August 23, 2006

Judging the Justice League

Sometimes, it's tough being a comics blogger - after all, I have to avoid memes, jumping in on the current bandwagon, etc. However, after reading Ragnell's very spoiler-ish take on Brad Meltzer's JLA, I just had to do some research, to come up with some observations of my own.

So here then, gentle reader, are some of my thoughts on this long running super hero team, based on meticulous reading of reprint editions. Plus, I have a master's degree, so you can trust that I know what I'm talking about.
  1. The trade paperback JLA: The Greatest Stories Ever Told is a bit of a misnomer - sure, it has "Snapper Carr: Super Traitor" (later retold in the late, lamented-at-least-by-me Hourman series), but it's sole purpose is to reprint the story that led to Identity Crisis...and it stinks. Case in point - Black Canary suspects wrongdoing when Green Lantern plants a "big wet one" on her. Explains a lot, don't you think?
  2. The early years of the Justice League - featured in the phone book sized Showcase Edition - were probably the closest 10 year olds could get to hallucinogenic drugs. Maybe they were the same plot repeatedly, but there's something really cool about those early stories.
  3. Hal Jordan - I don't get him. Why do so many fanboys think he's "the greatest Green Lantern". Alan Scott flosses chunks of guys like Jordan out of his teeth. Go figure.
  4. After reading all four volumes of Crisis on Multiple Earths, you have to admit - the multiverse was a cool idea. What was even cooler was that writers, later on, seemed to suggest parallels for our heroes - not in the "Hey, it's the Bruce Wayne of Earth 42!", but in terms of archetypes/models.
  5. The Red Tornado is a frickin' idiot. I'm sorry - the android bumbles his way onto the League, sacrifices himself out of self-pity, then throws the JLA and JSA into an Earth with Nazis (none made with bees)....who was the genius who said, "Let's keep Red Tornado and keep out a worthier, say, Swamp Thing?"
  6. Only in JLA could an Earth-2 hero lose her husband, decide to move to Earth-1 (with the benefits of U-Haul, mind you), and then later decide that a crisis between earths is "all her fault."
  7. The Crime Syndicate...sorely underused until Grant Morrison took over.
  8. The only character goofier than Red Tornado is Johnny Thunder...but thank God he was evil on the JLA's earth. Made it easier for them to deal with.
  9. You know, a moonbase is cool. A satellite is cool. A hollowed out rock in "Happy Harbor"....doesn't exactly scream, "World's greatest heroes", you know?
  10. You know what the JLA needed? More frickin' Wildcat.
More of the usual later on - Friday night, Salsa dancing!

No comments: