Justice League 3000 #8 with story by Keith Giffen, script by J.M. DeMatteis, and art by Howard Porter is a dull, pointless comic.
Justice League 3000 sure is weirdly paced. We’re 8 issues in now, and it has managed to introduce a brand new setting and time, a whole mess of somewhat familiar heroes, brand new baddies and other minor characters, several unique alien worlds, several good plot twists, and the situation our heroes are in has evolved quite a bit since issue #1. Why then do I always feel like nothing is ever advancing when I’m actually reading the comic? It’s just such a boring slog getting from page to page of this thing. It’s such a shame, because there are so many elements to this that I like or should like. Can we just get a little forward momentum here, please?
Howard Porter’s art continues to hold my interest when nothing else does. One great technique I really noticed him using in this issue was loading up the foreground with stuff, often alien weapons or other technology, to frame the characters. This works not only to make the panels more dynamic, but also because Porter draws really good looking alien tech. He also has this thing going on where in some parts the ink lines are heavy and loose, and in other places they are tighter. This doesn’t read as inconsistent though. Along with the sort of darker color palette used for almost everything except the plasticy, digital coloring effects-heavy skin, it serves to keep the artwork interesting. I don’t know why such variance on a single page works so well, but it does.
Unfortunately, Green Lantern is no longer zipping around everybody like he was last issue. However, he is riding along in the chest pocket of a construct of what he looked like before his cloak was destroyed and he was shrunk down, which is a pretty fun visual in itself. He also gets the best, most heroic line of the issue.
Also, last time I complained about them not going with the setup of Firestorm betraying the team. It looks like they actually went ahead and pulled the trigger on that, so hat’s off to them.
Of course, this being Justice League 3000 this betrayal came at a time when everybody was standing around reviewing the plot of the last several issues, and didn’t affect the situation of the rest of the Justice League in any real way. This wasn’t the only time Justice League 3000 engaged in its favorite trick of “tell don’t show.” There was another instance of somebody being revived by having their genetic material grafted on to a living host, and once again it completely failed to show us this former person. They just told us we should be sad that another nameless character we had never seen before was sacrificed off panel. Is there going to be some other twist with this? Why aren’t they doing anything to make the central conceit of the series an actual impactful part of the series?
I was so bored reading this thing. It’s just endless pages of people standing around telling each other things they already know or whining at each other. There’s no joy to be found here. Nothing is pushing forward. The characterizations for everybody except Green Lantern and the scientist who is constantly told that her role is “mother” whether she likes it or not have been completely lost under the weight of all of that expository text.
As I said up at the top, this also happens to be a completely pointless comic. The cover shows the Wonder Twin sister who was killed last issue as the Flash. This issue spends half of its page count recounting the previous couple of issues and then half of it describing the new situation the League are in without showing it, and then the final page cliff hanger? The Wonder Twin sister who was killed last issue is back as the Flash!
Save yourself the $2.99 and look at the cover instead.
Buy this comic if you like dull comics, lame cliff hangers, or Howard Porter art.