1000 years hence, the Justice League has arisen anew to fight against tyranny.  Unfortunately, the tyrants they battled have been replaced by an even more terrifying threat, on that not only can they not seem to defeat, but against whom the heroes are lucky to even survive.  Your Major Spoilers review of Justice League 3001 #8 awaits!

JusticeLeague30008CoverJUSTICE LEAGUE 3001 #8
Writer: Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Scott Kolins
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Justice League 3001: A thousand years from now, give or take, an underground cloning facility rebuilt the DNA of the greatest heroes of the past, in the hopes of overturning the despotic reign of The Five.  Using the genetic codes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Flash, they fomented rebellion against their overlords, but discovered things weren’t all they seemed.  The Flash was killed, then rebonded to a new female form, as was Guy Gardner, while Fire & Ice were likewise awakened.  Strangest of all, the actual Supergirl was thrown forward in time to join the team, just in time for a greater threat to arrive from within…


I suppose being surprised that I like a Giffen/DeMatteis story is a bit naive, 30 years into my comic-reading life, but I did not expect to enjoy this issue as much as I did.  We open with Wonder Woman, working undercover as a mindless drone in one of the endless sweatshops of Earth, staying undercover to avoid detection by the Scullion stormtroopers of Lady Styx (a name that should be familiar to Giffen fans over the last few years.)  That selfsame Lady Styx has taken over the Earth, and many of Wonder Woman’s compatriots are dead (Batman and Superman are called out by name.)  Fortunately, she is not alone, as The Flash (Barry Allen’s powers bonded to Teri, one of the genius ‘Wonder Twins’ who invented the cloning procedure) is likewise undercover, and we soon find that Supergirl, Fire, Ice and Guy Gardner are all still alive as well.  The League is forced out of hiding long enough to gather up their Batgirl (a young girl named Tina piloting Bat-armor) while the Scullions hunt down the remaining Justice League members.  Lady Styx’s enforcers have gone to brutal, murderous ends to find them, and as the issue ends we find out what happened to Teri’s twin and…

…it’s pretty awful.  The cliffhanger implies, though, that his life is going to get even worse in coming issues…


Indeed, I was greatly enjoying this issue, until Lady Styx spoke one single word of dialogue to her telepathic majordomo, an eyeless cruel creature; one word that seems to be her name: “Imra.”

Imra.  As in ‘Imra Ardeen, Saturn Girl.’

Then, a crowd shot shows us Lady Styx’ enforcers, and all of them look strangely familiar, especially in 30th Century ways.  Given that this book is clearly meant as a successor to the long-lost Legion of Super-Heroes, having them appear as villains really threw me out of the story, until I remembered that Keith Giffen wrote some of the best post-apocalyptic Legion tales of the past several decades.  This book looks phenomenal from top to bottom (Kolins’ draws Supergirl in a uniform evocative of one of her 70s Adventure Comics suits, which amuses me) and this character group is wonderful.  The Flash is panicky and runs away, Ice is nearly broken by the terrible new world, while Guy has to deal with the reality that his mind is being slowly overwritten by the mind of his female host, and all the characters make perfect sense in this context.  Even Wonder Woman (who was something of a brutal thug in previous issues) has moments that make me like her, and while the Legion connection feels like salt in a slowly healing wound, it could also be a truly game-changing development…


In short, this issue was a surprise in all the right ways (and two of the wrong ones), giving us heroes at their lowest points and allowing them to organically build their way back up.  Giffen and DeMatteis have said that their long-term plans for this book include a real-time progression, with JL 3002 on the horizon, and this issue’s six-month time jump proves that they’re not foolin’ around in their attempts to innovate.  Even with the Imra moment in play, Justice League 3001 #8 is wonderful to look at, featuring important and intriguing developments for the cast and the world of 3001, and the promise of something we’ve never seen before, earning a very solid 4 out of 5 stars overall.  If any creators can make this dystopian nightmare of a future enjoyable (to read about), it’s J.M. and Keith…



A couple of hard pills to swallow still can't torpedo a moody, dark and skillfully assembled tale full of character and great art.

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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