Thursday, August 19, 2010
Dan Jurgens took over the main Justice League book in a compromised position. No one was going to be able to follow the hilarity of the Justice League International team of Giffen & DeMatteis, but their characters were too popular to dismiss, forcing the next writer to play straight with heroes best left skewed. Further, Jurgens was clearly an old school sort, and his contempt for the "funny" Leaguers foisted upon him was apparent. Jurgens proceeded to malign and abuse the JLIers, compare them unfavorably to more respectable Silver Age heroes, and essentially make them bickering sidekicks for Superman. As the final straw, he brought them into the early stages of the "Doomsday" event in the Superman titles, pitting them against a murderous behemoth making its way toward Metropolis. The creature dubbed Doomsday was still largely bound from a previous captivity, and proceeded to literally brutalize the Justice League with one hand tied behind his back. While the whole issue makes the point, the sight of Guy Gardner, among the most powerful heroes of the JLI era, battered and lifted up by his face in the one free paw of Doomsday was a key moment reprinted in magazines during the "Death of Superman" national craze and beyond. Clearly, the fun days were over, and the JLI had been given over to the grim & gritty tide it had once so clearly fought against.
Check out more highlights from the past 75 years of DC Comics at The Truly Most Memorable Moments of the DC Dodranscentennial