Let me be perfectly clear: I know the risk I’m running by being excited for this book. I know what you’re all going to say.

Bendis’ pretty good but abandoned Legion of Super-Heroes crosses over with Bendis’ less than good Justice League? Absolute recipe for disaster.

But yet again, as the world’s premier (and only (don’t call me on that)) Legion fan, I’m cosmically obligated to be excited whenever they show up. Now, did my hype pay off?

Yeah, y’know, s’pretty good!

I liked it. No complaints. That’s my review. Thanks everyone!

Oh.

It’s still pretty good but we gotta talk about the dialogue, man.

Now, I’m gonna start this section with stuff I actually really like about this splash. First off, it’s one of the classic “two teams meet and everyone is talking to everyone else” scenes, something wou’d see at the annual JLA/JSA holiday party or in JLA vs Avengers. I love these scenes, and I think this one does a great job of interspersing team members in a way that’s fun and interesting. Blok and Dawnstar fangirling over Green Arrow and Wonder Woman, Wildfire being pissed off at Black Adam, Jon talking to his former fellow Legionnaires Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl about the situation, hopping right back into the swing of things as part of Legion leadership, Flash and Batman talking to Brainy, all of it is just great stuff.

I also want to shout out the page layout. I don’t know if it was Scott Godlewski’s art, Dave Sharpe’s lettering, or Bendis himself (it was probably all three) to thank, I think the dialogue flows pretty well visually (with the exception of a weird amount of unused space on the right side). For the most part, you’re reading left to right, like a book. To steal (and fail to replicate) a gimmick from my good friend and fellow Batman News critic Nick:

I did this with a trackpad my fingers are on fire

I want to stress that my complaint here is not with the dialogue itself. I like it a lot. My problem is that there’s just SO MUCH. If this had been laid out any other way, I’d have given up halfway down the page. It’s been a long running problem/joke that Bendis crowds his panels way too much. Normally, I can get past it, but I had to take a second when I turned the page to this spread. OOF, my guy. Maybe tone it down juuuuuust a little bit.

The rest of it

Other than the standard complaint of “Bendis writes too much” , which isn’t really even a complaint from me at this point, the rest of the book is really solid!

The story, which seems to be focusing on Gold Lantern for the first section, is intriguing! I’ve been curious since the get-go about Kala Lour, and I’m always down for some Lantern stuff! The threat this time around is the “Darkness”, a vague Phantom Zone-esque dimension of what looks like negative energy, capable of, I’m sure among other things, aging people decades in a matter of seconds. It’s a good hook, it at least got me interested, and I hope Bendis manages to deliver on it in coming issues.

The art, however, is where this book really shines. For one, it’s a massive improvement over the mainline Justice League book. Scott Godlewski’s character art flows really well, everyone feels super cool and dynamic without being overly flowy or erratic. My only complaint is that some of the characters suffer from a mild case of same-face, but that’s absolutely a minor problem when drawing a book with like 28 characters regularly on page. His backgrounds, too, are absolutely amazing. This book had way too many intricate splashes, and Godlewski nailed every single one of them. The colors, done by Ryan Cody, absolutely pop off the page. The whole book has a wonderful mesh of bright and colorful, evocative of the silver and bronze age antics of the Legion, while flashing to a darker, more modern palette when it needs to. I always say this, but I’m a sucker for pretty colors, and this book had me covered.

Speaking of things I always gush about whenever I see them, Dave Sharpe was clearly having some fun with the lettering this issue. Or if he wasn’t, I sure was! There’s lots of fun exclamations and bubbles, particularly when The Darkness gets involved, and it’s just a lot of fun to read.

Recommended if…

  • You’re a fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes (which you aren’t, I’m the only one)
  • Gold Lantern getting some depth is a thing that you’re down for.
  • If you wanted Bendis’ Justice League, but better

Overall

I wanted this book to be a fun romp with the Legion and the Justice League, and that’s what I got, at least for this issue. Let’s hope Bendis doesn’t pull a Checkmate.

Score: 8/10


Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.