Last month we started our journey into a delightful mash up of RWBY and the Justice League, and met most of the main cast we’ll see from here on. This month promises Weiss, a Faunus Bruce Wayne, and at last the group being reunited. Will they all work together, or is this idea just not flowing quite right?
I have to say, I’m still sorting out how to feel about this issue, and the whole premise of this crossover. There is a lot here to love, but some other elements that feel a little off. Plus I’m having trouble reconciling the idea that this really isn’t the Justice League, but characters with the same names and similar styles. The concept of RWBY and the Justice League crossing over is still a fun one, but as it’s playing out I’m starting to see some ideas not quite solidify in the way I was hoping they would.
The first half of the issue features two of my favorite characters: Weiss and Bruce. It follows a similar pattern as the earlier team RWBY meetings with their designated Justice League members. Weiss meets Bruce, they get to know each other a bit, and we learn his semblance as they solve a problem, which turns out to be a mystery featuring a stolen pocket watch.
Their interactions are overall pretty charming, and sweet, but it’s also a little weird to read a 16 year old Bruce flirting with Weiss. In fact, I found most of the flirting between Justice League members and team RWBY to feel awkward. Not so much in the writing, but as a reader who is used to seeing Bruce, Clark, and Diana as adults. This is one of those moments where I’m not totally connecting with the narrative, I get that they’re younger here, but it’s still hard to reconcile in my mind. It doesn’t help that often the art makes them look older than their stated teenage years. They tower over the girls, and Bruce’s features are chiseled in a way that makes him look closer to twenty than sixteen.
In this half we’re also introduced to Bruce’s semblance, and how it works is a little confusing. I’m going to say that both the art and script have equal measure in my uncertainty as there are moments where both could have been clearer. Bruce states his semblance is that he has an eye for mysteries and puzzles and his semblance is visualized through yellow circles over things he’s investigating, but not always. Like when he dispels Weiss’ glyph without any kind of colored cue. In this same scene, there is a moment where he whistles to make the chandeliers shake that isn’t connected with his semblance at all, but is instead a form of echolocation –since he is a Bat faunus. However, because everything takes place so close together it can be hard to discern what’s what on a first read. The second time his semblance is shown, when they’re solving the mystery doesn’t clarify things anymore as the pocket watch they’re searching for seems to magically float on its own. I understand that being a good detective is a hard semblance to show, but I feel like a few things could have been done clearer to help readers understand better.
The second half while full of humorous moments between the teams interacting is more a bit of an info-dump than anything. The group reunites at Beacon academy and we’re treated to a few pages where everyone introduces themselves again to one another. This feels pretty repetitive since we essentially just got all these introductions in the last issue and first half of this one. Then Professor Oz breaks down the problem the team is facing, and again the story has a feeling of repetition as they discuss the mysteries we just saw play out in the previous issue. I get that some of this has to be done, because everyone met separately, but it could have been condensed more.
That said, I do enjoy the extra information Oz gives us about the mystery at hand. There is more going on than just new Grimm showing up, and the team has quite the challenge ahead of them as they try to sort out who’s been kidnapping Hunters and Huntresses, why, and how everything fits together. This mystery is probably the most appealing part of the whole story to me so far, leaving me more interested in the overall plot than the characters themselves.
Speaking of the mystery, I want to highlight the panel where Oz begins discussing the problem at hand, because the art team did a great job with the details here. In the first half of the story, there’s an off-handed comment about a missing astronaut, and on the board there’s a note about the same astronaut, plus there’s a note about a speedster and where other huntsmen have gone missing, all of which are eventually discussed in the story.
And despite my grumbling about confusing semblance panels, I’m still really enjoying the art. Stephanie Pepper does a good job making each character expressive and bright, especially during the reunion and introduction scene. There are some wonderful visual gags, like Weiss and Bruce glaring at each other over having butlers, and red lines indicating Clark has sped off in order to avoid teaming up with Weiss. These really add to the fun, humorous atmosphere of the story, and help keep things light even when it’s focused on more serious topics like missing hunters.
Now that I’ve read the second issue, I’m even more certain that this comic definitely is more a RWBY story than a Justice League one, and I think the story suffers a bit for it. While I’ve officially caught up on RWBY now –and am still loving it– I’m disappointed in how the Justice League is being presented. These are not the same Justice League characters I know, which is hard to reconcile when this book is billed as a crossover. They’re so different from their regular counterparts, in age and personality, that it’s hard to see them as Clark, Bruce, and Diana. Yes, they have some similar traits, but I didn’t even recognize Bruce when he first showed up, and Diana reads more like Penny than herself so it’s a bit disappointing to see them so watered down.
Plus, they don’t know each other at all, which means we’re missing that special spark that makes the Trinity work so well. It could be amazing to see how that team plays off team RWBY, but instead each character feels very separate from the others, like their own little oceans. While I’d love to see their stories explored more, I’m not sure we’ll get that. This is a mini-series, it has a lot of story to tell, and I’m just not sure Bennett will take the time I want to really focus on the League the way I’d like to see, still I could find myself genuinely surprised as the series continues.
By the end, everyone has met and now set to start the real investigation. They’re splitting up again, and off to find a Hunter at risk of being kidnapped. I’m hoping that even with them split into groups, we’ll get some good moments of chemistry and see more of the story progress.
- You don’t mind a little Justice League with your RWBY story
- Bruce is a bat faunus! With a Bat shaped weapon! What more could you ask for
- That break between RWBY seasons hurts and you’re desperate for more content
The second issue of RWBY/Justice League rounds off introducing the main cast of characters and lets the two teams meet at last. While there is some awkwardness in a few of the explanations, and repetition as the team reunites, in general the issue is still quite a bit of fun to read. It’s nice to see all these characters interacting in a lighthearted way as they start down the path of solving Remnant’s newest mystery. If you want a brighter comic, or are just waiting out that RWBY season break, this is a fun story to turn to.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.