Or – “We Almost Had To GET To The Far-Flung Future To Read This One!”


Awkward confession time:  I’ve kind of been using this series and it’s lateness as a justification for my lateness with the last few Legion Hero Histories.  I was very surprised to find this book on the coming attractions list for the week, as it really underlines the fact that George Perez, Geoff Johns and I are waaaaay late.

I’m gonna go ahead and blame Jim Shooter…

L3W2.jpgPreviously, on Legion of 3 Worlds: The menace known as Superman-Prime, last survivor of a dead universe, has led to a nearly-unprecedented step on the part of the now-fractured Legion of Super-Heroes:  They’ve actually been forced to cross dimensional barriers and recruit the assistance of OTHER Legions (including the “Reboot” Legion published from 1994 to 2004, and the “Threeboot” version of the LSH, whose adventures only recently stopped being published) in order to combat Prime and his Legion of Super-Villains.  The battle has been hard-fought and even fatal for several Legionnaires (Karate Kid II and Green Lantern Rond Vidar of the original timeline, Kinetix of the second Legion, Element Lad and  Sun Boy of the third) but the last straw came when the Legion’s archfoe the Time Trapper was unmasked to reveal…  SUPERMAN-PRIME!  The Legion’s founders, plus the original Kryptonian, are immediately blasted by chronal energies, and all seems finally lost…

The battle taking place in the 30thCentury, however, doesn’t seem nearly as final, with the return of Connor Kent to action alongside an all-star multiversal Legion, with backup provided by Daxamite Green Lantern Sodam Yat and recently resurrected Kid Flash Bart Allen.  Saturn Girl V.1 transmits a telepathic signal through time to her universe’s Brainiac 5, warning him of events at the end of the universe, while Superman Prime ruptures Wildfire V.1’s containment suit, causing a massive explosion at the Fortress of Solitude.  Back in Metropolis, more Legionnaires are forced to fight a newly empowered Mordru, who has sucked up the entirety of the magics of the Reboot universe by killing Kinetix.  Connor and Clark Kent strike simultaneously in different time zones, each telling Superman-Prime how sorry they feel for his pathetic inability to learn from his mistakes.  A heat vision burst scars BOTH men, and Saturn Girl v.1 realizes that the future isn’t set in stone, and Cosmic Boy v.1 realizes what this means.  “Time Trapper says he has access to Legions from from across the multiverse,” realizes Cos, “and that means SO DO WE!”  The founding Legionnaires combine their powers, transmitting a signal through the flight rings they wear to call for help…

The call is answered by several versions of the LSH that no longer exist: The team that appeared in Legion Volume 3 after the Crisis, The 5-Year Gap version of the team, the SW6 clone Legionnaires, a non non-existent headband-wearing pre-Crisis Supergirl, the members of L.E.G.I.O. N., the Adult Legionnaires, and more!  It’s a beautiful two-page spread full of Legionnaires who no longer exist, alternate costume, the missing Threeboot version of Cosmic Boy, Kent Shakespeare, Thunder, Sensor Girl, and even Tyroc and Chemical King, long since lost to the vagaries of the multiverse.  Kinda chokes me up a little, actually…  The battle tide turns at the end of time, and back in 30th Century Metropolis, The White Witch likewise pulls a win out of the jaws of defeat by absorbing Mordru and all his stolen magics into herself.  “Long Live the Legion,” intones the suddenly-scary Black Witch as she hovers over the battle.  The villainous Earth-Man cries that he’ll steal the powers of the remaining Legionnaires, but the last straw for the LSV comes in the form of…  BOUNCING BOY! “You sure you want mine, Adolf?” quips Chuck as he takes the villain down.  “That’d be a FIRST!”  BB’s wife also leaps into battle, creating her two other bodies… and two more, and two more, and two more!  Mrs. Bouncing Boy reveals that her powers changed after her last self died in the past.  “I can make as many of me as I want now!  So, it’s Duplicate Damsel reporting for Legion duty!”  Dozens of alternate Legionnaires pound the Time Trapper down, and as the smoke clears, the original versions of the founders (bubble helmet, green skirt, and red-wearing Lightning Boy) marvel that the dream will eventually come true.  The founding Legionnaires transport back to Metropolis and allow the two versions of Prime to meet face-to-big-stupid-face, and Prime tries to punch his older self, causing the temporal feedback to erase him from existence.  “What an idiot,” remarks Brainiac v.2.  Amen, Querl…  Amen.

With the threat to their universe gone, the Legions assess the damage, taking the time to rebuild Takron-Galtos, Smallville, and the Metropolis area.  The xenophobia rampant in the Legion’s time is still there, the team even takes time to memorialize their lost Legionnaires (a moment handled by the newly-reunited Dawnstar and Wildfire.)  Blok lamented the loss of his beloved White Witch, now returned to Sorcerer’s World, Sodam Yat begins rebuilding the Green Lantern Corps, and even Sun Boy returns to action.  Brainiac 5 wonders about his lost teammates (which I’m sure will be a plot point soon) reveals that the Threeboot Legion ARE (as someone here suggested) the Earth-Prime version of the Legion.  The Rebooted Legion, with no home to return to, set out into the worlds to find other survivors of dead parallels (“You can call us the new Wanderers,” says Ferro) but XS and Gates decide to stay on with the original Legion.  The three Brainiacs bicker some more, only grudgingly making peace as the alternate Legions return to the multiverse with a cry of “Long Live The Legion!”  Two postscripts reveal what happens when Bart and Connor come home to the Titans, and what became of Superman-Prime (he has returned home to a world where the comics revealing his horrific murderous actions have been printed ((Matthew’s explanation of how that works is available, if you need it)) and apparently has begun his new career as internet troll.)

It’s not entirely what I expected, but it does avoid the kind of  problems that could have arisen out of a book like this…  The appearance of the Post-Crisis, 5-Year Gap, and SW6 Legionnaires finally fulfills the promise that this series would contain EVERYONE who had ever been a Legionnaire, and it was good (and also saddening) to see the likes of Laurel Gand, Laurel Kent, Kent Shakespeare and even more obscure luminaries such as Ferro Man.  This series has managed to distill the essence of the Legion, while taking things in new directions.  The upcoming Adventure Comics thus has many built in plot hooks, such as the eight missing Legionnaires, the new kids assimilating, the Black Witch’s actions and more.  There wasn’t the big sense of disappointment that many big event series tend to engender, and I’m left wondering where the Legion goes now.  That’s a good thing.  George Perez delivers his usual brilliant, detailed, insanely character-filled art, and each page is rife with new ways to play “Hey, it’s that guy!”  Johns’ story is likewise excellent, especially in the revelation that the callow Superman-Prime isn’t the ONLY Time Trapper, and that the Trapper is probably just a sentient alternate timeline with a grudge.  That’s kinda neat.  Overall, it’s a great issue, and a nice farewell to the second and third Legions, as the original incarnation of the team returns to prominence.  Legion of 3 Worlds #5 earns the total package, 5 out of 5 stars, accomplishing what a series of this type SHOULD: It celebrates the team’s past, and makes you excited for the adventures to come in the future…



About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Did anyone notice that there were actually TWO Supergirls who showed up? PreC Kara, and the one who was punching the Trapper looked an awful lot like Matrix.

  2. Firstly, notice that S-Prime doesn’t have any Countdown issues. This is carte blanche for it never having happened.

    Secondly…I’ve only just realised how awesome a Starman/Deadpool team-up could be.

  3. Tom Welling Prime’s return home was so Deadpool I half expected him to talk in yellow bubbles, It was a briliant move and the explaination for the many Time Trappers made sense which is an astonishingly rare thing in anything related to Final Crisis.

    Is it wrong that I would have liked more of the threebooted legionnaires to die? And that I’m glad they’re stuck with a still powered Tom Welling Prime? That legion ended in such and awful way, I was hoping for a total erasure from continuity.

    I would have given it 4.5 out of 5 because the 3 legions weren’t merged into a single one, which would have made this book perfect and removed any threebooted future storylines…


  5. Didn’t know much about the LOSH prior to this series, but it’s original issues made me pick up the Showcase collections. The finale makes me hope for a new ongoing. Definately a Legion fan.

  6. Just so you know Johns has recently said in an interview that all three of the legions will be appearing at some point in Adventure Comics, so the other two aren’t completely forgotten

    and yeah great end to a great mini

  7. At one point Atrocitus showed Hal a blood prophesy were Alan and a few others were in trial by the Oans, maybe this is their fate after the trial…

  8. What made this a Final Crisis tie-in? You’d think a top notch creative team like Johns and Perez wouldn’t need the Final Crisis tag to generate sales.

  9. Katzedecimal on

    It’s been darned rare in recent years that a comic series has left me happydancing with fangrrly joy rather than throwing it across the room and ranting. Geoff Johns’s Legion works have all suffered the former fate and this one is no exception. I LOL’d right there in the comic store when I saw what Tom Welling did to himself. Bravo! *huggles Awesome!Brainy he’s back yayyy he’s back!*

  10. I don’t like anybody messing with the Alan Scott GL – but I’ve come to realize he’s not going to come to “permanent” harm in the DC Universe anymore than Bruce Wayne is.

    I really wish he could have his own book. I remember the GL/Vandal Savage storyline from the first year of JSA CLASSIFIED and loved it. I love him in the Solomon Grundy series too…but sales for those books were/are microscopic at best.

    Anyway, you just know there’s as storyline coming out of this. I happily wait.

  11. Greg:

    I think this really was a Final Crisis tie-in, in the sense that the story was designed to have ramifications across the DCU and not just for the LSH: the Flashes, GLs, Gemworld, Titans, etc. When you think about it, the resolution to the story could have been accomplished without Conner or Bart, so their presence wasn’t really needed for THIS story as much as this story was useful as a way to bring them back. So to my mind it truly was a Final Crisis story that just happened to occur in the 31st century.

    I liked the story overall, but it would have been nice to seen more of the Legion characters taking the place of Bart, Conner and Sodam Yat. It would have been nice to see more time given to the fight between the assembled Legions and the Trapper. It would have been nice to see more time given to Mysa taking down the LSV. It would have been nice to see more time given to the 247ers’ discussion about their future, and to Gates’ decision to stay with XS and the retroboot Legion.

    Too much interesting Legion stuff happened off-panel (or in really tiny panels). And again, I’m not convinced they needed Bart and Conner after all…..

    • Okay Matthew, I am ready to hear your reasoning behind the comics.

      Aha! A query!

      Back when they first introduced the multiple Earths concept, Barry Allen had already been seen reading Jay Garrick ‘Flash’ comic books. The explanation was that, on Barry’s Earth 1, the stories of Earth 2 were comic fiction. By extension, then, the editors decided that OUR Earth (Earth-Prime) was the world where BOTH worlds were just comic fiction. Later events involved crossovers with Earth-Prime, including their own superhero (Ultraa), the Justice League creative team (Cary Bates and Eliot Maggin) crossing over to Earth 1, where Bates became a villain, multiple appearances by Julius Schwartz, and right before The original Crisis, the first appearance of Earth-Prime’s own version of Clark Kent.

      Since it’s very inception, Earth-Prime has been a world where events take place in a way VERY close to our reality, and an Earth in which the comic book appearances of the DC Characters were created and printed by the staff of DC Comics. Thus, it makes perfect sense that Tom Welling Prime’s adventures on New Earth were chronicled there…

  12. Okay, but how did those comics get there as Tom Welling -Prime has been away for so long. Who has been buying them?

    • Okay, but how did those comics get there as Tom Welling -Prime has been away for so long. Who has been buying them?

      If you saw your kid on the cover of a comic book, would YOU buy it?

  13. It didn’t say exactly how much time passed since Prime got back. Who knows? His parents might’ve bought them in bulk, or they might’ve already had them so they could keep track of him.

  14. I couldn’t let this review go by without saying something… ever since Geoff Johns started to re-introduce the pre-crisis Legion in Action comics, I have been a happy, happy man. I missed Blok, Wildfire and Dawnstar so much. When I saw Bouncing Boy, I almost weeped openly. Manly, but openly.

  15. You’re probably right Matthew. I can esspecially imagine a scenario where thy’re wondering where their missing son is and look around some of his favorite haunts, like a comic book store, and find one of those early issues of Infinite Crisis.

  16. Awesome issue. I like how the 247-Legion’s new mission is rescuing stray survivors from the Multiverse. Here’s hoping their new HQ is a Bleed-traversing Legion World.

    Oh, and the scene with Sodam and the GL rings?

    Scanning Sector 2814. Sentient found/.

    What if that was followed by the words, “Celeste Rockfish of Earth, you have the ability to overcome great fear…”

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