Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: An Appreciation for the Justice League

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An Appreciation for the Justice League

And by Justice League, I mean the BEST incarnation of the Justice League. Yes indeedy boys and girls, gather around and listen to a stirring tale. Lo, these twenty years ago, three nice boys got together and created something. Something MAGICAL! And their names were Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire. And this is what they wrought...

JLI

My favorite version of the League. Others amongst you may not agree with me, opting instead for a more "classic" version or a more "grim and gritty" version or simply a newer version. But for the old farts among us...or the younger farts with taste, this was simply the ginchiest.

This lineup did NOT include the "Big Three". Oh Batman was there, and he did his best to be intimidating, but there were some definite second stringers. Even third stringers. They started off with a lineup that had Batman of course, along with Martian Manhunter as is right and proper. Then they threw in Dr. Fate, Dr. Light, Mr. Miracle, Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Whitebread...er...Captain Marvel, and Guy Gardner. A lineup designed to thrill and inspire awe! A lineup...for the AGES!

Or not as the case may be. Some of the original members didn't stay around too long. Whitebread...er...Marvel didn't hang around too long, neither did Fate or Dr. Light. Black Canary was wearing that ridiculous outfit, and also took off for greener pastures eventually. They were replaced however, by some real humdingers, such as Booster Gold, Fire and Ice, Huntress, and Ralph Dibny! Woohoo!

This is also the series that introduced Max Lord to the world. Gosh I miss Max. The REAL Max, not the one that was offed by Wonder Woman. The REAL Max is being held prisoner somewhere, but some day...SOME day, he'll escape along with Ted Kord, and come back and the world will be a better place...

...where was I?

Anyway, I have mentioned before in an earlier post that basically this version of the Justice League was one enormous Hero Day Care Center, and I stand by that assertion. But by GOD it was fun. It was a clubhouse atmosphere. Sure they went out and fought crime and saved the world, but it was really just incidental to the REAL purpose of the book, which was to show the superheroes in their off moments. They fought and bickered, and formed little cliques, laughed and cried and drank beer and made fart jokes and so on. They acted like real people. And while there was plenty of humor, there was plenty of action and drama and pathos and sometimes death and sadness too.

The art was pretty spectacular as well. Kevin Maguire is unsurpassed in his ability to draw clean and believable human anatomy and does some of the very best expressions in the business. You also had other excellent artists such as Ty Templeton and Adam Hughes pitching in.

JLI


They introduced the concept of Kooey Kooey Kooey! For that alone, they ought to be knighted!

JLI

So, I'm going to wallow in nostalgia all week. It has been twenty years after all.

7 Comments:

At 6:42 PM, Blogger FoldedSoup said...

Y'know? When this version of the JLA came out I was not overly impressed (I was much younger, of course, and just wanted the punchy-punchy big guns JLA punching things) and sold off my collection.

I regret that. A lot. Now, I'm buying them back just to re-read them. And as I do, I smack myself.

Stoopid kid.

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

I really do wish that they would do some more collections of the JLI stuff. There is the "New Beginning" book, which collects the first seven or so issues, but so far, that's all, which is ridiculous.

Fortunately, they are relatively inexpenive and fairly easy to find, which is a bonus. I'm sooo glad that you've seen the light!

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger googum said...

Twenty years? Really? But I bought the first issue at a convenience store and walked home reading it...yeah, twenty years.

Man, that first year still holds up especially well. And if you just read that one, Max shooting Beetle almost makes sense: Max was awfully shady at first.

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Yes, Googam, it HAS been Twenty years. I was a tad taken aback myself.

Max may have been shady, but he wasn't actively evil. Dammit, I liked Max!

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said...

I love this JLA :(

I have the first TPB and I luff it so much!

I just dun like how Dan Didio seemed to have a hate on for the group. :(

And now:

Fire - Covered for a war criminal (tho she's redeeming herself I guess? XD), kills ppl

Beetle - Dead

Booster - At least he got redeemed >.>;; For a while it looked bad

Rocket Red - Dead

Martian Manhunter - Dark and edgy and anti-human :(

Captain Atom - Monarch =_=;;

Ice - ALIVE! :D Now >.>

Max Lord - Ebil and dead

OH!

There's another TPB btw... it's called "the Gospel According to Max Lord" it collects the ones after New Beginning I think?

But it's SO RARE

And the copies I find online are like 100$!!!

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Martian Manhunter, Captain Marvel, Doctor Light, Doctor Fate and a Green Lantern. I never understood why people didn't give this line-up its due for being one of the most poweful in the history of the JLA

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Mike, I've wondered about that too. They may not have had Superman or Wonder Woman, but the raw power quotient was pretty darn high. Not to mention Booster was awfully powerful on his own, and Beetle could invent stuff, and even Fire and Ice had their moments.

And Max could smooth over any problems with a little nose bleed and mind whammy.

 

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