Green Lantern is currently inside a psychotic alien teen who can manipulate space, time, and reality, Flash has died a gruesome and messy death, and the rest of our 31st century superheroes have been banished to some hell-hole of a planet. Such is the life of a futuristic Justice-Leaguer. Last issue, some serious developments occurred in the Justice League 3000 timeline, and with the appearance of only sixty percent of The Five, the challenge facing our heroes seems greater than ever. I mean, a first-ballot Superhero Hall of Famer just got eviscerated, literally, with a thought from an overly hormonal teen.
If you want to get me interested in a comic, begin it with immediate and vicious combat. That’s what we get in “The Dark Age” – bodies thrown about, smashing into walls with sound effects like “k-donk” and “smek.” We join the three relatively intact members of the team on Takron-Galtos, a prison world designed to hold those who would oppose the rule of The Five. The majority of the story takes place here, as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman try to figure out why they are here and how to get home. There is also a dispute on what to do regarding Flash and Green Lantern which had me really disliking one of the three.
There is also a brief respite from the trio’s problems with a visit to Locus One, the eponymous home planet to the super-villainess (once you kill a hero, I think you should get bumped from villainess to super-villainess). Hal is still only six inches tall and he’s giving an emotionally-attached insane teen the silent treatment, which is going over about as well as it sounds. Locus sort of just storms away, which seems unbecoming for a being who is basically a goddess. I’ve always seen this as a major problem in comics. Writers give a character seemingly unstoppable and infinite powers; just from what Locus has said in the last two issues it is accepted that she can reform planets, travel through time, and perform transmutation on any form of matter with the merest of thoughts.
With all of that power, surely she should be able to rule the universe. I mean, she could go back in time and shape any planet to her design, she could kill anyone who opposes her with a thought, and on top of that, she says she knows that the other members of The Five are using her. Why not just rule the universe alone? It seems like a pretty doable task for a girl who can control everything. But no, we have to make her so shallow, insane, and quite frankly, stupid, that she loses a lot of interest as a villain. This tempers her power for the writers, making her a beatable opponent, but it’s also unrealistic. The only way she would lose a fight is if she was absolutely and unequivocally dumb…which she is. It’s just a shame that there’s been no way around making such a powerful character so uninteresting.
With so little story-telling in this issue, Howard Porter’s art must work overtime in order to make this a worthwhile pickup. There are some expansive cityscapes on Takron-Galtos, and a brief interjection by The Wonder Twins has a really cool color palate, but what most impressed me with this issue was the details. Most of this issue is spent inside tight urban areas, and the feeling of closeness was well done. Also, there has been a great improvement with the quality of character’s faces and facial movements in general. Wonder Woman in particular has gone from always being angry and gritting her teeth to having actual expressions. There was also a very detailed close up of Hal’s face, and it looks like he either has some kind of implants under the skin, or there have been some serious lines added. I know life as a six-inch tall Green Lantern being held hostage by an immature deity can be stressful, but I hope it’s the former.
- Takron-Galtos is Earth, which was “converted” by The Five.
- Possible mention of the next member of The Five – Coeval mentions someone named Kali.
- Ariel Masters is going to meet our trio soon.
- They really have to stop re-hashing these jokes. This is like the fourth “Just one piece of Kryptonite” joke in three issues…I still laughed though.
Favorite Quote: “Look – I’ve heard the stories about you guys. But all they’ve ever been to me is fairy tales. And incomplete ones, at that.” – Sheriff Aaban Tariq.
- You enjoy watching heroes walk and talk.
- You don’t mind that there’s not much plot development.
- You’ve been appreciating the artwork so far.
The story has stopped in this issue, but it seems to be building up to something on the horizon. A showdown with The Five seems inching closer as we learn more and more about their members. I place a lot of emphasis on storytelling, so this issue suffers greatly without it. There also seem to be very few characters to care about at this point who aren’t the League members.