While you almost all of you probably know the Justice League, many of you probably don’t quite know who the Justice League 3000 is. Set in the future of the DC Universe, this 31st Century adventure stars a cast of characters not unlike the fan favorite heroes of today that we already know and love, with one exception- these guys are freshly born clones of the originals courtesy of the ‘Wonder Twins‘ of Cadmus Labs (hooray, it‘s the future!). With the memories, most of the powers and only about half of the heart of the original Justice League, can these new and inexperienced heroes live up to the legacy of their predecessors? We’re only three issues into the series and already we’ve got one major character dead and even more look to be on the chopping block! So now the question begs, is ‘Justice League 3000’ a book worth keeping up with?
‘Justice League 3000’ #3 picks up in the aftermath of issue #2, with three of our four remaining heroes stranded on an unknown alien planet by the unpredictable reality-bending Locus, who looks to be the teams newest adversary. After killing off one of the team and kidnapping another of them, Locus sent the rest of the team to the prison planet of Takron-Galtos to be left to their own devices and taken care of by the ‘natives‘. Meanwhile the Wonder Twins of Cadmus are busy working on trying to figure out how to best help the remaining marooned heroes, rescue the team member that has been kidnapped, and how to best potentially replace the Justice Leaguer who didn’t get to walk away from the teams last encounter with Locus! While there wasn’t a whole lot going on in this issue, it looks to be potentially setting up for bigger things to come!
So far, ‘Justice League 3000’ looks to be full of potential, but as of issue #3 it also looks to be primarily wasted. There is a lot that could be done with these characters and this premise, but when you hit what feels like a ‘filler issue’ only three books into a series, it doesn’t really bode well. The story is almost too complicated and confusing to follow at times, and while Keith Giffen’s story concepts are solid, the execution is muddled at best. The team of heroes spends more time bickering with and criticizing each other than anything else, so they all read like a bunch of whiney pretentious teenagers. While Howard Porter’s costume design is interesting and different enough from the originals to make these new versions of classic characters stand out distinctly from their predecessors, simply looking good doesn’t make characters interesting or likeable. It’s almost like these characters are written so that you grow to be so annoyed with them that you invest yourself in how much they annoy you and actually start to care about them to an extent. It’s near impossible to actually like any of these character, save for maybe Green Lantern- and even that can be chalked up to his lack of dialogue and characterization.
Much like with work on ‘Legion of Superheroes’ and ‘Larfleeze’ series, Giffen seems to be relying too heavily on his own world-building abilities with all of these alien planets and characters. While this sci-fi setting leads one to expect a certain amount of originality, a lot of what’s going on feels stale and re-hashed. Most of the alien species, names and planets just sound like gibberish, which doesn’t make the story any easier to follow or invest in. It also doesn’t help that it’s near impossible to gauge just what kind of future this series is set in, with what looks to be a cluttered mash-up of sci-fi standards and seemingly mystical abilities. The DC universe has always been a blend of the two, but it usually levels itself out much better. The major storyline in this book is actually almost similarly as poorly conceived as the one currently happening in his own ‘Larfleeze’ title; with the big enemy titles ‘The Five’ instead of ‘The Ten’ as in ‘Larfleeze’. It’s a shame, because this books premise is creative enough and has plenty of potential, but is just very poorly executed.
Should you read ‘Justice League 3000’? If you’re a fan of Keith Giffen’s work on ‘Legion of Superheroes’, this book might be for you. If not, then you might want to pass on this title. It’s hard to say how this title is going to play out with only three issues currently released, but if ‘Justice League 3000’ #3 is any indication of the future of the series, it still has the potential to be something amazing! We just have to hope it’s able to find it’s footing before DC preemptively pulls the plug on it.
JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 #3
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Howard Porter