Promotions for Justice League 3000 set this issue up as the battle between The League and The Five.  Although this is partially true, it seems that the struggle between the two pentacular teams is far from over.  Last time on Cadmusworld, Terry of the Wonder Twins had revealed himself as leader and creator of The Five, then proceeded to kill his sister Teri, blow up most of the scientists on the planet, and capture the surviving League members along with Ariel Masters.  Masters and the League succeeded in not only putting themselves in a position to escape, but brought Teri back to life with the powers of The Flash.

This issue is broken up into two separate stories: the first is “Breakout!” which follows Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Ariel as they try to escape Cadmusworld.  There is a ton of exposition in a section that I thought would be exclusively action, and even the fight scenes are filled with conversation.  Hal really shines by the end of this issue, taking the fight to The Five as retribution for Locus’ killing of Barry.  We learn a bit more about just how expansive Ariel’s planning has been, and this chapter marks the first victory for the League against The Five.

The second story runs concurrently to “Breakout!” and features Teri Flash tracking down her brother in “Need For Speed!”  Something this story does very well is show the challenges that a speedster would face while they adjust to their powers.  Her body has to adjust to the speed running through her, and the changes she has to deal with are interesting to see.  My particular favorite is, as Teri calls it, Speed Backwash, which is on display in Earth 2, another line that does a good job of illustrating the problems that new speedsters face.

This story is far more satisfying than “Breakout!” mainly because Teri gets to wail on her brother, whose smug demeanor and superiority complex are still prevalent as he’s getting his face caved in.  This issue demonstrates that there’s a clear line between the twins, and that regardless of their genetics, their moral codes are very different.  There’s a nice moment at the end that wraps up the two chapters, and it’s a solid close to a solid chapter.

Howard Porter and HI-FI do a wonderful job with their half of the issue, especially with how they draw Green Lantern.  There’s something equally humorous and intimidating about a six-inch Hal Jordan wrapped up in an eight-foot Green Lantern manifestation.  They’ve yet to experiment with more bizarre creations for him to use in combat, but how they use Hal’s energy waves and giant hands flows with the overall lightheartedness of the issue.

I was less impressed with the art team on “Need For Speed,” with Chris Batista, LeBeau Underwood, and HI-FI providing a more cartoonish color array.  There are far less details when compared to Porter’s chapter, but I thought it played well with the theme of speed.  Teri’s Flash is drawn as mostly vibrations, which I love seeing on speedsters.  She is always shaking or vibrating, and Taylor Esposito’s close-knit lettering forces the reader to slow down to counteract Teri’s fast talking.

I chuckled a lot, and laughed out loud once, which was the perfect palate-cleanser in a week full of comparatively humorless comics.  There were great deal of funny details, even in the notes at the bottom of the page.  The first page features a small box in the corner stating that if the reader would like to know whether Teri succeeds, they should flip to the backup and read it first.  I love little interactions like this and it eased me into the proper mindset for enjoying the issue.

Spoiler

  • No one dies, which is new.
  • Green Lantern smacks around Locus, who apparently can only use her powers when she’s super-focused, and has a god-complex.
  • I like how this series has emphasized the friendship between Hal and Barry, and it shows at the end of “Breakout!”  I’d like to Hal reacts to Teri taking Barry’s place.
  • Superman is actually doing something heroic by saving Teri.  Hooray for character development!
  • Teri beating up her brother was equally satisfying.
  • Speed Backwash has to be the name for something out there, or something really gross.
  • I made up the word “pentacular.”

Favorite Quote: “Being genetically altered to resemble an ancient deity doesn’t actually make you one, Kali.  But we can debate theology later – after the Speed Backwash.” – Teri Flash

Recommended If…

  • You want something on the funny side
  • You like escape stories
  • You don’t mind art changes mid-issue, or two separate stories in one issue

Overall:

A surprisingly light story with some good, if jarringly different, artwork and some strong, satisfying action, this issue of JL3K is a must-buy for anyone who has been following the series.  Any new readers should just wait for the next arc.

SCORE: 6/10