WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, and Alejandro Sanchez, in stores now.
Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez and Jim Cheung are quickly establishing a new golden age for the Justice League. After years of mediocrity, the new title launched in June on the heels of Dark Nights: Metal and Justice League: No Justice promises to be the group's best run in a long time. This current run is attempting to go beyond anything that has come before it, with new threats and unhidden secrets, but at the same time, it is looking back at prominent runs of the past.
With the release of Justice League #3, we see that the past has not been forgotten, and what is perhaps the team's greatest run from the modern age lives on. This week, Snyder and company pulled heavily from Grant Morrison's late-90s JLA, ensuring that the mythology of the Justice League, and the newly restored continuity of the DC Universe, remains intact.
New Threats, Just Like the Old Threats
There are weird things happening in the pages of Justice League. As the secrets of the universe become unlocked, seven new and deadly forces are making their way into the world, and it is putting the League into dangerous new territory. While Martian Manhunter and Superman investigate the site of the Totality, the rest of the team is attacked by John Stewart, who is powered (and possessed) by the Ultraviolet Spectrum. Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman head off to find the mysterious Still Force, and it brings them to the bottom of the ocean.
In a secret city under the sea, the Justice League finds White Martians preserved in stasis, but unlike the ones they have dealt with in the past, these aliens are "More primitive than the ones we've seen before...more animalistic," as Barry describes them just before they reanimate.
Snyder is, of course, referring to the team's previous encounter with the White Martian race in the opening story arc from Morrison's JLA title in 1997, when a new group of superheroes turned out to be White Martians in disguise. It's perhaps the race's most prominent storyline in their comic book history, and while they have been mostly absent in the years since, Justice League seems to be telling the next part of their tale.
This is not the only element from the JLA era that was included in this comic. Green Lantern John Stewart and Cyborg go off to track down the source of the Ultraviolet Spectrum. Their mission takes them to what is left of the Moon, because if you didn't remember, the Justice League blew the moon up back in the first issue of the series. Geo-Force has been holding gravity and the tides of Earth together since, but eventually they're going to have to address this situation. Despite the clear level of destruction, a key part of the Moon remains intact, and an important piece of Justice League history returns with it.
John and Vic travel to the Watchtower, the Justice League's lunar base of operation during the '90s and the early 2000s. It was a major part of Morrison's JLA run, and though it has largely been abandoned by the time of Justice League #3, it still stands in working order as something of a testament to one of the greatest Justice League runs ever. The Watchtower has since been replaced by a new satellite headquarters in Earth's orbit and several iterations of the Hall of Justice, but its importance has not been forgotten. Even Cyborg, who has been retroactively made a founding member of the Justice League, has a history with the landmark.