Future’s End: Justice League and Justice League United (Comics Review)

When I started reading Justice League back in 2012, it was one of my favourite titles from DC. Even through all of Trinity War and then Forever Evil, it was a title that I could rely on to be a damn good read, though there were occasional hiccups. Post-Forever Evil however, my interest in it has largely waned because I don’t like what’s going on in it right now. And this year’s Justice League United hasn’t interested me all that much either and is a title I gave up on after just 2-3 issues. But I still wondered how the Future’s End one-shots for both might pan out, being set five years in the future.

Surprisingly, Justice League: Future’s End #1 and Justice League United: Future’s End #1 are a 2-part story told together that brings in the future Justice League and the remnant of the Justice League United together for an adventure on Mars where they have to fight against an old ally, an ally who has become a mass murderer and a villain over the years. Jeff Lemire pens both issues, with Justice League United being the first half of the story and Justice League being the other. The story is all right I suppose and the art too, but I just wasn’t too taken with either.

FE - Justice League - Justice League UnitedHomeWorld is a story that focuses fairly heavily on Equinox, who was introduced in the pages of Justice League United by Jeff Lemire this year and is a home-grown Canadian hero. While out in the icy backwater of her country she stops a ridiculous C-lister from hijacking a cargo truck, but is soon-after struck by a powerful psychic message in which the Martian Manhunter tells her that the supervillains imprisoned by the Justice League on Mars are breaking out and that he is himself incapacitated, unable to help. So she sets out to find her old friends again and seek the help of the Justice League as well.

One thing that Jeff Lemire does really well is show how the teams have changed. Some event in the past has caused the Justice League United to be disbanded, or “torn apart” as one member put it, and things just aren’t the same for them. Animal Man now has a family, a wife and a daughter, to think of and he has given up his superheroics following the death of Green Arrow (Future’s End #1 and #2). The others are largely incommunicado. And over at the Justice League as well, Batman and Aquaman are no longer a part of the team, Superman and Wonder Woman are off on their own, and Cyborg is now the leader, with new members Wildfire and Vostok filling in some of the empty seats. Jeff Lemire teases out all these details quite nicely and handles the transitions well.

But thing is, I wasn’t really convinced so well with what happens here, largely because a lot of the context for the events is missing. The war with Earth 2, the big event that has changed a lot of these heroes and the setting itself, is still largely a mystery to me and I am rather desperate to find out more. There are no clues here either. We are thrust into the future and expected to take a lot of things on confidence. That’s part of the problem of the event itself, and in no way Jeff Lemire’s fault, but I wish more clues had been offered here.

Because thing is that I wanted to understand what made the villain who he is in these pages, what made him change from a hero to a villain. The ending is resolved quite nicely however, and I liked it.

Jed Dougherty is the artist here, with Gabe Eltaeb on colours, Dezi Sienty (Taylor Esposito for Justice League: Future’s End #1) on letters and Mike McKone on the cover with Eltaeb. The art was often problematic because Jed’s characterwork is often inconsistent and changes often in both issues. And his facial expressions too change so much too that it is hard to take any of it seriously. But, in the end, he does handle all the different characters well enough. And the colours are definitely great, with Gabe really nailing that in both issues.

Not too bad at all.

Rating: 7/10

More Justice League United – #0.

More Justice League#1-6, #7-12, #13-15, #22-23, #23.1, #23.2, #23.4, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29.

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Posted on September 19, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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