Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes #4 review

After a one month and one week delay, Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes (still a nonsense title) is finally back in action! As a reminder, the last issue ended with both teams being scattered through time and despite some skepticism, it did give me a renewed interest in the series. The question now is, was it worth it? Let’s see!

Well, it’s simplest to say this continues to be a frustrating series. At times it feels equal parts good and bad. I did have one major realization since issue three however. When a comic gets delayed, it can teach you something about how you regard it. It is torture waiting for Swamp Thing: Green Hell #2 for instance. Despite the release of issue one being in December of last year I’m still waiting with great anticipation. On the other side, when Batman 89 was delayed between issues five and six, I forgot I was reading it. So, this is a roundabout way of saying I’ve actually had some anticipation for this issue in the last two months. There’s just something enjoyable about it that I can’t put my finger on.

That said, it is still far from a perfect comic. Turns out, I was entirely correct in thinking that splitting everyone up in time would stall the narrative motion for no good reason. Spoilers, they just look as some stuff and then Computo figures out how to bring them back (off panel, of course). It was all very anticlimactic. If anyone was looking forward to the Batman Beyond appearance that they made such a big deal about last issue, you shouldn’t be. He’s in one panel. Even he’s bewildered by this whole fiasco!

I feel you, Terry.

You know what I think? I think Bendis is just having fun. He doesn’t have a story and he never did. Well, unless you count “the great darkness attacks and the heroes beat it eventually” as a story. It sure feels to me like this should have been a two issue mini rather than six. He’s just writing in circles and coming up with fun shenanigans as he waits for the final issue. As I mentioned in the last review, there is no character development and there is no theme. This series is quite truly scene after scene of characters talking about the problem at hand and making quirky remarks. Even sending everyone to disparate timelines didn’t force them to take action. Computo just figures it out because he has to. Now that we’ve filled the entire issue with cuts back and forth to all three million characters featured in this story (and still missed a few) it’s time to reset! They’re in the 21st century now instead of the 31st but they’re still in the same exact situation and have still taken no action since issue two. It’s also not even clear what they’re fighting at this point. This doesn’t seem to be the same great darkness featured in Dark Crisis, which can get very confusing if you’re reading both books. This dialogue for instance is referring to issue one of this series but for a second I thought this might be set after Dark Crisis and Bendis had just given away the resurrection of the Justice League.

I do also have to amend my hypothesis that this is a secret Gold Lantern book, because it isn’t. Just like last issue he is relegated to the sidelines. In fact, the conflict surrounding Gold Lantern is not even mentioned in this issue. He does get two pages to interact with the timeline he was thrown into but it feels more like a detour from the rest of the comic than anything because most of the pages are devoted to Batman and Brainiac 5’s groups. The first two issues did feel like they had most of their focus on Gold Lantern and it’s unfortunate that he has fallen by the wayside because I was legitimately interested to read more about him. Black Adam, who delivered all the best lines in previous issues, is also missed here. Despite that, the humor in this issue is marginally better than the last, with a cell phone joke being the highlight.

The joke isn’t particularly funny itself but the art and letters sell it so hard that I can’t help but chuckle.

Speaking of art, at this point I am totally sold. Scott Godlewski and Ryan Cody are top tier. They elevate this comic. I liked their work ok from the beginning but as I’ve sat with it for months now it has definitely grown on me and this issue is easily their best work so far. With a variety of environments and even more visually diverse characters, they were given great opportunities to shine. So, they did.

I want to see them draw a whole comic set in the 40s!

Recommended if…

  • There is some seriously great art here
  • You just want to read these characters interacting
  • You’re really just here for a popcorn flick

Overall

This comic isn’t much of anything but it’s fairly entertaining, the art is great and it’s just a lighthearted romp at the end of the day. I gave the last two issues a 5/10. I still think that’s fair but thanks to the art and the fact that I had fun reading this issue, I’m going to give it an extra point.

Score: 6/10


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