REVIEW: ‘Justice League Incarnate,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Justice League Incarnate #1

Justice League Incarnate #1 is written by Joshua Willamson & Dennis Culver, penciled by Brandon Peterson (pages 1-5, 13-17), Andrei Bressan (pages 6-12, 28-30) & Tom Derenick (pages 18-27), colored by Hi-Fi and lettered by Tom Napolitano. It is published by DC Comics. After the events of Infinite Frontier, Justice League Incarnate — a Justice League made up of heroes all across the Multiverse— attempts to discover where Barry Allen disappeared to. However, their search takes them to Earth-8, where they face the Retalitators and the mysterious Doctor Multiverse, with Darkseid in hot pursuit of ultimate power.

The concept of the Multiverse has started to pick up steam in superhero fiction, both in film (Spider-Man: No Way Home) and comics (Justice League Infinity). However, Justice League Incarnate has been around since Grant Morrison’s revolutionary miniseries The Multiversity, and they’re honestly one of my favorite incarnations of the Justice League. The events of Infinite Frontier found them adding a new member to their ranks in the form of Flashpoint Batman, and I love how the writers play off of his interactions with President Superman. Even though they’re radically different versions of the heroes DC fans are used to, some of their interactions are similar to how Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent would handle the situation.

Williamson and Culver also hit the ground running with this debut issue, using Avery Ho (the Flash from China’s Justice League) as an audience surrogate, with JL Incarnate reaching out to her for help locating Allen. They also spotlight Earth-8 in this issue, with the Retaliators and Doctor Multiverse serving as counterparts to the Avengers and Doctor Strange. JL Incarnate even fights a being named Tartarus— and if readers don’t know who he’s based on, a line of dialogue will make it perfectly clear.

What also helps sell the shifting of universes is the artists attached. Bressan illustrates the majority of the issue, including the sequences aboard JL Incarnate’s Ultima Thule. He also does a great splash page that catches readers up to speed on the events of Infinite Frontier, delivered by Dino-Cop of Earth-11. Yeah, there’s a character named “Dino-Cop” in this comic, which is the exact kind of crazy one can expect from a superhero comic that crosses multiple worlds. Derenick draws an impressive fight scene between Tartarus and Darkseid, with the malevolent titans trading literal earth-shaking punches. He also gets the chance to draw more characters from the Fourth World mythos, including a surprising new addition to JL Incarnate. Even the lettering changes from time to time, with Darkseid’s speech balloons depicted as pure black malevolence and each hero being introduced with a caption stating the Earth they hail from.

Peterson handles most of the sequences on Earth-8, with his hyper-stylized art lending a sense of wonder to the first appearance of Doctor Multiverse. Her costume is a white-and-black robe that features galaxies spiraling within it, which Hi-Fi renders in blazing bright color. The same cosmic energy is also rendered as blazing blasts of energy, which allows her to travel across worlds. Simply put, this is a character with a great design and a concept tailor-made for this series, and I can’t wait to see more of her.

Justice League Incarnate #1 puts the spotlight on the multiverse-hopping team, introducing new members and giving them a new mission. As a fan of the team, I look forward to the remainder of the series and a potential setup for future issues.

Justice League Incarnate #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Justice League Incarnate #1
4.5

TL;DR

Justice League Incarnate #1 puts the spotlight on the multiverse-hopping team, introducing new members and giving them a new mission. As a fan of the team, I look forward to the remainder of the series and a potential setup for future issues.