REVIEW: ‘Justice League Annual 2022,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Justice League Annual 2022 #1

Justice League Annual 2022 #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Sanford Greene, colors by Greene and Matt Herms, and letters by Josh Reed.

The Justice League have recently been reunited with one of their most treasured member, Wonder Woman. Hosting a welcome home party for her, the League is suddenly accosted by a being from another time. The figure, OMAC, collapses but not before declaring an interest and even a fear of Hawkgirl. But this is just the start as they find themselves dealing with a horde of beings from different times.

As a bumper issue, the annual story sets up an exciting adventure. Bendis often does a great job of literally crashing the problem straight into the Hall of Justice. Skip any pretense of how they got there or why; that can come later. The initial conflict and confusion draw the reader in before the exposition happens. The pace has been adjusted to fit the extra pages, constantly dipping between action and in-depth exposition. Justice League Annual 2022 #1 is self-contained but uses many past events to fuel it. The annual mainly takes place within a singular timeline, but the narrative isn’t linear as with stories of this nature. By the finale, things are made clear, and the ending is satisfying.

The already massive lineup within this League era is balanced nicely by Bendis. The dialogue in the annual is also amazing. But one of the most endearing facets of Bendis’ run on Justice League is the sense of friendship, family, and community he instills. This is a group of people that love each other and know one another keenly. Past members of the League pop in and out, but the core members always remain and drive the story. When they refer to their teammate as “brothers” or “sisters,” it pulls at the heartstrings. If there were a slight criticism, it would be that sometimes Batman appears slightly out of character. His mannerisms and speech don’t always fit what the reader is used to with Bruce Wayne, although this is not a constant issue.

The art is fantastic. One of the most noticeable features of Greene’s art style is how different the characters can be in their design. This is most evident in the facial structures. It gives a natural definition to each figure. The characters everywhere can be chaotic at times, but the specificity in their details helps recognize them. The fight scenes are fun and energetic, with some brilliant depictions of force and impact. Greene is superb at showing emotions as well. Naomi’s beaming smile when she sees Wonder Woman is a joy to behold. 

The colors are fantastic. Greene and Herms superbly change the lighting and the filter on the book depending on the location. Inside the Watchtower, where it is darker, the lights from screens and other devices affect how the rest of the page looks. The colors outside are vibrant and shiny. There are also these tiny black dots littering the pages. They are almost imperceptible but do so much. They make it so that the panels don’t look like flawless pieces of art, adding texture.

Finally, the lettering is dynamic, and the text is easy to read, but some word balloons can be difficult to follow and track. 

Justice League Annual 2022 #1 will leave you smiling. It’s a delightful annual that features a fantastic time-based story. It feels exactly like an extended version of one of the regular Justice League issues. The events that certain League members go through may have lasting consequences, highlighting this comic’s importance. The interaction between the characters makes the issue shine as Bendis bounces the heroes off of each other. The art is stunning and fills the book with an energy that drives you to keep reading.

Justice League Annual 2022 #1 is available where comics are sold.


Justice League Annual 2022 #1
4

TL;DR

Justice League Annual 2022 #1 will leave you smiling. It’s a delightful annual that features a fantastic time-based story…The interaction between the characters makes the issue shine as Bendis bounces the heroes off of each other. The art is stunning and fills the book with an energy that drives you to keep reading.