Justice League Adventures #11
DC Comics (November, 2002)
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Min S. Ku
INKER: Dan Davis
COLORIST: John Kalisz
SEPARATIONS: Heroic Age
LETTERER: Kurt Hathaway
Chronos is let out of jail early when his future self arrives with the future Superman (from the Batman Beyond time period) to prove he gave up crime after his firefighter brother died saving lives. However, both Chronoses want to go back in time and save his brother Bobby’s life, and their continuous failures to alter history results in numerous versions of Chronos destroying the timestream. Flash and the Atom, who were time-traveling at the time (don’t ask me how that works) end up at the memorial for the fire that killed Bobby. Atom realizes what’s happening and now he must convince Chronos and the Flash that they can’t save Bobby because it what the Doctor would call a fixed point in time. Instead they grab a past version of Bobby to help Chronos get over his grief, restoring time. Now instead of early parole, Chronos is met with his future daughter…Bobbi.
What they got right: Okay, tell me why Dan Slott isn’t writing stories like this today? In this story he put a lie to the idea that a story meant for kids (as the Adventures tie-in titles were) can’t be moving. I teared up at the end of this story when Bobbi (Chronos’s future daughter named after Bobbi) was revealed. Slott actually does a good job showing not only Chronos’s suffering about losing his brother, which plagued him to old age (again, he got Superman from the Beyond period to vouch for him), but watching Wally misunderstand what he has to do since as a superhero it’s his nature to save lives. Plus Flash was busy during the fire battling Desparo, but when he and Atom crashed into the funeral and he took the rebuke from one of the relatives a bit hard. It’s just a great story no matter what the target age group.
What they got wrong: Minor quibbles, but what’s with the little effect on the Atom’s word balloon tail? Coincidence plays a lot into this and why did future Chronos need the present version to help him go back one year? Was he going to be in prison that long? Why did Superman Beyond agree to this? (I’m assuming he didn’t know about the attempt to save Bobby, which would have also damaged the timestream since this is the event that leads to Chronos going straight in the first place.)
Recommendation: Anyone who trashes kids comics needs to read this issue. Anyone who trashes superhero comics should read this issue. Dan Slott needs to read this issue to see himself at his best and bring a bit of that back into his stories. Anyone who likes superhero comics, kids comics, or superhero comics for kids should read this issue. What I’m saying is read this issue.