Let's get the obvious statement out of the way first. Yes, "Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds" is late, with the first issue having shipping last August. The funny thing is, though, I think the lateness has actually worked in the mini-series' favor. Released in the same time-period as not only "Final Crisis" but all the other connected one-shots and mini-series, it was easy to lose track of some of the books in the shuffle. Now, with "Final Crisis" over (although there are all those "Final Crisis Aftermath" mini-series now running), and the new "Adventure Comics" just around the corner, "Legion of 3 Worlds" gets a bit of extra attention as it hits its conclusion.
The main story itself hits just about every note that one would want. The "which Legion is the DC Universe's Legion?" question is finally answered, as well as where exactly the other two Legions fit in. Popular characters are brought back, and several others are rescued from limbo as well. As for the fight with the Time Trapper/Superboy-Prime, Geoff Johns and George Perez make it about as exciting as they can, with the truth behind what's going on slowly unraveling, and a clever enough solution to stopping an unstoppable foe is enacted. The one odd thing I found, though, was how little Superman himself had to do with the resolution of the story. With his being brought to the 31st century in the first issue of "Legion of 3 Worlds," I'd have expected him to have a more central role in the mini-series, but if anything he feels like a background character for the majority of the story.
Johns and Perez weren't kidding when they'd promised every single Legionnaire making an appearance. So in addition to the members of all three Legions that showed up early on, this final issue is a bonanza of fun for any long-time Legion fan. The casual reader certainly won't be getting a thrill out of finding characters like Kent Shakespeare, Kono, Catspaw, Dragonmage, or Laurel Kent, certainly. But when the burst of additional characters makes an appearance, well, it's hard to not marvel at all of the different Legionnaires with their various shapes, uniforms, and powers on display. Perez's pencils (with Scott Koblish's inks) look beautifully detailed as always; scenes like Mordru attacking Blok, or the new ruler of the Sorcerer's World ascending the throne, just beg to be pored over and examined for details. There's just the right level of energy and punch on these pages that it keeps everything moving.
As for the epilogue, I'm sure it's going to prove to be divisive in how it's interpreted. For the record? I got a good chuckle out of it. Superboy-Prime is a character that ever since "Infinite Crisis" has become an over-the-top parody. Is it a shot at some elements at the readership? Possibly, but it's in such an exaggerated, amplified way that I don't think anyone should actually view themselves as being represented by him. And, hopefully, this is more or less the end of Superboy-Prime stories from now on. If this is the way to wrap things up with the character, it's as good a way as any.
More importantly, though, "Legion of 3 Worlds" #5 also clearly serves as a lead-in to the Legion's upcoming back-up stories in the new "Adventure Comics" series. Between this and the earlier Legion story by Johns and Gary Frank over in "Action Comics," it's been a great couple of years for Legion fans. "Legion of 3 Worlds" #5 has made me, once again, excited about what's in store for the rest of this year and beyond. So, mission accomplished and then some.