Saturday, September 26, 2015

Justice League 3001 #4 Review

Written by: J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen
Art by: Scott Kolins, Hi-Fi and Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 23, 2015

A Quick Story

Whatever year it takes place in, this book has been one of my favorites since it came on to the scene.  The slightly out of sync continuity and the always in sync humor has hooked me and the book has become a who's (almost) who trip through DC comic book history.  However, after last issue I wondered out loud if the book has become a bit too overcrowded.  I don't blame DeMatteis and Giffen, they have been trying so hard to get more people on board, but there has to be a breaking point.  So, does this issue tidy things up a bit and make a great book even better?  Let's find out...

First off the bat, this issue does nothing to tidy up anything.  It's an "untold tale" that takes place between Justice League 3000 and 3001.  Yep, while the rest of us were wading through the Convergence Event, the heroes of this book were keepin' on keepin' on.  This issue is all about the Flash and a little training exercise on the planet, Nirvana.

This issue is one of those stories within a story kind of things where Teri is telling Wonder Woman about her mission while we see it for ourselves.  Part of the fun is seeing things go horribly wrong as Teri casually bends the truth in the narrative.  While I question the need for an issue of this sort a mere four issues into this soft reboot, it's no surprise that it's all good fun.

On Nirvana, which is a deceiving name for a frozen wasteland, Teri is racing around trying to find the source of a mysterious distress signal.  It's all a plan by Lois-disguised-as-Ariel and I pity any new readers picking this issue to see what it's about.  However, for fans along for the entire ride, it was really cool to see Flash come face-to-face with Mirror Master.

We haven't seen Mirror Master since the Injustice League was introduced/hinted at so many issues ago and this issue shows that he's not really into Lois's plan for Universal domination.  In fact, he almost spills the beans on the biggest secret in this series.

After Mirror Master pulls a quick Lloyd Bentsen impersonation, we see that he's not a really bad guy after all.  He's having problems adapting to life in the 31st century and is on Nirvana trying to figure things out.  Unfortunately, Teri's speedy entrance has caused an avalanche and they are trapped. What follows is some great slap-stick comedy that has me convinced that these two should teamup permanently.  They play off each other so well and while they should be enemies, Mirror Master (not Mister Mirror, by the way) is the one who makes Teri realize how great she can be.

It's a good thing too, because the two of them are attacked by Piranha-Bears (don't ask...but they look so cool) and Teri has to save the day...a couple of times.  Then Mirror Master gets back to being his true self and abandons Teri to get back to Camelot Nine all by her lonesome.

This issue was unnecessary filler that must be bridging some gap that us readers are not aware of.  However, I had a lot of fun reading it.  Just because it's an odd side story doesn't mean that Giffen and DeMatteis didn't give us some great character moments and some real development of Teri as the Flash.  Up until now, she has just been the fast talking comedy relief and hopefully she will step it up from now on.

Scott Kolins jumps on the book and does a great job.  He gives this issue a little Howard Porter flair, but at the same time, makes it his own.  I loved his character models for Mirror Master and Teri which is a good thing as they are the bulk of the issue.  His style fits the fun action of the story so well.

Bits and Pieces:

This is a side story and while I'd usually cry foul about the timing of such a thing, I enjoyed it too much to complain much.  DeMatteis and Giffen give readers some major Teri/Flash character development as she deals (hilariously) with Mirror Master.  While I couldn't recommend this issue to new readers, everyone already reading should get a kick out of it.