Justice League 3001 caught me off-guard. For the last week I’d reread every issue of Justice League 3000 in an attempt to prepare myself for the showdown between the Justice League and their evil revived counterparts in the Injustice League. Instead, there’s a time skip that jumps forward months into the future, forcing Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis to rely on clunky expositional dialogue to relay to the reader what’s been going on. For a #1 issue, this is not very newbie-friendly, but fans of the original JL3K run will find themselves in recognizable territory.
Like most time skips, this allows for a number of inevitable plot lines that readers would have had to slog through to jump forward and skip the often unnecessary and awkward beginnings that would have chewed up months of the readers’ time. Lois Lane has taken over the mind of Ariel Masters and has been sending the Justice League out on increasingly suicidal missions in an attempt to kill them. It seems that since the 21st century, Lois has developed an impressive array of powers, though her past with the League still remains a mystery. Superman and Flash are now a couple, something hinted at in the previous issue. Ice and Fire have partnered up with Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, and a re-re-revived Barry Allen to set up their own headquarters on Takron-Galtos.
Also, Guy Gardner is the newest hero who’s been brought from the dead – oh, and Guy’s a girl. With the recent influx of transgender and gay-marriage stories circulating through the national news, I thought it was incredibly pertinent to have a back-and-forth between the heroes revolving around Guy’s gender identity. He says he’s be a man, but is in a woman’s body, and the other Justice League members offer their own insight into which pronouns should be used – leading up to Superman’s offhand comment, “Once a man starts using feminine hygiene products, he’s not a man anymore.” Of course the Dark Knight wants nothing to do with the conversation. I’m curious to hear below what everyone else thinks about this in light of recent events. Regardless of whether Guy is a man or woman (I’ll be using he to describe him), the Green Lantern is one hot-headed, loose-cannon cop.
Other than setting up the time skip, this issue introduces the League’s newest foe, and it’s a classic. Starro has “legally enslaved” the planet of Wodin Twelve and has killed those who have tried to break his assimilation techniques. Apparently in the future it’s against the law to conquer a planet, but there is a bureaucratic process to enslavement. Gardner uses aggressive negotiation tactics to get the paperwork changed, and the issue’s ending points to an upcoming battle between the League and Starro.
As much as I like the choice of Starro as a villain, seeing as how I’ve read almost nothing other than his very first appearance, I was disappointed by the direction in which Giffen and DeMatteis have decided to take the series. Justice League 3000 ended with the presumed destruction of Etrigan’s forces, but also with a number of unanswered questions that roiled about in my head for months. Why was Darkseid’s head in a jar in Etrigan’s palace? What about the presence of the Injustice League on Camelot-Nine? What was going to happen to Booster and Beetle, last seen captured on Takron-Galtos? What about Hal Jordan’s Green-Energy-Induced cancer? So much emphasis was placed on the Injustice League, but again more questions pop up post-time-skip. I hope the answers to these questions come in the next few issues.
Artwork has always been a strong aspect of Justice League 3000, and this series continues the trend thanks to the stylistic talents of Howard Porter and Hi-Fi. In every review I’ve brought up how excellent this duo is, and this issue is no different. If you appreciate colorful, high-quality art, these guys are the ones for you.
- This was pretty much a set-up issue for the next arc. Not much to spoil here.
Favorite Quote: “How did you get access to my private channel?” “I’m a faceless bureaucrat. I have access to everything.” – Ariel Masters/Faceless Bureaucrat
- You want something fun outside of the otherwise confusing continuity.
- You like the artwork of Howard Porter and Hi-Fi.
- You liked Justice League 3000.
Not Recommended If…
- You don’t like fun.
- You want something serious.
Overall: A fun, enjoyable start to a series with a lot of freedom and strong creative team. While the time-skip left a lot of unanswered questions and loose ends, it did propel the story forward from one arc to the next. Lots of story-telling potential and excellent artwork keep me engaged and looking forward to the next issue.