By Bryan Hitch, Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert & Brad Anderson
It seems inevitable at some point that we’re going to get a look into the future of the Justice League, and Bryan Hitch decided that now would be the perfect time to do so. This issue kicks off an exciting new arc that looks at their children, who have powers much like themselves, but come from a darker, twisted version of the future that they are doing their best to escape from. The issue wisely pushes the core Justice League cast that we’re used to aside in favour of introducing a whole new set of cast members, with Hitch doing an interesting job at establishing the close bond of the future Justice League, effectively creating the new dynamic that should be fun to follow going forward at least for this arc.
The artwork is nothing short of spectacular, with Fernando Pasarin on pencils, Oclair Albert on inks and Brad Anderson on colours. Justice League #26 establishes a gritty, darker future. Pasarin’s pencils are detailed and are really enhanced by the collaboration of Albert and Anderson, with Anderson’s colours feeling energetic and really vivid. The attention to detail on the expressions of the new Justice League characters that Pasarin brings to the table really helps flesh out the characters’ expressions, and even though we’ve only known them for this first issue properly, it feels like they’ve already been around for a bit.
The makeup of the cast too is an interesting one. The twist at the end is unfortunately spoiled by the DC’s preview pages of this issue, but it does open a whirlwind of potential. We don’t know what happened just yet, but the very concept makes up for what could very well be the start of a ground-breaking arc, especially as Hitch has already done a good job at fleshing out the new characters. The son of Wonder Woman/Superman, an Atlantean Queen with the ability to use magic and two Red and Yellow Lantern teenagers are just some of the new characters that make up the League, and it’ll be really interesting to explore where we’re headed with these characters going forward. Will they come to blows with their parents in the future, as first encounters between superheroes are often met with conflict? As well as learning, more about the dynamic with themselves we’ll also get to see how well Hitch juggles the dynamic with their parents going forward, and see how that affects both sides if they remember anything of the encounter past this story.
It is very much Justice League: The Next Generation, as the story here is fantastic. Hitch brings his A-game to the table and Pasarin, Albert and Anderson have done a brilliant job at bringing the Justice League of the future to life in a story that shoots for the epic feel of what a Justice League book should be. So far, it delivers. Whilst new readers may struggle connecting all the threads it can be read as a standalone with a few minor problems, and with everything taken into account, if this idea of the Justice League meeting their future kids appeals to you in any shape or form, you should certainly check it out.