A war is brewing for the Justice League and the Legion of Super-Heroes, but is that war between the two? You might have to assume since Brian Michael Bendis and Scott Godlewski’s series Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes features the “vs” in the title. The heroes from the 31st century meet up with the Age of Heroes Justice League, but what could possibly bring them together? Oh, just the Great Darkness.
For more on this series, don’t miss our interview with Bendis and Godlewski!
This book is a masterclass in juggling many characters on every page. Godlewski’s blocking of each scene makes it clear who is talking with characters positioned in a logical way. There’s a lot of dialogue, but with Dave Sharpe’s letters, the natural flow to the dialogue, and how Godlewski draws these characters so cleanly, the book pulls off a unique look no matter the page.
If you’re a fan of epic stories, Bendis brings it in spades here. Not only because of the threat, but how Triplicate Girl is pushed to the brink in an emotional and personal way. There’s also the epic nature of the meet-ups in this book. Seeing Batman interact with Legion of Superheroes characters is a joy to see. The book has a historical feel thanks to how the characters are displayed, but who is displayed too.
Colors by Ryan Cody add a brightness to the book that’s unmistakable. There’s also a subtle nature that adds a bit of emotional depth to scenes. There is a warmth when the Justice League is introduced, as if the sun is rising to add a bit of hope to the scene. Cooler colors in the 31st century give the book a calmer feel. There’s a color story at work here that’s quite cool to read into. There are also some color choices in the word balloons that help distinguish who is speaking.
There is a certain amount of patience required to really get into this book. If you give it a chance and let the dialogue wash over you, it’s quite something to behold. That said, I could see someone feeling overwhelmed by the stacks of dialogue, and it’s already overwhelming to see so many characters in this book.
As far as team books go, this first issue is clearly giving each character a moment to shine, which is saying something since there are many characters in play here. Black Canary gets a line, Jon Kent gets plenty of time to speak, and so on. The book doesn’t have a lot of action–certainly stuffing each panel with many characters inhibits that–but that’s not what this book is about. It’s about shining a light on all these colorful characters and setting up the conflict.
Expect to be wowed by Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes #1. There’s a lot to enjoy here and be in awe of, from the epic nature of the story to the incredible visuals that are clean and easy to follow. There are visual ideas at work here — the lettering, the colors, and the pencils add up to a work of art. This is cutting-edge comics.
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