The cover: I’ve never read a Justice League United issue before, but if one of the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes is going to be on it, as Dawnstar is, well, that’s how a guaranteed sale can be had from me. This is an acceptable 3D Motion Cover. Against the backdrop of the Canadian outdoors, a big tree in a white snowfield, several members of the League are shown: the Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, Starman, Equinox, Adam Strange, and Green Arrow. I only realized that Starman and Adam Strange were on this team after looking online. Moving the cover changes the Manhunter into Dawnstar, GA into Vostok (?), while Supergirl and Adam completely disappear. The setting has also changed with the characters now set against a space backdrop. It’s a nice transition, but I’m not really thrilled with Dawnstar, whose face looks completely off–like a pumpkin. If she’s the predominant character, being atop all the others, I would expect more time be given to her features. The art is by Mike McKone with Gabe Eltaeb doing the colors. Overall grade: B-
The story: “Five Years From Now…” in Canada, an eighteen wheeler stops in its tracks as a polar bear halts it. The bear is sporting a dome through which its brain can be seen and it has other minor technological components on its body. The driver hits the horn to startle the bear, which causes the creature to rear up and blast green laser beams from its eyes into the transport. Panicking, the driver jumps out to be confronted by more bears, with a rider on one. The cyborg enhanced man calls himself the Polargeist, and demands the man’s cargo. Before he can take it a gust of wind proceeds the arrival of Equinox, who attacks. This is Part 1 (of 2) to Jeff Lemire’s “HomeWorld” story. After the battle, congratulations are short as our heroine is contacted by a telekinetic member of the JLU. She speeds off to a hero’s home to see if he also received the message. The two page conversation with this hero is okay, but ultimately unnecessary to the story. She then proceeds to a new location and this is where the real story begins. She learns why the message was sent and several members of the JLU streak off to a new location to save one of their own. What happens at this location is typical super hero fighting that doesn’t go beyond punching. There’s no conclusion to the story, as it concludes next week in Futures End: Justice League #1. I did like the final page, which contains one of my favorite DC heroes, and I am anxious to see what’s become of him. Okay, but not thrilling. Overall grade: B-
The art: The visuals on this book began strongly but seemed to weaken as the book progressed. The first five pages set in Canada look really good. The cyborg bears are impressive as are the fleeting visions of their master. However, beginning on Page 6 Equinox becomes unusually bony; I know she’s supposed to look stressed, but she doesn’t have to lose weight from her face to do so. Things vastly improve when she visits the home of a hero, as both pages are very strong. Cyborg appears and he is much too smooth looking. Almost more like Iron Man than other version of seen of him before. Yes, it’s “Five Years From Now…,” but he just doesn’t look right. The new location the characters go to looks good, until the villains engage them. Pages 18 and 19 are really cartoony. I love cartoony art, but this looks like a new artist drew these pages: check out the villain’s face on the bottom left at the bottom of 18 and Page 19’s gun blast in the third panel, and the slits for noses and eyes in the following two panels. The visuals from Jed Dougherty go from strong to just acceptable. I would rather they be more consistent. Overall grade: C+
The colors: The first five pages of the book are really exciting to look at, thanks to the coloring by Gabe Eltaeb. Look at the work that was put into the bears’ coats on Page 4. This is beautiful work. The skin tones on Equinox are excellent. I really like the violet on white work, as well as the dark greens on Page 15. Though they only appear on this one page, they are very strong and make the mood of what’s occurring intense. The final page has the most welcome return of blues that I could have wanted. Overall grade: A+
The letters: A transmission, dialogue, sounds, opening titles, a recorded warning, and one villain’s unique dialogue are all created by Dezi Sienty. The sounds are a particular highlight of his contributions, with the CHOOM of the second to last panel being very sweet. Overall grade: A
The final line: I wanted this to be super, but found myself being only mildly entertained. I should have paid for the less expensive cover. Overall grade: B
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.