Authors: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils & Inking: Scott Kolins
Letters: Rob Leigh
Release Date: January 27, 2016
What can I say about the esteemed Messrs. Giffen and DeMatteis that hasn't been said before? Authors of one of the most iconic and successful runs the Justice League has ever had and famed creators of the Blue Beetle/Booster Gold bromance; these two creators have earned a spot on every DC fans heart. That said, as we all know comics have to be judged by their quality and not the by reputation of their respective authors. So with that in mind, let's jump into my review of Justice League 3001 (a wacky futuristic version of the DC Universe created exclusively by Giffen, DeMatteis and their ever-changing roster of artists of course).
Last issue left off with all the male members of the Justice League dying/going missing, because of a sudden attack by Scullion robots (think Terminator 2). What remains of the Justice League is a group of tattered, disorganized heroines trying to save their 3001 universe.
Now, I have a few thoughts about this massive change to the roster. First of all, I like how they did it. They're giving me an in-story reason for why they don't call any of their guy friends; and the post-apocalyptic setting really sells it. Some might say that it's still just a way for the authors to write an all-female team, but honestly that would be true of any plot thread that befell the Justice League. All that I needed was to buy into it; and here I have. Secondly, some of the male super heroes have not been given clear deaths. Again, this is great because in a ongoing comic book you almost never want to burn any of the tools in your toolbox. Finally, publishing an all-female Justice League is going to attract a lot of media/customer attention. For a book that was struggling sales-wise this is a masterstroke move by Giffen and DeMatteis so kudos on all those regards. Anyways, onto the issue...
This issue begins with what amounts to an expose about the current lives of the remaining super-heroines. We get to see how Teri (the Flash) is still traumatized about her boyfriend's death, how Wonder Woman is frustrated with her helplessness, how Tora and Bea (Ice and Fire respectively) are frightened of the Scullions and how Kara (Supergirl) is still not used to the current timeline. As far as character building goes, these scenes all contain well constructed pieces of dialogue and narration. Finally though, all of our heroes are summoned to a meeting of the Justice League...
It is in this meeting that we get to know the two remaining members: Guy Gardner (a Green Lantern who's personality is slowly being replaced by that of body donor Shiryalla Tome) and Tina (who is Batgirl and incidentally the best). Then, as every team member argues about what to do; we see the bonds within the team develop. Ice, Fire and Guy decide to only really trust each other; Wonder Woman, Tina and the Flash form a friendship; and Supergirl stands apart all of them as the only truly mature member of the team. After much deliberating and some more truly nice character moments, Supergirl finally comes up with a plan of attack...
Which we don't get to know because we are then transported to meet Lady Styx (the villain behind all the Scullions). Most of this scene is just kind of a giant cliche, but there is one interesting part. Terrance Magnus, the Flash's brother, makes an appearance. Now, for those of you who don't know, Terrance was the villain of the second arc. His appearance here indicates to me that Giffen and DeMatteis are not just going to drop their old plot threads because this is a new beginning. Anyways, as the issue ends Styx comes up with a malevolent plan of her own...
Bit's and Pieces:
I love the Justice League in all of it's incarnations and formats, but one of the most unfortunate parts of the team is that it's composing characters were not created to work together. Usually, this leads to the exaggeration of certain members characteristics for the sake of plot and conflict. However, it is very clear that this is not the case in this comic book. All these characters are wonderfully different, work excellently together and have interesting designs. The environment that they reside in is also wonderfully brought to life by the art and the plot progression helped along by the panel layout.
Unfortunately, this issue is pure set up. Now, I understand that this is meant to be an entry point for new readers and that they need to know who the characters are; but I like my protagonists to have agency and actually move the plot forward. Also, just like Barnaby Baganda's, Scott Kollins' artwork in character faces is not as detailed as it should be and unlike Baganda's, Kollins' scratchy style is not particularly appealing to me.
So, final verdict?