In Review: Justice League 3000 #13

The lineup is expanding and my joy increasing. Highly recommended.

The cover: “Winter is here!” proclaims the text at the bottom of this cover in this cool image from Howard Porter and Hi-Fi. An evil queen sits looking down from her icy throne at the frozen figures of Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Batman, and Green Lantern. She looks perfectly evil and pleased with her work, and the heroes look angry they were stopped dead in their tracks. The coloring sells the illustration well, with flecks of white for reflection off the heroes’ icy coatings and the many shades of light blue to give a chill to them. Overall grade: A

The story: The opening of this book harkens back to the classic Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis Justice League run, with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle deep in the doo-doo. “A Cold Day in Hell” begins with the two being attacked by a giant Beetle built vehicle from their front and giant mutant rats from their back. The two banter as they do battle, with Beetle taking the imposter who’s manning the Bug, while Booster slugs the rats. The first victor is unable to help the other, though another group comes to the rescue. The fallout from this conflict shows the pair how out of time they are, and ends with a hilarious declaration in the fifth panel on Page 5, which has great commentary in the sixth. The boys are left for the rest of the issue to show what the League is up to on Camelot Nine. Much of this story focuses on the Flash and how she’s coping/not coping with her new abilities. She gets the rest of the team involved with the villainess on the cover, who I though was Killer Frost from Firestorm, but is actually someone else, who I was doing backflips over once her identity was revealed. Wonder Woman also gets a lot of time, with her having a loyal follower who will undoubtedly play a larger part in this book. The final page has the return of a potential villain who had a one page cameo in an earlier issue. This character’s final words had me screaming at what’s to come and who will be returning to the League. Overall grade: A+

The art: Any artist that shows gnomes being knocked over has my undying support. This occurs as a gag in one panel, but continues to show that Howard Porter can stick an insane amount of detail into his work. Case in point, the rats under Booster at the top of Page 2–each is unique. Look at the rocks, look at Beetle’s ship, look at the background that makes up the borders on the fourth page. This book is sick with details. Page 7’s first panel is super hero glorious, and Page 8 is the jaw dropping full page splash that is becoming Porter’s signature piece in books. It’s crazy good! He drew a ladder on a distant rock pile to show how characters got up that high. Did he need to? Not all. Those individuals contribute in no way to the story, but it’s a detail that makes experience of looking at his page tremendous. Check out the cliff on Page 10–Wow! The villainess of the piece is rendered in Porter’s style, yet still retains a look of how Kevin Maguire illustrated her. What a carry over! The final page has me ecstatic over what’s coming. This is beautiful, epic, stunning work. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Page 1 shows brilliantly why Hi-Fi is a superior company. The KA-TANNNGG sound is over much of the artwork. I could imagine several colorists going with a bold, solid red to emphasize the sound, but it would have been too strong against all the blues of this setting. Instead, Hi-Fi went with a lime, transparent green. It makes the sound stand out, but in being transparent the threat of the machine remains. Brilliant. Plus, take a look at the title in the bottom right. Check out the Cold. It blurs like ice would, and the final three words are in fire orange for the Hell. Excellent. A sound is colored transparently when the Flash zips off, maintaining the art, while keeping the sound strong. The Wow page is 8, with that stunning setting. Hi-Fi can do no wrong. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, sounds, title and credits, and the iconic font of a classic character on the final page are provided by Rob Leigh. His sounds are amazing and give me the thrill that all super hero books should. In a time when writers don’t want sound effects and their books are sadly mute, I’m so glad that Giffen and DeMatteis have Leigh unleashed to make each of their sounds into onomatopoetic visual masterpieces. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The lineup is expanding and my joy increasing. Highly recommended. Overall grade: A+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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