Award winning writer JM DeMatteis, Keith Giffen and illustrator Howard Porter have done it again, in the latest issue of the highly anticipated series Justice league 3000.
Set in the 31st century, this is the story of a reanimated Justice League created by “Wonder Twins” Teri and Terry of Cadmus. The new Justice League face off against a group of intergalactic demigods called “the Five”, in a fight that spans the entire universe. This issue (SPOILERS) introduces the reader to a new Teri/Flash hybrid who avenges her own murder, as Green Lantern goes all out in his long-awaited battle with Locus.
This series has began to draw a sizable fan base and for good reason. Over powered characters like Superman and Wonder Woman have notoriously been the object of lazy writing. It is an extremely satisfying change to watch a group of defective super-copies, lacking in both the ability and intellect of their predecessors get their butts kicked across the universe. All the humour from previous issues of this comic were front and center in this issue. I still crack up when I read about the GL Harem.
The pacing of this issue is spectacular. The story pulls you along and keeps your interest, mostly due to the framing style. Part of the appeal of JL 3000 is that you are watching slightly defective heroes fight slightly defective villains, and the skewed geometric shapes of some of the frames brings you into the story and really makes you believe it.
This issue was chalk full of the plot points we have been waiting for. Green Lantern had his epic battle with Locus, Teri and Terry finally squared off, and there was even a pretty intense stand-off between Ariel and Coeval. Finally, while he was almost a background character in this issue, Superman brought Teri (the new Flash) in as the latest member of the Justice League after the total destruction of the Cadmus planet.
While the character design in this issue is reasonably good and I like the modern take on classic characters, the background was pretty lack-luster. A solid background could have changed the scale of the fight sequence between Green Lantern and Locus. To me that was the climax of this issue, but it just looks cramped and a bit rushed.
Unfortunately Superman takes a back seat in this issue. Superman has been a major source of humour in this series and while he does show up briefly with a great one liner to save the Flash from Kali, I would have liked to have seen him take a more active role in this weeks story.
The thing that made this series great is that the villains have been vastly more powerful than their hero counterparts. As much as I loved watching GL kick the heck out of Locus, and Flash easily taking on her brother, having a hero survive by the skin of his teeth is far more compelling than an overpowered hero thrashing a mediocre villain. This story also doesn’t leave you on the same cliffhanger that some of the other issues have. Rather than ending on a note that keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation for next week, the Issue ends with a cheery, “I’ll get you next time” moment. Giving readers the impression that they just read the same “good guys win, bad guys lose” Superhero story that we have seen over and over again.
Despite having intriguing character design and bringing a few story lines to a close, this issue fell short for me. The thing that excites me about this series is the potential to go in a completely new direction with the hero/villain power balance, and this issue just doesn’t have it. However even without Superman, this issue has a lot of humour and the pacing is good. While this issue certainly isn’t the highlight of the series, it is worth read through.