Spinning out of the recent Infinite Frontier series, the multiversal Justice League get the spotlight as they bid to foil the latest plot by the latest Darkseid.
It turns out the master of Apokolips hasn’t been himself for a while, but he’s back and bigger than ever, having absorbed lesser versions, or something. I know I read it, but who can recall every bit of tweaked continuity?
I do remember that Infinite Frontier closed with the Barry Allen Flash disappearing into an idyllic life via a crack in reality. Why he’d want to be rescued, I have no idea, but President Superman. Mary Marvel, Captain Carrot, Aquawoman, Thunderer, Dino-Cop and the Thomas Wayne Batman are out to retrieve him. To get there, though, they need a Flash of their own, one with a connection to Barry Allen. So it’s over to Earth 0, where Avery Ho has been foiling a ridiculous cryptocurrency plot by C-list rogue Replicant.
Hearing the scope of their mission, she has a little performance anxiety, but the Obama pep talk power of President Superman saves the day.
Meanwhile, over on Earth 23, the super-team known as the Retaliators learn they have to avenge the death of teammate Machinehead.
‘Who is Dr Multiverse?’ asks the cover? A nicely designed character with pretty vague powers, so far. ‘Cursed with the powers of the Multiverse, and the vision of our place in it.’ And later, we find she can harmonise vibrations.
No, me neither. Still, her personality is clear – bright, empathetic, no- nonsense, and I look forward to seeing more of her.
I’d like to see something of Aquawoman, Thunderer and Mary Marvel, who never seem to get to do anything in Justice Incarnate appearances (they add the ‘League’ as of this issue, irking Captain Carrot). Hopefully writers Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver – a new name to me – have plans before this five-issue mini-series is up.
While the business with Darkseid doesn’t grab me – an appearance by him stopped being special a long time ago – I enjoyed the character moments, such as Avery’s changing attitude, Dino-Cop’s grumpiness and Batman taking the mickey out of the Bat-image.
Well, I hope he’s taking the Mickey..
As names for Avengers-alikes go, The Retaliators is just the worst and it’s not like the earlier ones were great – remember the Champions of Angor, the Assemblers and the Justifiers? Anyway, I guess we’ll see different folk from multiversal worlds each issue, so I shan’t worry.
A nice nod to Marvel is the story title, ‘The World Outside Your Window’.
The 30pp story has three artists – why is DC so much worse than Marvel at getting one person to manage a whole issue? Anyway, Brandon Peterson and Tom Derenick are old favourites, while Andrei Bressan gets better as his pages progress. Favourite moments include our first sight of Dr Multiverse, the arrival of the hordes of Tartarus and the surprise appearance of one of the most powerful of the New Gods.
Hi-Fi do a bang-up job on the colours, while Tom Napolitano’s letters are equally spiffy.
Gary Frank’s cover, coloured by Brad Anderson, is apparently a homage to a cover by John Byrne. Not a very memorable one, apparently.
It’s very strange, there are plenty of positives, as I’ve noted, but overall this issue left me a bit flat. The Justice League Incarnate seem to spend their lives pursuing multiversal crises, but this one isn’t so far that thrilling. Darkseid works best as a master planner, sending his stooges to do the fighting; when he turns up in Chapter One of a series, it diminishes him.
I don’t feel I know this team at all, a less apocalyptic opening issue showing all the members interacting would likely have been more my cup of tea. Who, for example, is Dino-Cop, other than someone who looks a bit like Savage Dragon? Why is Captain Carrot here rather than leading the Zoo Crew? And so on.
And I was really hoping we’d find out more about Barry’s new situation.
I’d love to know what you thought.