It’s been a while since I checked in with “Justice League 3000,” and this week seemed like a good a time as any, since Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Howard Porter were being joined by Chris Batista penciling a backup story. And as it turned out, it was a good issue to take a look at.
One thing that I appreciated right off the bat was that Giffen and DeMatteis tell their stories in a way that allow readers who haven’t picked up every issue to figure out what’s going on. In the first few pages I felt quickly caught up; the team’s on Cadmusworld, Terry of the Wonder Twins had been revealed as the leader of the Five, and Teri of the Wonder Twins was killed but restored as the new Flash. Simple, huh? And yet, Giffen and DeMatteis bring those concepts across in a smooth and easy line of story.
From there, the issue focuses on the team’s escape from Cadmusworld, even as Locus, Coeval, and Terry try and stop them. And while on one hand the escape attempt feels suddenly very simple — to the point that it makes you wonder why the Five are so feared and why the team’s been doing so badly against them up until now — it’s also a much-needed victory of sorts, enough to make them look somewhat competent. That’s a feeling that was lacking in the early issues I read, so it’s nice to see things turning around.
Porter draws the bulk of the comic, with his slightly rough, angular edges on his characters. It fits with the story that Giffen and DeMatteis are telling here; this is a slightly dark, inhospitable future, and that sneer on Locus’s face wouldn’t be half as good without those dark eyes and the edge in her hair and legs. Porter’s surprisingly good with all of the technology that crams the rooms of Cadmusworld, something that I didn’t remember him having such a deft touch with in the past. It makes the planet feel somewhat claustrophobic, which is a good feel for the book in general.
Batista draws the backup feature, featuring on Teri as the Flash as she heads off to try and take down the twin brother that killed her. Batista’s art looks great; it reminds me a lot of his work on “The Legion” back in the day. Clean, uncluttered pages, but still able to bring across those looks of disdain from the bad guys just as effectively as Porter does. For a character whose outlook is a little brighter than the rest of the team, having Batista draw Teri’s segment of the comic is absolutely the right call.
“Justice League 3000” #9 is a fun little book. It helps that Batista’s art looks great, and I love the little oddities that exist here, like Green Lantern still being the size of a chipmunk but piloting around a green-light human-sized form with him in the pocket. You win, “Justice League 3000.” I’ll start reading you again.