Travelling Man's Blog


Review: Justice League 3000 Issue 1 by Travelling Man

 

‘Yesterday Lives!’

Plotted by Keith Giffen

Dialogue by JM DeMatteis

Art by Howard Porter

Cover by Howard Port

Letters by Sal Cipriano

Colours by Hi-Fi

Published by DC

£2.20 OR, Thanks to your DNA being resequenced with your SuperCard Go! £1.70

 

There are about five brilliant ideas in here. The Wonder Twins of the 31st century being reimagined as Tony Stark-esque philanthrophic geniuses and Cadmusworld as their planet-sized mobile base of operations are two of them. The networked bad guy, the fertile story ground of what happens after the world ends and the curdled ideal of the reconstituted Justice League are all really good fun.

The problem is none of them quite connect yet. The good news is that’s clearly the point.

DeMatteis and Giffen are two of the very best authors working in comics and both are distinguished by their fondess for big, odd ideas and humour. Only the first is really on display here, the humour subsumed by a surprisingly grounded plot. The Justice League have been told they’ve been rebuilt from the genetic material of their original selves but there’s…something off. Green Lantern doesn’t have a ring, Flash doesn’t have his surrounding field, Superman is a monumental asshole, Wonder Woman is a barely in check berserker and Batman at least claims to remember everything. They hate one another, and have no choice but to work together . But the doubts they have over the gaps in their memory are starting to grow…

There’s a lot of world building here, which there needs to be, but it unfortunately pushes character a little to one side. The quirky, left of centre approach you might be expecting is replaced by some pretty straight ahead superassholes and for some people that’ll be a disappointment. Dig beneath it, which doesn’t long, and it’s clear there’s a rich, fun story here. But we’re not quite there yet and as a result this first issue is a little spikier than it should be.

That spikiness, the characters constantly at each others throats and all fairly unlikable, is going to be a sticking point even if there is plot context for it. The look of the book on the other hand is a big selling point. Hi-Fi’s colours are vibrant and energetic whilst Cipriano’s lettering handles everything, even the trademark Giffen micro-panels with ease. It’s Porter’s work you’ll remember though. Detailed, frantic and completely character focused its amazing work from an artist who has a long history with the League.

This isn’t a bad book but it is a tough one to love. Stick with it. The destination will be worthwhile and the journey, whilst darker than you might like, looks to be a lot of fun.

 

Alasdair Stuart


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