Here’s what you won’t find in “Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds” #3:
- Subtle characterization
- An explicit link to the actual “Final Crisis” series
- Panels without meticulous detail
- The 3 Legions of Super-Pets
If you’re looking for those things, you might be disappointed (although I’m personally holding out hope for a big Proty vs. Superboy-Prime showdown in the finale), but none of those elements are what this series is all about.
This series is all about spectacle.
And it’s also about introducing the Legion of Super-Heroes to a generation of readers who may never have understood why a group of teenagers from the future with silly names has such a loyal fanbase. It’s about making the Legion cool again, but not by adding cybernetic arms (Lightning Lad sported one of those before Cable was even in diapers, anyway) or tough guy language (“sprock” is about as hardcore as it gets) or ultra-violence (death and dismemberment has been part of this seemingly innocent team since the early days, too). Geoff Johns makes the Legion cool again by embracing the Legion concept, and then putting George Perez to work drawing it all in eye-popping detail.
Even with — or perhaps because of — Scott Koblish on inks, this is some of George Perez’s best work ever. He absolutely packs each page with visual information, yet it’s layered in such a way as to keep everything perfectly clear. Johns includes plenty of word balloons to slow the pacing a bit, allowing us to linger on Perez’s panels a bit longer, but even with all of its intense visual detail, “Legion of 3 Worlds” #3 moves swiftly from panel to panel.
Amidst the Superboy-Prime rampage, which takes up much of this issue, we get an explanation of how each of these three Legion teams spun out of a single event involving the Tornado Twins and Professor Zoom. And we learn a bit about the first Legion of Three Worlds story that has been referred to since the Johns/Meltzer “Lightning Saga.”
But while those explanations may help fill in the gaps that some readers want to see filled, none of it really matters as much as the spectacle of the deep-focus battles between the Legionnaires and the vast gallery of future rogues. And though the final twist in the end comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to Johns’s larger Legion story that started back in “Justice Society of America,” it’s still a fun cliffhanger.
It may be February, but this is a summer blockbuster in comic book form, and though the delays have softened its impact, it’s a four-color romp that recalls the best Legion stories you’ve never read.