Written by: J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen
Art by: Chris Batista, Wayne Faucher, Andy Owens, Hi-Fi and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 23, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
I have to admit that since the "1" was added to Justice League 3000, my love for this series has waned a bit. It actually started before the soft reboot, but it became very clear that this book had become stale for me once the DC You took effect. The story had become a bit too crowded with characters that only seemed to be included out of desperation and while the Injustice League promised to be a great threat to our heroes, it hasn't panned out that way yet. This book needed a spark to get things back on track whether that meant a new villain, a more focused team or something else. It got all those beginning with last issue. The mysterious Scullions showed up, blew Superman's head clean off his shoulders and looked like they were going to wipe out the whole
Justice League. I'd say that's a spark! For the first time in a while, I couldn't wait to read this month's issue. Now that it's here, was it worth the wait? Let's find out...
After the whole "Superman's head was blown off" moment of last issue, I had no idea what DeMatteis would do to try to top it. The answer is...he didn't. This issue is more of a regrouping and resetting of the Justice League and because of that, is a bunch of setup, but it's really good setup.
This issue focuses more on Teri than anyone else and she has always been a good choice for a pov character. Through a clever flashback, we see her in the final bits of the Scullion battle, protecting Wonder Woman until Supergirl arrived to kick ass and get them to safety. She is so good as our narrator because unlike the rest of the League, her reaction to everything that has happened isn't heroic...it's normal. She misses Superman and doesn't know how she can continue.
Wonder Woman and Supergirl know how these things work all too well and know that they have to move on one way or another. While Wonder Woman tries to comfort Teri (as much as an Amazon can), Supergirl goes to talk to some other survivors...Fire and Ice. Yes, the awesome duo survived the battle and tell the story of who didn't. Barry Allen and Hal Jordan did not make it and while there is still hope that Blue and Gold are still alive (yea!), the League is starting to skew in the female direction.
It was already announced that this book was going to feature an all female Justice League and while I thought (and still think) that sounds awesome, I was worried about how we were going to get it. As this issue progressed and I saw the writing on the wall, I could only smile because we aren't just getting the new League lineup, but also an awesome threat for them to come together against. You should be able to tell how excited I am because I'm getting ahead of myself...
After hearing Fire and Ice's story, Guy Gardner walks in and tries to lighten the mood with inappropriate jokes, a bit of anger and a slap across Ice's face. Oh Guy, you are one of my favorites for a reason. We are getting bits and pieces showing that cloning through cannibalization has left Guy changed (even more than just his sex) and I hope that continues more going forward.
We then get the biggest moment of the issue...what happened to Batman. All the parts come together as we see that Batman was a hero to the very end and while death in comics is sometimes a passing fad, this seems permanent. If it's not, I hope it takes a while for a return because I am already in love with the new Batman, Tina. As Supergirl finds out, she's brilliant, arrogant and a direct descendant of Bruce Wayne. Add cute as a button and we have one of the most unique versions of the Dark Knight ever.
The issue ends with Supergirl taking the lead and asking, no demanding, that everyone (especially Teri) suit up because it's time for a new Justice League to protect the Universe. To say I'm excited is a bit of an understatement...I can't wait!
Giffen and DeMatteis have done it, they have made this book exciting and fresh again and I hope that feeling continues going forward. With Cadmus in ruin, the threat of death is now permanent and that itself turns up the tension, but it's this new Justice League that has me the most thrilled. It's a combination of old, new and different and I can't wait to see how they interact with each other as they go after the Scullions. I am back on the trolley.
Besides everything I've already said, Chris Batista's art was another huge reason I enjoyed this issue so much. Every character looks great and while he maintained a bit of Howard Porter's awesome character designs, they have a more cartoony look that suits this book and it's story so well. I'm sure that Scott Kollins will do a fine job when he jumps on the book starting next month, but I hope that Batista and last issue's artist, Colleen Doran get some props for their awesome work the last couple of issues.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue lays the groundwork for a new Justice League and any fears I had that it would be forcing a round peg in a square hole were laid to rest. It not only feels natural (horrific, but natural), but sets up so many exciting things going forward. It may not be a great jumping on point for new readers, but for long time fans, it's a new beginning that brings the spark back to a book that had grown a bit tired. Anyone who stopped reading this series needs to read this issue.