Friday, January 14, 2022

Review: Justice League Vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Justice League Vs, The Legion of Super-Heroes #1 came out this week, a book I have been waiting for since I first heard it was being released.

I know Brian Michael Bendis' Legion run wasn't universally loved but I found it to be a perfect amalgam of classic and new. I was sad to see it's run come to an end when Future State raised its fearsome head. The book was just coming around, the team victorious over Mordru, Rimbor, and UP oversight, they were just about to investigate the Great Darkness.

That universal threat finally arrives in this book, a very Crisis-like problem, attacking the universe in all places and all times simultaneously. 

Bendis does his usually great job with dialogue here and gives us a book which is very Legion but also reminiscent of the classic JLA/JSA annual crossovers. It is clear the Gold Lantern is somehow going to play a major part in this mini-series. For the first time I see how similar his uniform is to Naomi's and it makes me wonder if they aren't somehow connected.

The art here is by Scotty Godlewski with colors by Ryan Cody. Godlewski either loved or hated this job based on the number of characters and two page spreads he needed to do. But my guess is, based by the joy coming of the page, he loved it. For me, the favorite page is a 2 page of the Legion and the JLA just talking. 

In particular, there are three back-to-back double page spreads. One is nearly wordless and almost completely black, showing the threat of the Great Darkness. The next one is the ultra-bright future of the Legion, all pale blues and packed with people. The last one, the JLA fighting a Legion of Doom, but more normally colored. Because the current day isn't that bright but isn't that bad. This was a nice turn.

I really enjoyed this book. So let's get to the specifics.

We start out in the future, the Gold Lantern providing some narration boxes discussing how great the Legion is for bringing in a diverse group of people with a diverse range of ideas. And what a team! 

It was so great to see this group in action again even if it was just taking on a giant space monster called a garfu.

But who is the Gold Lantern talking to? Who would have white narration boxes ringed in purple? Some ideas at the end of the review.

But in the midst of the fight, there is some unnatural shuddering of space and things go dark. One third of Triplicate Girl is pulled elsewhere.  Something has taken her.

Is this the Great Darkness? 

And was this a planned attack against Luornu? Or a random grabbing? 

And if not random, why Luornu?

Or course we saw in Legion Future State (and obviously in prior continuities) that Triplicate Girl has lost one third of herself.

Realizing the Great Darkness is starting to manifest, the Legion heads to the UP to warn them. 

I like the clout Brainy is showing here even if we hear that he is actually 'disregulated'.

And this is one half of that bright two page spread, as we look up at these characters in their brilliant surroundings, showing us the future isn't a dark place ... yet,

In the present time, the League is seen standing over the unconscious bodies of many of their main foes. 

Suddenly the same sort of disruption happens, this time trying to pull Wonder Woman somewhere. Unlike Luornu, she is able to hold her ground and not be taken. 

But when the dust settles and the darkness dissipates, the missing third of Luornu is somehow there. And she has aged. 

So many questions!

Was the Darkness trying to get Diana specifically? If yes, why her?
And why dump Luornu in the past? And why has she aged?
As always, good puzzles for me to try to solve!

I did like that Luornu immediately recognized the League and asked for Jon. I'd have to check but she might have been one of the Legionnaires present when they first arrived on the scene when Jon created the notion of the UP so she would have met them before.

Back in the future, the Legion is still reeling from their presumed loss. 

Blue Luornu wants to immediately merge with yellow Luornu. This is the custom when one of the triad dies. But yellow isn't sure what happened to the pink Luornu. So maybe they shouldn't merge. 

I wonder what would happen if 2 merged when the third was still alive?

I liked this peek into Carggite culture.

Superboy arrives in the future and asks the Legion to head back in time with him. 

We get a Legion mission team! And a sizeable one to boot.

But in the past our 2/3 young Luornu see that their other third is alive and ... well ... old.

I would love to know what would happen if they merged now. Would the merged Luornu be older? Would the manifest age be a mean? The mode? The oldeest?

This is probably my favorite pages in the book as the League and the Legion get to know each other. 

This is a classic Legion page. Some of my favorites from the Baxter series was shots of the team partying, or hanging out in their lounge.

This is also classic JLA/JSA sort of page when those teams got to catch up annually.

The conversations here are interesting. These incursions into are universe are being called Darkness Outbreaks by Brainy. That's cool. And I like how the Legion are all knowledgeable of the League, like mythic heroes.

Great art by Godlewski here.

And then, another attack.

Again it seems to be focused on Diana. 

But oddly when the darkness fades, everyone is gone ... except the Gold Lantern. Did the Darkness take everyone leaving the Lantern? Or did it take only him, shunting him to some other version of the Hall Of Justice? I guess we'll find out.

So maybe the person Lantern is talking to at the beginning is whoever has done this kidnapping? After all, the colors here seem a but purplish. Maybe we catch up to that conversation next issue.

This was a solid first chapter for me. This was predominantly Legion focused. It set up some mysteries. And it felt like classic old-school team-ups. Solid cliffhanger too. 

So I am in. 

Overall grade: A


Bostondreams said...

I posted this over on Martin Gray's site, but I think the efforts to kidnap certain heroes might be related to the Darkness clones from the original saga maybe?

Martin Gray said...

I thought Gold Lantern was talking to the Moloid-type people at the edges of page one, they’re purpley.

This was indeed loads of fun, I am so looking forward to seeing where the story goes.

Anonymous said...

I gave it a b. Liked everything but the dialogue.

Kinofreak said...

Purple? Maybe the Time Trapper?

Anj said...

thanks for the comments all!

Like the idea that the 'pulling' is creating the duplicates like in the original.