Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thoughts on the Justice League

Bristol: DC Nation
The UK’s first DC Nation panel was rounded off with news about the Marvel family, and the place of the Justice League of America within the DCU. For the Marvels, their current storyline was finished with “Justice Society of America” #25, and following this they will be reset to become an important part of the post-“Blackest Night” DCU, with Freddy Freeman in the role of Shazam and Captain Marvel Jr. playing a part in “Justice League: Cry for Justice.” Expanding on this, DiDio explained that the role of the Justice League within the DCU is a difficult balance. “The book should feel epic and should feel grounded. It should move with the universe, stand apart form the universe. It should highlight all the greatest characters and showcase brand new characters.” DiDio said that everyone seems to have a different idea of what the Justice League should be, but that essentially he felt that they should be the hub of the DCU. James Robinson and Mauro Cascioli’s forthcoming “Cry for Justice” miniseries will “basically be a reset for the superteam,” establishing a new set of storylines to continue into 2010.

So Didio claims the book should feel epic, highlight all the greatest characters, and should be the hub of the DCU. Yet during McDuffie’s run they restricted him from using the ‘greatest characters’, hamstrung him by forcing him to feed off other events, all of which essentially limited the title from establishing its own epic feel. And then they fire him for what amounts to answering fans’ questions about why the book was written as it was.
Len Wein is writing the next story arc or two and then it is rumored that Geoff Johns will be taking over as writer of the title. And what do you bet they open the entirety of the toy box for him. Most of the big guns will likely be made available. I know the ‘new’ Batman (Dick Grayson) is going to be a part of it. Sure it isn’t Bruce, but it still gives the appearance of having one of the iconic characters in the mix. I’m going to guess that Wonder Woman will have a role. Superman will probably be absent in the early going, but I’m sure there will be an adequate stand-in for him (Supergirl seems the likeliest choice there).
Much as I dislike much of the core of what they’ve been doing at Cup O’ Joe comics over the last several years, I still have to admit they at least get it right in terms of making their big guns book the central driving force of their major epics. Their core storylines (basically the ‘event’ mini-series and subsequent fall-out) have all generated out of the goings-on in the adjective-leading Avengers titles. Those books are not stringing along off storylines from other series, they are directly feeding most of their other titles in one form or another.
Dwayne McDuffie really got a raw deal in this whole thing. I’m not sure if Didio really gets it or not. He seems to be giving the right lip service now, and if Johns is indeed the next writer of the series that would certainly give the appearances of Didio finally putting his money where his mouth is … but until we actually see it I’m going to remain skeptical.