Monday, May 23, 2011
The prospect of a new Justice League of America based on recent continuity following Flashpoint has kept J. Caleb Mozzocco awake at night. He discusses his selections for the team here, and inspired a comment from me long enough that I decided to post it as an article here with my own suggestions.
Supergirl: If the character had been more consistent, I'd be fully behind her joining the JLA. As things stand now, it's more a desire for different flavors while maintaining a Super legacy. I don't feel a burning need to read about Superman in JLA stories, and I think Supergirl can better serve his role on the team without throwing the Man of Steel or other heroes under the bus to serve the necessities of team storytelling dynamics. Supergirl offers more options, because she can have a romance, get knocked out by Villain-X without a score of protests, etc.
Batman (Dick Grayson): Dick can fill the role Wally West was pushed out of as the pupil who assumes the responsibilities of the mentor and ably carries an esteemed mantle. Besides, I get sick to death of Bruce Wayne telling everyone what a loner he is while showboating and dictating to fellow heroes. He's a better team player and leader, after all, and allows an entirely different way for heroes relate to a Batman.
Wonder Woman: No matter how much DC would like it to be otherwise, in 2011, they still only have three iconic female characters: Supergirl, Catwoman and Wonder Woman. Only one was a League founder, and especially with the most recent team so estrogen rich, it just doesn't look right to have Jesse Quick or Jade on the team in her stead. Unlike Dick or Kara Zor-El, Donna Troy cannot in any way pick up the slack of a Wonder Woman absence, and frankly, Diana benefits from the handicap of being the JLA's official female. Hell, she even has the freedom to wrestle and romance with whomever, because outside of stunts like JMS' Odyssey, the average reader is not up on her solo doings, anyway. It's not like there's a Steve Trevor around to jock block anybody.
Martian Manhunter: J'Onn was left off Brad Meltzer's team because I feel the writer wanted to reenforce the Bronze Age status quo and remind everyone that the "Heart and Soul" of the team was absent for about seventeen years. I can live with that, not only because J'Onn was still the constant between the Detroit era, JLI, JLTF and JLA, but also because it highlights how off-tasting the late '00s League was without him. Besides, it begs direct comparison between the Manhunter from Mars and his replacement in the '70s & '00s, Red Tornado, which will hopefully insure we never get stuck with Emobot 2000 again. Keep the Scarlet Curse with the YJ kids.
Aquaman: I didn't cry too much when harpoon-hand would come and go in JLA or got scrubbed from the cartoon. However, the Sea King is one of the world's most recognizable heroes in his classic form, which is finally back in effect, and he brings that to the table with a reformed team.
Green Lantern: Weight of expectations, here. I can live without a GL, but the power type fits the team mold too well to ignore. For me, Hal Jordan is kind of pointless, because I don't find he relates to the individual Leaguers in a meaningful, entertaining way. Anyone else, from John to Kyle to Guy or even Alan Scott, spices up the dish far better.
The Flash: Ditto from above, with either Barry or Wally serving with equal efficacy.
While I'm against trying to spin-off a League book when the core team is still such a mess, I think down the road a second unit would make sense. These would be the guys who tend to rotate in and out of the League, like Hawkman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Firestorm, and the Atom. Another way to go would be to juggle the counterpart characters. Since I voted for Supergirl on the JLA, wouldn't it validate JLA2 to have Superman? Maybe play with other quality substitutions like Hawkgirl and Mera, or spread the Green Lanterns around?