Before we get into it, let me just preface this by saying that I know I am not Geoff Johns’ equal. I know I am not, pardon the pun, in his league. He is DC’s top scribe. He has reinvented the wheel for them time and time again, whereas I am merely the second sidekick on a podcast about comic books. At this point in my life and career, I am well on the outside looking in; wishing I could write scripts for any monthly title. All that said I am not pleased with the new Justice League of America title. When my local comic dealer put issue 1 in my hold, I gave it a try, but when I found issue 2 in my hold a month later, I gave it right back.
I’m not going to use this blog to dissect the problems with the script or the story, though there were problems a plenty there, what I’d like to talk about is the team’s roster. I suppose, were I in Geoff Johns’ place, it would be so much fun to have the entire DC character pool to chose from as I undertook creating this newly re-imagined series for the New 52. It would be like being a kid and having a toy chest filled with every DC action figure from which I could pick any nine to play with. Geoff has his reasons for why he picked the characters he picked for the team, but I’m going to tell you who I would possibly have chosen instead.
First off: Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, and Hawk Man all make my list as well. They are all heroes who have been in the JLA before (pre-New 52, of course) and are as close to A-list characters as any from the B-list can hope to be. I hope with JLA, Hawk Man’s image can be restored, since it’s been so far tarnished during the New 52 era with the horrible title that is Savage Hawk Man. I like the idea of Oliver Queen leading the team; I just hope he grows a beard soon.
Here’s where I’d change things:
Instead of Catwoman, I’d put Batwoman on the team
Why? Because I don’t care how popular Catwoman is, she is not a hero. And she is not going to be a counter against the Batman. That’s not to say she can’t be heroic when need be. She’s certainly saved her fair share of people in distress (including Batman, a time or two) but ultimately she’s just out for her own gains. She may not be a murderous super villain, but she is a master thief. Maybe she’s not beyond redemption, but she’s not JLA material either. I feel that Batwoman is a much better choice. She is a hero in every respect, and much more likely to give Batman a run for his money than Selina Kyle.
Instead of Vibe, I’d put the Ray on the team
Why? It’s because Vibe means nothing to me. He shouldn’t mean anything to you, either. He’s a terrible character. I don’t care how powerful he is at vibrating. (Insert dirty joke here) His name is dumb, his costume is dumb, and his powers are dumb. I can’t believe Vibe has his own monthly title. I’m not reading it. Are you reading it? If so, is it because you’re easily amused or because you hate leaving the comic shop with any cash left in your wallet? The Ray on the other hand, has proved to be one of the New 52’s most promising re-imagined characters. In case you missed it, go find the trade of the 4 issue limited series the Ray starred in two years back. It was great, but then DC failed to do anything further with the character that I’ve seen. He’d be a great addition to the new JLA.
Instead of Green Lantern Simon Baz, I’d put Green Lantern John Stewart on the team
Why? This one is just preference. I haven’t been reading Simon’s adventures over in the Green Lantern series, and am just not very familiar with him. John Stewart on the other hand is someone I’ve been reading since he took over as Green Lantern back in the 80’s. He’s a former marine, and if that’s not a patriotic enough reason to put him on the team, the fact that his name is the same as the host of the Daily Show should be. Just kidding. Kinda. Really though, I don’t have anything against Simon Baz. He may be a great choice for the team. I’m just not wise to him yet.
Instead of Katana, I’d put Black Canary on the team
Why? I like Katana. I do. I enjoy athletic sword wielding Japanese women as much as the next nerdy straight guy, but I just don’t see Katana as JLA material. We don’t need a stab happy assassin on America’s team. I mean, other than Hawk Man, I guess. Black Canary, on the other hand, has a long history with the JLA, and it would be awesome to see what her relationship with Oliver could be like in the New 52 era. I don’t read Birds of Prey and don’t plan to. I think the awful TV series has ruined for me the idea of ever picking up an issue of the comic. It would have been nice to have finally been able to read a title featuring Dinah again.
Instead of Stargirl, I’d put Supergirl on the team
Why? This one I don’t feel all that strong about. In fact, Stargirl is probably the better choice. First off, she’s all kinds of patriotic. Second, I really liked the character when she was on later seasons of Smallville. I only offer this difference because as a lifelong fan of the Super family, I probably would’ve picked Supergirl for the team, were I in change of revamping the iconic series. It would be neat to have a top level team featuring both Batwoman and Supergirl. Of course I do realize that the Supergirl of the New 52 is not the same as the Supergirl we’ve known in earlier periods of DC lore. She’s far too hostile toward and removed from humanity. Maybe her involvement with the JLA could soften her image and change her relationship with Earth for the better; just a thought.
Oh and Steve Trevor can stay with the team, pretending to be Nick Fury minus the eye patch; just as long as he stops pouting over Wonder Woman and stops having boring conversations with Washington bureaucrats that take up and bog down an entire first issue. Oops. Looks like I did end up criticizing the script in this blog. Oh well.
Well, that’s enough from me. What do you think? Do you like the rag tag team Geoff Johns has put together or do you have some substitutions you’d like to make. Let us know with a comment below. Until my next blog, be sure to faithfully listen to Hold 322 each and every week, follow me on twitter @Robert_A_Easton, and read comics, read comics, read comics.