Justice League Incarnate #3 review

Finally, after more than a decade of nonsense, Donna Troy gets the moment she deserves.

Sure it’s not main-universe Donna Troy, but what does that even mean when continuity shifts every couple of years? The last Crisis event, Death Metal, ended with an infinite collection of multiverses in play. The Donna we’re seeing most regularly appears in Titans Academy and, like the other New Titans in there, is an unrecognisable idiot. So I’m going to savour this pirate princess, here working with a group of Amazons to rescue the Flash of Earth 0’s China, Avery.

The Flash wound up on Earth-31 at the end of last issue as the members of Justice League Incarnate were scattered throughout their multiverse. As for where everyone else is…

Captain Carrot is on Earth-41, which is based on the old Wildstorm Universe.

Mary Marvel, Dino-Cop and Thunderer are on the latter’s home world, Earth-7.

The Thomas Wayne Batman is on Earth-26, home to Captain Carrot’s compadres in the Zoo Crew.

And, most intriguingly, President Superman and Dr Multiverse are formulating a plan on Earth-33.

Yes, it’s Grant Morrison’s Multiversity set-up, in which characters on different levels of reality communicate by comic. Superman and Dr Multiverse’s attempts to create their own comic book, with help from a surprise quarter, makes for a lot of fun. And writers Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver add in a new wrinkle that’s all their own. I believe, involving the passage of time.

Batman on the world formerly known as Earth C is a delight, I love how Todd Nauck draws the frustrated anti-hero in animation style; I just wish Rodney Rabbit was there too, I really miss seeing the original, non-terrifying, version.

Avery is really coming into her own, her confidence as a speedster increasing by the issue, while Mary Marvel amuses with her ‘Holy heck!’ Thunderer has a poignant moment, but Aquawoman and Orion remain little more than set dressing.

Still, there’s a corker of a fight scene towards the end, with Darkseid on especially good form, courtesy of Williamson, Culver and artist Ariel Olivetti. And, wonder of wonders, there’s even a cracking moment involving the Batwoman Who Laughs, which I shan’t spoil.

I usually harp on about multiple artists within an issue, but this time the set-up lends itself to changing hands, so as well as Nauck and Olivetti there’s great work from Nick Virella, Mikel Janin and Andrei Bressan. Colouring the whole thing is Hi-Fi, who obviously relishes a challenge; the moods of the different locations are nicely evoked. Tom Napolitano, meanwhile, does a bang-up job with the lettering, whether it’s Darkseid’s dark dialogue or the Wildstorm-authentic Nimrod Squad logo. There’s one moment that had me giggling, as Avery says she’s been ‘pouring over’ comic books, but I bet that’s what the script said.

The cover by Gary Frank, coloured by Brad Anderson, is well done, but super-grim, not really teasing the joy that’s in this issue

While the search for Barry Allen which was the starting point for this series makes little progress, Justice League Incarnate #3 is a massively entertaining comic book, the type of thing no one does better than DC.

7 thoughts on “Justice League Incarnate #3 review

  1. I’m so happy to see the ACTUAL Zoo Crew again, I could forgive this book anything. But there’s not much to forgive!* This thing’s nuttier than a sack of squirrels, and I’m enjoying the heck out of it.

    Oh, and I’d guess that Nimrod Squad is more based on Liefeld’s Youngblood than Jim Lee’s creations. Although they were probably all in the same universe, once.

    *One thing I have to forgive is the proofreading. Not only is there the “poring/pouring error that you point out, but there’s also an unnecessary comma in front of the Nimrod Squad logo, changing it from “You can’t escape Nimrod Squad!” to “You can’t escape, Nimrod Squad!” as if they were talking to the Squad instead of Captain Carrot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the correction re: Wildstorm. There is another proofreading snafu, I think, but I wasn’t certain. On the opening splash spread the Red Tornado type is referred to as ‘Point Break’, but a couple of panels later, that seems to be the name of a team.

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  2. I’m much more meh on this series than you. What clued me in was I have no clue who Thunderer is and I’ve read the previous two issues so I should know. I also had to struggle to remember why Orion was there. If this book’s details won’t stick with me (and I can recall perfectly thirty year old comics) I probably won’t be finishing this mini.

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  3. I’m enjoying this, though I suspect far less than I am “supposed” to be. I mean this is basically a set of private jokes from one bunch of DC multiverse nerds to another, leavng the rest of us to enjoy what we can while knowing we aren’t getting most of the jokes.

    I’d like to have Morrison’s Multiversity, but last time I looked, the parts of it I wanted were just too expensive.

    I too can’t remember characters of this series from one issue to the next, and can barely keep track of who is on what earth. I also don’t know who the characters of these earths are. I can look them up easily enough – just type Earth-nn into any search engine – but kind of not motivated to do the work.

    Meanwhile in Suicide Squad we’re revisiting the Retaliators, but also just encountered some other team, and I don’t know if this other team is an already existing one, or an original creation. (The DC fandom site calls them all “first appearances” so they must be original.)

    Still, I can enjoy and laugh at isolated moments. The Pirate Amazons are a hoot (and I guess are original? no idea), and everyone’s over-earnestness – especially Avery’s and Dr. Multiverse’s – are always especially funny. Thomas Wayne’s irritation at being cartoonified is funny.

    I will never find Doctor Multiverse someone who doesn’t make me smile.

    Maya: And I’m the doctor of the whole damn multiverse!

    Later:

    Avery: But you’re the doctor the WHOLE multiverse.

    It’s so ridiculous, because what does it even mean?

    I admit I was disappointed when I learned that Dr. Strange was an actual surgeon. It’s just more fun when he’s the doctor of — absolutely nothing. Or maybe he has a doctorate in Astral Projection.

    Now the only mystery is, why is “pouring” a typo? I think it’s spelled right and I think it’s being used right, but maybe I’m missing something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a typo because the correct word is ‘poring’ 🙂

      Multiversity is likely cheap digitally, would that be of any use?

      Doctor to the Universe…were you reading Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers when Hank Pym was designated Scientist Supreme’ and met Eternity? Perhaps Dr Multiverse is the DC equivalent.

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      1. Hah, well that’s funny – I always thought it was spelled pour, but knew what it meant. I thought “pore” was only for pores on the skin.

        You’re right, the complete Multiversity isn’t as expensive as I thought. A TPB with the guidebook, 2-part story, and all the one-shots can be had for around $25. Maybe I’ll pick up a copy. These alt earths come up far too often for me to not have it.

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