Last month team RWBY and the Trinity set off on an investigation into the missing students and townspeople, there they ran into Flash and Cyborg, and we got to learn a little more about the world and its inhabitants. With more questions that need answering, the team moves forward into this month’s adventure.
The story opens up on Blake and Yang and Clark as they continue their portion of the investigation, down at the pier. There they run into another familiar face, Aquaman, or just Arthur in this series. The interactions between them and Arthur are roughly in line with what we’ve seen between meeting other characters like Cyborg and Flash: mostly distrust that turns to trust fairly quickly as they gather a new teammate. It’s a fun segment that hints at where
Blake and Yang really take over the narrative in this portion, with a lot of banter and flirting. It’s not bad, but it does kind of feel like it overshadows everything else. Their banter –and mild spat– distracts from other elements like the fight, Arthur’s introduction and Clark, who should be balanced between them as the third team member. It’s not totally out of the blue as Arthur does instigate some of the flirting, but generally it’s just a little too much for the tone of the adventure. Plus I was really hoping to see a focus on Clark’s own struggles during the night, as his powers are nonexistent then–we do get to see some of that later, but generally Clark feels very background this issue. In fact, despite getting to meet new Leaguers, generally anyone who isn’t from the original RWBY team feels very much like background characters.
That’s a problem with large team books, one I’ve complained about before with other team titles. We’re at eleven characters all working together at this point, and that is going to be a hard balance, especially in a comic with a limited run, that is trying to cater to two different audiences: RWBY fans, and Justice League fans. And while it’s hard to get that balance between an ever growing cast, I know it’s possible. Especially when the narrative keeps splitting the group up to highlight some of those characters. So groups of three, like Blake, Yang, and Clark should be giving equal time to each character, even when adding Arthur into the mix.
Eventually the narrative brings everyone together, and pushes them all right into action. And boy have I been waiting for a big action scene, every issue has had some fights, but it’s nice to see everyone get together for one at last. There are a lot of characters to move around, and even more as they’re basically mobbed by all the missing characters showing back up. Still, Aneke keeps the fight looking good, and flowing well as everyone gets a chance here or there to jump in.
Where it gets confusing is in the narrative. Yet another Leaguer shows up –this time it’s Jessica Cruz– and we get a whole big panel highlighting her fearing she’s too late, then the story jumps back into the fight like this new person hasn’t entered the fray at all. It feels disjointed and jarring as we jump between character’s narration, new people showing up, and other characters taking over the narration.
That said, the issue does quite a few good things. It fleshes out more of the various character’s backstories and gradually we’re learning how each of the League members knows the other, or how they’ve all seemed to cross paths at some point. I like that it gives the characters some much needed depth that we need from seeing all new information about them in this series. It also brings the energy I’ve been wanting to see as the plot jumps forward, both with the characters introduced, and with some revelations made about where everyone’s been disappearing off to, and who is taking them. It’s about time as we’ve only got a couple issues to go before the end of this, and I’m hoping that energy will be kept up in the next issue.
I touched on the fight earlier, drawn by Aneke, and generally I really enjoyed it. It’s nice to get to see the whole crew come together and both take on a group of opponents and work together to make other things happen.
The other aspect of the art I really enjoyed were the designs for Aquaman and Jessica Cruz. I love Aquaman’s hair streak and the details that make him a shark fanus, like his fin on his back. He very much has the vibe of being someone from the ocean, and Aneke does a good job of also referencing back to his traditional uniform we’re used to seeing.
And Jessica also looks really cool. She too has a hair streak, and her outfit has fun fantasy vibes to it. It is exactly what I’d want out of her transitioned into this world and I’m really excited to see more of her in future issues.
The issue ends with the promise of more answers coming next month, and I’m interested to see how things begin to really come together. I only hope that the explanation doesn’t slow down some of the momentum this issue brought to the table. Still, I’m glad things seem to be turning towards giving us more of the plot and getting the whole group together to solve this mystery.
- Young love and banter is your thing
- You’re curious to see who or what might be behind all this
- Bruce’s internal dialogue boxes have little bat ears and that’s just perfect
This issue does pick up the pace in a way I enjoyed. I love that we’re getting more information about the big bad, where everyone has disappeared off to and the general plot. It also gives readers further insight into the world, and the backstories of many of the League members. That said, there were some messy moments that really detracted from my enjoyment this time. While the fight was fun, it also felt a little all over the place, and the ever expanding cast just doesn’t feel as balanced as it could be. I think it’s safe to say, if you’re enjoying this series you’ll enjoy this issue.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.