Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: JLI...or Superhero Kindergarten

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

JLI...or Superhero Kindergarten

This was always my favorite incarnation of the Justice League, by Giffen and DeMatteis.


The roster changed of course, with the addition fairly early, of Booster Gold, Rocket Red, and of course, Fire and Ice. But there is no doubt that the JLI was basically a Metahuman day care center being run by Max Lord, with Batman and J'onn J'onz as the main babysitters.

For one thing, you had Captain Marvel. The Big Red Cheese. A boy, in a man's form, who brought a sense of wonder and naivetee to the world of beating up villains. I always thought that it was rather a shame that they dumped him after a relatively short period of time, because he was such a wonderful foil for...

Guy Gardner.

According to Kalinara...and I must say that I agree with her COMPLETELY...Guy is an angy 8-year old, who coincidentally is also in a man's body. Due to the brain damage that he suffered over in Green Lantern, Guy is not exactly playing with a full deck. But he is so unabashedly, nay GLEEFULLY childish sometimes, that it warms my heart. I remember when he had taken to flying after planes and pressing his face against the windows, scaring the crap out of the passengers. Seriously, if you could fly, wouldn't you want to do that too?

Then there is Blue Beetle. I adore Ted, but there is no doubt that he can be just as childish as Guy when he's in the mood. Add Booster Gold to that and it is double trouble. Beetle and Booster were definitely the Katzenjammer Kids of the Justice League, and it is no wonder that Martian Manhunter turned to Oreos/Chocos in order to be able to cope.

Toss in Fire, and you have a pretty volatile mix. Ice was actually reasonably mature, especially in comparison to just about everybody else in this group, but Fire could definetly be on the bratty side when she felt like it.

To control this interesting assemblage, you had J'onn. Sure, Max Lord was supposed to be in charge, but Max usually acted like a 12-year old himself half of the time. Fortunately he had Oberon to control him, and later L-Ron. J'onn however was an adult in the sea of infantilism. And on the whole, i've always thought that he managed to cope with all the conflicting personalities pretty well...although you could FEEL the migrains. Heh heh.

I'm not too sure about Batman being the best person to be in charge. He was a little too quick to intimidate and discipline. As someone with experience in dealing with teenagers, you'd think he'd be a little more tolerant.

I enjoyed this incarnation however, because...because I suppose it felt more real. Of course people act silly, and compete with each other and play practical jokes on each other. You've thrown all these super-powered people into close contact with each other, in a dorm-like atmosphere, no wonder it is going to be like campus cutups. When they had to fight the bad guys, they did, but they didn't spend ALL of their time fighting evil.

I still like the Justice League, but I miss those small, intimate moments.


At 9:07 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

Batman looks truly annoyed in that group shot. Gritting his teeth and everything.

'I'm the Batman, why the hell do I have to stand next to Blue Beetle? I shouldn't even be in this picture, I should be lurking in the shadows off-panel.'

At 8:11 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

He was basically that way through the whole run.

He's just an old crankypants.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Bully said...

Absolutely spot-on...one of the reasons I love the JL-era as well. It did something with DC heroes that was new and different--reproduced the ribbing and joking we all do with our friends and co-workers every day. In some ways it was an updating of how dramatically Stan Lee changed team dynamics by creating a bickering Fantastic Four: the JL went back to being (mostly) friends, but with a more realistic dynamic and clear roles than the, say, sixties JLA. Who hasn't worked with someone like Booster, or Guy, or J'onn?

What did you think of Formerly Known as the Justice League, Sally? (I liked it a lot but felt it occasionally veered into parody of itself).

At 9:42 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

I absolutely adored it, but you're right, it was a bit over the top. But in the face of all the angst and darkness everywhere else, I'll take what I can get.


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