Review: Justice League 3001 #3

jl3001-003There is some controversy brewing with this title.  It acts as little more than a rehash of Keith Giffen’s heyday on the Justice League in the 1980s and 1990s, but it is said as well that the treatment of the re-imagined male heroes now in female bodies (the Flash and Guy Gardner, though particularly Guy) is offensive to the transgendered community.  While this may be the case, such an approach to this title is perhaps a little off the mark in terms of its overall theme, that is to say, that the presentation of characters is not only offensive to transgendered women, but probably to most people overall.

Conversely thus far the story has followed a pretty decent concept as the heroes of the JL 3001 world have had to deal with a strange Starro infested world.  They come to grips with that here as the heroes have to deal with the fallout of their intervention to the Starro planet and it is not what it seems (and in fact probably could have been a pretty engaging story under different circumstances.)  Instead the story once again focuses too much on the multitude of problems associated with this series.  For some reason, Giffen just cannot stay away from Booster and Beetle, and they make a return appearance here alongside Fire and Ice.  To some degree one can see this as the evolution of the old Justice League series, just 25 years down the line after a fairly progressive evolution of comics left it behind.  The problem with this series, especially in respect to the transgendered question is that it is offensive, but not only to transgendered.  The presentation of the female Flash character is sterotypical of what men think of teenage girls, without a thought in their heads beyond having a slumber party.  The males of the series, and particularly Superman, are so devoid of real emotion either that they are also caricatures of themselves, especially as Superman is made into a womanizer.

The underlying concept behind this series is inherently fun, as it gives the creative team a wider scope in which to tell their stories, but it proves that Giffen, while successful in some ways, is also a bit of a one-hit wonder with his collection of Super Buddies.  The story here is even serviceable or better, but it ends up being derailed with too much comic relief, which in turn is based too much on gender stereotypes.  There will undoubtedly be fans of the older Giffen works that look to this one with some fondness, but as modern stories in the medium go, this one is off the mark.

Story: Keith Giffen Art: J.M. DeMatteis
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass