Writers: Joshua Williamson & Ram V
Artists: Robson Rocha & Marcio Takara
Inkers: Daniel Henriques
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr. & Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Tom Napolitano & Rob Leigh
The future of the Justice League is here with Future State: Justice League #1. Not only is this a glimpse of the future JL comprised by some recognizable legacy characters but also the future of the Justice League title as it becomes an anthology book with the Justice League Dark given permanent back up status.
Future State: Justice League #1 is an interesting take on the future of the Justice League. Set in the near future where an unknown tragedy befell the original team a new Justice League has formed, a team filled with legacy characters. Unlike the original team, which was as much family as a team this Justice League does everything in their power to not befriend one another, which is a lot harder than it looks for this new iteration of the JL. This unwillingness to befriend one another also leads to tension within the ranks, especially amongst the Jon Kent Superman and fresh of the fantastic Far Sector the Jo Mullein Green Lantern. This antagonism rears its ugly head when a new mystery engulfs the team as the current collection of villains comprising the Legion of Doom is found dead within the ruins of the former Hall of Justice. With trust issues abound Superman leaves Green Lantern to do the investigation yet the lack of relationships and trust allows for a new ,or rather old foe, to dispatch the JL as evil doppelgangers soon appear and the members of the JL aren’t sure who is a friend or foe.
The second feature for Future State: Justice League #1 is a tale featuring the Justice League Dark, or at least what is left of them. In this near future story, the world of magic is once again in disarray as the ancient wizard Merlin has laid siege to all magic users. The JLD was created for situations just like this but the JLD has seen better days as the only active members at the beginning of the tale is Bobo, the Detective Chimp, and Zatanna. It has fallen to these two JLD mainstays to find the rest of their team. With a little help from the Demon, who has a simian new host and a lot to make up for as any fan of the original Kirby the Demon stories will know that the Demon has long served Merlin and it is insinuated he had a hand in all the death and destruction of the magical side of the DC Universe. As the story progresses, we get a better understanding of the future state of magic and that the magical world needs heroes now more than ever. While the majority of this story has the remaining members of the team on the run and looking in every corner of the DC Magicverse for some help, which they do find in some old familiar faces, yet it’s unclear if the help they do receive will be enough. Being behind the Eight Ball is common place for the JLD, but in the future state there may be no coming back from the end times as this future looks less than bright.
Future State: Justice League #1 was a nice change of pace from the current state of the Justice League, which in my opinion has been off of form for some time now. Joshua Williamson, who just wrapped a fabulous run on the Flash has a good grasp of this future League and gives a lot of depth in a short window of time. Robson Rocha’s art was delightful on Aquaman but seems to have only gotten better here. I love a good alternate universe story and this title has been one of the better Future State titles, especially with its nostalgic nods to Morrison’s ‘90s JLA which was a highlight of the League in my opinion. Adding Justice League Dark as a backing story was a nice addition to the book. As we leave Future State next month the JLD will continue to be the back-up feature in Justice League as Bendis takes over the adventures of DC’s most powerful super team. I enjoyed Ram V’s story and the moody artwork from Marcio Takara and the dreary colors Marcelo Maiolo really amplified the dread and despair in the future state of the Justice League Dark. I’m excited to see where both these stories go and really hope that these teams aren’t just abandoned when the DC resettles in March.
Verdict: Buy! Future State: Justice League #1 is a great new entry into the Justice League mythos. Both stories are highly entertaining with wonderful creative teams that are thankfully telling great stories.