Future State had a solid first week as DC Comics gives a look into the possible future of the DC Universe as we begin to explore the new Omniverse spinning out of Dark Nights: Death Metal. Now leading the way for Future State’s second week is Justice League. Unlike the Batman Family and Flash titles the Justice League series takes place further down the Future State timeline, with an estimated time period of around 2030. Based on where it is placed most of the members of the Justice League have been in their roles for at least several years. How do the future Justice League handle everything that has been taking place in Future State? Let’s find out with Future State: Justice League #1.
Writers: Joshua Williamson (Future State: Justice League); Ram V (Future State: Justice League Dark)
Artists: Robson Rocha (Future State: Justice League); Marco Takara (Future State: Justice League Dark)
Inkers: Daniel Henriques (Future State: Justice League)
Colorists: Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Future State: Justice League); Marcelo Maiolo (Future State: Justice League Dark)
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Over the years Batman (Tim/Jace Fox), Wonder Woman (Yara Flor), Superman (Jon Kent), Green Lantern (Jo Mullein), Aquawoman (Adrina Curry), and Flash (Jess Chambers) would only assemble as the Justice League to overcome crisis after crisis, including taking down a Starro controlled Darkseid.
Professor Ivo, T.O. Morrow, Despera, Amaz-X, Cobalt Blue, The Screech Owl, The Flood, and UltraViolet Lantern agree to unite as the new Legion of Doom to overcome the Justice League.
The next day at the ruins of the Hall of Justice, the Justice League investigate the deaths of the newly formed Legion of Doom.
During the investigation Superman remembers how their predecessors were betrayed by one of their allies and its because of that reason the current Justice League have mandatory secret identities, no fraternization, no sharing their true lives’ rules established.
With the Legion of Doom’s death getting more media attention it is decided that Green Lantern will conduct the investigation solo.
Later, Superman and Wonder Woman (who know each other’s secret identities) talk about the Justice League status quo. While Superman wishes they could all consider each other friends (as he doesn’t even know Batman’s identity) Wonder Woman reminds him that the way the Justice League are doing things has worked in helping make the world a better place than it was before.
When he is alone Superman thinks how Wonder Woman is right but he still wonders if they need to be there for each other more than just teaming up to deal with crisis after crisis.
Over in Amnesty Bay, Aquawoman has a call with her parents (Arthur and Mera Curry) to let them know she will busy with the Justice League case.
The Flash suddenly shows up and talks with Aquawoman about breaking the Justice League rule so they can spend time together.
Before they can get further into the conversation Superman and Wonder Woman suddenly show up outside Aquawoman’s home.
At that same time Green Lantern figures out who killed the Legion of Doom and tries to warn her teammates.
The warning goes out to late as it is shown that the Superman and Wonder Woman in Amnesty Bay are fake. The fake Superman and Wonder Woman immediately use some sort of device to take out Aquawoman and Flash.
At the Hall of Justice, another fake Superman confronts Green Lantern and quickly overpowers her. He then uses the device that took out Aquawoman and Flash on Green Lantern.
Across the world the fake Justice League are shown taking out Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in the same way.
After the Justice League are taken out it is revealed that the Hyperclan (a group of White Martians named A-Mortal, Armek, Fluxus, Primaid, Protex, Tronix, Zenturion, and ZüM) are the ones who took out the Justice League. Because of their previous defeat at the hands of the Justice League, the Hyperclan have decided to no longer try to rule the world through their current forms. The Hyperclan then take on the forms of the Justice League and say they will use these new identities to “save the world.” End of main story.
The Good: From the opening page Joshua Williamson does not let up in how he establishes the Future State version of the Justice League as the universe’s greatest protectors. We see that done through both the words and actions we see the members of the Justice League do throughout this issue.
The most important thing that Future State: Justice League #1 is set a quick foundation for who this team is. Williamson made it clear that this version of the Justice League are the frontline whenever a crisis would occur in this universe. From there Williamson further strengthens the foundation of the Justice League by expanding on why the team assembles in the way they do.
Giving specific rules for this version of the Justice League to follow with it being mandatory secret identities, there is no fraternization, or sharing their true lives with one another. This is a very old school rules to have the Justice League be based around that works. Williamson backs all of this up by expanding on the Future State DC Universe by showing us how all of the Justice League members shared their true identities with one another was part of the cause for what became of this continuity. There were a lot ‘Judas Contract’ vibes to the way this quick flashback and talk about past events went.
At the same time, Williamson did a good job in using Jonathan Kent’s Superman as an extension of readers who have grown up with this past version of the Justice League. It would make sense that out of all of the current Justice League members that Jon would most miss how the Justice League did have a close bond. He grew up idolizing all of them in some form or fashion.
Establishing this made the way Williamson wrote the conversation between Superman and Wonder Woman work so well. Even though they shouldn’t be hanging out in the way they are Wonder Woman understood by having listened to what Superman said in the ruins of the Hall of Justice that he needed someone to talk to. It shows how she is well she empathizes with others while also understanding why the Justice League work the way they do in their current incarnation. Having these two viewpoints made the foundation for this version of the Justice League stronger by the end.
While Future State: Justice League #1 does establish these rules for this universe’s heroes it was interesting to see how Aquawoman and Flash were willing to break the rules. Their interaction definitely had a romantic tone but also brought up how it may not be the best that they are so closed off to each other. As we see with Hyperclan’s attack, Aquawoman and Flash not knowing their teammates well caused them to be caught by surprise the way they did. The same goes for the rest of the team as we saw them all taken out because they decided not to work together on the case involving the Legion of Doom’s death.
Speaking of the Legion of Doom’s death case, it was great to see Williamson have Green Lantern Jo Mullein take the lead on the investigation. As a fan of Far Sector it was great to see a veteran Jo Mullein take on the lead in this incarnation of the Justice League. There was a clear trust in her abilities from the rest of her teammates to be able to handle the investigation on her own. It shows that Jo has come far after all her experiences as a Green Lantern since the events of Far Sector.
Having the Hyperclan team of White Martians be the big bads for Future State: Justice League was an unexpected surprise. The Hyperclan are villains I am not very familiar with That said, Williamson quickly established why we should believe them to be such a big threat. The way they took out the entire Justice League and how they spoke about why they assumed the heroes identities made them come across as terrifying. You could tell that if they aren’t stopped that they’ll do a lot more damage to the DC Universe than even this version of the Justice League can repair if they don’t act quickly enough.
Robson Rocha did a good job providing the main story in Future State: Justice League #1 with solid artwork throughout. Rocha captured the styles of each member of the Justice League to fit in the same book. The updates to characters like Batman and Aquawoman compared to what their designs are in their books, which take place earlier in the timeline, works well to showcase how far they’ve come. The action we do get with how the Hyperclan take out the Justice League was also a nice teaser for what we should expect in terms of action in the next issue.
The Justice League Dark back-up story, which was had about as many pages as the main story, was just as good as the main story. Ram V’s previous experience writing Zatanna and Detective Chimp shined through. He worked well within the history of the Justice League Dark series he has been writing with what is going on with Future State.
The twist of Detective Chimp being the new host for Etrigan worked to further show how much time has passed since we last saw the Justice League Dark team. This element along with how other Justice League Dark members were used made the story for the back-up something to be as invested as the main story in this series.
Marco Takara also did a good job in giving a bit of a darker tone to the Justice League Dark back-up story as we delved into what has become of magic in Future State. At all times you feel like something could happen to Zatanna or the rest of the team. That vibe made what has become of magic a bigger mystery that we get to see unfold as the story progresses.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Of all the Future State comic books that have released thus far Justice League #1 does the best job in tapping into the full potential of this direction. Joshua Williamson does a fantastic job establishing the dynamics and rules for this version of the Justice League. In the process we are able to get a story that captures our attention right away.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.