DC Comics has been threading along several subplots and characters between events, and it would appear that many of those subplots and characters come to a decisive conflict here in “Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds.” From “Infinite Crisis” to the “Lightning Saga” (which was the historic and fan-favorite first time that the JLA and JSA team-up was able to span the “Justice League of America” and “Justice Society of America” titles) through “52” and “Countdown,” to Geoff Johns’ and Gary Frank’s return of the Legion of Super-Heroes in “Action” to this tie-in to “Final Crisis,” Johns and his DC Comics writing cohorts have been developing the elements of this story for more than a few years.
Geoff Johns has made no secret of how much he enjoys writing Prime, a character he says has no redeeming qualities. That becomes quite evident over the course of the first half of this book. Guided by the Time Trapper, Superboy/man Prime forges an allegiance with the Legion of Super-Villains to wipe out the legacy of Superman and the legend of the Legion of Super-Heroes. His plans and efforts are countered by Brainiac 5, who has the brilliant idea to summon the strength of two Legions to fight alongside the “current” Legion.
Add in some George Perez artwork — after all, who better to illustrate hundreds of characters over the course of five issues? — and this book goes from readable to a visual spectacle. More than once I found myself pausing my reading to share the splendor of the two-page spreads of Legions (good and evil) with those in the same room. Perez delivers the Legion story of his career here, and fans of the modern master should give this book a look-see just for his art alone.
Beyond the three Legions, this story feeds other appearances and informs storylines in various DC franchises. Here is where you can see the return of Conner Kent Superboy, Impulse, and XS, among other fan favorites. Sodam Yat is here, as is the future of the Green Lantern Corps. This book is a nice connector between the events leading up to, and including “Final Crisis” and those currently happening in the tales of “New Krypton,” “Flash: Rebirth,” and “Blackest Night.” With upcoming storylines bringing the Legion into more readers hands — both in their own appearances in “Adventure Comics” and the Brainiac and The Legion of Super-Heroes storyline, which is set to run through the Superman titles in 2010 — this book is a good starting spot for those fans who may have strayed from Legion stories or want to learn a little more about the current incarnation of the Legion as they prepare for Paul Levitz’s return to writing these characters. As a pedestrian Legion fan, I found this story to be enjoyable and informative, despite the multiple variations of a multitude of characters.
“Final Crisis” took a while to reach its completion, and this tie-in followed suit when originally released in floppy format. This collection is a perfect remedy for those readers who were chased away by floppy delays. Complete, jam-packed with characters and fantastic artwork, this title stands free of any “Final Crisis” baggage while delivering the feeling of a mega-event.