The League and the Legion

By now everyone's heard of Justice League 3000.  Replacing "Legion of Super-Heroes" on the stands as DC's single title perpetually set 1000 years into the future, Justice League 3000 is a comic book that sees both Legion and Justice League legend, Keith Giffen, alongside Justice League cohorts Kevin Maguire and J.M. DeMatteis together creating stories about a thousand years from now's World's Greatest Heroes.   Of course, the primary problem in all this seems to be that Justice League 3000 is replacing The Legion of Super-Heroes, leaving dozens (hah) of stalwart Legion fans without a book for the first time since 2008.  It may even be worse now, since at least at the time we had the unannounced but obviously forthcoming (albeit short-lived) Geoff Johns title.  As far as we know right now there appear to be zero Legion-focused titles in the works at DC.  This could be seen as troubling, but to be honest I'm not all that worried.

The future Superman and Batman


First thing's first: The Legion title, as it is, is incredibly boring.  It's filled with cheap deaths meant to "shock", but with both lackluster art and direction to the story (and being aware of the title's impending cancellation), its hard to care about what's happening to the characters.  In truth, the Legion has been mishandled since day one of the relaunch: splitting the team up into two different titles without any plot-based reason, refusing to actually reboot the team and simply starting over with a new #1 but continuing the last series' stories...it was as if they didn't care what happened to the team, and this is the result.  For the first time since the characters got their own title in the 70's, the Legion seemingly has no place in the DC Universe. 

Wonder Woman

It's especially sad too, since the Legion represents so much to the DC Universe and to comics in general.  They represent the idea of Superman's legacy (or all heroes, really) carrying on long after he has disappeared.  They represent a superhero title that is (usually) unfettered by the bonds of continuity.  And they represent a future in superheroes (or fiction in general) where there's hope, and optimism; where the protagonists actually have a world worth protecting.  Honestly folks, this is a more surprising rarity than you'd think.

The Flash




Still, this wouldn't be Jumping in Headfirst if this article was all doom and gloom.  I'm excited actually really excited for Justice League 3000, and one of those most crucial reasons of all can be boiled down to a simple phrase: It's something new in the "New" 52.  And I know there are a ton of fanboys that would claim that this isn't REALLY something new since its just the Justice League in the future, but the truth is this is the first time we've ever seen the Justice League's legacy directly continue this far into the future, and its pretty cool.  It also represents something else fairly important.

Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire are known for writing a specific type of comic book.  Anyone who's ever read their Justice League knows exactly what I'm talking about.  They do superhero dramedies, with a hefty focus on the "comedy" portion.  Comedy is something that has been sorely missing from DC compared to the days of the mid-to-late 90's, and every indication currently is that this book is on that same humorous level as their old Justice League comic book, something sorely needed in this current "srs bsness" DCU.   What we're looking at here are three old hands with a fairly consistent level of talent, doing what they do best--bring good art and a good story to a superhero comic.  If it turns out the way we're hoping, you really can't ask for more.  In fact, I only have one problem with what we know so far.

Green Lantern
From the two interviews done so far, Keith Giffen has made every effort to tell us this book has no real ties to the Legion of Super-Heroes.  On one level, I get this.  I respect it even.  He wants to put one superhero title on the stand where, if that's the only title you buy, its the only one you need to understand the story.  I get that, totally.  BUT.

Part of the reason most superhero fans read comics is because of the rich tapestry of characters that exists.  I'm not saying hogtie yourself to continuity, but don't be afraid to use it to your advantage.  Supposedly these are all brand-new characters, and that's kind of cool but don't be afraid to set this in a universe that has the Legion.  A mention of Colu here, Braal there.  The existence of the United Planets--that's all I'm asking. The idea of a Justice League in the future alongside the Legion is one of the great, undone ideas that has yet to be explored for the team, and there's certainly room on the stands for both comics (if they're both good).

Justice League 3000 hits the stands in October.  I'm looking forward to it.

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