Monday, May 16, 2022

Justice League vs The Legion of Super-Heroes #3

Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes #3 (July, 2022)
title: The Gold Lantern Saga Part Three
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artist: Scott Godlewski
colorist: Ryan Cody
letterer: Dave Sharpe
editor: Michael McCalister
group editor: Paul Kaminski
covers: Scott Godlewski & Ryan Cody (main); Travis Moore & Ryan Cody (variant)

reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Overall Summary: 
Gold Lantern is stuck in the past, while the Justice League and the Legion are thrown into various time periods in their past. Or, to put it more cynically, nothing happens to move the story along.  

Mission Monitor Board: 
Another issue with a huge talking head on the first page (I thought we'd lost that conceit), this time featuring Computor. Atleast she introduces herself. Without a "Roll Call" it's hard to tell but here are the characters I recognized or who were actually mentioned in the story, in (kind of) order of their appearance: Computo, Gold Lantern, Mon-El, Brainiac 5, White Witch, Timber Wolf, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy, Wildfire, Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lad, and Cosmic Boy

Supporting Characters:
To the members of the Justice League who appeared last issue (Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, Black Adam, some chick named Queen Naomi) we get Black Canary finally standing forward and talking (it's about time!), and Hawkgirl is there in the background doing nothing, too; Kamandi; Batman Beyond

bad writer, worse editor, not so great letterer, and oh yeah, some black mass called The Great Darkness


The issue opens with an announcement from Computo, telling the citizens of New Metropolis that the Legion is confronting a hole or rip in the space-time continuum, right outside the Metropolis Sphere. Like a tornado warning, it warns the citizens to stay inside while the Science Police, the Legion, and special time guests the Justice League handle the temporal emergency. 

The Justice League and Legion are milling about outside the Legion headquarters, watching the Great Darkness. Batman thinks that the menace is being controlled, so investigates known time-travelling super-villains. (Computo considers Booster Gold a criminal?) 

Then they hear for the first time that one of the Legionnaires is called Gold Lantern, and the JLA remembers how a time traveller named Epoch warned them about a gold lantern. 

Before anything else can be settled, the Great Darkness tosses Our Heroes around the "space-time continuum." Batman, Computo, and Chameleon Boy are all that remain in the Legion's time period. As such, they are about to be attacked by the Science Police. (Because comics.) 

Brainiac 5, Mon-El, and Queen Naomi are in the age of the Great Disaster and meet up with Kamandi. 

The founders (Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad) find themselves in the age of Batman Beyond. 

Aquaman and Ultra Boy are thrown back into the Age of Dinosaurs. 

Gold Lantern is about to witness the arrival of the Hindenburg at the Daily Planet building in Lakehurst, New Jersey. 

Russell's Review: 
I re-read last issue's summary and except for the part where the Great Darkness lashes out and flings Our Heroes into various parallel universe pasts, the same summary for last time would have worked for this issue. Three issues in and we're STILL just staring at the Great Darkness and have no idea how to combat it? Uggh. 


Am I the only reader who every time I come across the term "space-time continuum" I think bad Star Trek Next Generation? Isn't this hole just a rip in time, between "our" time and the Legion's? It sounds
pompous to use terms like "space-time continum." (Your mileage may vary.) 
For your entertainment, here are a few panels this issue that Made Me Go Hmmmm (tm). 

It sounds pretty effin' serious, Mon-El

"Temporal Rift of impossible proportions" is pretty damn clear, Black Adam.  

"You've been busy."  With what? No idea what this means. 

You'd think so, right? 

So let's just ignore the fact that this is not a very well plotted story (well, for six issues; I get the impression that it would have been awesome if it had been told in three or four installments instead). My biggest gripe this time is the lack of characterization. The JLAers all seem cynical and morose; the Legionnaires all seem  to be Golly Gee Wow impressive youngters. I feel like we've gone back to the Gardner Fox Silver Age days when anybody could be saying any of the word balloons on the page, and I'm not a big fan. Don't believe me? Imagine popping anybody else into the Batman or Aquaman bits and having them say their lines. I guess the one exception is Mon-El, who is portrayed as an insufferable jock-type. The way he goes off on Bouncing Boy in this story was shocking. 

By the way, can't Ultra Boy and Mon-El break the time barrier? They used to be able to. 

So let's just cut to the chase: if you're a fan of Bendis, you'll probably like this. If you're a fan of good old-fashioned plots and characterization, you probably won't. 

This issue is sure to be reprinted in the collection Justice League vs The Legion of Super-Heroes, which will probably go on sale in December 2022 January 2023. (Updated due to the production delays. If we're lucky the actual series will be done by September!)  


  1. Still hoping this will lead to rebooting this Legion away....

    1. I am wishing/hoping for a reboot in 2024, to celebrate the 30s years of Zero Hour, and the beginning of the Archie Legion.

    2. This is exactly what I've been wanting. Since the original came back after Lo3W and a 13 year gap, let's bring the Reboot back, especially as they were shoved off very unceremoniously

  2. Very much agree with the editor comment. There are some badly written passages in there that can't just be Bendis speak. Its ultimately a failure of the editor, but the letterer could have a hand in that as well.

  3. I agree, the story is at the middle already and it doesn't seems to be going anywhere. This smells like another of the Bendis stories than are solved quickly and abruptly in the last issue.

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