Justice League Vs Legion of Super-Heroes #2 review

In the 21st century, Legion of Super-Heroes member Gold Lantern wonders what’s happened to the rest of his team. Having come back 1000 years to warn the Justice League of America about the threat of the Great Darkness, everyone has vanished but him.

In the 31st century, the members of the Justice League wake up to a shining new world. Naomi is greeted by Legionnaire Dawnstar.

And Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, wakes to find… Wonder Woman?

And in between the present and the future present, we also get glimpses of the future past, specifically, how Kala Lour’s bravery had been recognised by the new elders of the Universe and he was invited to be the first member of a reimagined Green Lantern Corps.

There are a lot of fun moments this issue as the League members react to the future world in which they find themselves. I certainly salute sleepy Oliver Queen’s restraint at the sight of someone he knows morphing freakily into an unfamiliar extraterrestrial – that was Chameleon Boy trying to ease Ollie into his new situation with a familiar face.

We see Batman with an amusingly imperious attitude towards Legion leader Ultra Boy – what a tiresome fellow he is these days. But best of all is Diana’s reaction to the world that’s coming.

All their struggles, all their sacrifices, she sees that they’re all worthwhile.

As for the threat of the Great Darkness, it remains rather nebulous. Presumably there’s some connection to the menace of the same name in Justice League Incarnate, but that’s left hanging. Brainiac 5, supposedly one of the smartest beings in the galaxy, is head-scratchingly useless. Black Adam, who last issue said he knew a lot about ‘celestial breakdowns’, plunges head first into things and seems to make matters worse.

It’s all a lot of fun but I do hope this Great Darkness turns out to have a Legion or League foe behind it, and a plan, because bubbly clouds do not great interactions make. I do like that we have mysteries – why was one third of Triplicate Girl, for example, taken from her home century last time, and aged to old ladyhood? Why was Gold Lantern left in the past? Is the Great Darkness connected to the YellOans?

Kala Lour seems a lovely chap, and I realise the title of the story within the series is the Gold Lantern Saga, but I’m just not that interested in his beginnings. If we must have a GL in the Legion – and I wish we didn’t, I don’t like legacies on the team – I’m good with ‘some Guardians gave him a ring’. With just 120 pages to play with, I want action and interaction between the Legion and the League… heck, aren’t they supposed to fight at some point?

To be honest, I’m not fussed if they don’t have a big, daft superhero squabble, I much prefer heroes getting along, learning from and, better yet, surprising one anther. Having visitors is a great excuse for writer Brian Michael Bendis to introduce every member of the Legion properly to the reader. The series could act as a primer, giving us proper looks at the likes of Entropy Kid, X-Ray Girl and Radius Lad. Who are they, what can they do? They’ve been around, theoretically, for nearly two years and remain total ciphers.

For now, I give thanks to Bendis for that wonderful Wonder Woman scene, Chameleon Boy’s gauche welcome, the reason the League members need their sleep, and more.

Thanks also to artist Scott Godlewski for crystal clear layouts – the storytelling really is first rate, and he does a great job, again, with Ryan Sook’s reinvented Legionnaires.

Also, the living environments and fashions on GL’s world have been nicely thought out. And there’s a particularly impressive ‘drone shot’ of the Legion’s refectory, Heaven, featuring 31 characters against detailed scenery, and it works perfectly.

As do Ryan Cody’s colours, which bring out the drama of the Great Darkness field, the beauty of the floating 31st-century Metropolis and the rich tones of Gold Lantern’s world.

Letterer Dave Sharpe deserves his dosh for handling all the Interlac Bendis included in this issue; I’ve no idea if it’s spot-on, but it looks good and translations are there. I spotted one typo in the English dialogue, and it made me smile… if it didn’t jump out at you, we’ll, it’s in one of the reproed images on this very page.

Godlewski and Cody’s cover draws me in with its bold figurework and the unusually, calming colour palette.

Justice League vs Legion of Super-Heroes #2 is a terrific DC Universe comic, basically set-up for the main event but very entertaining visually and verbally. I can’t wait to see how things amp up over the next four issues.

15 thoughts on “Justice League Vs Legion of Super-Heroes #2 review

  1. I vaguely didn’t like it and I can’t begin to tell you why. Maybe it’s the Great Darkness? I would swear it started out as an in-Legion nod to Giffen and Levitz that’s been coopted and ruined.by the obsessive need to have a Big Bad at DC who can eff up canon and continuity or just the fact nothing seems to happen besides a couple of interesting exchanges.

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  2. I enjoyed the issue well enough, and the lack of action seemed fairly exchanged for some good world building. I thought the Gold Lantern origin was given just enough space. But the ending arrived quite abruptly, as though with a page or two left, Bendis realized he needed a cliffhanger, so let’s have Brainiac 5 swoon and intone cryptically.

    I heard the Wait, What guys explaining their theories about this new Great Darkness thing, and I can go along with it as long as it neither screws up old continuity (I’m happy with enhancements, though) nor, by crossing over with multiple current stories, becomes an unbearable mess. Fingers crossed.

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      1. I did. I’m used to seeing your comments on the ep notes, so it was no surprise. Your fame is boundless!

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  3. Agree with almost everything you’ve said, but it’s not a terribly good sign that the 2nd issue is already a month late, the third not appearing in solicits till May and the story barely getting started.
    With half the issues and twice the cast as the last Legion book I’m worried this is going to be another prelude to a prelude more than a complete story.

    The other problem I’m having is with the titular Gold Lantern himself. He appeared in one panel of the DC Asian Celebration book to claim diversity cookies for being both Filipino and blind.
    His origin to handwave this away with ‘I come from a planet where half the population is blind’ appears a rather unpalatable & preformative.

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    1. It’s like the new Wonder Girl being touted as ‘Look! She’s Brazilian! We’re diverse!’ and then it turns out she was raised in the US and is going back to save them.

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      1. Huh. I swear I have every issue and don’t recall any conclusion. Then again, I haven’t understood what Hera and the Insta-Amazons of Brazil are trying to accomplish either.

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    2. The lateness is indeed a bugger. I’m not thrilled at Bendis’ stated opinion that it doesn’t matter whether or not we get a Legion book every month so long as, when they arrive, they’re great. Legions of Legion creative teams have manages quality and timeliness.

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      1. It was a crappy story (I only remember Abel ruined the art) where we learned Jeckie’s illusions worked on robots thus cameras of any kind as well. You could find nuggets of gold in everything except the Reflecto arc.

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