DC Comics (January, 1997)
WRITER: Grant Morrison
PENCILER: Howard Porter
INKER: John Dell
COLORIST: Pat Garrahy
SEPARATIONS: Heroic Age
LETTERER: Ken Lopez
EDITOR: Ruben Diaz
It’s the next transition for the Justice League, beginning with Firehawk and Fire losing their powers or getting sick and the arrival of a huge saucer that appears out of nowhere over the White House. It is the ship of the Hyperclan, a group led by Protex and includes the superspeedy Zum, the shapechanging Fluxus, the powerful Zenturion and A-Mortal, Primaid, Armek, and…I promise you I totally forgot this when I came up with Tronix for my old sprite comic and later incorporated it into my screenname. I’m not sure what her powers are supposed to be. Anyway, they start performing miracles but Superman worries about the ecological damage and the unintended price for accepting the Hyperclan as their new potential masters. Instead humanity begins to turn against the Justice League even after the Hyperclan publicly execute a group of supercriminals, sending others into hiding. (I don’t recognize any of them.) Then the current Justice League satellite is attacked and destroyed, Obsidian, Ice (then Ice Maiden), Nuklon, and Metamorpho seriously hurt. Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Batman gather and, convinced the Hyperclan is using mind control and is responsible for the attack, decide to take the fight to them.
What they got right: The Hyperclan are an interesting new threat. Imagine the aliens of the V franchise but with superpowers. They represent a big problem for the Justice League and as much as we like to see old threats come back it’s always good to see a fresh new threat. And while I have no problem with Justice League Of America, since that’s where they’re based, JLA is a decent enough shorthand, as this series takes all the different groups (America, Europe, Task Force) and focuses back on one Justice League.
What they got wrong: The art is hit or miss. Some panels are okay, but many are kind of bad. The worst is the last page where Batman is in all these contorted poses and looks silly. Also they didn’t get the memo that Superman was cutting that dumb mullet off and he still has it, plus he shouldn’t have his powers right now. Yet here he is with mullet and without powers. Unless this takes place before The Final Night and Superman: The Wedding Album, neither of which is noted, this shouldn’t be the case. And how the heck do you not tell Firehawk is a woman?
She’s part of the security detail, and presumably has been around long enough that it should be quite obvious!
Recommendation: Problems aside, the story on its own is starting out quite well. It’s worth checking out if it continues that way.