When I signed on to be a reviewer, I’m pretty sure the main determining factor for why got picked was because I showed a genuine enthusiasm for Justice League 3000.  I would’ve been cool with just this book, but the powers that be gave me entrusted me with a whole bunch of others one as well for some reason.  The thing that I loved most about JL3K was that it took iconic characters and changed them in a way that not only fit into the story that the writers were telling, but also in a way that did not cheapen the heroes we’ve come to know so well.  These were like alternate stories all being told at once; what if we were able to effectively breed superheroes?  It doesn’t really act like how a typical comic – as I’ve come to know it – should.  These are examinations of what a hero truly is: is it the powers that define the hero or is it the person behind the mask that gives power to what a hero stands for?  I’m probably looking into this way too much, but it’s just something I figured I should bring up.

This issue, however, certainly “acts like a comic book,” and with every Dallas Buyers Club, there has to be a Taken.  Total non-stop things just thrown in your face, whether they are cameos of other well-known figures, a realization of potential, or just plain ass-kickery, having things thrown at you in a comic can be at times both overwhelming and satisfying.  It’s a mush of things that end up in a final heaving sigh, and a big “meh” from the reader.  That’s what I felt from this issue.  “Meh.”

I’ll just throw this out there, but the two cameos that threw me, and are introduced in the first few pages are Camelot and Etrigan.  These two are at war, and the Justice League featuring Ariel Masters have taken refuge on Camelot-Nine to hide from The Five, but King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are locked in a battle with the demon.  It is here on Camelot that the rest of the action takes place, and there is a great deal of action here.  Each hero gets their moment to shine during combat – well, four out of five, you can guess who the fifth was.

As far as team books go, JL3K does not have to adhere to the rules that most team books do.  Heroes have to act in character the majority of the time for a finale to work, and there’s a certain formula that’s used when dealing with a boss fight.  A string of events that involve heroes doing certain things and villains doing certain things and then everyone fights and nine times out of ten the heroes emerge victorious because the villains have messed up on some fundamental level, typically arrogance or overconfidence or that whole boasting-before-you-kill-the-heroes trope.

Seeing as how Keith Griffin and J.M. DeMatteis have constructed this world where our heroes are not the same that we are used to, I was expecting some sort of deviation from this formula.  Alas, that is not the case, and instead we get a rather generic, very formulaic, and worst of all, a “meh” issue that every comic reader has seen before.  With such a unique opportunity to break the mold and take a risk, this was a very safe route.  Sure, it’s fun to see our heroes act like they did in the 21st century, but this Justice League is not the 21st century Justice League.  I would have liked to see more chances taken.

The artwork of Howard Porter and HiFi usually resonates with me, and perhaps it’s the new medium I’ve been using for recent books (I’m trying internet issues this month) but the art this month just didn’t click like it normally does.  Having each panel right in my face really accentuated the overuse of lines that the pair use from time to time, and some facial models looks as if all their pencil outlines weren’t erased.  I might go back to paper for this one.

Spoiler

  • Ok, so how old is Etrigan? I get that he’s a demon and all, and quite frankly most of what I know about him comes from the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows, but can someone explain him?
  • The whole Camelot thing too felt straight out of left field. I don’t believe it’s been mentioned at all so far in this series, so just having the League pop up in Camelot felt very jarring.  One line in the last issue or something like that would have helped.
  • I felt like The Five got taken down pretty easily. A page of Batman whooping Convert was cool, though Convert was probably the most useless of The Five, Wonder Woman and Superman teaming up on Kali was definitely overkill, and Green Lantern ended Locus with one punch.  I like that this was wrapped up in one issue, but these are supposed to be the strongest fighters in the universe that just got whooped.
  • Terry is a punk. That’s what you get for letting a teenager basically run an empire.  They never learn.
  • I still love that Teri talks quickly andherspeechbubblesarecondensedalltogether.
  • I do genuinely want to know more about Camelot and Etrigan, although Etrigan’s forces presumably got wrecked by The Five.
  • Also, what did they do with The Five after they beat them? They didn’t seem to be too concerned about like, tying them up or something.

Favorite Quote: “Have you forgotten our final battle when we were all slaughtered by – ” “I don’t wanna talk about that!  Geez!  You are such a bummer.” – Batman and Superman.  (Supes! Why did you cut him off!)

Recommended If…

  • You want to see the final (?) battle between The Five and The Justice League.
  • You want to see them act like a real team for once.
  • You enjoy some old-fashioned team beat-downs.

Overall:

This felt to me like your standard comic book arc ending.  Good guys come up with a cool plan, bad guys seemingly overcome trap but wind up on the wrong end anyway, both teams fight and then we get a resolution.  There wasn’t much here that added anything new, but as someone who doesn’t read a whole lot of team-books, this was fun for me, regardless of the artwork, which felt off.

SCORE: 6.5/10