What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Future State: Justice League #1! Of course there would have to be a book just for a future version of the Justice League. Though secretly I was really here because I loved the fact that a character like Jo Mullein the Green Lantern could actually exist outside of her solo book, Far Sector. Aside from that, I was still very interested to see how this new team came about. Not to mention what kind of action they could get into which contrasts from the previous team.
So with that said, there was appreciation for the fact that this creative team acknowledged that this is a first issue, and with a first issue comes the need for introductions. The last thing you want to do with a book like this is just throw a bunch of characters together and expect the readers to already know who each hero/villain is and what it is they probably do differently from who you are more familiar with. Those first pages were used wisely to start us off on the right note. Even before getting to know the new Justice League, we got to know what kind of multiverse they lived in. It was pretty much the same kind of action the older League saw, with the key difference that the players involved on both sides of the conflicts were not the same. How they came about was pretty much straightforward too. I wasn’t expecting too much there in truth, so it was wise that their coming together wasn’t anything too wild to explain. Now where things got fascinating was the difference in how they operated. Some roles were obviously going to get switched up, but that wasn’t what caught your attention most. That would be seeing what gave this team a drastically different atmosphere from the old. It was a creative way of shaking things up since part of what made the original Justice League what it was, was their ability to connect with one another on a personal level. Not seeing that from this team changes things.
Now because this is a Justice League book, it only made sense that the antagonists of the story would be a team on the opposite side. This also fascinated me considering the kind of villains created to match-up to the heroes. Most of the connections you could point out almost immediately. All it took was either reading the name, seeing their weapon of choice, or just getting a quick grasp of what drives their actions. So like the Justice League, their reason for being was also easy to digest without the need for too many questions.
This brings us to the plot for this book. For everything unique and different about this team, everything still comes down to the potential they hold to carry a story. This part will probably leave you rocked by the end of the issue, because it sure did leave me that way. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. That this was just going to be your average Justice League story, because for most of the issue this creative team set things up to give that impression. Then just like that when you least expect it you are hit with a twist which flipped everything you thought you knew right on its head. Honestly, I can’t say I was too shocked considering this is Joshua Williamson writing the book. Though at the same time it wasn’t hard not to feel some levels of concern considering this is wildly different for a Justice League book.
Beyond this, I was impressed by the work from this art team. When it comes to the Justice League, you don’t want to give readers average or below artwork. I hate to be that guy, but the art matters a lot for books like this. Now for this first issue, things here and there were definitely a bit shaky at the start. You know how it is when they work through those first drawings of the characters and the world around them. Though from there you could see the comfort level with all of that even out almost immediately. Especially when it came to those panels and scenes where characters or objects in general were in closer view. There was something to appreciate about the level of detail which went into the pencils, the variety in colors used to give the imagery depth, and the distinction they gave to the world around these characters to create an atmosphere. I mean, I only wished that they didn’t have to go with that usual dark/futuristic theme to the settings. It can be bright outside sometimes.
In the end, I would say that Future State: Justice League #1 was a bold started for what it turned out to be. This is definitely one of those books where you would want to give the next issue a go to see how you really feel about the direction taken.