Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2

The big question about this series, obviously, is: when is Arm-Fall-Off Boy going to show up? I just read THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES IN THE 31ST CENTURY #16, an entire issue devoted to his legacy; I think his non-appearance thus far here needs to be addressed.

As for Lo3W #2 itself, both Michael Grabois and Tim Callahan have gotten to this issue already, so there may not be much left for me to do but plagiarize and synthesize. But let's see what I can add.

Pg. 1:

A fade-in from white, mirroring the endings of several incarnations and sub-incarnations of the Legion series.

This is Shikari, created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Olivier Coipel, who first appeared in LEGION LOST #1--she's a variation on Dawnstar. She's an L(II)-era character.

Pg. 2:

The official name of Sorcerer's World is actually Zerox. Not kidding. (And it was established in 1987's AMETHYST #1 that Zerox was formerly Gemworld.)

The White Witch here, created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Curt Swan, first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #350; this is the L(I) version. We're seeing L(II)'s Dreamer rather than the L(I) White Witch's sister.

In panel 4, the speaker is the L(III) version of Star Boy, whose original version, created by Otto Binder and George Papp, first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #282. He's with the L(III) versions of Lightning Lad and Light Lass; the statue is of the dead version of Nura Nal/Dream Girl from that incarnation. "The light of the Legion": one of those prophetic phrases Johns likes so much.

Superboy-Prime, besides being the ultimate graf writer, is modifying the "L" of the Legion flight ring into his own S. Wow, Johns also likes stories about rings, huh? The power ring, the flight rings, the Flash costume ring...

"Keep your hands away": the return of the hand motif from DC UNIVERSE 0? Mordru, by the way, was created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan, and first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #369.

Pg. 3:

Blok/White Witch and Wildfire/Dawnstar were couples. Of sorts.

Pg. 5:

Rond Vidar, here, was created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan, and first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #349, as did Universo. Rond was revealed as a Green Lantern in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #50 in 1988, but at that point Green Lanterns were banned from all United Planets territory. Too bad he doesn't mean this Rip Van Winkle.

Rond's power ring was destroyed by Mordru in the course of the first long storyline in the Five Years Later LEGION. (That was followed by Celeste Rockfish absorbing Lantern energies, etc.)

It's probably also worth mentioning Xenofobe here. He was a 30th-century Green Lantern of space sector 2814 (at the same time as Rond? Who knows?), who made one appearance, in SUPERMAN #295. Which of course Michael has written about too, but the short version is that it's the first comic to tie together the Time Trapper and the Great Disaster/Kamandi timeline. Which sure sounds like it'd be relevant to FINAL CRISIS. In fact, it was supposed to have been reprinted in that SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE GREAT DISASTER collection that vanished from DC's publishing schedule a while back.

Pg. 6:

Weird that Mordru claims he killed Glorith (who was actually killed by the Time Trapper), Dragonmage (who's from post-Five Year Gap L(I) continuity, curiously enough) and Evillo; none of those happened on-panel, anyway. I guess 31st-century reanimatees aren't as impressively scary as Black Lanterns.

Pg. 7:

And here he's taking credit for turning the White Witch from "that hag into a beautiful mystic," which Dream Girl actually did in ADVENTURE COMICS #351. Rond's ring isn't magic, although Alan Scott's was... curious that Rond's "knight time" joke comes out the same week as the "naptime" bit in ROGUES' REVENGE #2.

Pg. 8:

As Michael notes, when did Rond beat Mordru before? (And of course a magician would use a Green Lantern's entrails for a spell involving willpower. Brrr.)

Pp. 9-10:

I'm not going to reproduce the lists Tim and Michael compiled here (especially since Michael noted the apparent continuity glitches of this scene). But doesn't Neutrax, in the upper left corner, look a bit Metronish?

Pg. 11:

Flashbacks to the Sinestro Corps War.

Pg. 12:

Prime helped Superman fight the Anti-Monitor back in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. The Legion code, as you might gather, prohibits killing.

Pg. 14:

The Persuader, created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan, first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #352 (the same goes for Emerald Empress and Validus, later in this scene). I like Prime's "I read all about you"--of course he would have, in pre-Crisis comic books...

Pg. 15:

Yeah, I guess Rokk has indeed given up his relationships--see Night Girl's perturbed expression in the background, beneath that spectacular beehive.

Pg. 16:

The "lethal force enabled" thing happened in the course of the Sinestro Corps War. Lazon, created by Gerry Conway and Joe Staton, first appeared in SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #253 (ditto for Titania, seen on the next page). Storm Boy, created by Jerry Siegel and John Forte, first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #301.

Pg. 17:

Black Mace, created by Jim Shooter and Win Mortimer, first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #374. Beauty Blaze, created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan, first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #355. Earth-Man, formerly Absorbency Boy, created by Cary Bates and Mike Grell, first appeared in SUPERBOY #218.

Pg. 18:

As Vidar, Universo had been a Green Lantern; THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #295 revealed that the Guardians de-ringed him when he tried to see the origin of the universe (and that ring was later passed down to Rond Vidar). As Tim points out, the "snap" bit alludes to Projectra killing Nemesis Kid in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #5 in 1984.

Pg. 19:

As Michael notes, Rond had a daughter with Laurel Gand, not a son.

Pg. 21:

Here's that lightning rod from "The Lightning Saga" again... and Chameleon Girl, created by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen, first appeared in THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #287.

Pg. 22:

And now we're on Oa, where there's apparently a statuary devoted to great Lanterns of the past, as well as Guy Gardner. Ah, Mogo. Has any other throwaway six-page gag story ever had that kind of afterlife?

Pg. 23:

Curious that the original Happy Harbor cave headquarters of the JLA, subsequently used by the Doom Patrol among others (and apparently terraformed after that by the Martian Manhunter in 52 #24) has been returned to the way the JLA had it. ("Curry, Arthur" was Aquaman).

For more on this particular crystal ball, see notes for DC UNIVERSE 0, pg. 5, panel 9.

"The Subs' satellite" is the former JLA satellite (now occupied by the Legion of Substitute Heroes), which I guess didn't become Brother Eye after all.

Pg. 24:

Hooray for the Time Institute! And it's the return of the Legion Espionage Squad, or something like that... Mon-El is of course a Daxamite, as is Sodam Yat.

Pg. 25:

The Tornado Twins are Barry and Iris Allen's children Don and Dawn (that must've made things fun around the house); the "three-Legion" story involving them has never been told.

FROM BEYOND THE UNKNOWN was an actual DC series, reprinting earlier DC science fiction shorts. That Statue of Liberty can't catch a break.

XS here is Jenni Ognats, the daughter of Dawn Allen from L(II); she was created by Mark Waid, Tom McCraw and Jeff Moy, and first appeared in LEGIONNAIRES #0 in 1994. Gates, created by Mark Waid, Tom McCraw and Lee Moder, first appeared in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #66.

The "kra-KOOOM" is exactly the same sound effect we've seen for Flash-related lightning in ROGUES' REVENGE, I believe. But it's curious that the crystal ball exploded before the scene from DCU 0 in which it's intact.

Pp. 26-27:

L(III) on the left, L(II) on the right, other folks' annnotations have done the heavy lifting here.

Pg. 28:

Jazmin is Kid Quantum from L(II)--created by Tom McCraw, Tom Peyer and Lee Moder, she first appeared in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #82, based on an earlier character from the same run, created by Tom & Mary Bierbaum and David A. Williams, who first appeared in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #33. She also made a one-panel cameo in INFINITE CRISIS, being found by Shikari on Earth-247 (ha ha). The guy in the iron mask talking to her is Ferro from L(II), an updated version of the character created by Jim Shooter and Sheldon Moldoff who first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #346.

Pg. 30:

Beg pardon, but doesn't "S" have a minimum of four points?

Pg. 31:

Ooh, a black power battery, just like in DCU 0! The clear coffin Rond Vidar is in looks a lot like Lightning Lad's coffin from ADVENTURE COMICS #308, doesn't it?

Pg. 32:

Ah, Sodam Yat--further proof that Alan Moore's merest whims can rattle the ground of the DCU for decades. He's a Daxamite Green Lantern, created by Moore and Kevin O'Neill, who first appeared in 1986's GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #2; he's subsequently become a major character in GREEN LANTERN CORPS (and taken on the Ion identity). A version of the character identified as Sodal Yat beat Superman to death in Moore's never-realized "Twilight of the Superheroes" proposal.


Kris Weberg said...

One thing I'm surprised no one has elaborated upon in any of the three sets of annotations is that the crystal ball and the first JLA/JSA meeting it's from were used in a story titled "Crisis on Earth-1/Crisis on Earth-2." It's the real origin of the whole "Crisis" naming thing a DC.

It seems appropriate that it'd be involved in some aspect of what's supposed to be the "Final" Crisis.

Reed Solomon said...

"as well as Guy Gardner"?

Pffft. He may be a bit brusque, but he is one of the greatest Green Lanterns, and also involved in the original Crisis. A Good day to you sir.

Tom Bondurant said...

Beg pardon, but doesn't "S" have a minimum of four points?

I scratched my head over that one too, but then I figured the "three points" were on the roughly triangular Superman symbol. That said, I don't think the North Pole, Smallville, and Metropolis are equidistant....

Michael said...

Some good points that I had missed.

One thing that I think is important to point out: the appearance of Sodam Yat pretty much ties this 31st century to being the future of "New Earth", the mainstream DC Universe. In the recent past, we had been led to believe that the L3 Legion was in the future of New Earth.

I also think that White Witch's line "I saw Legions dying, and I saw a new one rising" will end up being prophetic in terms of how the Legion (as a concept) will emerge at the end of the series. With the destruction of the crystal ball of all realities, L2 and L3 are stuck on L1's Earth, and in the slaughter to come, the survivors will team up to form a new team.

Douglas Wolk said...

Thanks as always, everyone. (And sorry, Mr. Gardner, wherever you are.)

Michael, I suspect you're probably right about impending slaughter leading to a new Legion. Or, at least, that we're going to see a slew of Arms-Pulled-Off Boys etc. Sigh.

Marc said...

You can do an S with three points as a Bézier curve. Clark Kent might have studied Quark at his journalism class on Earth Prime.

Mark said...

Yes, you need four points to define an S if you want to use one curve. One Bézier curve won't cut it - by definition, with three points it gives you a parabola, a U-shape (n+1 points gives you a a polynomial of degree n).

If you want to use more than one curve, you can do lots of things. With three points? You can make an S-shape with a 2 points and a quadratic spline - 2 parabolas which connect so that it looks smooth. You could use three points to pick two points - using the halfway point between Smallville and the North Pole, the halfway point between Metropolis and the North Pole, and the line between Metropolis and Smallville as your x-axis could produce a passable S, as long as you looked at Earth sideways. There are probably piles of other ways to do it too.

I think that Superboy Prime doesn't care too much about math and was just gonna cut a big ass S into the planet making sure it hit all three places. Besides, there are an infinite number of S curves which can be made to fit three points, so he shouldn't have too much trouble finding one of them.

David Uzumeri said...

By this point, badass proclamations that don't make any sense have pretty much become SBP's specialty; remember Infinite Crisis #7 when he was going to fly through Oa and therefore make the universe explode? Yeah, that didn't make any sense.

Jack Tango said...

Why is "Earth-247" ha-ha worthy? I feel like I'm missing a joke...

Michael said...

Why is "Earth-247" ha-ha worthy? I feel like I'm missing a joke...

The Legion first appeared in Adventure Comics #247.

Will Staples said...

I just want to state that in my opinion Superboy-Prime's "Who dares question my dare?" ("What?") was the line of the book.