Booooooooooooooo. Okay, Justice League 3000 wasn’t terrible, but it was certainly pretty bad. This is a plot that had a lot of potential and it was a little similar to Future’s End. Unfortunately, the series couldn’t live up to its potential and you can tell that things are going south right from the get go. I just don’t understand why the writers made some of the decisions that they did.
It has been ages since the Justice League formed. The year is now 3000 and the universe is essentially ruled by The Five. They are super villains who did what no other ever could, they conquered everything. If a hero tries to rise up, they just blow up his/her planet and move on. The only thing that stands in their way is Cadmus and they aren’t much better. Cadmus is basically what’s left of the government. The only problem is that they have no real heroes and there are spies everywhere. Nowhere is safe from them! Cadmus decides to change this by bringing the famous Justice League back to life. They do this by placing their DNA in normal humans, so that the DNA takes over the vessel and essentially becomes the hero. With the exception of Cyborg, The New 52 Justice League roster is back…with some changes. Can they defeat The Five and liberate their future?
The plot should have been good, but it just didn’t work out. The main reason is the twist that the heroes have lost some key memories so they are not acting as they once did. Superman is now much meaner than usual and he’s about as likable as the average horror film protagonist. He’s extremely unintelligent and he basically acts like a cave man. Wonder Woman is back to being extreme in her views on how she strongly dislikes all men and likes to slaughter any foe she comes across. Green Lantern, Batman, and the Flash are mostly like their usual selves although Batman doesn’t mind cracking a joke once in a while. It essentially plays out like a fanfic and that’s the last thing that I could have wanted here.
Superman is also badly nerfed to help move the plot along. He can no longer fly and his physical abilities seem to be a lot worse as well. Wonder Woman and Superman were getting crushed by a goddess, one of The Five, and that’s something that I can’t see happening to their true New 52 selves. This lady may be strong, but one simply doesn’t take out the top 2 Justice League members so easily. The humiliation doesn’t end there as the strongest member of The Five, a Reality Warper, defeats the League with ease. Already, you can tell that this is going to be the kind of series where the heroes are on the run for the whole time and that can certainly get old rather quickly.
Towards the second half of the graphic novel, Firestorm joins the ranks and the sad thing is that he’s the most likable member of the team. It’s just sad because he’s essentially a villain here as his mind is even more corrupted than the other members. He wants to slaughter anyone who gets in his path and luckily he has the power to do it. His abilities come in handy against the villains, but it’s too bad that he couldn’t have kept his moral compass along the way. Ah well, at least the Justice League has one member who can fight.
Let’s talk about The Five. One of their members is named Locus and she appears to be the strongest member by far. She is the reality warper that I mentioned and her abilities are limitless. The only way to beat her is to knock her out before she can form a thought Naturally, this leads to plot hax whenever she has to fight and cannot win at the moment. She’s a psycho, but I’m sure that we expected this. Kali is a warrior whose strength seems to surpass that of Superman and Wonder Woman’s. Both of these villains have yet to be on the losing edge of a fight aside from a knockout blow from behind and Firestorm’s impressive debut. Convert is one of the more useful members of The Five even if he’s not a fighter. He invades people like a plague or the Phalanx. He currently controls billions of people across the universe and he can literally turn an entire population against you by controlling them. Finally, we have Coeval who attacks from the cyber world. He seeks to weaken the wills of the heroes by playing on their doubts.
Naturally, to be The Five, those 4 need a leader. He does end up appearing at the end of the graphic novel and it should come across as a decent surprise. It certainly makes things look a little dicier for the heroes as there is not much they can do about the situation anymore. The leader is probably the weakest member aside from Coeval as the average human could probably beat him, but I’m sure that the leader will dig up a robot somewhere to finish the job.
Technically, it’s a good idea to have a supervillain team to face the League. Kali and Locus were good starts even if they were overpowered, but the other members can’t fight, which limits the potential. One thing that hurts the comic is the natural need for it to be gritty. A lot of Superman’s lines revolve around him flirting, making suggestive comments or threatening to hurt people. Locus literally rips one of the heroes to shreds and while the page has a lot of energy and spacial effects to distract you, the scene is much more violent than it needs to be. We have the classic Man of Steel moment as well to make sure that the comic covered all of the bases. An eye stab also happens and nothing Narutoesque happens since the opponent is basically invurlnable, but I always found that to be a rather dirty fighting technique that crosses the lines of justice and injustice.
Really, the comic just isn’t that good. Even the art isn’t up to par with the high level of quality that DC is known for. It helps that the character designs are mostly lacking. Only Batman’s looks good from the original team although Firestorm joins him later on. Green Lantern’s cloak is cool, but without it, he doesn’t have a very good design. The fight scenes are where the art shines, but there aren’t many true fight scenes to see so this is pretty limited.
It goes without saying that the writing isn’t very good either. Meanwhile, it has certainly been a long time since the year 2000, but I find it hard to believe that some of this happened. How could the Five conquer the galaxy and the Green Lantern race was eliminated so easily? I don’t buy it and I don’t see how Earth fell so quickly as well considering that we have such an unstoppable army of superheroes. Locus is strong, but Kali would be defeated by a good fighter like Supergirl or Darkseid and the rest of the team could seriously be beaten by the Teen Titans. Where’s Lex Luthor when you need him!?
This is only the first volume so the series still has some hope, but it’s going to have to move quickly. For starters, the series should not try to be as dark and gritty as can be. Right now, the heroes really have no hope unless they can revive the other heroes, but what then? Even if they defeat The Five, they’re living in a future where just about everything was eradicated. It’s not going to be much of a life. Toning down the dark atmosphere should be enough to tip the scales, but the comic also needs to make the Justice League a whole lot more likable. Superman’s already getting some development, which is a start, but we’re going to need the writers to accelerate the process.
Overall, I currently don’t see the point of this title. The future is grim and the heroes must save the day again, but this kind of story has already been done and with much greater efficiency. Typically, a future story is extremely interesting and that’s what keeps you reading. The new villains have conquered to be sure, but the heroes are still ready to deal out some damage. Here, the writers have stacked the deck so much in the villain’s favor that the heroes really do not stand a chance. Locus just has to think and they’re all dead. So, there’s literally no way that they should win and the amount of plot hax in future issues is going to be immense. Just check out the time travel episode in Justice League Unlimited and you’ll witness what this comic should have been like. Likewise, Hitman Reborn had an arc with this kind of plot that was infinitely superior. The heroes should have definitely been in character and I guarantee that this comic would have been much more enjoyable. Well, if I do check out volume 2 anytime soon, we’ll see if the series will have managed to improve. As of now, I recommend checking out Superman Unchained instead as it’s an epic action story with some guest stars to help you out as well.