The Justice League’s children have come back in time, seeking refuge from the tyrannical and part-robotic Aquaman. Everyone is more than a little confused to suddenly meet children, especially since none of them are in relationships right now, with the exception of Superman. Tests have been run and identities have been verified so the kids get some somber family moments that they haven’t had in ages and so desperately need. It’s a reminder of what they are all fighting for.
The future these kids come from is a dark one full of pain and anguish. The Justice League has been dead and gone for some time and their children have reluctantly stepped into that role, although they’re not quite at the level of their parents. They are more grim and gritty, but that’s to be expected given the post-apocalyptic future they come from.
I’m a sucker for these kind of legacy characters because we don’t see all that much change in modern day super hero comics. Superman and Batman will always be around the same age they are now and more and more sidekicks could be introduced around them, but eerily, they’ll never get older. These kids are pretty cool takes on the future versions of the Justice League. You don’t need to hear much about them to pique your interest. There’s Hunter, the abandoned son of Wonder Woman, the twins of the Flash and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz who are plugged into the emotional spectrum, Cyborg’s son, George who is like a version 2.0 of himself. I want to read a comic following this group’s adventures.
Since the Junior Justice League has felt nothing but dread and heartbreak for so long, they were forced to grow up way too fast. Reuniting with their parents allows them to be kids again, even though these people aren’t yet their parents. Imagine how that must feel. After your parents have died, you get a chance to go back in time to before you were born and spend time with them. Wouldn’t that be a crazy, yet amazing experience?
This is particularly true of Hunter. Wonder Woman abandoned him, for reasons unknown, so Superman raised him as his own. There are some really touching scenes as Hunter is welcomed into the Kent home and treated like a part of the family. He tries to reconcile his horrific future with the peaceful present day. This is before everything went wrong. If anything, this will galvanize him to fight even harder to save his world.
These moments are captured perfectly by artist Fernando Pasarin. All too often, we see the larger than life adventures of the Justice League. They’re basically gods, fighting otherworldly invasions and gigantic monsters. Behind the masks and the capes, they’re just people. Pasarin shows us what their lives are like when they hang up the tights and they’re just like us. They’re men and women trying to make it through this crazy world we live in. Now they’re trying to do that while entertaining their teenage kids from the future.
My only real problem with this storyline, and the Justice League series in general, is the forced relationship between Barry Allen and Jessica Cruz. They don’t appear to have much in the way of chemistry and the comic has been trying to push them together for some time. Besides, Jessica is pushed to the background when the kids show up. Barry takes charge and she just kind of follows along. Knowing her personality from Green Lanterns, she would have many more opinions and some rather witty dialogue about this subject.
One more quick note on Justice League #28. Although he appears on the cover and in the issue solicitation information, Aquaman does not appear in this comic at all. I don’t even think he’s mentioned. I wonder if this was a mix-up or what. He’s not a final page reveal or anything like that either. Just completely absent..
Justice League has been building towards some big stuff since Rebirth began. I’m curious as to where writer Bryan Hitch is taking this. The introduction of the children of these heroes makes for some dramatic storytelling that can reveal a lot about these characters. I just hope they stick around for a bit. It reminds me a bit of the direct-to-DVD Marvel movie, Next Avengers, which was critically panned, but I quite enjoyed. As mentioned above, the Justice League kids is a comic I’d read the heck out of, especially if it joins Super Sons as a companion series. Think of the possibilities, DC!