Review: The Leaders of the Free World 1-3

By | November 3, 2022

The Leaders of the Free World is a call back to one of my favorite types of team books and that’s the global superhero team. This is something I’ve really only encountered before with DC comics Global Guardians or Justice League International. Marvel’s multicultural and multinational X-Men did not have the same sort of world wide focus as these other teams. However, this comic brings this idea back and does so in its own unique way. 


I’m choosing to review the first three issues as a whole because the author doesn’t lay it all out right away. This is a team origin but it’s also a story in progress. Things have happened and continue to happen offscreen as you focus on particular characters. So you end up needing subsequent issues to put certain things in context as you go, which at first can seem a bit confusing or like plot holes but by the third issue pretty much everything is in play, though I am still waiting for more elements to resolve as the comic continues. 

Pruitt has conceived of a rather unique explanation for the majority of superpowered being in his world, being that most have acquired abilities from a JLA-like group of alien beings who have come to call Earth home. The Godsend, as they are called, dole out tech and powers for the benefit of mankind. But of course humans screw this up and manage to kill off a third of the human race in a global war before the Superman-like Godsend put an end to all of that. Which leads us with the set up of no superhuman being allowed to function outside of their own nation. 

This is where we get to the meat of things as heroes have no choice but to come together in the face of a global threat in order to save the planet. Circumstances take the Godsend out of play and limit the number of supers who can actively participate in a battle against alien invaders. This gives the story some real stakes and there are some nice twists along the way to facilitate this. Characters both good and bad must come together to fight for the world, no matter what their ultimate agendas might be, creating a sometimes hostile dynamic between “team” members as they fight for survival. 

The characters are interesting and varied as you might expect from a global team with heroes hailing from places like Samoa and the Philippines, which don’t often get much attention (if any) in American comics. It was kinda fun learning that Samoa for instance has become a sort of Wakandaesque, high tech superpower of a nation. I particularly enjoyed the addition of a version of Sun Wukong expressed here as Surreal Monkey King and the explanation of his origins and the seemingly demonic  necromancer Doctor Seance. His outlook on the world at large, the heroes and humanity are quite amusing and certainly add to the appeal of the character. There’s to many interesting characters to get into but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention they have a cyborg dog on the team named Doohickey that give me nostalgia for Hannah and Barberra’s Dyno Mutt. 


The art team is visually strong, giving the reader dynamic visuals to enjoy. The anatomy is excellent, great use of perspective and drafting skills, action scenes are appropriately action packed and exciting. The colors pop, adding just the right amount of brightness were needed and none of the pages ever seemed muddy to me, everything being well defined and separated in panels thanks to the color choices. Very clean art over all and the character designs were fun and well executed. 

While page flow is generally good, some pages get a bit creative and I was forced to reread them to properly understand what they were trying to do. Further there are some storytelling issues here and there. Without the dialogue on some pages/panels I would not have been able to follow the intended action as sometimes the point was unclear. 


The letterer does a good job of not obscuring critical art and is helpful in leading the eye around the page. It’s a no frills lettering style that goes for practical untility over being overly flashy and distracting. 


This series is well worth a look. Its doing something fun and fresh and really seems to be finding its legs as it goes along. 

SCORE: 4 out of 5

WRITER: Corey Pruitt
ARTIST: Elijah Isaiah Johnson
COLORIST: Ross Hughes
LETTERS: Tobin Racicot