This week welcomes Justice League: Infinity #1, a new comic series featuring Superman has launched, bringing us back to a much beloved iteration of the DC Universe pioneered by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and others! This new series is a continuation of the DCAU continuity after the ending of the Justice League Unlimited TV series, and I have been very excited to get my hands on this issue.
The DCAU featured such amazing shows as Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman Beyond. As well as a animated films like Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman / Mr. Freeze: Subzero, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and possibly (but not confirmed) Justice League VS the Fatal Five.
This new comic series will last 7 issues and is written by James Tucker and J.M. DeMatteis, with interior art by Ethen Beavers. This first issue features two covers, the first is by Francis Manapul which features the entire classic Justice League series cast, drawn in mainstream comic book style detail, striking an epic pose! I’m a huge fan of Manapul’s work anyway, so it’s great to see his iteration of these characters, each and every one looks powerful and confident.
The second cover by Scott Hepburn shows some of the main cast, plus the JLU addition Elongated Man, springing into action against an unseen enemy. Both covers are beautiful to behold, with bright fun covers, and striking compositions. The return of classic looks from the show for Hawkgirl, John Stewart, and Martian Manhunter are nostalgia inducing, and a fun, refreshing sight.
While the art on the covers is a pretty drastic departure from the aesthetic of the show we know and love, the interior art by Ethen Beavers recaptures the show’s vibe beautifully. It’s not a perfect one to one recreation like say, the Batman Adventures comic series, but still replicates the fun and simplicity of Bruce Timm’s style, whilst adding a painterly effect similar to what’s seen in Timm’s still art.
Justice League: Infinity #1 features a birthday party for The Flash, an attack by Apokolips, and some potentially reality altering shenanigans. The issue is framed by a narration from Martian Manhunter, who continues to live in hiding among an unsuspecting human race. Unfortunately, I found the narration distracting, and frankly, disappointing. When we last saw Martian Manhunter in the series finale, he seemed to have settled down in China and found genuine connection with the human race, as well as a wife, and heroically stepping up to help defend the Earth when the need arose. This new issue seems to undo much of that status quo and the character development that went along with it. J’onn seems to have abandoned his wife and his calling as a hero.
The rest of the issue however, is great, a fun continuation of the DCAU, while teasing some interesting directions that the series could go. As mentioned, the series picks up after the ending of Justice League Unlimited. We see vestiges of some dangling continuity left unresolved after the series finale, such as Amazo’s continuing search for meaning and identity, the John Stewart love triangle, and the power vacuum on Apokolips. John is still dating Vixen, even though we know he’ll eventually end up with Hawkgirl (thanks to glimpses of the future via time travel), and it seems like Batman and Wonder Woman are officially a couple now, which is huge news! It was only hinted at, but I’m guessing we’ll see more of that later.
It’s nice to see Superman and Lois’ relationship continuing to get some development and attention, especially because the 4th season of “Superman: The Animated Series” was scrapped, just as Superman and Lois finally became romantic in the season 3 finale. Their romantic relationship was continually cameoed and referenced in Justice League and Unlimited, but we were never really given specifics. Does she know Superman is Clark Kent? Are they dating, engaged, married? Hopefully we’ll get to see more of these two and their relationship in further issues of this very series.
The ending of the issue is a big cliffhanger referencing a season 2 episode of Superman: The Animated Series, “Brave New Metropolis!” Reality has been bent in previous episodes of Justice League, like in “Once and Future Thing” and it looks like we might be seeing something similar in upcoming issues! Only time will tell, and I can’t wait to read more!
Justice League: Infinity #1 is a fun continuation of the shows we know and love, replicating the characters and art style beautifully, whilst teasing long time fans with some great payoffs to long running plot threads.
Haven’t picked up Justice League: Infinity #1 yet? You can get the standard cover by Francis Manapul here (UK), and here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Scott Hepburn, you can get that here.
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