Justice League International creators Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis reunite to bring you the Justice League like never before. It’s a whole new world and, despite some familiar appearances, a whole new team. Welcome to the 31st Century.
The announcement of Justice League 3000 was met with mixed reactions. While many were excited for the reunion of Giffen and DeMatteis, creators of the much beloved classic Justice League International, some felt that three Justice League titles were enough. A common complaint these days is that the oversaturation of certain characters or groups is causing them to get stale. DC’s Justice League titles have largely managed to avoid this with each title offering something different from the others, and Justice League 3000 is no exception.
Justice League 3000 #1 begins by introducing us to a young girl named Ariel who is on the run from CADMUS Industries. Through her, we learn that the world was almost a paradise until the mysterious ‘The Five’ arrived ten years prior. Ariel once worked for CADMUS alongside the Wonder Twins—who make their New 52 debut this issue—and is responsible for bringing back the Justice League. Whatever her initial reasons were for bringing them back they’ve obviously changed, as she now believes that this will only end poorly.
One of the best things about this issue is just how fun and refreshing it is to read. DC publishes so many grim and dark books that every now and then, you need something that can just make you smile or laugh. This newly formed Justice League looks like a classic lineup, but Giffen and DeMatteis removed their old personalities and give readers something different. Superman is a hot-headed and petulant brat, Batman is an arrogant and over-confident instigator, Wonder Woman is a violent and battle-centric warrior, Green Lantern is the level-headed voice of reason, and Flash is a realist. These changes have brought a new dynamic to the team that manages to result in hilarity, with Superman and Batman often bickering or at each other while the rest try to pry them apart.
Justice League 3000 #1 feels fully realized right from the start. In just one issue, this title has already developed a strong sense of personality that defines and draws you in. Despite the large cast, each of these heroes is given enough time that readers can become interested in all eight of them. This is in no small part due to the fantastic dialogue of DeMatteis (Current writer of Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger and Justice League Dark). DeMatteis’ dialogue manages to convey quite a lot and does wonders to flesh out the large cast of characters. He manages to be both energetic and plentiful without feeling wordy. Although DeMatteis’ dialogue is a highlight of this issue Giffen doesn’t slouch on the story, managing to pack a lot into just one issue without making it too dense. He’s quickly developing the world around the characters while also seeding plenty of mysteries and threads for things to come. Who exactly are The Five? What is the Convert Hive-Mind and what does it want? Why is Ariel so sure that the creation of the Justice League will end in terror?
Howard Porter’s art and Hi-Fi’s color are a perfect match and winning combination for Justice League 3000. It’s both rich and vibrant, practically popping off the pages. Porter has a slightly cartoonish quality to his art that’s very endearing and lends to the fun tone of the book.
Some of Porter’s facial expressions were a bit overblown. While it’s something that some enjoy, it’s understandable that it could be off-putting to others.
While many modern comics have a tendency to feel too short or condensed, this issue manages to feel like a bigger issue than it actually is. Justice League 3000 #1 is an incredible debut issue packed full of plot, character, and dialogue. Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis are an incredible team and the very best at what they do: delivering a thoroughly fun read that will hook from first page to last. Justice League 3000 #1 goes against the grain of dark and gritty, making this some of the most fun you’ll have reading a comic this month.