Sensor, Monstress (orange), L1 Cosmic Boy, L1 Phantom Girl, Blok, Superman, L1 Saturn Girl, L1 Lightning Lad, L2 Cosmic Boy
- Panel 6: Evolvo Lad, L1 Shrinking Violet, L2 Spider-Girl, L1 Brainiac 5 (1960s), L2 Dreamer, Comet, and the ADV 247 Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad
And that's it for the alternate versions. Back to regular L1, L2, and L3 now.
- Back in the L1 31st century. Superboy-Prime is an idiot.
- Oh, Brainy says the same thing. Good-bye to Time Trapper and Superboy-Prime, for now.
Huh. We're 18 pages into a 32-page story and the big fight is over already. Now comes 14 pages of wrap-up and set-up.
- "The future is always open, nothing is ever set in stone." Pretty much sums it up for the Legion's history, doesn't it?
- I called it after Dan Didio's 20 questions the other day. Superboy-Prime is back home on Earth-Prime. I wonder if his family had to wait so long for the conclusion of this mini-series? So much for trying to redeem him.
- Panel 8: Statues of the formerly fallen (L1 Ferro Lad, Triplicate Girl, Invisible Kid I, and Proty; and L2 Monstress and Leviathan) and newly fallen (L1 Karate Kid II, L3 Element Lad, Kinetix, L3 Sun Boy, and L1 Rond Vidar).
- Panel 9: It's always been "Myg of Lythyl", not "Mygg".
- Panel 11: First appearance of the guy who will be Karate Kid III.
- Panel 3: If Sodam Yat is sending out his rings to reconstruct the Green Lantern Corps, who were those guys back on page 3, just constructs?
- Panels 7-8: this suggests that the ring for sector 2814 has found a worthy bearer. Anyone we might know?
- Panel 5: On Sorcerer's World. Is that Green Lantern Alan Scott and Raven of the Teen Titans? Not sure who the guy is on top. Mysa says that she's not there to save them.
- Panel 10: "Evil beware the Black Witch". Doesn't quite sound like she's squeaky-clean Legionnaire material anymore, though she is wearing her Legion ring.
- Panel 1: OK, who expected Chameleon Boy and Dream Girl to show up in this issue and save the day? I was pleasantly surprised that they did NOT, that would have been too expected. But where are they?
- Panels 3-6: Starman at McDonald's. "Warrior needs food badly!" Ha! The document in panel 6 says "Last Will and Testament of R. J. Brande".
- Panel 9: So Earth-Prime is one of the 52 Earths that were reborn after Final Crisis and 52.
- Panel 1: That settles that. The L3 Legion is the future of Earth-Prime. A few years ago, I noted that we had seen a backup story in which old DC comics were seen and were a part of the plot. At the time, I tried to explain it as the future of a new Earth-2, but that's because we didn't know about the newly revived Earth-Prime yet. So I should get partial credit for catching that.
- Panel 5: Didn't Livewire get his original arm back?
- Panel 6: The L2 Legion, who no longer have a universe to go back to, are going out into the multiverse. Kid Quantum misspeaks the name "Shikari".
- Panels 4-5: Arguably the two most favorite L2 Legionnaires are staying with the L1 Legion, XS and Gates.
- Panels 6-8: It's comedy gold when three Brainiac 5's argue.
- Panel 1: Long Live the Legion!
- Sometime in here, I'm not exactly sure when, L1 Brainiac 5 shows Superman the Miracle Machine so he can use it when he gets back to the 21st century to help out at the end of Final Crisis (that happened in issue 6 back in January; that issue was supposed to come out after this issue of L3W.)
- Superboy and Kid Flash return to the present and meet their fellow Titans.
- The meta-commentary here is that the former Superboy-Prime is now just a guy living in his parents basement, surrounded by comics and trolling message boards. The "Can Superboy Prime be redeemed?" thread on the DC Message Board is a real one (and now has someone posting as Superboy Prime). It was pointed out there that the Earth-Prime version of this issue has page 29 on the left side of the page (as shown on page 30), while our version has page 29 on the right.
THE END... for now.
So, some plot points that are ready for a new Legion series:
1. The Black Witch and Sorcerer's World
2. What happened to Luornu that she's now Duplicate Damsel?
3. Karate Kid III and Lythyl
4. Earth's new Green Lantern
5. Where are Chameleon Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Quislet, Sensor Girl, Tellus, and Tyroc?
6. What is Brande's top secret mission for Starman in the 21st century?
7. The L2 Legion is going wandering into the multiverse in search of other survivors from the long-dead parallel Earths.