REVIEW: ‘Justice League vs. The Legion of Superheroes,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Justice League vs. The Legion of Superheroes

Justice League vs. The Legion of Superheroes #1 is a crossover comic published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Scott Godlewski and colors by Ryan Cady with letters from Dave Sharpe. In two different points of time, both the Legion of Superheroes and the Justice League are celebrating a resounding victory. But A dark energy appears in the fabric of space, stealing one of the Legionnaires and sending them to the Age of Heroes. The Legion make a trip to the past, where they meet the legend of old. But that dark energy is not finished with trying to take what it wants.

Setting up a crossover with this many characters is not easy, but for the most part, Bendis succeeds at starting something huge. The initial excitement builds well as the two huge groups are brought together. The writer does a great job of demonstrating the premise of both teams, especially the Legion, then finds a way to disrupt it. The comic is quick to start but the ultimate pace is quite methodical, allowing the pieces to fall into place before pulling them apart. What Justice League vs. The Legion of Superheroes lacks in action it makes up for with a lot of exposition. One character and their role in the series creates a fascinating cliffhanger and a new addition to the DC Universe lore.

The characters are brilliant within this first issue. This comic has an absolutely gigantic cast with two already full teams are brought together. Bendis makes sure that the voices for each character can be noted when they speak and infectious and positive energy radiates from most of them. Bendis comics are synonymous with huge amounts of dialogue and with more characters, he simply adds extra. The contents of the dialogue are fantastic, full of humour and meaning. One of the Legionnaires faces a really interesting quandary due to the time travel, and the possibility of what that may entail is one of the most gripping ideas of the story.

It is the number of characters that starts to affect the plot on a few occasions. When the opening event happens, the dialogue frames the situation in a way that doesn’t necessarily befit what occurs on the page. It implies that a character’s fate is slightly different, so it becomes confusing later. 

The art for the start of this crossover is tremendous. Godlewski brings so many heroes to the book. It is not just the designs that are impressive, but their placement on the page. There are moments where nearly thirty characters are all in the same room together, and knowing who is standing next to who takes a ridiculous amount of preparation. The different sizes and shapes of the characters work well among each other, even when crammed into small spaces. There is an understanding of new designs that other creators have given some of the heroes, but they all still fit Godlewski’s particular style. There is a brilliant panel featuring a smorgasbord of characters that seems to homage a classic splash page,

The colours are very good. What Cady does very nicely is to not overwhelm the readers with an abundance of colour. With this many heroes and costumes, the different tones and shades could get too much. At the same time, they need differentiating. In this series, the colours are understated and even dark. In New Metropolis, the walls are pristine and white. But it isn’t blinding. Vibrancy can be exciting but it can also be tiring. In the huge room scene, the characters appear to be grouped based on the colours of their costume, with some outliers also put together.

There are a lot of word balloons in this issue and Sharpe does keep control and coherence for the vast majority of the comic. The big scene is where it struggles the most and requires more concentration to follow.

Justice League vs the Legion of Superheroes #1 is a fun blockbuster crossover. The love that Bendis has for the characters and for the medium is clear. Seeing the interactions between the heroes from across time is delightful and leaves the readers beaming. The art looks fantastic and the new character looks very interesting. The only downside is that the sheer number of characters and Bendis’ love of dialogue can be tough to keep track of.

Justice League vs the Legion of Superheroes #1 is available where comics are sold.


Justice League vs the Legion of Superheroes #1
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TL;DR

Justice League vs the Legion of Superheroes #1 is a fun blockbuster crossover. The love that Bendis has for the characters and for the medium is clear. Seeing the interactions between the heroes from across time is delightful and leaves the readers beaming. The art looks fantastic and the new character looks very interesting. The only downside is that the sheer number of characters and Bendis’ love of dialogue can be tough to keep track of.