Ariel Masters’ grand escape plan from the previous issue dumps the Justice League into King Arthur’s court in “The Camelot War!” Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis with art by Howard Porter, “Justice League 3000” #10 stretches into the corners of the DC Universe toybox to pull out the cast of “Camelot 3000.” As logic (when filtered through the creative tandem of Giffen and DeMatteis) dictates, where King Arthur appears, Merlin’s other medieval charge, Etrigan, should as well.
The Justice League is on the run from the Five, a handful of diabolical characters with astonishing amounts of power and few scruples to keep that power in check. The League is a collection of genetically manipulated designer heroes with twisted versions of their modern-day personalities, who finally manage to work together — all five of them — in the tenth issue of this series. The end result is a team book that comes with action, adventure, melodrama, and even some slivers of humor as Giffen and DeMatteis continue to build the world around their new heroes and investigate the growing universe supporting that world.
Aside from excessive angles and skewing on his panel design, Howard Porter invests an amazing amount of work into “Justice League 3000” #10, from the drippings of the candles in Etrigan’s castle to the scaly mesh that gives every member of the League’s uniforms an appearance similar to the texture of Henry Cavill’s Superman costume in “Man of Steel.” Porter’s obsessive detail work is augmented by the color and texture choices Hi-Fi brings to this comic book as the latter mottles Etrigan’s calves, illuminates Wonder Woman’s lasso and gives Coeval a translucent sheen. The visuals in “Justice League 3000” #10 are indulgent and inviting, wonderfully capped off by Rob Leigh’s flexible lettering. All three visual artists play into the energy present in this issue’s script, giving readers a fine collection of striking imagery worthy of further examination on multiple occurrences. Hi-Fi and Leigh collaborate nicely with Porter’s strong storytelling, but don’t overpower it, allowing the characters to move through an organic environment that naturally contours to the tale.
“Justice League 3000” #10 essentially ties up the first true arc of this series, but also functions as a tidy encapsulation of all that has assembled to this point without burdening itself under its own weight. To the credit of the writing team, the story felt well-paced for ten issues, but in retrospect, every issue of “Justice League 3000” (including this one) has felt thicker than most contemporary comic books. “Justice League 3000” #10 is not a quick read, but it is a full one, giving readers a variety of characters, situations and settings to absorb. As the universe expands, the League finds their groove and the creative fires on all cylinders; the future is looking pretty bright for “Justice League 3000.”