JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001 #6
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Colleen Doran and Hi-Fi
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: November 25, 2015
An invading force has come to Takron-Galtos, unbeknownst to Batman and Supergirl, who have discovered a brand new hero amidst the criminals — the Batgirl of 3001! But it’s going to take more than the three heroes to beat back the Scullions. But with the rest of the Justice League comes… death!
One of the things I always loved about the original Justice League International run by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis was its ability to move from hilarious talking heads to all-out action to deadly seriousness in a single issue. Sure, Blue Beetle would still crack a joke or two, but when Despero arrived to wipe the floor with the League, and seemingly kill one of their members, it got dark. Fast.
With Justice League 3001 #6, we appear to be on the precipice of that kind of emotional yo-yo. The writers have introduced a new character — the Batgirl of 3001, Tina Sung — who already feels like another perfect personality to add to the team dynamic. Young, brash, irreverent, Tina is the kind of foil that works well against characters of more stoic consistency, as we see with Batman and Supergirl already. And not only that, but she’s added yet another methodology to Giffen and DeMatteis’s bag of tricks for developing super-heroes in 3001: the legacy.
Her enemy/best friend, Harley Quinn 3001, unfortunately does not fare as well, and her quick dismissal from the narrative is somewhat regrettable. Having a different take on that character, that of a 31st century cosplayer, more or less, was immediately something that perked my ears. So, seeing her place in the book cut short is a shame. It’s not the big reveal of the issue, nor the most consequential moment, but it’s the one that made me frown just a bit.
Where my frown turned consistently upside-down, however, was with the guest pencils and inks from legendary artist Colleen Doran, who illustrates a strongly beautiful guest issue with Supergirl front and center. And who better, really, to illustrate the one and only place in the current DC Universe fans can see the classic Girl of Steel we’ve had gracing our television screens this past month so excitedly? Doran brings a classically clean and bold look to all of the characters here, but it particularly feels fitting for Supergirl, who, as an original 20th century character, is meant to represent the epitome of truth, justice, and the American way amid a whole lot of chaos.
That chaos of the 31st century isn’t as detailed or grungy as we’ve come to expect from the likes of Howard Porter, but what we lose in environmental decay, we gain in this sense that there is a real heroism to be found amid the bickering and egos and general unease of the characters. It’s a refreshing series of moments, watching Kara go full force against a brand new villain, to the point that I wish more of the issue was devoted to an all-out brawl given how successful Doran’s dynamic style— combined with Hi-Fi’s clean bright color palette — made Supergirl’s presence.
We’re seeing a sea change in the book this month and next, with an all-new all-female team coming together in January, so I expect a little more dark before the dawn in Justice League 3001. I’m OK with that, though, as the characters remain compelling, their interplay is quick and amusing without being ham-fisted, and there’s lots to lavish over in issue #6 with Doran on board. Keep the bwah ha ha’s and the gasps of horror coming, team JL3K1! I’m enjoying every one of them.
The Verdict: 8.0/10