In Review: Justice League 3001 #1

Don't wait 986 years to enjoy this book. Read this now and enjoy the fun and drama on an epic scale.

The covers: The Main cover is by the interior artist and colorist, Howard Porter and Hi-Fi. This image has a several stories high computer screen showing five of the team rushing off somewhere. The citizens watching the screen are all possessed by Starro and are holding fruit to throw at the League’s images. Great detail on the heroes, but it’s hard not to be taken with the grotesque imagery of those spacey starfish on the people. This is excellent. I like the horizontal lines going through the heroes to create the transmitted image. The Variant cover is by Scott Kolins & Hi-Fi with Guy Gardner, the Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman surrounded by a sea of grasping hands. All the heroes look concerned, save Superman, who is at the apex of the group, yawning. Nice image that gives a taste of what’s to come, with some spectacular coloring — there’s a violet background that makes the bright colored costumes of the heroes really stand out. Overall grade: Both A

The story: The first page sums up quite classically where the Justice League are and why they are there. This wispy wordage is interrupted by Lois Lane who’s impersonating Ariel. Why? She’s a villain, and she’s doing all she can to get the League killed to get revenge on what Superman did to her in the past. She and robot Ronald, who is the ancient L-Ron program overwritten, have a conversation that brings readers up to speed with her plans before the scene moves to Wodin Twelve where the Flash, Superman, Guy Gardner, Batman, and Wonder Woman are looking at hundreds of burned bodies of young metahumans that “attempted to interfere with the Starro consciousness. A clear violation of section seven, paragraph 14, of the Boltinoff Treaty,” as their Starro possessed guide tells them. “Catch a Falling Starro!” by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis is the expected funny/serious adventures of this cloned Justice League that was in their previous series. The Starro storyline is interesting, but there wasn’t enough of it for me. I liked when the story was moving forward in this issue, but a lot of this book’s text focuses on bringing readers up to speed with all that happened in Justice League 3000. I enjoyed seeing Fire and Ice, but so much of what they spoke of was previous issues and long ago stories that I wanted them to bump into Booster and Beetle immediately. There’s also the requisite jokes that Giffen and DeMatteis were famous for on Justice League long ago. Some work, some don’t, but I was entertained. Lois’ banter with Ronald took me back to L-Ron and Maxwell Lord’s conversations, Fire and Ice reminded me of the boys they were looking for, the Sinestro sequence was funny, and the inclusion of the Helfer system and Moonshadow Six were references that made me smile. The final three pages, however, left me screaming for more. Overall grade: A

The art: He’s done a few covers in the months JL3001 hasn’t been out, but it’s so good to see Howard Porter doing a book’s interiors. The first page is spectacular fantasy setting that segues into the futuristic, and highly detailed, headquarters of the League. Ronald looks terrific, as does Lois/Ariel. I love his bug-like look and the hairs hanging at the side of her head are Moebius cool. The double-paged splash of Pages 4 and 5 is a sensational introduction of the team, complete with victims just barely covered by the title and credits with vultures on high ready to partake of the feast. The Flash’s reaction is fantastic, with that image of her between Batman and Wonder Woman killer! If readers thought that was a spectacular double-paged image, they’re going to go into convulsions when they see the insanity that Howard has wrought out on 19 and 20. It is sick with detail — and I admit to missing that person who’s closest to the heroes podium on first look on this page (and I love that he’s the only non-Starro wearer). Characters that were particular stand outs in this issue were Lois, Teri, Guy, and Bruce’s one page where he went cowl-less and he showed some emotion. Sinestro was the scene stealer, though only in three panels, I knew what he was doing but I didn’t think that Howard would be allowed to show that much of it! And that character on the last page — Ekkk! I can’t wait! The settings also need to be brought up because Wodin Twelve is amazing; from the structure holding the bodies of the metahumans, to the walkways Batman and Superman travel, to the dizzying heights of the final double-page splash. Camelot Nine is also impressive, with it’s fantasy setting and JL headquarters. There are also two pages done in the nine panel format that Giffen did so well on The Legion of Super-Heroes’ Five Years Later saga (When is that hardcover collection coming out, DC?), and I was ecstatic to see Howard put everything but the kitchen sink into them. I admit to being exhausted after looking at all the fine work Howard did on this book. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Another superb job comes from Hi-Fi for this book. The opening page’s colors seem the quintessential shades for a fantasy story, as Camelot Nine is, but once in the headquarters of this group the cool blues and grays of technology take over. But these aren’t just blanketed onto the image; there are many shades and blendings of these colors to make them completely realistic. Look at that circular structure behind Ronald on Page 2 — it’s lightened to create distance and colored to evoke a shine off of it. One Page 3 the shading of Lois’ hair and face is great. There’s a red mist above the bodies that the League discovers. It’s so faint that it might be missed (no pun intended), but having it in there makes the smell of the bodies real. The settings have stunningly strong colors, with Pages 19 and 20 being beautiful in violet and blue. The book’s last panel is wonderful and mirrored the glow I felt when seeing this character appear. Overall grade: A+

The letters: There are a wide variety of fonts from Rob Leigh on this book. He creates the opening lore, dialogue, Ronald speak and transmissions (the same design), scene settings, opening title and credits, sounds, a computer’s speech, and the closing tease. This shows my lack of maturity, but I’m so glad that the Flash got to make that noise on Page 5, and I’m so happy Leigh made it look like that! Overall grade: A+

The final line: Don’t wait 986 years to enjoy this book. Read this now and enjoy the fun and drama on an epic scale. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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