Review: Justice League 3001 #1

jl3001-covThe Giffen era of the Justice League was a strange one for DC Comics.  It came about in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity (technically post-Legends for anyone that remembers that crossover series) and it was noteworthy for specifically going against the trend of other superhero comics.  Notably Batman became a lot more darker and serious, but other heroes also followed the trend.  The lone exception was the Justice League which got a lot less serious under the guidance of Keith Giffen.  Although the League was theoretically built of some of the bigger names on its roll call, it became a lot more like the Booster Blue Beetle and Guy Gardner comedy club, as the creative team attempted to put the characters in increasingly comedic scenarios in order to elicit laughs.  It kind of worked for a bit, but also didn’t as the creative team moved on to other things and the League got a lot more serious once again.

For those looking for a return to those times, the modern alternative is here, or at least kind of is.  Justice League 3001 is set in the future where individuals are imprinted with the DNA of heroes and thus become somewhat like those heroes, at least for the major core of the team.  Lois is also imprinted and as the team’s manager she is trying to exact revenge on Superman for some unspecified reason, and to do so she tries to destroy the team on especially dangerous missions.  In this case she has sent them to a planet completely overrun by Starro and the team is forced to look for a solution.  In the meantime fans of Giffen’s run on the title will see some other familiar faces as Fire and Ice share some panel time, as they talk about Booster and Beetle (and even make some references to obscure story arcs from the Giffen run.)  Perhaps most notably is Guy, although he has been imprinted on a female, as Giffen was known for a bit of shock value by doing gender switches on characters.

Although this is very much a Giffen product, the end result is not as corny as it might be expected to be.  The jokes are there, and they mostly misfire, although they do work on occasion.  What is most noteworthy is that the plot almost perfectly fits the group of characters (except for the self serving nods to his own work from 20 years ago) as the concept is big idea enough for this powerful team.  This issue is not a grand slam, but it works well enough on enough levels to be an enjoyable read, though not much more.

Story: Keith Giffen Art: J.M. DeMatteis
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read