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.