Tuesday, June 22, 2021

RWBY/Justice League #3 Review

 


Written By: Marguerite Bennett

Art By: Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade Von Grawbadger, Hi-Fi, and Gabriela Downie

Cover Price: $3,99

Release Date: June 22, 2021

Reviewed By: Michael G


Flash and Cyborg join the party in this third installment of RWBY/Justice League, as our paired-off groups investigate their leads on the ongoing mystery threatening the world of Remnant.


The first half of the issue focuses on Bruce and Ruby’s attempts to find and secure the mysterious speedster roaming the Faunus Quarter. The two don’t seem to have much chemistry, and except for observation from Bruce on how oddly Clark was acting towards Weiss last issue, the two barely even speak to each other throughout the chapter. As they investigate the area, we are initially led to believe that the speedster they are searching for is a fox faunus version of Jessie Quick, but as Ruby chases down the wily girl, it’s then revealed that she is only a decoy for the real Flash: Barry Allen.


In theory that’s a fine bait and switch… except for the fact that Barry is nowhere near as well designed as Jessie is, and the issue spends a lot more time on her than him. If the creative team were intent on making Barry the main Flash character, they should not have made Jessie so much more engaging. While Barry’s RWBY-fied design is fine, it fails to reach the standard set by the original trinity, and we don’t really get any details about him except for the fact that he’s a faunus speedster… and that’s pretty much it. His mother Nora is still alive in this universe, but that does not add anything to the story either, except to be an easter egg for DC readers. All told, what we get from these this meeting is a recap of what’s been happening with the disappearing huntsmen and huntresses and the brainwashing mystery. The only real plot development we get comes at the end of the issue with the revelation that team JNPR has been brainwashed by the still unknown enemy and is hunting down people with powerful semblances.


In the second section, we meet up with Weiss and Diana as they break into Schnee Industries. The banter between them, while not as great as the last issue, was better than it was between Ruby and Bruce. These two continue to be my favorite characters of the series so far, which is all the more disappointing when yet another character is introduced to shake up the dynamic. This time it’s Victor Stone, who feels very out of place in the RWBY-verse. His design is the worst so far in the series, as he pretty much just looks like a normal Cyborg, only with fewer robotic parts and an added pair of pants.

 

Vic’s presence at Schnee industries brings up more questions than it answers, and his backstory feels forced and doesn’t even try to match up with Cyborg’s usual comic book origins. Due to some needlessly bad communication between him and Diana, the two start to fight, only for Weiss to talk them down before things escalate too far. It’s here where we get a bit of friendly interaction between the characters, but Victor comes off as kind of bland, and just made me wish we could spend more time developing the characters that have already been introduced instead of adding new ones. Even the dialogue, which was a highlight of the first two issues, feels kind of stilted and flat here. I’m starting to worry that Bennett is more interested in introducing as many of her RWBY versions of the Justice Leaguers as she can, rather than properly developing them and telling a compelling story. Even the ending of the issue fails to move the plot forward, as we are again told that team JNPR have been brainwashed and are after our heroes. It’s not exactly an edge of your seat cliff-hanger when we already knew about it ten pages ago.


This issue brings the third artist in the series so far with Emanuela Lupacchino taking the reigns, and while it still manages to maintain the same basic look and style of the previous pencilers, it’s my least favorite of the series so far. The characters’ faces don’t always look right, and the design of the newly introduced Justice League characters failed to match up to the previous ones, as both Barry and Victor only slightly deviate from their usual DC looks, and don’t fit in as seamlessly in the world of Remnant as the other DC heroes. Adding to the artistic woes is a chase scene between Ruby and Jessie that fails to adequately visually represent the frenetic velocity of two speedsters on the move. It just looked like two people running slightly faster than an average person. 


Bits and Pieces:


A promising start for this crossover miniseries hits a speed bump in this underwhelming third issue. We get very little plot development, lackluster dialogue and the addition of two more characters in what is becoming a crowded cast. While I do still enjoy the novelty of seeing beloved DC characters interacting with the members of team RWBY, it’s not something that can sustain an entire series on its own. The series keeps hinting at a bigger narrative deserving of this team-up, but it will need to deliver on it before things get too stale.


6/10



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