JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 #11
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Howard Porter and Hi-Fi
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: November 5, 2014
There’s nothing like turning a book completely on its head to get my motor running. And there’s no one who does that as well as Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis.
When Justice League 3000 launched nearly a year ago, fans weren’t sure what to make of it. What had happened to the Legion of Super-Heroes? How did the Justice League wake up a thousand years in the future? And why are all of them such assholes?
I’ll admit to thinking the characters were hilarious and somewhat endearing no matter how rough around the edges they were at the start, but over the course of the first story arc, it became clear that these heroes were just that. Their origin revealed, every character softened, became more human. One of them even became an entirely different person (sort of).
And then Giffen and DeMatteis characteristically pulled the rug out from under us with issue #11’s final page.
This is not to say the rest of the issue isn’t spectacular. As a prelude to the next arc and a status quo-setting chapter, Justice League 3000 #11 gives us a whole lot to be excited about. From personal moments between members — particularly Superman and the Flash — to setting up a new headquarters on the famed world first seen in the classic mini-series Camelot 3000, this issue should give any ongoing fan a nice breather and any speculative reader a great taste of who this team really is.
And unlike the first arc’s antagonists, the next group of foes to tackle the team are a lot more familiar: a reconstituted Injustice League led by none other than Lois Lane. Is this a clone of Earth 3’s Superwoman, or does twentieth century Earth in this reality end up pitting Superman against his wife? Either way, Lois is by far the most compelling of the new characters and one I’m dying to see come blow-to-blow with our future Superman.
Part of her allure is, of course, Howard Porter’s exceptional illustration, as the classic Justice League artist gives us a powerhouse who is simultaneously frightening, rugged, and exceptionally beautiful. Porter’s work has just exploded in expertise on this series, escalating him far beyond what most fans’ expectations ran post-his JLA run with Grant Morrison. I loved Porter’s work on the Big Seven back then. I’m practically giddy about his rendering of this team — and the one that is coming, beginning in issue #12.
With this issue in particular, I feel Porter’s breakdowns and page layout really helps deal with the time shifts. Ariel looking back at her deal with Terry is inventively portrayed, and it seems like no panel has a perfect right-angled corner in the entire book. As a result, we have a really dynamic flow that energizes the art, even above and beyond his beautiful character work.
With the first of a few old friends rejoining us next issue (I don’t really need to spell this out, do I?), Justice League 3000 #11 is the perfect jump-on point and place to get excited about the possibilities ahead. No surprise: Giffen and DeMatteis have titled this one “A New Beginning.” It is indeed! And if you’re long term fans of the duo’s work, then that is probably all that’s needed to get you to sprint to the comic shop. Do it. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.
The Verdict: 9.0/10