Tuesday, May 25, 2021

RWBY/Justice League #2 Review


Written By: Marguerite Bennett
Art By: Stephanie Pepper
Colors By: HI-FI
Letter By: Gabriela Downie
Cover By: Mirka Andolfo
Cover Price: $3,99
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Reviewed By: Michael G
The gang’s all together in this second issue of RWBY/Justice League, and as such, we get some great banter between our young heroes, more than a few awkward and flirtatious interactions, and the introduction of an ominous new threat that sets them off on their mission to find and rescue the missing huntsmen and huntresses of Remnant!

Of the four members of team RWBY, Weiss is definitely my favorite, so I was immediately excited when the second issue kicked off with a trip to Schnee Manor, where we see Weiss trapped in a boring party with her father’s rich friends, as her father continues to be the arrogant snob he’s always been. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get to see the other members of the Schnee family, but what we get is enough to frame Weiss’ home as the cold and unwelcoming environment we saw in Volume 4 of the show. This section also firmly places this story at right around the show’s third volume, as we can see Weiss’ character growth from the ice princess heiress of Volume 1, to the kinder, more understanding Weiss we get after her friendship develops with the other girls. It’s clear that Bennett has a firm understanding of the characters in this world, something even the show’s writers struggle with at times. When once we knew Weiss as having a less than the kind attitude towards the Faunus population of Remnant, her time with Blake has made it so that she is the only one to stand up for bat faunus Bruce when he becomes the subject of suspicion and scorn by the elitist partygoers, despite his own wealthy economic standing.

Speaking of our bat-eared Mr. Wayne, Marguerite Bennet once again nails the RWBYfied DC heroes with this version of a literal batman. Pairing Weiss with Bruce was a great choice, as they share a lot of character traits. Both are intelligent loners who learn to accept the fact they work at their best with a found family at their side. Bruce’s semblance also compliments his comic book skill set, basically giving him Detective Vision from the Arkham game franchise, as Bruce is literally able to discern patterns and puzzles in the world around him. It’s always nice to see a story focus on the detective aspect of Batman’s persona, and while the case of the missing pocket watch isn’t exactly worthy of an Agatha Christie novel, it serves its purpose of proving that Bruce is a shrewd investigator. Plus, that’s one badass bat ax he’s got as a weapon.

In the issue’s second chapter, all our core heroes are brought together at Beacon Academy, and it’s a pure joy to read their interactions. With all the plot and lore that goes on in the RWBY web series, we don’t often get to see the characters just having fun together, especially after the heavy events of the third volume's finale. But here, we get a good dose of fluffy interactions that serve to make the characters feel like normal teenager… with awesome magic powers and cool weapons of course. Seeing Bruce behaving like a suave flirter towards the RWBY girls was a delight, especially with Weiss’ jealousy clear on display. Diana acts as a super friendly fish out of water whose wide array of powers and magical items is more than a little intimidating to the other characters, and Clark is an awkward dope who shyly fades to the background, letting Ruby do most of the talking for him. Bennett leans into the inherent silliness of these characters, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for from a crossover like this.
The only part of this issue that keeps it from being unilaterally awesome is the use of Professor Ozpin as a walking talking exposition machine. He’s basically a quest giver in a video game, and while I understand the issue needs to keep the core plot moving forward, I would have been just as happy to read a whole issue of the young characters interacting with each other. For those DC fans who aren’t familiar with the RWBY characters, we also get some explanation on the various RWBY characters’ abilities and weapons that form their arsenal. Bennett does her best to blend this info dump in with the fun banter to keep it interesting for seasoned RWBY fans who already know all of this. 

I was caught worried when I saw the artist change up from the first issue, but to Stephanie Pepper’s credit, she manages to keep a consistent look from Aneke’s work in the first issue. Some of the background characters look a little less detailed than I would like, but that’s a nice call-back to the first season of the web series where the limited animation budget forced the animators to have all non-main characters appear as dark silhouettes. Whether or not Pepper meant this as an homage I can’t say, but that’s what it made me think of nonetheless. It’s a very simple and even minimalist art style, but it works for this issue, as there isn’t really any action to speak of, and the characters that are front and center are very expressive and well designed. For an issue that largely consists of people standing around and bantering, it works just fine.

Bits and Pieces

RWBY/Justice League barrels ahead with an exceptionally entertaining issue that rounds out and brings together our central characters. While there is a bit of forced exposition and lore-dump, the cute and funny interactions between the characters are a joy to read, and the art manages to stay stylish and consistent from the first issue despite an artist change. Simply put, this is a must-read for RWBY fans, with an understanding of the characters’ voices that the show often struggles to maintain, and featuring versions of the Justice League heroes I want to see a lot more of.


No comments:

Post a Comment