Future State: Justice League hints that a hero eventually betrays the Justice League in a moment that cost lives and changed the team forever.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Future State: Justice League #1 by Joshua Williamson, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Romulo Fajardo Jr & Tom Napolitano, on sale now
The Justice League is one of the world’s greatest superhero teams, working together to save the entire universe multiple times over the years. Along the way, the group grew incredibly close, with friendships and even romances blossoming among the rosters. This helped cement a feeling of collective heroism and unity between the various heroes.
But it turns out that the connection between the heroes ended up being the source of the team’s ultimate downfall, as Future State: Justice League #1 hinting that a mysterious member of the team ended up betraying the rest of the Justice League.
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The Justice League of Future State — Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquawoman — are revealed to no longer be operating within the Hall of Justice as their predecessors did. It’s even the sight of a massive attack on the Legion of Doom, which has left many of their greatest foes dead. Exploring the remains of the Hall of Justice for clues towards what happened to their enemies, Superman recounts the earlier days of the Justice League. He talks with Wonder Woman about how the team used to be like a family, and how other heroes would join his family for dinners. Aquawoman remembers meeting the heroes with fondness, suggesting that the League grew for years and years.
But Jon Kent admits that eventually, the team just got too big. There were too many members, with too many secrets. Eventually, a member of the team took all those secrets and betrayed their fellow heroes under unknown circumstances — leading to a conflict that resulted in multiple lost lives. Superman’s story of the betrayal shows a mysterious figuring confronting the Justice League — with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and Martian Manhunter standing between them and the Hall of Justice. This suggests that none of them are the traitors who turn against the heroes, but instead the first line of defense against them.
While the Justice League seems to have ultimately prevailed in whatever conflict resulted from the betrayal, it apparently cost too many lives for the League to return to business as usual. The Hall of Justice wasn’t rebuilt, instead of remaining as a memorial to their mistake. A new charter was instituted, preventing the Justice League from revealing too much about each other. Even in the present day, Superman admits to not knowing who Flash and Batman really are. But despite Jon’s desire to know his teammates as friends, not much of the roster really wants to takes things further. It’s apparent that whatever mysterious betrayal befell the Justice League that it’s affected the future of the team going forward — but who could have been the hero who betrayed the rest of the League?
The fact that Aquawoman — who is only an infant in the modern-day — has fond memories of the League means that the team at least has years to grow, with any number of heroes potentially joining the roster. Perhaps it’s someone who hasn’t even been a part of the League yet. Or perhaps it has a connection to Horsemen of the Apocalypse like Famine, who’s taken control of Wally West and forced the former Flash to turn against his allies. But that only opens up the chance for more heroes to be the ones who bring about the end of an era for the Justice League. But with many classic heroes still missing in the Future State era, any of them could be the ones who turned against the rest of the hero community and brought about the kind of chaos that could destroy the Justice League.
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