Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Scott Godlewski
Colors: Ryan Cody
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: January 11, 2022
Reviewer: JR Huitt
With the release of Justice League vs The Legion of Super-Heroes #1, DC Comics is launching its next event comic. Brian Michael Bendis returns to the Legion and this time he’s bringing DC Comics’ preeminent super team, the Justice League. Along with artist Scott Godlewski, Bendis is looking to pay off the “Great Darkness” story that he has seeded throughout his recent run of the Legion. Let’s see if Justice League vs The Legion of Super-Heroes #1 succeeds or if it is something else entirely.
Justice League vs The Legion of Super-Heroes #1 is definitely an ambitious book. Bendis starts off the book by focusing on the new Gold Lantern from the Legion. I’m quite curious to see where he goes with this. When you take into consideration that he has spent a good bit of time setting the character up, something big has to be coming. One thing that Bendis has always had a knack for is creating new characters that have an impact. Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, and Naomi were all recent creations that have gone on to have a much greater impact than expected.
Following the numerous crossovers during his time at Marvel Comics, Brian Michael Bendis is no stranger to event books with massive casts. I counted nearly 40 Legionnaires and Justice League members. Hopefully, the cast size will be slimmed down to a more manageable group.
Justice League vs The Legion of Super-Heroes #1 is an amazing-looking book. Scott Godlewski and Ryan Cody are on a level above the average book. The characters all pop off the page. The double-page spread where the Legion is introduced to the League is something that I would love to see DC turn into a poster. I’ve got a Legion wall in my comic room that is just waiting for it!
Another thing that the art team does that I really enjoy is that I don’t need dialogue or the Legion tags to understand who all of the characters are. With a cast as large as the one that this book has, it is really refreshing to see that we aren’t given a bunch of generic faces wearing different uniforms.
Triplicate Girl is a great example of Godlewski’s ability to show variations even further. She divides into three characters that are differentiated by the color of their uniforms. However, something occurs during the story to one of the triad. Godlewski adjusts how he depicts that version of the character subtly enough that I had to go back and verify his drawing after one of the other characters remarked on the change. Excellent job!!!
Justice League vs The Legion of Super-Heroes #1 kicks off Brian Michael Bendis’ version of “The Great Darkness” storyline. In my opinion, there isn’t any story in the Legion’s very long history more sacrosanct than this one. This will be the second time that the story has been revisited. I’ve always believed that if you want to revisit something that’s fine.
However, there must be something in it that sets it apart from the original. The problem that I have with this story is the same one that I had with Bendis rebooting the Legion in the first place. Why does it exist? Throughout his run on the newest Legion series, there was never any point where I felt that it was justifying its existence. I’m hoping that there will be something in this series that will make me realize why this Legion exists. But, right now, I just miss my Legion.