The new attitude from DC Comics owes a lot to the adventurous attitudes exemplified by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Howard Porter in “Justice League 3001” #1. The trio, along with colorist Hi-Fi and letterer Rob Leigh, anchored the continuity-light, reader-friendly, anything-can-happen predecessor to this series in “Justice League 3000,” and the qualities that made that book fun and entertaining are exactly what DC is talking about with their entire lineup now.
It all started with this creative team. That same team brings a new adventure to the new season of Justice League by advancing the title a year and throwing the threat of Starro at the reconstituted heroes. Giffen and DeMatteis play fast and loose with the entirety of the history of the DC Universe by including some nods to their “Bwah-ha-hah” League (as well as a handful of cast members from that era), checking in on Camelot Nine and discussing the Boltinoff Treaty. The writing duo throws in some humor, like Tora telling Bea to “let it go” and the timely discussion of Guy’s gender expression as only Giffen and DeMatteis can do, in the most reverently irreverent way possible. The duo also stocks this first issue full of potential stories and ongoing developments.
Some of the contents packed into “Justice League 3001” #1 come from Howard Porter, who is as much a storyteller as he is the artist of the series. Porter serves up an intriguing array of panel sizes, shapes and orientations, giving readers a nice variety to consume. He leaves room around many of the panels; occasionally, that space is filled with patterning or colors, but sometimes the absence is simply black, letting the readers’ eyes reset before hitting the smorgasbord of detail Porter packs into every single panel. Beyond details, Porter adds more fun and excitement, including an appearance by Ambush Bug, an O.M.A.C. and a rat with a Starro on its face. No stranger to Starros, Porter makes the cosmic starfish as creepy as possible, posing a visible threat that validates the narrative threat in the word balloons with which Leigh elegantly decorates the pages. At no point are the balloons nebulous, as Leigh brings the tails to the characters in voice, and the letterer preserves as much of Porter’s art as possible.
Carrying as much significance in the visual beauty of “Justice League 3001” #1 as Porter’s drawings are the colors from Hi-Fi. The colorist uses a significant amount of purple, lavender and teal throughout the backgrounds, indicating distance and temperature through hue. Those tones also help the costumed characters in this comic pop forward more prominently, as the colors and Porter’s drawings become almost inseparable. Hi-Fi employs a snazzy range of patterns and effects to give the skies on Wodin Twelve a much different appearance than the atmosphere around Camelot Nine.
“Justice League 3001” #1 is exactly the type of comic book the new, “bolder” DC should be publishing. Following the formula they employed in “Justice League 3000,” Giffen, DeMatteis, Porter, Hi-Fi and Leigh continue to give readers a lot to look forward to each month and provide a wonderful sample of what readers should expect going forward. This is a thick, multi-faceted read with something for every fan of any era of the DC Universe as well as plenty for fans looking for that new book to try out.