Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Annotated "Legion of Three Worlds" #3

When I got to the 2-page splash with the combined Legions, I actually yelled out "YES!" Fortunately I was in my car in the parking lot and nobody could hear me.

I fixed some of the mis-identifications on pages 4-5 from the preview and found lots more Interlac to translate. Also updated with the first 2 comments.

Also check out the annotations by Douglas Wolk's Final Crisis Annotations, Gary Greenwood's The Annotated Final Crisis, and Tim Callahan, who will all have theirs up shortly.

Keeping my Annotations notations, the three Legions as L1 (Pre-Crisis + Lightning Saga), L2 (Post-Zero Hour), and L3 (Post-Infinite Crisis).

The solicitation:

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish; Covers by George Pérez
The Legion of Super-Heroes call in the reinforcements against Superboy Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains as the Crisis of the 31st Century continues. While Superboy Prime comes face-to-face with the last of the Green Lanterns, Brainiac 5 and XS attempt to ignite an electrical storm using the lightning rod, which is destined to turn the tide of the war. And what are Polar Boy, Dawnstar and Wildfire up to in the 20th Century? DC Universe | 40pg. | Color | $3.99 US On Sale February 4, 2009

Cover A (full): L1 Cosmic Boy, with images of L2 in his right hand at top and L3 in his left hand at bottom
Cover B (sliver): looks like a closeup of Sodam Yat's eye, reflecting L1 Shadow Lass, L1 Mon-El, and a Green Lantern symbol

Page 1
  • Panels 4-8: Looks like the body of Rond Vidar is dead. Beyond that observation I can't say anything else for certain. The guy with the mohawk is Sodam Yat, a Daxamite from the 21st century who was a major player in the Sinestro Corps Wars.
  • Panel 16: Obviously we've missed a lot between the Sinestro Corps Wars and now.

Page 2
  • Panels 1-2: more references to the Sinestro Corps War. Brainy also cured Mon-El's lead poisoning, though it did wear off in a post-Crisis story that may or may not still be canonical (Legion v3 #23).
  • Panel 4: Mon-El was in the Phantom Zone for 1000 years... oh wait, he just said all that.

Page 3
  • Panels 4-9: that's a new version of the Green Lantern Oath, reflecting the wars with the other colored Lanterns.
  • If only the first 3 pages had more Legion stuff and not as much GL stuff...

Pages 4-5
  • Ah, that's better. I'll try to take it left to right, top to bottom. All are L1 versions. None of the civilians are recognizable.
    * Beauty Blaze; Lightning Lord; Universo; Neutrax; Black Mace; Silver Slasher, Timber Wolf, and Terrus; Hunter II (legs only)
    * Superboy-Prime; Storm Boy; Zymyr; Saturn Queen, Saturn Girl, and Esper Lass; Lazon; Marella Tao (on screen)
    * Grimbor, Titania, and Night Girl; Spider Girl; Lightning Lad
    * Chameleon Chief; Colossal Boy; Chameleon Girl as Validus; Earth-Man; Ultra Boy; Mordru; Echo; Shrinking Violet and Micro Lad
    * Ol-Vir; Mist Master and Cosmic Boy; Magno Lad
    * Dr. Regulus; Blok and Tusker; Sun Emperor; Radiation Roy; Golden Boy's leg; Lightning Lass; Cosmic King
  • Interlac:
    * lower left, just to the right of Hunter: "klein motors" (after Todd Klein?)
    * behind Saturn Girl and Esper Lass: "h***l*on" (can't read it all, but it's "hamilton" according to inker Scott Koblish)
    * covered up by Lightning Lad's right foot and Lazon's arm: "al plastino 9"
    * behind Lightning Lad's calf: "[m]oldoff mo"
    * top right: "daily pl[anet]"
    * between Shrinking Violet and Magno Lad: "dp ticker / bismol stock exchange down 69"
    * below Cosmic King: "prison breakou[t] takron galt[os] / galtos missing fro- / wanderers repo-"

Pages 6-7
  • Panel 3: Invisible Kid II "appears" with Tyr.
  • Panel 5: Invisible Kid II vs Echo (wouldn't Tyroc be a better choice?)
  • Panel 7: Dr. Regulus was fired from his job by Derek Morgna, father of Dirk, when Dirk and a friend accidentally ruined Regulus' experiments. He tried to kill Dirk but instead turned him into Sun Boy.
  • Panel 12: That was Chameleon Girl as Validus.
  • Geoff Johns subtly reminds us that Sun Boy and Element Lad are still MIA.

Page 8
  • Panels 3-11 a flashback to Superboy-Prime's life on Earth-Prime, from DC Comics Presents #87.
  • Panel 6: Young Clark has Action Comics #550, Green Lantern #171, and LSH v2 #306 [Star Boy history and new costume] sticking out of his backpack. The issues don't have anything in common other than they are all from Dec. 1983; however, that Legion issue was the one with the Star Boy history and which highlighted his costume on the cover, which is shown to be important later in the first "Legion of Three Worlds" flashback.
  • Panel 12: Ouch.

Page 10
  • Panel 8: Scratch one more Karate Kid, the 4th one of that name to be killed off.

Page 11
  • Panel 1: If Tusker's bones are unbreakable, how did he lose half a tusk?
  • Panel 3: Members of the UP delegations, last seen in issue 1, including members from Braal, Taltar, Durla, Winath, Earth, Colu, Titan, Talok VIII, and Kaffar.

Page 12
  • Panel 1: The Legion's touchstone - the UP building?
  • Panel 4: Mordru's got his own Shadow Demons, like the ones the Anti-Monitor had.

Page 13
  • Panel 9: Each of the statues has their name in Interlac on the base. Lightning Lad's costume is miscolored - he should have a blue cape and orange legs. The statues depict the Legionnaires in their original costumes. There were many stories that depicted the statues (what was it called, the Avenue of Heroes or something?) in the Adventure days.

Pages 14-15
  • One of the greatest 2-page spreads in Legion history. This is where I yelled "YES" in my car. OK, let's rotate it clockwise a bit and take it from the top, front to back:
    *L2 Chameleon, L3 Shadow Lass
    *L3 Colossal Boy, L2 Andromeda, L3 Saturn Girl, L3 Star Boy, L3 Light Lass, L2 Gates
    *L2 Cosmic Boy, L2 Triad (split), L3 Chameleon Boy, L2 Sensor, L2 Karate Kid, L2 Wildfire
    *L1 Brainiac 5, L3 Lightning Lad, L2 Kinetix
    *L2 XS, L2 Ultra Boy, L2 Kid Quantum, L2 Dreamer, L2 Valor/M'Onel, L3 Atom Girl, L3 Sun Boy, L2 Timber Wolf
    *L2 Umbra, L3 Ultra Boy, L2 Brainiac 5, L1 White Witch, L2 Spark
    *L2 Shikari, L2 Livewire/Element Lad, L3 Brainiac 5, L3 Triplicate Girl
    *L2 Ferro, L2 Saturn Girl, L3 Triplicate Girl, L2 Violet, L3 Triplicate Girl
    *L3 Karate Kid, L3 Invisible Kid, L2 Star Boy, L2 Gear, L3 Princess Projectra (not evil?), L3 Element Lad
    *L1 Timber Wolf, L1 Phantom Girl, L2 Apparition, L3 Phantom Girl, L2 Invisible Kid

    Sheesh! Now THIS is truly a Legion!

Page 16
  • Panel 1: When did L2 Andromeda meet this Superman?
  • Panel 2: L2 and L3 Saturn Girls
  • Panels 3-4: I need help with Karate Kids. This is L1 Ultra Boy, whose Karate Kid died, was somehow resurrected, went back to the 21st century in the Lightning Saga, and died again during Countdown, but Ultra Boy doesn't remember all of that? That's L3 KK in panel 3 and L2 KK in panel 4.
  • Panels 5-9: Three Tinyas and three Jo Nahs, plus a statue of Ultra Boy in his original costume, getting the best of the three "fire guys".

Page 17
  • Panel 6: I don't think we ever saw L2 Ferro ever turned into another substance, did we?
  • Panel 7: That's L2 Garth Ranzz inhabiting the body of L2 Jan Arrah.

Page 18
  • Panel 1: L2 Garth-in-Jan's-body meets L1 Garth.
  • Panels 3-4: I love it when Brainiac 5s argue. L1 Brainy has the magic lightning rod they obtained during the Lightning Saga.

Page 19
  • Panel 1: L1 Wildfire, Dawnstar, and Polar Boy are back in 20th century Smallville.
  • Panel 6: In this version of Superman's past, the Luthors came from Smallville (as in the TV show).
  • Panel 8: They've got everything in here, including the kitchen sink.

Page 20
  • Panel 3: I don't recognize anything Luthor-ish in the bedroom.
  • Panel 7: In this re-re-re-rewritten past, I have no idea what Luthor's history is in Smallville or how he starts losing his hair, or why that's important to the story. But it's important enough to be Phase 2 of L1 Brainiac 5's plan...

Page 21
  • Panel 3: the L1 Trophy Room. At the far left are statues of L1 Life Lass and L1 Evolvo Lad of the Heroes of Lallor; a statue of Darkseid, apparently taken from the cover of the Great Darkness Saga trade paperback, and the heads of three of his Servants; the corpse of Proty I; the Vanguard Satellite from Adventure 247; an unknown green and yellow robot; the first Computo; and the Time Trapper's robe (hey, where has he been lately?). Jenni remarks that they fought Darkseid too, which in retrospect is interesting because (a) in neither of these stories did Darkseid travel through time, so he shouldn't have been visiting multiverses, and (b) given the events of Final Crisis, Darkseid didn't even look the same.
  • Panels 4-5: I guess this is one way of solving the Great Floating Pronunciation Flamewar. L1 Winath is "WINE-ath", L3 Winath is "WIN-ath", and L2 Winath is "win-ATHE". Who knew? In the background of panel 4 are two Starfinger costumes.
  • Panels 7-8: How would the lightning in the rod (given that we find out later what it actually is) amplify a Trommian's powers? If he could transmute himself into whatever he wished, why did he keep his robot arm? Maybe he was wishing to get back to being himself, and this is the last known condition he was in.
  • Panels 11-12: Geoff Johns begins to work his retcon magic, restoring XS and Impulse to continuity together. Earth-247 was last seen in Infinite Crisis, where Shikari had found the Legionnaires. It was destroyed in the Great Smushing along with other alternate Earths, but rather than think that the Legionnaires are the last surviving members of their entire universe, I'd like to think that Earth-247 is presently one of the 52 universes as the multiverse is currently known.

Pages 22-23
  • Panels 1-2: Them's the Tornado Twins, first seen in Adventure #373 with the L1 Legion. We also saw them with the L2 Legion after Zero Hour; this explains how. Barry and Iris came to the mid-30th century after Barry's trial (Flash #350), which is where her parents were from (long story). Iris got pregnant with Don and Dawn, after which Barry died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. That's the Cosmic Treadmill in panel 1.
  • Panels 4-5: My memory of the Zoom/Thawne saga is incomplete, I don't remember the details that Brainy's telling XS. But Zoom had a mad-on for Allens through time, as did his ancestors, the Thawnes. So L1 Don & Dawn moved over to Earth-247, where the L2 Legion would eventually form.
  • Panels 6-9: this appears to be the flashback to the original Legion of Three Worlds. The middle tier places the L1 Legion to be somewhere between Adventure 372 (Chemical King joined) and Action #392 (Saturn Girl gets her pink bikini); and the L2 Legion sometime before LSH v4 #83 (death of Leviathan), though Brainiac 5 is incorrectly depicted as the upgraded Brainiac 5.1 which didn't come til much later.
  • Panel 8: This one has some odd chronology. Star Boy is depicted with his starfield suit. The first time he wore it (Superboy #199), we had already seen new costumes for Saturn Girl, Duo Damsel, Chameleon Boy, Shrinking Violet, Karate Kid, Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy, Lightning Lad, Timber Wolf, Element Lad, and Princess Projectra. Also, Koko is seen in the lower right; he shouldn't be there, as he wasn't adopted by Brainy (shown here incorrectly as 5.1) until the 20th/30th century split.
  • Panel 9: In the Glorithverse, the Tornado Twins were killed by Dominators. How did it go down in Post-Zero Hour Earth-247? This panel suggests that Iris went with her kids and grandkids to Earth-247.
  • Panel 13: How simple an explanation. "When time traveling one can shift into the multiverse." L3 Brainy is thinking of the Post-52 version of Supergirl, who was an L3 member, not the original Pre-Crisis version who was an L1 member. L3 Brainy asks which world he's from.

Page 24

Page 25
  • Second Legionnaire casualty: L3 Sun Boy, frozen and shattered by Superboy-Prime. L1 Sun Boy feels it.

Page 26
  • Panel 2: Mon-El and Shady return with Sodam Yat.
  • Panel 8: Never figured out how Tharok returned from the dead yet.

Page 27
  • Panel 4: Jenni is on the Cosmic Treadmill, with the magic lightning rod stuck on the handlebars getting charged up.
  • Panel 12: Cool, five lightning wielders. The sound effect "Kra-kkoomm" looks familiar.

Page 28
  • Panel 7: trying to buy some time, that's L1 Mon-El, L3 Shadow Lass, L2 Kid Quantum, L1 Timber Wolf, L1 Shadow Lass, and L3 Colossal Boy.

Page 30
  • To little surprise, it's the return of Bart Allen, aka Impulse, aka Kid Flash, aka dead Flash. Well, there was some speculation that it might have been Barry himself, but don't forget that even as far back as last summer they spilled the beans about Bart returning.

The bit with XS made me think about something I wrote here a while back, a theory about the multiple Legions. I guess I wasn't too far off, that each of the Legion worlds is just a parallel universe. We never saw the L1 universe (which was the future of the original Earth-1) after Zero Hour, at which point we started following Earth-247. Time travel doesn't necessarily put you on the same Earth that you left.
Page 22


Anonymous said...

Hey Mark,

Great annotations as always! Just a few notes:

• Pages 14-15:
* that's L3 Saturn Girl (not L2) between L3 Colossal Boy/Micro Lad and L3 Star Boy
* you forgot L3 Chameleon (Boy?) under L2 Andromeda
* you forgot L2 Karate Kid over L2 Wildfire (ERG-1?)
* you forgot L2 Timber Wolf next to L3 Sun Boy
* that's L3 Karate Kid (in Manapauls' redesigned costume) between L2 Ferro & L3 Invisible Kid

• Page 21 - Panel 3:
* that's actually a statue of L1 Life Lass (not Gas Girl) beside the one of L1 Evolvo Lad)
* there are also heads of 3 of the Servants of Darkness depicted in the case with Darkseid

Scott Koblish said...

Gahh - I think my post might've been erased-

Star Boy doesn't make an appearance in the Legion stories between Action 392 and Superboy 199, and Dave Cockrum started to monkey around with the costumes in Superboy 193, so there's a three year publishing gap where Thom could have made the change off-panel. I've got a spot where I think it took place.

Bismol's stock exchange is DOWN 69 points. A dismal Bismal result.

And I had the exact same reaction to page 14/15 as you did when it came in the FedEx.

Anonymous said...

I have thought this ever since the Titans/Legion special and since L3 Brainy isn't answered, I am very nearly certain. If L3 isn't from Earth-Prime, I'll eat my hat.

Nikki said...

Anyone else get the hint that Brainiac 5 from new earth somehow remembers pre-crisis Kara. I don't think you can ignore that dialogue and how it leads to supergirl. (they could have easily used Kon-El as the example)

Michael said...

Scott - Star Boy's last regular appearance in his original costume was in Action #385. Saturn Girl's new costume was in Action #392, so that should narrow it down even further.

From the post on your site, I found the Interlac "Hamilton" on pages 4-5 though part of it was covered up. I already found "Moldoff" and "Al Plastino" but I can't find "Curt Swan". Probably covered up by lightning in the lower right. What else did I miss?

Also added some more links to issues, plus a link to Iris West Allen's story (way too complicated to go into here).

Added a comment about Darkseid on page 21 panel 3, and I found the kitchen sink that George and Scott put in (page 19 panel 8).

Anonymous said...

Ferro 2 doesn't "turn" into Lead- Element Lad changes him.

Scipio said...

"If Tusker's bones are unbreakable, how did he lose half a tusk?"

Because tusks aren't bones. They're in the "hair/fingernails" category...

Dvandom said...

Some "Legion Science" in the issue. Jenni's not going anywhere, so she isn't susceptible to relativistic mass increase (i.e. her "I felt so heavy" comment was out of place, scientifically speaking, although one could argue that her feet would get more massive...Ramos drawing her again? ;) ). The treadmill is what's spinning at high speeds, which would make it harder for her to move it. But this was never a problem for Barry, suggesting it's made of Special Material or something. In any case, Light Lass affects gravity, not mass. :)

Anonymous said...

Oops...sorry for calling you "Mark", Michael! I was obviously bleary-eyed and over-excited from reading and re-reading L3W.3!

Jason Pitzl-Waters said...

"But it's important enough to be Phase 2 of L1 Brainiac 5's plan..."

DNA for a new Kon-El clone? It would certainly fit into the psychological battle B5 is waging.

Unknown said...

Swan is written on the spire framed by Timberwolf, Terrus, Satturn Queen, and Hunter II's legs.

Ricardo said...

So far, Johns is basically confirming some assumptions:

1) Kon-El will be back and probably the new leader of the future LSH (probably why he was featured in Origins & Omens). This sucks, to me. He is just an uninteresting character, much like Superboy-Prime.
2) Each Legion has a different Earth. So it would make a lot of sense to have TMK's Legion in the fold. If Johns wants to make me happy, this will be one of Brainy's ideas - bring the 4th one to the table. Otherwise, Johns can live with his obcession with destroying all things Giffen.
3) One more dead Karate Kid - a nod or competition to Giffen? :)

Greybird said...

"Otherwise, Johns can live with his obsession with destroying all things Giffen."

Apropos of the Legion (as to continuity, not "Great Darkness" and a few other stories), that's fine with me. {g}

Gorgeous art, yet again, from Pérez. Reproducing Giffen's "5YL" face-scratches wouldn't fit. I doubt that George could degrade his standards that much.

I'm still mystified, beyond that whole "hair" thing as such (they're going to bring back Kon-El? memories, skills, and all? cloning doesn't do that), as to what the two "paths" were that Dawnstar was talking about.

Anonymous said...

Ok so Brainy unlocked the miracle machine - so why doesn't he use it to prevent all the death and mayhem??

Besides what was drawing Superman back into the past - he's never been pulled back against his will.

guess that's why tenzil ate it - to keep the writers honest :)

Anonymous said...

ON a Newsarama - video blog with George Perez at NYCC - he's only in the middle of #4 and has not started on #5.

Evidently the books are not all in the can and waiting to be printed but are still developing - wonder if this mean that Johns might be changing the ending and subplots????

Anonymous said...

Man holding baby XS is her father Jeven Ognats, woman holding Bart is probably Iris West, although Meloni Thawne was last seen in Titans/Legion Special on Earth 247.

Anonymous said...

Some corrections:

the corpse of Proty I; More likely another statue crafted by Garth after Mekt destroyed the original in Adventure #331.

an unknown green and yellow robot; Actually, the suit worn by S'Den a wizard who tried to trick the Legion in Superboy #230.

the first Computo; An image of Computo the Conqueror, which is in fact the second form adopted by the crazed computer.

Jenni remarks that they fought Darkseid too, which in retrospect is interesting because (a) in neither of these stories did Darkseid travel through time, so he shouldn't have been visiting multiverses, and (b) given the events of Final Crisis, Darkseid didn't even look the same. Reboot Legion #25-#30 "Foundations", this version of the Legion did battle Darkseid.

Also, over Lex's bed is a picture of someone wearing an s-shaped emblem across the chest. Hinting that a secret friendship may already exist...

Anonymous said...

Page 16

•Panel 1: When did L2 Andromeda meet this Superman?

In the original Legion of 3 Worlds Adventure. An untold tale of the Legion we hope will be told one day soon - ed

Anonymous said...

Greybird said "I'm still mystified, beyond that whole "hair" thing as such (they're going to bring back Kon-El? memories, skills, and all? cloning doesn't do that)...."

Yeah, I'm hoping they don't go with a replacement for Kon-El and expect us to pretend he's the same. Here's the thing: Conner Kent and Nightwing had some odd mind-meld thing happen in Infinite Crisis when they held the magic crystal Luthor gave them. It seemed to show them their memories or something. If Brainy and crew get ahold of the crystal, they may be able to use it to put Kon-El's memories (up to that point) into a newly cloned body. That still shouldn't quite get the real guy back from the dead, but it might give them another tool to use against Prime.

Josh W said...

It could be that the relativistic mass increase of the treadmill is meaning she is pulled down harder, but they've never gone that far in implementing relativity yet!