Justice League 3000 #4 (Comics Review)
Justice League 3000 is a bit of a weird title. I mean, it is a Justice League title but it takes place a thousand years in the future and the current Justice League is a team of clones of five of the original members. Or so they think, and so we are led to believe. But matters are more complex than that. In the previous issues we have seen the team introduced and then broken apart when under assault by the reality-altering villain Locus. Now the team is divided and spread out, with one of its members already dead and the team’s creators are at emotional odds with each other. The setup has been somewhat interested but hasn’t captured my imagination firmly as yet.
In this new issue, we see the true origins of the team revealed in all their gory details and the story is quickly becoming one with the tagline: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I won’t deny that I’ve enjoyed the series thus far on some level at least, because I have. The only thing is that I can’t bring myself to invest in it like I’ve been able to with other DC premier titles like Batman, Batgirl, Justice League, Aquaman, The Movement and others. But, depending on how the next issue pans, that might change. And the art is still… not quite where I want it to be.
To start with, that cover just doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t help that Green Lantern there looks like a cross between Marvel’s Doctor Doom and DC’s own Spectre, or that the characters are either locked in these perpetual frowns or extremely over-exaggerated glee. The cover is representative of the story content and that is a plus, but beyond that, eh, not my style of cover. The whole wide angle camera look doesn’t work either because it looks as if the foreground characters are stretched by the width, which is just odd.
For the story itself, it was a few shades better than last month’s offering. This time, we get all the dirty details of how the Justice League was created by the Cadmus Wonder Twins, Teri and Terry. It is an origin story shrouded in bloody murder and, if I’m honest, I’ll admit that I liked that bit of darkness. The Justice League 3000 setting hasn’t exactly been light or dark so far, more one where there are ample shades of grey, so getting this story at this time was a plus because it shifted that balance towards an extreme. The series was ready for a turnabout like this and that the two writers made it happen, is doubly welcome.
But at the same time, I didn’t enjoy it as much because there was far too much exposition in the issue. Everybody just talks and talks and talks and there is very little action. The only action in this issue, in fact, is when Green Lantern goes up against Locus for a second round. It is a nice sequence that runs for a few panels at the end, and is welcome because it breaks all the monotony of the other characters laying out the histories of the who and the why. But, at the same time, the problem in the action scene is that Locus can alter reality to suit her however she wishes. So automatically Green Lantern is at a tremendous disadvantage and it is tough to believe in a hero when you know that the villain can just (metaphorically) twist out of the hero’s grip at any time and just mock him every single time.
In that regard, I think the writers have been too ambitious, going for a villain like Locus. A far more interesting villain would have been Conclave, who featured in the first issue and returns in this. Much more nuanced villain, with a very different powerset and something that you can believe the heroes can overcome. Not next to impossible like Locus is.
On the art side, I don’t know what happened this time, but Howard Porter’s pencils were all over the page. And the only element of his pencils that really bothered me this time was how he draws his character’s faces and how he does their facial expressions. Exaggerated. Dramatic. Comical. Unrealistic. These words come to mind. He is excellent at laying out a scene and doing all the background work, but his characters are still suffering. Generally, Hi-Fi’s colours were top-notch but here and there was some inconsistency because the panel in question didn’t properly reflect how the scene is to be lighted. I generally don’t care about little details like that but when there is a particular element I don’t like, the mind just finds others.
Overall, I’m still struggling to define why exactly I’m coming to this book even though I’m not enjoying it so much. Particularly since I’ve cut out other series for less reasons. We shall see.
Posted on March 14, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged 31st Century, Amazons, Barry Allen, Batman, Bruce Wayne, CADMUS, Clark Kent, Comics, Comics Review, DC Comics, Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, Hi-Fi, Howard Porter, Justice League, Justice League 3000, Locus, New 52, Princes Diana, Review, Review Central, Sal Cipriano, Superheroes, Superman, Supervillain, The Flash. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.