It’s Flash vs Mirror Master in this offbeat issue of JL3001.
Well, ‘offbeat’ is likely a poor choice of word, as compared to most superhero books, every issue of the 31st-century Justice League book is entertainingly skewed. So let’s say it’s ‘different’ in being basically a solo story of Teri Magnus, scientist turned speedster. Imprinted with Barry Allen’s DNA, she’s telling Wonder Woman about the day League organiser Ariel Masters sent her on a recce to the planet Nirvana, where she meets 20th-century survivor Mirror Master. Having an incomplete set of Barry’s memories, Teri doesn’t quite get his name right.
He’s hiding out because, having refused to join the now-evil Lois Lane’s new Injustice League, he’s targeted for death. So here he is, polishing up some hopefully useful mirrors and reflecting on what do next when the avatar of his archfoe shows up. They’re bound to fight, right?
Of course not, this is JL3001, where obvious ideas don’t get past the front door. Flash and Mirror Master – I’m assuming it’s the original, Sam Scudder, as the Scottish patois of his successor is absent – team up to tackle a terrifying threat.
Just buy the comic!
Buy it and get a massively enjoyable story by Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis, drawn by longtime Wally West artist Scott Kolins, coloured by Hi-Fi, lettered by Rob Leigh and edited by Harvey Richards. While he’s too busy filling in on the Superman title, poor sod, to draw this issue, regular artist Howard Porter is on cover duty, giving us a pleasingly Carmine Infantino Mirror Master – just look at that grin!
Porter’s absence gives us a chance to see Kolins drawing a Flash once more, filling the panels with speed trails and lightning bursts, along with telling expressions, exciting action and those cute critters. The Flash-back serves the ongoing JL3001 story by letting us know Future Lois is so evil she even scares her potential allies, while showing us a little of what makes the rewritten Teri tick. What does it mean to go from super-cerebral lab jockey to super-speedster? It’s a journey Barry Allen took, but he became Barry-Plus, whereas Teri has lost a good portion of what made her, her.
And how ironic that the man who was Barry’s greatest enemy becomes her mentor in super-speed tricks – Teri ends the issue a much more competent heroine than she was at the start.
(The above art isn’t representative of the rest of the book – for a couple of pages Kolins adds apparently unmotivated facial shadows reminiscent of Giffen’s habits during the Legion’s Five Year Gap period. Given the panel shapes suddenly become ‘future-boxy’, I suspect I’m missing a story point…)
The book ‘cheats’ a tad by giving us a scene of Batman and bodynapped-by-Lois Ariel that Teri can’t know about, but that’s fine – Teri’s narration kicks us into the past, and once there I’m fine with a bit of omniscient narration alongside her perspective.
How could I not be fine, when it allows for this exchange between ArieLois and Future Bruce Wayne?
JL3001 is the first book I’ve read this week – I’ll be surprised if I read a better one.