Thursday, April 30, 2009

Annotated "Legion of Three Worlds" #4

Four issues down, one to go - allegedly due in June. Fingers crossed.

Also check out the annotations by Douglas Wolk's Final Crisis Annotations, Gary Greenwood's The Annotated Final Crisis, and Tim Callahan, who might 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
Don't miss this issue as lightning strikes again in the DC Universe! The Crisis of the 31st century continues as a great hero falls and another returns to help Superman and the Legion combat the murderous Superboy-Prime! Meanwhile, the Time Trapper makes his move against the three Legion founders, Polar Boy's bizarre mission comes to an end and Superman makes a shocking discovery that will redefine the terms of this war.

DC Universe | 40pg. | Color | $3.99 US
On Sale Apr 29, 2009

Cover A (full): L1 Brainiac 5 with Kid Flash (Bart Allen) appearing from the lightning rod
Cover B (sliver): TBD

Page 1
  • The digger is Tom Kallor (aka Starman, aka Danny Blaine), last seen in JSA #? taking the job of a grave digger. At the time we didn't know why.

Page 2
  • Panel 4: "Gold star" might be a reference to his old costume, which was purple with a gold star on the chest.
  • Panel 8: Mr. Kent... given the 20th century events of last issue where the Legionnaires got a strand of hair from Lex Luthor, it's pretty obvious who is buried here.

Page 3
  • Panel 3: L3 Timber Wolf, L3 Element Lad
  • Panel 4: L3 Element Lad covers up the headless body of L3 Sun Boy, killed last issue.
  • Panel 5: L2 Umbra fights off shadow demons.
  • Panel 6: L2 Shikari, L3 Timber Wolf, L2 Violet, L3 Princess Projectra vs. Hunter and Black Mace.
  • Panel 7: Mordru must be talking about his earliest encounters with Superboy and the Legion, as in ADV 369-370.
  • Panel 9: L2 Kinetix and L2 Sensor magically fight Mordru. Kinetix refers to her Legion's fight with their Mordru (Legionnaires 48, 49, 50).

Page 4
  • Panel 2: L1 Blok, L1 White Witch, L1 Phantom Girl, L3 Phantom Girl
  • Panel 3: L2 Apparition
  • Panel 4: L1 Night Girl, L2 Dreamer
  • Panel 6: Superman, L1 Cosmic Boy, L1 Saturn Girl
  • Panel 8: Kid Flash's fist makes its first appearance

Page 5
  • Panel 1: Kid Flash is back from the dead!
  • Panel 6: Jenni "XS" Ognats, Bart Allen's first cousin. Her mom and his dad were Dawn and Don Allen, the Tornado Twins.

Page 6
  • Panel 1: L1 Lightning Lad and L2 Spark
  • Panel 2: L2 Live Wire, L3 Lightning Lad, and L1 Lightning Lass add their powers
  • Panel 3: L3 Light Lass, L2 Gates
  • Panel 4: L1 Brainiac 5's hand holds the lightning rod, L2 Brainiac 5 in the background
  • Panels 3-8: OK, if you'll remember, Bart "died" (as the adult Flash) the same week that we saw the Lightning Saga finale (June 2007), in which we saw the Legionnaires capture something in the lightning rod. Speculation at the time thought it was Barry, but it was actually Bart's essence. If I get this right, Bart had been accelerated to an adult which caused him to age rapidly even further, so "bottling his youth" in the lightning rod saved his life. Why did they do that? Because L1 Dream Girl, who is still MIA, dreamed that it was necessary. (Note: I've lost track. Which L1 Legionnaires are still missing besides Dream Girl and Chameleon Boy?

Page 7
  • XS and Kid Flash vs Emerald Empress. L2 Kid Quantum appears.

Page 8
  • Panels 1-2: Sodam Yat, the last Green Lantern, attacks Superboy Prime

Page 9
  • Finally, the Time Trapper reappears! That's L2 Timber Wolf, Grimbor, L3 Invisible Kid, L2 Ferro, L2 Gear, L2 Violet, L3 Triplicate Girl, L1 Blok, L2 Saturn Girl, L2 Cosmic Boy, Persuader, L3 Shadow Lass, L1 Shadow Lass, L1 Mon-El, L3 Star Boy.

Page 10
  • Panel 2: flashback from Final Crisis?
  • Panel 4: Flashback to Time Trapper and Glorith from ADV 317
  • Panel 5: Flashback to the Conspiracy against the Time Trapper, LSH v3 50. That's Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Duo Damsel, Brainiac 5, and Rond Vidar.
  • Given what we know by the end of the story about who this Time Trapper is, why would he have focused on the Legion for what they did to him? They've got an issue to figure that out.
  • Notice that the Conspiracy arc is still canonical. That was well after the Crisis issues of LSH v3 (17-18). Time Trapper says that he attempted to remove any true memories of Superboy from the Legion but was not fully successful. Does that mean that the v4 Legion has not been erased, as that Legion used Valor as a Superboy substitute?

Page 12
  • Panel 3: Kid Flash says that magic doesn't affect Superboy Prime. I thought it did, am I mistaken?
  • Panel 5: Kinetix is killed. I'm a bit surprised, as I figured they wouldn't kill off the "unique" characters from each of the Legions.
  • Panel 6: Interestingly, she calls out the name of Leviathan, who was the L2 Gim Allon. He died early in the L2 run. Did she see him as she died, and if so, how? When last we saw him, he was being taken into a room that suggested (to me, at least) that they were testing out something that might bring him back to life.

Page 13
  • That's newscaster Marella Tao, who dated Timber Wolf after he broke up with Light Lass. To recap: the dead Legionnaires (so far) include L2 Kinetix, L1 Karate Kid II (shown with the rest of the Substitute Legion 2.0), L1 Rond Vidar, and L3 Sun Boy.

Page 14
  • L2 M'Onel and L3 Element Lad join the fight. Element Lad makes the version of Kryptonite from Superboy Prime's world that hurts him, as kryptonite from other worlds don't hurt.

Page 15
  • Death of L3 Element Lad and possibly Zymyr (if he can live outside of his bubble). Cosmic King changes the kryptonite radiation to yellow sun radiation, which appears to be a new use of his power (previously he only changed elements and compounds).

Page 16
  • Panel 2: Mordru predicts the triumphant Legion: L1 Invisible Kid II, L2 Invisible Kid, L2 Chameleon, L1 Timber Wolf, L1 White Witch, L1 Blok, L2 Saturn Girl, L2 Sensor, L2 Cosmic Boy, L3 Atom Girl, L2 Violet, L2 Kid Quantum, L3 Colossal Boy, L3 Chameleon Boy, L2 Ferro, L2 Timber Wolf, L2 Shikari, L2 Apparition. Fallen bad guys include Mordru, Titania, Tharok, Dr. Regulus, and the Emerald Eye.
  • Panel 7: Green Lantern, L1 Mon-El, L3 Wildfire, and L2 M'Onel head north
  • Panel 8: Following them are L2 and L3 Ultra Boys, L2 Star Boy, and L2 Andromeda.

Page 17
  • Panel 1: The new version of Superman's Fortress, resembling that on the Smallville TV show and the Superman movies.
  • Panel 2: Three Brainiac 5s, Gates, and Light Lass wait for the Time Bubble.
  • Panel 7: L1 Wildfire, L1 Polar Boy, and L1 Dawnstar return with Lex Luthor's hair.

Page 19
  • Hmm, who has Kryptonian DNA and needs reviving?

Page 20
  • Ooops, the only ones who knew what to do are unconscious, along with some heavy hitters (M'Onel, L2 Ultra Boy, Green Lantern, and Andromeda).

Page 21
  • More cannon fodder: L2 Wildfire, L3 Ultra Boy, and L1 Mon-El. Polar Boy is the last line of defense, but he's just buying time.

Page 23
  • Polar Boy won't go down easily. His dying speech (or what he thinks will be that): "You can kill everyone wearing a Legion flight ring, but the dream Superman started will never die. Long Live the Legion."

Page 24
  • L1 Sun Boy to the rescue as L1 Dawnstar and L1 Wildfire complete the resurrection/regeneration process.

Page 25
  • Panel 2: Polar Boy calls Sun Boy "Drake" instead of "Dirk". Drake is Wildfire.

Page 26-27
  • It's the return of Conner Kent, aka Superboy! That shirt and those pants look pretty good after 1000 years.

Page 28-29
  • The assembled Legionnaires vs Superboy Prime at the north pole, with the three L1 founders with Superman at the end of time. The big reveal --

Page 30
  • The Time Trapper is Superboy Prime!

So we've got a couple of months to analyze this before issue 5. There are some things I want to address, like can the Trapper's previous appearances be reconciled with this, especially the story in which he hinted at XS's role in the big picture scheme of things; how this ties back to the Lightning Saga story; and a look at the hints and spoilers over the last couple years.

Remember, we know that Bart and Conner survive to make it back to the 21st century, and that L1 Brainiac 5 shows Superman the Miracle Machine


Anonymous said...

I wonder what caused them to change the front cover from 3 B5's to B5' L1 + K.Flash?

Tom Galloway said...

Page 1: That's "Thom Kallor", not Tom. It's also unclear 1) why he needed a job as a gravedigger in order to dig up a grave in the middle of the night 2) why Connor is buried there rather than in the established hero cemetery (which, per recent Nightwing issues, had to be moved and guarded due to folk stealing DNA samples from the bodies). Heck, I'm not at all sure why Brainy'd pick someone who'd become mentally ill in the 21st century for this mission.

P.3: Are you sure that's L2 Umbra and not L1 Shady? She's wearing an "S" cape clasp.

P.5, panel 9: "Impuke" is an insult based on Bart's original superhero name "Impulse".

P.6 Missing L1 Legionnaires: Element Lad, Bouncing Boy, Single Girl (or whatever Luornu's going by now), Matter-Eater Lad, Sensor Girl, Tyroc, Magnetic Kid (unclear; he was killed at the end of the pre-five year gap run, but it's clear that the L1 Legion seen here diverged before that happened. However, he may have also been killed in the current L1 timeline as no mention's been made of him and Cos should know where to find his kid brother), Quislet (presumably still back in its home dimension). The Subs haven't shown up yet either.

In panel 8, word balloon 3 is presumably by L3 Brainy, who's being written as kneejerk anti-adult rather than being more Machiavellian and ego driven than the other two Brainy's (my opinion anyway).

P. 10 panel 2: Not a Crisis flashback, but monitoring the "current" 31st century battle as Prime gloats that Superman and the L1 founders (the "big guns") are off the battlefield. Note his torn costume, in sync with how it appears on P. 9.

P. 12, panel 3: The other question is why Kinetix is using magic. While she had some knowledge of magic, her initial powerset was telekinesis due to exposure to a magical artifact. Her current appearance was a result of "hypertaxis" and while her powers were vague, they weren't magic vis a vis spellcasting as she appears to be doing here. I suspect she was killed off because, at least in my opinion, her transformation was a bad idea and wrecked the character. Me, I would've changed her back somehow and kept using her.

P. 13. If they're counting Myg as a Legionnaire, I guess Comet Queen is also a missing L1 Legionnaire (hopefully coming back only to be killed quickly; never liked the character).

P. 14. I wonder if L3 E-Lad making Kryptonite that hurts Prime means that the L3 Legion is from Earth-Prime? Remember, Prime wants Earth-Prime back...

P. 28. Superman's a bit overconfident vis a vis Conner's return. Prime is pre-Crisis Earth-1 Kryptonian power level, *way* beyond Conner's power level. He'll freak Prime out for a moment, but really doesn't stand a chance against him and isn't a significant addition to the 3Legion powerset.

Note that the whole bit about needing to find some way to redeem Prime seems to have been forgotten, even by Superman.

Brainy Pirate said...

Was there a robot Brainy in the room when Bart returned? That one panel looks like Brainy's torso exploded, but all three of them are clearly still alive....

And if Thom dug up Conner, how/when did he get him to the Fortress Super-Lab to install him in the regenerator?

Loved the way Johns "re-united" Dawny and Wildfire at the crucial moment!

pibegardel said...

Yeah, it would seem that the Threeboot Legion is from a world equivalent to the pre-crisis Earth-Prime. It would make sense since the 3boot Legion had comics with Superman/Brainiac/etc. in them.

Unknown said...

"Panel 6: Interestingly, she calls out the name of Leviathan, who was the L2 Gim Allon."

I haven't got the issue yet and am naughtily reading the annotations in advance but could she be calling out for LeVIathan? Because Salu Digby/Shrinking Violet sometimes went by that once she got growth powers and she and Kinetix were close.

Meerkatdon said...

Mike: What a tremendous job! Well done, sir.

Thom got his gravedigger job in Justice Society of America Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom #1 (1/09)

Subsequent to that, he appeared in JSA #21 (1/09), JSA #22 (2/09), and JSA #23 (3/09). In #23, Thom's story was dispatched in one panel and an editorial note: "For more on Starman's 'secret mission,' see Final Crisis: LegIon of Three Worlds."

Kinetix shouting out “Leviathan” – didn’t the L2 Violet take the name Leviathan (sometimes spelled LeVIathan) in honor of the deceased Gim Allon?

@Brainy Pirate: In the panel where Brainy’s torso was exploded, I think that was the Brainiac 5 statue on the Avenue of Heroes, not any real Brainy.

@Tom Galloway: re: Superman being overconfident at Conner’s ability to fight Prime. Remember, Brainy said this struggle is as much psychological as physical. Bart and Conner both fought Prime effectively in the past; moreover, they are likely to throw Prime off balance and make him even more irrational – all of which will distract him until Brainy’s next move.

peter vandeneng said...

i figure the miracle machine sequence must be from brainy's past. 'cause tenzil ATE the thing...

J.D. Long said...

Geez Louise -- I shouldn't read these things before I get the book.

I was just sitting around the other day, trying to think of the weirdest possible twist they could throw into this book before the end -- and the only thing I could dream of would be the resurrection of Conner Kent.

Hoooo Boy. So I nailed that one.

I thought Cosmic Boy was the Time Trapper. Who else is going to pop out of those robes; Miss Piggy?


Murray said...

I was surprised to see Zoe killed off, too, but I figure that if they ever want to bring Kinetix back they've got an easy out. Mysa mentioned that Mordru absorbed her magic energies or something, so that even in death she can't be free... so whip up a doohickie that releases those energies, create something to hold those energies and Kinetix can be back in the land of the living.

Anonymous said...

Do we know Connor returns to the 21st C - surely he is already there (albeit dead) and will therefore provide the LSH with a permanent Superboy in the 31st C?

Adam said...

Murrfox, let's hope that if Kinetix ever comes back...that she gets her original look. I can't help but think that the only reason Kinetix even died in this book was because she looks nearly identical to the L2's Projectra.

Mike A. said...

I'm so glad I wasn't the only one that caught the "clue" about Prime being affected by L3 kryptonite. Of course, now that that Element Lad is dead (meaning there is only ONE E-Lad alive across three legions, which does not make me happy), who knows how important that might be. I guess we're also going to assume that it was L1 Nura's dream that Superboy be revived ("Brainy . . . I saw a vision that the lawsuit with the Siegel estate will settle. They'll need to get Superboy back!"). Interesting read, but it seems a bit anti-climatic since most of the "big" reveals have been some of the work kept secrets in recent comics history.

Terence Chua said...

And there I was thinking I was just being a punk when I suggested it was Bart they saved (and not Barry as was being surmised) way back when Lightning Saga was published.

Duo Damsel is MIA/dead by the end of Countdown, no?

Terence Chua said...

... and Supergirl's also not present. Although her presence in continuity probably only applies to L3.

Terence Chua said...

...and Zoe's probably seeing Gim because he's dead and she's about to die.

WhiteDwarfStar said...

"Notice that the Conspiracy arc is still canonical. That was well after the Crisis issues of LSH v3 (17-18). Time Trapper says that he attempted to remove any true memories of Superboy from the Legion but was not fully successful."

Yup. I'm pretty sure this means ALL the Levitz (v. 3) issues of LSH are canonical, with minor alterations (i.e., Pocket Universe Superboy was just a trick; when the Trapper said that the Legion had never met a "real" Superboy or Superman, he was lying).

Tom Galloway said...

Countdown only killed off one of Luornu's two remaining bodies (and you may recall that Geoff dropped a spoiler about her at the LSH 50th anniversary panel at San Diego, so I'm pretty sure she's both still around and showing up next issue).

Also, re all the Levitz issues being canonical, I asked Geoff at said panel where L1 diverged, since it was clear that v4 didn't happen. His response was a somewhat vagued "post-Crisis", but at least implied it was relatively soon after Crisis and not the whole Levitz and/or Giffen v3 run.

WhiteDwarfStar said...

Tom -- yeah, but Johns keeps making vague references to post-COIE storylines. ("Pocket Universes," "Magic Wars," etc.) Johns is talented enough with retcons to make everything from Vol. 3 fit if he wanted to make it fit, no?

reedsolomon.matr1x at said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

when the Trapper said that the Legion had never met a "real" Superboy or Superman, he was lying
or if the trapper really is Superboy Prime, then his definition of a "real" superboy/superman is himself.

all the same, theres no way that the time trapper is any single individual.

Jim Drew said...

Note on page 2 that they cover up the first name on the Kent tombstone. We're supposed to think of the most recently deceased Kent family member, Pa Kent.

The Prime Trapper reinforces my theory that the real identity of the Trapper changes as the timelines do -- he's also been Cosmic Boy and a Controller, and Brainy and Jeckie would make excellent candidates. The Time Trapper isn't the embodiment of Entropy, he/it's the embodiment of paradox. (Joke: that's two Brainiac 5's int he same room.) And thus there is an innate conflict that the Legion could defeat Prime and yet have him be the Trapper, but that's okay because of his nature.

If you look at Kinetix's past, she's all about transformation, having had several major makeovers in the past. (Human, elf, human, comatose, terrorform/hypertaxi, etc.) Of all the dead characters, it's in her nature for being magically absorbed into Mordru to be just her next transformation.