REVIEW: ‘Justice League: Last Ride,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Justice League Last Ride #1 - But Why Tho?

Justice League: Last Ride #1 is published by DC Comics. Written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Miguel Mendonça. The colourist is Enrica Angiolini and the letters are by Andworld Design. The Justice League is no more. A tragedy led to the team disbanding, the Watchtower left empty on the Moon. The heroes all went their separate ways, still saving lives but on their own. Superman has been working even more than usual, struck by a feeling of impending doom. For the first time in a long time, the Justice League alert flashes. John Stewart has called the team back for a mission that only they can accomplish.

The plot within this series is interesting as so much of the story has already happened. There is a backstory that Zdarsky has mapped out but is keeping hidden from the audience. The comic is constantly moving forwards, but there is this mystery of what split the group up in the first place. Members are missing, and relationships are damaged. Zdarsky’s tone within his comics often creates an uneasy feeling, as if something terrible is about to happen. 

There isn’t a battle within Justice League: Last Ride #1, but there is action and the build-up of the mission is exciting enough. The plot isn’t surprising, but will absolutely lead to some brilliant interactions and situations. The most powerful reveal is when one of the past events is hinted at, and it is a gut-wrenching panel. 

The writer’s ability to script drama within superhero comics is superb. There is an awkwardness within the League’s first meeting in years. It is clear that they know each other well, a key part of any JLA comic, but their lives have been separate. So coming back and acting as if nothing has happened created friction. But Green Lantern came to the League because they are who he trusts the most. This shows just how close these characters were. The cast is smaller than it usually is, with only 6 members returning to the Watchtower. This again creates a mystery, as something terrible could have happened to them. 

The most intense and powerful interactions came from the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. Superman and Batman are at odds from the second they walk back through the doors. Whatever happened in the past shattered the connection they had. Superman is the focal point for this first issue, the reader seeing his fragile emotional state. The nightmares he has are distressing and go to show that he thinks that something is coming. This has a drastic effect on the choices he makes within Justice League: Last Ride #1

The art is gorgeous. Something that is important to note is that this isn’t a distant future. The characters all still look the same age as they do in the regular timeline. Mendonça captures each hero brilliantly, exhibiting their iconic costumes by only using details that are needed. All of the characters look like they are at the peak of their physicality, gods among humans. Their proportions are drawn so they are shown as powerful superheroes, but they aren’t exaggerated to the point of ridicule. All of the locations look incredible and recognisable, with some subtle differences in the Watchtower and Batcave. 

Another aspect that the artist excels in is depicting movement and strength. There is a sequence where Superman is unleashing all of his power, flying so fast that most of him is a blur. The feeling of movement is intense and exciting. When he strains under the weight of an object, that exertion is evident. It will be fascinating to see how the other members’ abilities are depicted with this art style.

The colours fit the mood of Justice League: Last Ride #1 fantastically. There is a vibrancy in the costumes, the greens of the Lantern Corps and the red and blue of Superman capturing the attention. But the panels are dulled slightly, as the energy within the heroes has declined. Despite this, the issue is well lit and Angiolini creates a gorgeous atmosphere in each scene. When in the Batcave, the screens glow onto the surfaces around them. This results in an increased authenticity within the panels.

The letters by Andworld Design are brilliant. The font is large and easy to read within the word balloons. During an intense scene, screams for help don’t have a balloon accompanying them. The shouts appear within the panel, intentionally overpowering.

Justice League: Last Ride #1 is a powerful first issue. Zdarsky is one of the best writers within mainstream comics and he demonstrates why within this comic. There is a history instilled within this first chapter that remains hidden, and yet the reader can still feel the weight that it pushes on the characters. The comic is incredibly atmospheric, with the tension inside palpable. The connection the heroes have with each other is most evident when it’s gone. The plot itself sets up what could be some terrific battles and heartbreaking revelations.

Justice League: Last Ride #1 is available where comics are sold.

Justice League: Last Ride #1
5

TL;DR

Justice League: Last Ride #1 is a powerful first issue. Zdarsky is one of the best writers within mainstream comics and he demonstrates why within this comic. There is a history instilled within this first chapter that remains hidden, and yet the reader can still feel the weight that it pushes on the characters. The comic is incredibly atmospheric, with the tension inside palpable. The connection the heroes have with each other is most evident when it’s gone. The plot itself sets up what could be some terrific battles and heartbreaking revelations.