Justice League 3001 #8 review

It’s 3001, do you know where your heroes are? Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Ice, Guy Gardner, Fire, the Flash and Batgirl are undercover on Takron Galtas, prison planet and seat of galactic dictator Lady Styx’s empire. Their Justice League teammates having been massacred by her massively powered lackeys, the Scullions, the survivors are keeping their heads down. Kara Zor-El, utterly awesome accidental exile from the 21st century, has fallen into the leadership role, and she won’t act against their enemy without a plan. And that requires information. 

Batgirl is Tina Sung, descendant of Bruce Wayne, and as becomes pretty obvious here, also Damian Wayne – she’s a cheeky bugger, unable to play the long game when she could be out kicking Scullion butt. And if it gets her killed, well, isn’t that better than cowering in a corner?
Wonder Woman is equally frustrated by inaction, but she’s an immortal; she has patience. The Flash, Teri Magnus, is a nervous wreck still, despite it being six months since the hero massacre – but then, she’ll have watched the horror unfold in slow motion. And Guy, Fire, Ice, they all have their own problems. 
But does any of it really matter when Supergirl is soaring in an electrifying new outfit? Yup, I may be that shallow. I’d argue that it’s more a case of the creative team behind this book giving us a serious superhero drama with a big dollop of pure comic book joy. The depth of character as revealed though action and interaction from writers Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis; the well-defined arc of the bigger narrative; the zestful art of illustrator Scott Kolins, colourist Hi-Fi and letterer Rob Leigh… the sheer grooviness of Justice League 3001 may be the best-kept secret in comics. The poster-worthy cover by Kolins and Hi-Fi is followed by a splash page up there with images from the Sunday SF strips of yore, and then it’s page after page of pure DC delight. 
I will give Giffen – cos it’ll be him, count on it – a demerit for repurposing the name of a member of the Legion of Superheroes. It’s not necessary, and has me terribly worried at the nature of the motley crew which greets her as she lands on planet Naltor (yes, another LSH reference). No twisted Legion tribute act, please!
Then again, this issue does give me a location I’ve always wanted to see in DC’s thousand-years-from-now future, so that’s a win. 
And the reveal of Lady Styx is a masterpiece of megalomaniacal grandeur. A book this consistently good could never irk me for long – the sheer imagination at work, the detail put into every panel… this is a comic people will be enjoying years from now. Who knows, maybe even a millennium.  

13 thoughts on “Justice League 3001 #8 review

  1. Yeah, not feeling it. I dislike the new status quo, think the deaths were a waste of story potential, and only care for three of the cast. I'd even have preferred Supergirl's costume to have stayed retro. That said, I'll stick it out. It's the fourth new set up for the book, right? I liked the others and they were temporary so I'll just keep buying for a few months and see if I like what replaces it. Just hoping Porter comes back. I have never warmed to Kolins' art at all…

    Oh and you might be right about Porter getting too much editorial interference to finish an issue of Superman. This JL series seems to be let do whatever Giffen wants so Porter nearly always completely finished all of his issues. Being told he has to match an editorial edict or the odd panel from one of the other boring Superman books must be taking him loads of time…

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  2. This Earth occupation arc reminds me of storyline Giffen did during the Legion's 5YL run. However our heroes are wearing more brightly colored costumes. Could Justice League 3001 be Giffen's redo? 🙂 It could be me but I feel like Scott Kolins style is morphing into a hybrid of Jason Pearson and Keith Giffen's work. Though it could be me looking at it through rose-colored Legion glasses, ha! However the introduction of Imra Ardeen and Naltor provided more evidence to support my theory (in addition to the Wildfire and Timber Wolf liking characters). I kind of agree with you Martin, the Captain did not need to be named Imra. She could have easy been called Eve Aries (Saturn Queen). I have a feeling Lady Styx will turn out to be this universe's version of Dream Girl or White Witch. Regardless of whether or not my theories pan out, I am along for the ride.

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  3. Love this book.
    I worry that this new direction means all the meandering prior plots (Lois/Ariel and the Injustice League, Turtle Jimmy, Booster and Blue) will be forgotten. I wonder if this shake-up was a last effort to resuscitate.

    That said, seeing a young Supergirl thrown into a leadership role even if she isn't sure she is ready is great. The team is pretty fractured as you note which means you need someone to hold it all together. Hope Kara is up to this.

    I also cringed a bit at Saturn Girl, Naltor, and the motley crew before Styx. The 'Wildfire' could be Dr. Regulus or Radiation Roy. But I hope the reintroduction of the Legion isn't as lackeys of a despot (even if I agree that I think Styx is going to be Mysa).

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  4. Aw, it's a shame you're not enjoying this book as much as I am. Given that this is such a mixed-up future, I don't worry too much about the recent deaths, they could bring 'em all back through numerous means. I loved seeing the classic Supergirl costume, but I also like that the new look reflects her commitment to this time period.

    I wonder if Porter was also able to get these issues finished because Giffen was doing layouts, as is so often the case. Even in this latest issue, following the non-specific production' attribution in the credits, Kolins looks to have some very Giffen compositions.

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  5. I could be jumping the gun because I haven't had time to get to the comic store to read this issue because of unforeseen circumstances, but other than Supergirl as leader, I haven't been feeling the new direction due to the four unnecessary deaths, sidelining of two characters and the tons of dropped plots.

    I honestly can't stand Damian and he's why I won't touch modern Bat comics unless they're out of continuity. Tina is retreading annoying territory and if she doesn't change and is indeed Damian's descendent there goes my interest. I understand J.M. probably has an affinity for that type because of the DC direct to video movies he writes. I really hope the rest of the cast can keep me engaged and the Guy situation can get resolved because I do like the rest of the girls especially Supergirl and Fire and Ice.

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  6. I hope they're aren't dropped, but they might get rushed once the book gets the axe. I'm not optimistic this will continue unless it brings in new fans.

    Supergirl as the leader is promising. I hope it doesn't get botched.

    As for the stealth Legion as bad guys bit, these guys did do Five Years Later so why not go to an even further extreme. Perhaps it'd fly with fans if there was a traditional Legion book on the shelf like there are various Justice Leagues to make this book less of a deal breaker. I'm not even a fan of the Legion and this bothers me.

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  7. Hi Jimmy, thanks for the comments. Did you hair the interview with Marc DeMatteis that went up on the Word Balloon podcast last week, there's some interesting JL3001 chat touching on some of the points you make? See what you think.

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  8. Thanks for the comments Anj, as a huge LSH fan too, I agree, I don't want to see the Legion nodded to in order to be corrupted. I want their on-page return to be as shining heroes, examples to us all.

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