The New JLA – Kind of What I was Asking For
July 18, 2011

I’ve always been a fan of team books.  Team books let you read about a whole bunch  of heroes for the price of one comic.  My first exposure to team books was Justice League of America #148 back in the late 70’s.  This book not only featured 5 members of the JLA, but 5 members of the Justice Society and 9 members of the Legion of Super Heroes as well.  Soon I found myself buying books featuring all 3 of those teams.  I also enjoyed Batman and Superman team up books.  Solo features just felt too expensive.  After the JLA broke up, I did read solo books, most notably Wally West Flash, Green Lantern (Hal then Kyle), and Wonder Woman.

The Satellite JLA

My thirst for team books led me to The New Teen Titans in 1980.  I added the Avengers and West Coast Avengers.  I had avoided the X-Men because everyone said their story had too much back story and it would be too hard to understand.  In 1990, I started with X-Force #1 and followed quickly with X-Men #1, Uncanny X-Men, and X-Factor.
Eventually one thing or another got me to drop most of these books.  But through it all, I was a card carrying reader of the Justice League.  Sure this team went through its ups and downs.  The Satellite era ended when Aquaman disbanded the team and rebuilt it with Vibe and Commander Steel.  The JL International was a great idea that eventually diluted into 3 books where the main title seemed to feature characters named Yazz and Civet.  Morrison brought us the classic 7, Waid and Kelly put their own spin on the team, but then it floundered.  Meltzer and McDuffie gave us a grand team once again.  But Robinson gave us a team that reminded me of Aquaman and Vibe, none of the big guns were represented.  For some reason DC thought proxies would be good enough.  They were wrong.  I dropped the book for the first time in 30 years.

The New JLA

A Return to Greatness!

The new DC is giving me back the JLA I want to read.  It has the right recipe.  The big guns.  A few classics.  A few new members selected by the writer.
Big Guns = Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern.  (These are the heroes DC identified as their 5 cornerstones.)
Classics = Aquaman, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman,
New Blood = Cyborg, Mera, Deadman, Element Woman
Although there are a few I have left to identify, one thing is clear.  This is the type of line up I want to see in the JLA.

The other book I am excited about is the Teen Titans.  The Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans of the 80’s was a fantastic book.  Great characters with stories that revolevd around the members back histories.  Over time, the cast changed and the stories fell in quality.  Eventually the series ended.  At one point the team consisted of 4 characters no one cared about and a de-aged Atom.  But there was hope.  A new round of young heroes.  A 3rd Robin.  Impulse.  Superboy.  Fans started a letter writing campaign asking DC to repalce the Titans of the day with this team of best selling solo teens.  What we got was Young Justice, featuring not just them, but some cool female teens as well.  YJ had an awesome run of 4 years or more before it was merge with the Titans to create a new Teen Titans.  I’ll admit, I did not like the stories Geoff Johns wrote in the Teen Titans.  I dropped the series and sold my issues.  Superboy died.  Kid Flash died.  Robin became Red Robin and left the team.  Even though both Superboy and Kid Flash came back to life, the team was not the same.

Tim, Connor and Bart together again?

From the looks of things, the new DC version Teen Titans will put the band back together.  Enough so that I am encouraged to try this book again.

TAGS:
Erik "Superfriend" Skov
"Gathered together from the four corners of the universe." Oh, wait, that's the show, not me. Erik "SuperFriend" Skov never actually got to appear on the show, although he did watch it every week. Erik spent 6 years working for Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI before leaving for a job that paid more (Why else would a collector leave the company that was making Star Wars, Transformers, and while I was there Batman). I used to post all over the net. These days I tend to hang my hat at AFI.
Read other articles by Erik "Superfriend" Skov.

 

 

 

12 Comments »

  • j1h15233 says:

    Great blog Erik. I agree and will certainly be following the new JL book. If I can look past the costumes of the Titans I’ll be following them as well.

  • jzachery says:

    Justice League is one of the few books I am going to try for the DC relaunch… My number one reason, is to read about Mera. I’ve loved her and wanted to see more of her since I saw her in all the DC coloring books and stuff in the 70’s:) Always felt she was way underrated.
    Also going to get Batgirl, Catwoman, and Huntress.

    OK even I’m noticing a pattern here, but I’m really not all for female solo books, LOL. Just happens that those are the ones that look good.

    Hey Erik, for team books, not sure if you’ve read it, but the 90’s New Warriors was awesome. At least the first 30 or so issues. Def worth a look, and you should be able to find the run in the cheap boxes at comic shows.

  • cordeliachasefan says:

    I also dropped JLA during Robinson’s run- right around the time the book started tying in to Brightest Day. I actually stopped before the crossover was finished because I didn’t care anymore. I am looking forward to the new JL title although I honestly wish Black Canary, Zatanna and Hawkgirl were there just because I enjoy all three characters immensely. I still think people gave McDuffie too much garbage during his run which I think was actually a pretty good run until DC had to change it up to fall in line with “Cry for Justice”, which I also didn’t bother to read.

  • NoisyDvL5 says:

    I’m interested in JLA, but I won’t read Teen Titans. I didn’t know how Scott Lobdell was before this relaunch, but all the interview I’ve read with him has completely turned me off from reading any of his books.

    I’m more drawn to the the Dark & Edge titles from the Relaunch. I’ll pick up a couple Geoff Johns books like JLA (he’s the Michael Bay of comics, but it can be entertaining) though.

  • Bat Lantern says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your view on team up books and the history of the JLA. This will bring me back to the book and I may start reading Teen Titans too.

  • Winged Avenger says:

    Really? How do you reboot the JLA with Cyborg? That wipes out the entire history of the Teen Titans.

    Do whatever you want, because anyone who’s been around for more than a few years KNOWS DC is going to go right back to the classics.

  • Shellhead says:

    I’m with ya on Justic League, but for the first time in years, I won’t be picking up a Titans book. Except for Red Robin, I can’t stand the redesigns, and I don’t know (or care) about the other, new members.

  • Clutch says:

    Team books have always been the reason I’ve drifted in and out of comics. I began with the Justice League of America, the Avengers, G.I. Joe, and the Transformers. As you said, you got more bang for your buck, mostly in terms of character interaction. I later added the X-Men, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, Legion of Super Heroes, and any time DC felt like respecting them, the Justice Society of America, which remained my favorite team up to now.

  • Brainlock says:

    You loved the NTT era, but hated the last year of JLA’s “proxies”???
    Most of the team ending this run have been Titans (notable exceptions being Robinson’s pet gorilla and blue Starman).

    I’d argue more, but JLA #58 left me not caring what happens come August 30.

    and I *just* saw a couple panels of nuClark visiting nuLois and her new boytoy’s post-sex faces. pass the brain bleach, please.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      Yes and yes. I am fully aware of the current cast of the book currently being sold as the “JLA”. There in lies the problem. This has been a Titans cast and story, which displaced the real JLA. I covered that in a earlier blog.

  • Thea says:

    I am myself an avid fan of Justice League…but I think the Teen Titans over-all appeal look too rebellious…

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