JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED: Future’s End #1 written by Jeff Lemire and art by Jed Dougherty and color by Gabe Eltabe rockets the rag-tag Justice League United into the alt-continuity “What if” five years later Future’s End event.
New Native American heroine Equinox takes front and center. Five years later she’s an established heroine, was on Justice League proper after the eventual dismantling of Justice League United. This was rather nice; it’s not often a woman of color is the lead in a book, and for at least one issue she’s the main focus and moves the story. Mid-heroics she receives a telepathic plea for help from Martian Manhunter beckoning her to Mars where there’s a supposed prison break. Equinox seeks Buddy Baker, Animal Man, out but he’s retired. She then goes to the current Justice League, the diverse group of Cyborg, Vostok, Dawnstar, Stormguard and The Flash.
Cyborg polar bears. It opens with cyborg polar bears. I actually like this meager group of heroes that are left, and while they aren’t quite iconic enough as a group to really become a classic group, I like the diversity and use of lesser known heroes. I think adding one Kimiyo Hoshi would have made it better, but that’s just my opinion. Future’s End is pretty bleak and what the team finds on the moon isn’t so pleasant either.
Some of the art looks okay, it quickly goes downhill at some points. Apparently dystopian future means it’s the 90s again when it comes to people’s superhero suits. My patience for “traditional” comic book styles that are firmly rooted in 90’s and 00’s styling is waning, I really want to see people experiment with art. Jim Lee is a persistent influence to say the least. The female characters are drawn nicely and respectfully, no T & A fan-service here and they are additionally drawn differently in the face. That is always something comic artists need to be told over and over to do. The blocky inking adds a subtle “retro” feel that I actually dig. I cannot decide if a different style of coloring would have improved the overall look. Other than that the story’s not great. I’m really tired of heroes vs. heroes.
Pick it up to support a poc female lead and a diverse cast even if just for one issue where everything has gone horribly. It’s nothing great but it’s certainly nothing that will make you tear your hair out too much either. Jeff Lemire seems to either do either really good or really mediocre work. I think more horror based narratives fit him better.