Thursday, July 23, 2009

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #5 – A Review

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (of 5)

Publisher DC

Writer Geoff Johns

Art George Perez

Inks Scott Koblish

Colors Hi - Fi

Oh Legion of Super Heroes, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. I love the multitude of heroes who light my soul. I love thee purely, I love thee with passion and I’m sure Elizabeth Barrett Browning is rolling over in her grave at this point.

The point is that I’m a Legion of Super Heroes fan and probably always will be. I’m not sure exactly what resonated with me with this group, but through five year gaps, clones, reboots, rebirths and different incarnations I have always had a soft spot for this group of characters. I know that the names and the stories have not all aged well, but I think Jim Shooter made this group a special place and Levitz and Giffen sealed the deal with their run. When Shooter wrote the book when he was 14 years old, he probably was writing a more adult book then most of what DC was producing at the time. The older writers were writing for that imaginary 8-12 year old and Shooter was writing for himself and not trying to dumb things down. Then as comics matured and Levitz/Giffen hit the book, the Legion started to grow up. Multiple reboots and editorial mandates started to cause the 30th Century to unravel and then a year or so ago Geoff Johns said screw it, Superman was part of the Legion and restarted the original Legion all over again.

He decided to make them older now and made their continuity be from the Levitz era, so he picked what he wanted to use for the most part, but he remained true to the core of the group. It was a great series in Action Comics and Gwen has the hard cover and I got the trade after having read the books.

Next we got Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds and we got it to be by George Perez. George has been and still is one of the top talents in the industry and is the master of the crowded group scenes. His realistic take on super heroes are well proportioned beings at the height of physical perfection, but not bloated with 48 muscles that do not exist. The details in his art, the character differentiations, the page layouts, the power in his work and expressions is just amazing. I would say that George is one of the top talents in the comic business and he has produced over the years an unbelievable amount of work. I consider him an heir to Curt Swan, but he outdid what Swan could do. The only pencil artist who is close to George in his style of work is Phil Jiminez and I still think George is better then Phil (and Phil is a phenomenal artist also).

The downside was that George took a long time to do all five issues, but when you realize how many total pages it was and the amount of detail and how many characters were on each page, it is actually amazing it was finished this fast. On one page George is doing more line work then some artists are doing over the span of five pages. I could probably quit buying new comics and get all of George’s work over the years and re-read it once or twice more and be content with just that material (total over the top hyperbole, but you get the point of what I think of Perez). He is possibly the best pure super hero artist. Thank you DC for allowing this project to be completed by just George Perez. Also a huge thanks to Scott Koblish who I’m sure used more ink then ever as he delineated Mr. Perez’s pencils. I cannot imagine how much time and effort Scott devoted to this book as he ensured that all of the art came through and he made George’s work look its absolute best. When I look at all that is in each page I realize just how much Scott Koblish meant to making George’s work look this good.

The actual story took a few pages for me to get back into and it was a great two sided battle with one side fighting Superboy Prime as the Time Trapper and another side fighting Superboy Prime, Modru and the Legion of Super Villains. At the same time this book was a platform to bring back Connor as Superboy and Bart as Kid Flash. The story, the action, the explanations for what was going on all finally worked for me and a series that I had my doubts about were all erased as the series came to a close.

Of course much of it was erased because Johns has given us a new base line Legion that has much of its continuity based from the Levitz era Legion. They are older, they have some new powers, they have a few different members, but I’m ready for a series with this group and hope to see some stuff from them in the back of Adventure Comics.

Overall – Grade A – Well worth the wait and I will be buying the hard cover and getting one for Gwen as well. When they do the deluxe format version I will be sucked into getting that one as well.

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