Out of all the Future State comic books the one that felt most standalone was Justice League. While this series is bringing together all the next generation of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquawoman together the first issue did a good job of being its own thing. Joshua Williamson did enough to keep the characters voices recognizable to their portrayals in other Future State comics without making them a requirement to read Future State: Justice League. Brining in the White Martian villain group known as the Hyperclan was a good choice to get a different threat for the Justice League to face that still has a big event feel to their presence. Now let’s see if Future State: Justice League #2 can carry the momentum created by the first issue.
Writers: Joshua Williamson (Future State: Justice League); Ram V (Future State: Justice League Dark)
Artists: Robson Rocha (Future State: Justice League); Marcio 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: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Around the world the Hyperclan save people and do interview on late night shows while posing as the Justice League. At the same time the Hyperclan use their Justice League disguises to kidnap scientists that specialize in Martian technology.
At the Hall of Justice while the rest of the Hyperclan are enjoying their time as the Justice League, Protex wants to take what is theirs and show the world their vengeance. To this end Protex takes out ZüM to assert his authority over the Hyperclan.
Elsewhere, the real Justice League meet back up and talk about how they are on a dead world. They discover a settlement and realizes who took them out where the White Martians that the original Justice League dealt with. Aquawoman (Andy Curry) reveals that she overheard her parents unhappy with how the original Justice League punishes the White Martian, which was to imprison them on a world that was engulfed in fire.
As they talk Superman (Jonathan Kent) brings up how the teams lack of connection is what made it so easy for the Hyperclan to take them out while disguised as them. Superman and Batman (Jace Fox) get into an argument about this, with Batman bringing up how the original Superman (Clark Kent) revealing his identity went for him.
Green Lantern (Jo Mullein) breaks up all the arguing. She brings up that while the White Martians can mimic their powers there are specific character traits that they can’t replicate. Green Lantern uses Wonder Woman (Yara Flor) biting her lip when stressed like when Superman and Batman were arguing. The rest of the Justice League reveal different traits they noticed about one another.
Flash (Jess Chambers) then reveals that she has used her powers to figure out that the dead world they are on is a version of Earth in the Multiverse. Batman gets pissed that Flash withheld this information but Aquawoman quickly tells him to back off.
Flash then shares her Speed Force powers with the rest of the Justice League so they can jump across the Multiverse back to Earth-0.
Back on Earth-0, the Hyperclan complete their plan thanks to how much trust the world’s nation. Protex then begins the process o using the Martian technology to amplify their powers to gain control of all minds of people on Earth.
Before he can finish Protex is attacked by the real Superman. The rest of the Justice League appear and they clash with the Hyperclan. The Justice League use their new knowledge of their teammates to overcome the Hyperclan.
Protex is the last one standing and is possing as Flash. With the Hyperclan’s machine about to completely turn on Aquawoman is able to figure out who is Protex and uses her power to throw Protex into the machine, destroying it in the process.
Protex survives the explosion but is immediately taken out by Batman.
Green Lantern then gets the Hyperclan ready to be examined by STAR Labs before taking them to Earth Omega. As Superman prepares to take off Green Lantern stops them as she believes that he was right about the team getting to know each other better.
A few months later the Hall of Justice has finished being repaired. Superman and Wonder Woman talk in front of the founders of the Justice League about how the former feels that he finally part of his Justice League.
In the meeting room, the team decides to implement new rules for the Justice League rather than following their predecessors. The next thing they discuss is who should be recruited into the Justice League. Green Lantern then brings up holograms of candidates that include Robin (Tim Drake), Crush, Miss Martian, The Guardian (Jake Jordan), Powerhouse (Alexa Antigone), and Mister Miracle (Shilo Norman). End of issue.
The Good: There is something to be said for Future State: Justice League being the series that feels most standalone. Sure, there are connections to other Future State series and DCU events in general, but Joshua Williamson does such a great job making you as the reader invited for the fun. Whether you are reading several Future State comics, or this is the only comic book you pick up these last two months, Future State: Justice League delivers an enjoyable experience. That is exactly what should be expected from what a comic book that is positioned as the premiere comic book from a company.
Having a standalone aura, the story allows there to be a larger focus on the relationships within this series. Which is what you want since this is the only series is where we are seeing the Future State versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquawoman together as the Justice League. Yes, the Hyperclan are positioned as a major threat to be taken seriously but Williamson understands the biggest selling point of this series is seeing Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquawoman together.
Williamson does a fantastic job of how common it was for the Justice League to share their secret identities with one another as a focal point for the story. That was specifically established from the beginning of the team’s updated origin at the start of the New 52. Outside of Jonathan Kent and Jo Mullein the members of the new Justice League have spent their entire superhero careers in the dark times that the Future State continuity became. Given that you do understand why everyone was so guarded in sharing personal details about themselves since they know the outcome of what following their predecessors’ rules are.
This made how Jo Mullein does step up as the leader of the team work so much better. Not only does Jo Mullein come into this series with veteran superhero experience but she knows what it means to be part of a team as a member of the Green Lantern Corp. That status and experience makes her the perfect person to be the leader of the group. Williamson also does a great job using Jo’s background as a cop and Green Lantern to point out how she has already picked up on different personal habits her teammates have. Being the one to bring this up was a good way to make the others comfortable about speaking on how they have each noticed different traits about their teammates.
When we hear the team talking about what they know of one another you do get a sense that this is where they are really becoming the Justice League. They didn’t need to necessarily share their secret identities to get close. The focus was more about how they can use the knowledge of one another to work better as a team rather than a group of individuals who happen to be fighting the same threat. That being spotlighted in the way it was made this entire issue feel like a turning point in Future State where we are seeing the Justice League stepping out of their predecessors’ shoes and coming into their own.
Williamson did a great job positioning the Hyperclan as the only ones that could challenge the Justice League in this way. They weren’t like other threats the Future State’s Justice League have faced before. With their White Martian abilities they were able to match up against the Justice League to the point you felt their fight would be a standstill. It was not until the Justice League actually started working like a team that they were able to overcome the Hyperclan. That fact made the Hyperclan come across as big as any threat there is in the DC Universe.
At the same time, Williamson does a good job in adding some personal details to the Hyperclan to flesh their role as the villains of this story out more. Seeing how everyone in the Hyperclan except Protex quickly grew comfortable in being loved by the world made the group’s leader standout more. Protex was the authoritarian leader who would not stand anything but total control. Him asserting his leadership by killing ZüM just further added to how terrifying he is to the Hyperclan. Which all makes how the Justice League end up defeating the Hyperclan even more satisfying.
Concluding the main story in Future State: Justice League #2 with the team rebuilding the Hall of Justice and deciding on the next members of the team was a great way to deliver a hopeful ending. Seeing the images of Robin, Crush, Miss Martian, The Guardian, Powerhouse, and Mister Miracle as the new recruits showed there are more heroes out in the world still defending Earth. It also provides a good hook for possibly revisiting the story of this version of the Justice League they embrace being the DCU’s defenders.
Robson Rocha did a great job in complementing all of Williamson’s dialogue with strong, consistent artwork. Rocha chose the right moments to mix in double page spreads to maximize the impact of Future State: Justice League #2 having a big event feel. Both the personal moments and big battles all worked to get over how this is the premiere Future State title. The final spread page with the hologram of the potential new Justice League members hit all the right notes of ending the main story with a hopeful ending.
Ram V and Marcio Takara’s Justice League Dark story in this issue also worked extremely well. More than anything this story felt like an extension of Ram V’s Justice League run. Which actually does end up working well as a complement to the main story of this issue since we are given more of a continuity heavy story here.
At the same time the Justice League Dark story worked to get over how there are still many different types of threats even in the Future State continuity. It does particularly better job of getting over the mystical threats in Future State than the Four Horsemen Saga going on in other books. You do feel like the Justice League Dark are doing their best to contain the threat they are up against. Which makes how they are all stepping up as heroes be reflective of them being a team you feel like your on a journey with.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Reading Future State: Justice League #2 reminding me a lot of the experience I have whenever I watch an episode of the DC Animated Universe Justice League and JLU shows. Like those shows, you are immediately invited into the story being presented without feeling like you are missing out on earlier events. At the same time, if you are follow any of the other Future State comic books you’ll get a lot out of references that are made. That alone makes Future State: Justice League #2 a winner. The fact both Justice League and Justice League Dark stories are fun just adds to the value this Future State series had as the premiere title in this direction DC Comics took.
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