Cover date: June 2009
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: George Perez
Inker: Scott Koblish
Cover Art: George Perez & Tom Smith/George Perez & Hi-Fi
Reviewed by: Barry Freiman
Prime pounds the Earth-1 Wildfire and ruptures his suit while another Earth's Wildfire contains the rupture.
Old Man Prime taunts Superman in the future asking if he wants to know how Lois dies or what Luthor does to Ma Kent when he finds out Clark is Superman. Young Prime promises Conner he will return to the 21st Century and kill Wonder Girl. Superboy and Superman hit their respective Primes at the same moment each one telling Prime they feel sorry for him.
Superboy heat visions a slash through Prime's "S" brand. At the end of time, the slash suddenly appears across old man Prime's chest too. The Legion realize things aren't set in stone. Brainiac 5 theorizes that Prime couldn't possibly see every permutation of how things would go that day among all the alternate realities, and that in fact the Time Trapper may not always be Prime but a constantly changing sentient alternate reality rebelling against the Multiverse.
At the end of time, the three original Legionnaires devise a plan using their powers simultaneously to draw every reality's Legionnaires to the end of time to battle old man Prime.
Meanwhile, White Witch faces off against Mordru. She uses a spell to absorb Mordru into herself and she becomes the Black Witch. Blok is in shock. The Witch takes down most of the Legion of Super-Villains. Bouncing Boy and Duplicate Damsel show up out of nowhere. After the events of "Countdown" when her final doppelganger (there were three of them at one point) died, she has found herself able to create an infinite number of duplicates.
At the end of time, the Legions attack old man Prime - including Supergirl and L.E.G.I.O.N. The full frontal attack works and old man Prime is knocked out. Brainiac 5 tells Gates to open a portal to the end of time so Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Cos, Superman, and old man Prime can return to the 31st Century - Brainy has a desperate plan. Right before the Legionnaires leave, they look up and see themselves in their original costumes from their original missions. The young Legionnaires realize R.J. Brande's dream becomes a reality.
In the 31st Century, Prime faces Prime. Young Prime is so obstinate and narcissistic and whiny he doesn't believe the old man is his future self and he strikes him (with Brainiac 5 saying "What an idiot.") and as the two selves touch, young Prime seems to devolve from the printed page into a pencil drawing and the Trapper's robe just floats off.
Superman's reunited with Conner. Kid Flash senses something at home has changed and thinks it could be Max Mercury returned from the dead.
It turns out the Legion didn't kill Prime - and thus break their Legion Code - but he essentially got himself sent to the past without his powers and put back where he belongs on Earth-Prime (which was apparently re-created with the rebirth of the Multiverse). Prime Clark lands outside his old house - he runs inside looking for his parents. His parents and girlfriend Lori are sitting around the kitchen table. They are horrified by him and Lori runs out terrified. They've got a table full of the Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds series and have read what their son did.
The 31st Century rebuilds, the Legion memorialize their dead, and the newest Karate Kid refuses to speak with the Legion. Mon and Shadow Lass return with Sodam to Oa. Sodam sends off a bunch of GL rings in hopes of finding fearless sentient life - the GL Corps lives again. Sun Boy returns to the land of the living.
On Mordru's world, the Black Witch walks down a cavern with what looks to be the Justice Society themselves encased in the walls. She apologizes for not being there to help them and assumes the throne.
In the 21st Century, Starman orders fast food and puts down a huge wad of money. He says he's there on a top secret mission executing a dead man's wish. He appears to be in possession of a Will that is written in Interlac.
Back to the future, Brainy announces that the Mark Waid Legion (the most recent incarnation prior to the Legion story in the Superman books) is the Legion of Earth-Prime. Part of their new mission is in ensuring that Clark Kent of Earth-Prime behaves in the past.
The survivors of Earth-247 decide to go out in search of other members of the Earths like Earth-247 that weren't re-created in the new Multiverse that Shikari senses may still be out there. They call themselves the new Wanderers.
The Brainiac 5s use the Allen cousins to power up two Cosmic Treadmills sending the Legions where they wanted to go.
Back in the 21st Century, Superman reunites Kid Flash and Superboy with the Teen Titans and Supergirl. Superman smiles.
On Earth-Prime, crazy Clark has his parents cooking his food and cleaning his clothes while he lives in the basement. Crazy Clark is talking - to the people he knows are listening because they're reading the comic book. He signs onto the DC Message Boards and thinks he can get his revenge that way.
Story - 4: This book has the Final Crisis trade dress but perhaps a more apt trade dress would be Finally Crisis. The story opens at the end of time - you know, about when this issue came out.
The series ends with a whiz-bang and I really enjoyed it. And, in 20 years, nobody is going to remember this book was so late. But right now I'm painfully aware. The delays took a series that had real momentum - unlike the main Final Crisis - and ground it to a halt.
Geoff Johns does the cliffhanger ending like nobody else - ever since his Flash days. A Johns-penned story is the last comic book story in the world that should experience significant delays simply by virtue of the strengths of his writing style.
I understand the delays may have had something to do with an extended illness that artist George Perez had. I understand and am sympathetic to that. But then it becomes the job of an Editor to make a determination of how to proceed. When DC has Phil Jimenez, an artist on the payroll whose style is virtually indistinguishable from Perez's, they should have at least considered bringing him in to help Perez get the book out on time. People get sick on the job all the time. I would guess many of you who work understand that protracted time off the job doesn't mean your work waits for you - it usually means it gets re-assigned until you return. Perhaps that should've been done here, perhaps not. But it is something to think about.
Delays aside, this series rocked and the final issue lives up to the hype - even if many of the revelations of the last two issues were spoiled by other books that did come out on time.
I loved the concept of Earth-Prime even when it brought about things like the writers of the old Justice League of America becoming guest stars in a JLA-JSA crossover. As a kid, it made me feel like, in some way, I was a part of the DC Multiverse.
Earth-Prime got its first super-hero Ultraa in the late 70s and the Prime Clark Kent realized he was more than a namesake for the fictional character but a Kryptonian himself. Unfortunately that realization came at the onset of the first Crisis and Prime lost out on the chance to be his Earth's heroic Superboy. When Earth-Prime got its own heroes, it obviously deviated from purely our Earth but that was OK because it remained a place where everything else in the DC Universe was imagination.
I'm of two minds on the ending which makes Clark just another whiny fan boy living in his parent's basement posting obnoxious messages on the DC boards. On the one hand, I think it's kind of genius. Since Infinite Crisis, Prime has been portrayed as a whiner who mainly whined about the state of the DCU. On the other hand, coming from the writer of a book that was so, so late, it feels a little too self-righteous. It's as if Johns is making a negative commentary on fanboys and fangirls at just the wrong time: when, quite frankly, they - we - have a valid gripe about this book's release schedule.
Art - 5: Perez is almost - if not for Jimenez - one of a kind. His two page spread of every Legionnaire attacking Prime is jaw dropping in its beauty and detail. It almost makes the wait worthwhile - almost.
Cover Art (Dawnstar) - 5: "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves." For some reason I always think of that Cher song whenever I see Dawnstar. Back in the 70's, it was always assumed Dawnstar was inspired by Cher who was just about the only real-world person who dressed like that. Dawny had long black hair like Cher. It's too bad Dawny wasn't at the battle at the end of time. It would have been a funny homage to the joke that the only things that will survive nuclear winter are cockroaches and Cher.
Cover Art (Sliver Cover) - 5: Kon-El, it's good to see you again.
I was never a fan of the Final Crisis sliver-dress and I'm even less of a fan now that the main series has been over for months. As if the lateness of this book wasn't annoying enough, the trade-dress, which is only partly morphed to what it looked like by the end of Final Crisis, screams the book's tardiness.
The trade-dress sliver cover is so wrong for this book in so many ways. Why cover 2/3rd of the cover space when you have a cover artist with the talent and attention to detail of Perez?
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.