RWBY/Justice League #1

Of all the stories to expect out of DC Comics, seeing team RWBY and the Justice League in a crossover was not something I imagined. Am I complaining? No. I think the idea has the potential to be a ton of fun. So much so, that I could not help being intrigued enough to volunteer to cover the title. 

And you know? It is quite a bit of fun. This issue has flaws –which I’ll get into– but it’s a cute, light, story that makes me feel a lot like the first couple seasons of RWBY did. The art fits the style really well, and I enjoyed reading it. 

The first thing you need to know about this crossover is that it’s a RWBY story featuring characters who kind-of-sort-of resemble the Justice League. They are presented as having always been in Remnant and younger than the characters we see in main continuity. The story also plays very light and fast with RWBY continuity. It’s roughly set pre-season 3 and even that is kind of up in the air since Blake is shown back home in Menagerie and there are events here that would obviously impact the series.

The fact that the Justice League characters are integrated into the story already is one of the biggest draws to me about this world. It wastes no time trying to drag members of the Justice League in from their home world, instead it just plays in this wonderful space of what if? What if characters like Clark, Diana, and Bruce were born into Remnant? What would that look like? How might it impact the lives of team RWBY and others? It’s fun, and I look forward to seeing how the other characters are incorporated into this adventure.

Looking at the actual story itself, there is both somehow a lot packed into this issue, and the feeling that it doesn’t quite do enough. The issue combines parts one and two of the digital first version, and tells two distinct stories, as team RWBY is not currently together. The girls are split up over a school break and each back at their own homes. The first half features Ruby and Yang meeting Clark while the second half has Blake introduced to Diana. Both of these are very focused on showcasing Clark and Diana, and so much of the story centers around explaining who they are, what they can do, and how they’ve come to meet the others.  

Bennett does a good job adapting Clark and Diana’s origin stories into the world of Remanent, though I’d say she is a bit more successful with Diana, since her origin of being molded out of clay is essentially the same but with a RWBY twist. Clark’s is lighter on the details, but I have a feeling we might learn more from him down the road. 

Aneke’s designs for Clark and Diana are delightful. Both are very youthful, but you can still tell who they’re based on. Again, Diana is a little more obvious especially in her Wonder Woman outfit, but Clark has a very sweet farmer vibe that yells Clark Kent. Though, I will say his first appearance had me actually say out loud “Conner?!” His hairstyle is similar to Conner’s, and the whole mood is slightly reminiscent of Young Justice. Especially since Clark is a teenager here. 

Additionally, Aneke’s art works well with the other characters too. Each of the RWBY characters looks the part, though there are a few panels where Ruby herself looks a little older than she should. But in general Anake’s character work is a lot of fun to look at while reading. 

In addition to new characters, we are also introduced to new Grimm that seem to have mind controlling powers. I like this complication, though I’m not sure it’s really been used to its full potential yet. There was a part where Clark is temporarily mind controlled that could have been a great opportunity to show off his skills versus Ruby and Yang’s, but it moves by quickly.  

In fact, let’s talk about the fights. 

I will admit that prior to the announcement of this crossover I would have been one of those readers the first issue caters to. RWBY had been on my to-watch list for a long time but there was nothing to push me to sit down and enjoy the series. However, once I knew I was taking the title, I knew I couldn’t keep putting off watching it forever. And while I’m not totally caught up, I can confidently say I am a fan. The worldbuilding is interesting and boy are those fights spectacular. Normally I’m a story first everything else second kind of person. But. Those. Fights. They’re what grabbed my attention, and have held it through some of the rougher patches. 

And while fight dynamics are different in comics than they are on the screen, they can still look and read spectacular in comics. Unfortunately, the two battles that happen in this issue really don’t do it for me. They’re pretty basic, easy battles that feel meant to kind of ease readers into the story and that disappoints me a bit. The fights are easily won and feel like they were just included to show off semblances and remind us that this is a world where battles happen. Yes, this is the first issue and there is a lot to get done in it, but I was kind of hoping to see a little more. Hopefully, those will develop over the series. 

By the end we’ve been introduced to part of the cast of Justice League members inhabiting Remnant, and to most of team RWBY but overall I feel like I just wanted more from this issue. It generally feels like a lot of exposition. It’s filled with explanations about the world, it’s history, Huntresses, semblances, the new characters, and the Grimm. And while these are good and needed, I also can’t help but feel  not a lot was done. Essentially all we get are two introductions. I’m not expecting all of the answers or all the action right away, but this is a limited run and we haven’t even seen all the characters yet. It’s just moving a tad bit slow for my liking. Still, there was quite a bit to enjoy here so I’m looking forward to the next issue. 

Recommended If

  • You’re a fan of RWBY
  • The idea of characters like the Trinity showing up in a fantasy realm is exciting to you
  • Crossovers! They’re a great opportunity to discover something new

Overall

In not knowing what to expect from this crossover, I can say that I am intrigued. The opening is a little slow and bogged down with more exposition than action, but there are enough new elements introduced, like the mind controlling power that I want to keep reading. That said, this does feel very much like a RWBY story, so it’s hit or miss if you’ll enjoy it if you came for League content. No matter which party you’re here for (or even both) it’s worth checking out if you want something light and new.  

Rating: 5.5/10


DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.