Justice League 3001 #3 review

The Justice League of the 31st century could be happier. Having fought to liberate the world of Wodin Twelve from Starro's mind control, it turns out their ancient foe has been commissioned by galactic authorities to bring order to the chaotic planet. Team manager Ariel Masters is in an even worse mood - she's somehow secretly Lois Lane, hates Superman and wants any version of him and his friends dead.

In the latest edition of DC's most underrated comic, we learn that Louse Lois has an ally - Sheriff Tariq, keeper of the peace on Takron-Galtos, the prison planet formerly known as Earth. He's still a part of the Convert hive mind, one of the evil Five who ruled Space until the Justice League put paid to their plans. And he's not thrilled when Superman and Batman show up on T-G, in their civvies, for a serious talk. Batman suspects something is amiss with Ariel, he's noticed odd behaviour but can't put his finger on who she might truly be.
Elsewhere, Guy 'Gal' Gardner is assigned by Ariel to watch over an addition to the team, a Starro-faced native of Wodin Twelve. Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Ice and Fire have been pursuing a Giant Turtle Man. Hal Jordan is having problems with his latest mission. The team's first Flash - like most of the League, an unnamed volunteer imprinted with the powers and partial memories of an original hero - seems to have returned from the dead. Darkseid may lie ahead. And Supergirl, newly arrived from the Silver Age, is having trouble both with her assigned roommate, and in coming to terms with the 31st century.
JL3001 is never boring. Writers Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis throw surprise after surprise at the reader, filling the book with little plot and character bombs. And while I enjoy nods to the past such as the identity of Giant Turtle Man, you don't have to have read elderly stories to get something out of it. There's a huge amount going on but no sense the writers are making it up on the fly, JL3001 is set in a fully realised world, full of wonder, mystery and political intrigue. It's populated brilliantly by artist Howard Porter, who gives us characters without the type. He never skimps on cityscapes, doesn't plump for easy angles, and peppers background and foreground alike with Easter eggs.
He could usefully tweak 'Ariel' and Guy so their haircuts aren't so alike, and Superman and Batman look like a cute pair of pug-nosed twins (perhaps that's what they were before giving up their lives to Cadmus) but the range of expressions Porter's people portray is excellent. A gag involving the Starro person and a pub is undersold, but Porter nails the book's biggest laugh this time.
He's a huge asset to the book, and I hope his upcoming fill-in stint on the Superman title doesn't see him leaving this series for an extended period.

Hi-Fi colours the book with admirable enthusiasm, ensuring the pages pop with colour, while letterer Rob Leigh gets DeMatteis' wordy, witty script on the page with economy. There's a nice
melodramatic regular cover by Porter and Hi-Fi and a gorgeous variant by Dale Eaglesham and Hi-Fi that's something of a homage to the JLA's first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #28. 
This is a book for Justice League fans. This is a book for Legion of Super-Heroes fans waiting for that team's inevitable return. This is a book for anyone who likes great looking superhero comics with a high IQ, humour and heart. And I love it. 


  1. Damn you, you're going to make me start reading this book...

  2. Go on, try the first Justice League 3000 trade...

  3. This is their best work since Hero Squared, easily. It's a book where you don't know what you're going to get issue to issue beyond a good story filled with the unexpected and moments on nearly every page that make you grin. Porter says on line hes' only on Superman for two issues so far as he knows even if Bleeding Cool is claiming it's more for click bait. It'd be a shame to waste a good artist like him on that book. The Superman in JL3001 is more like the classic version than what the Super-Books are featuring right now!

    1. Thanks Steve, we'll get Snell reading yet. I almost wish I wasn't buying monthly because this series will be a stonkingly good read as a run. Then again, it's a monthly treat!

      I can see Howard Porter happy to stick with this book - he could always do Superman or whatever if it's cancelled, but right now, this is his happy playground, free of interference.


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