Thursday, February 13, 2014

This isn’t the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA that I grew up with

As a kid a fixture of my Saturday was tuning in to see the newest episode of “SUPER FRIENDS” during the morning block of cartoons on television.  SUPER FRIENDS featured the adventures of DC COMICS greatest heroes working together as the Justice League of America to protect the world from the villainous Legion of Doom which united the comic publisher’s greatest villains to promote anarchy and destruction.  The Justice League of America featured a core membership of Aquaman, Batman & Robin, Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman, Superman and the Wonder Twins (Wonder Twin Powers activate!).  They were occasionally assisted by other “junior” members of the team like Hawkman, Plasticman, and the Green Arrow. SUPER FRIENDS ran on ABC from  1973 to 1986, but this wasn’t the first time that DC COMICS brought together its individual characters to work together as a team.

The Justice League of America first debuted in the comic book THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #28 in February 1960.  After a few appearances by the Justice League of America in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD the team was given its own self-titled comic book series that ran until 2011.  JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA was one of DC COMICS best selling publications during a 50 year run.

 In September 2011 DC cancelled all their titles and relaunched all the comic books in their universe starting at issue #1 in what they called the NEW 52.  It was a fresh start for all their comic book characters and story lines and with that came some changes.  The JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA title with its core assemble of characters was changed to just JUSTICE LEAGUE.  Same cast, simpler title and the things move on…well not necessarily.  DC reintroduced JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA a year after the kick-off of the NEW 52 but it isn’t the same JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA that I grew up with or many people would think of when they hear the name.

In the NEW 52 era, the general public is just discovering the existence of individuals who have super powers and is scared of them whether they are using their talents for good or evil.  The U.S. Government doesn’t trust that the JUSTICE LEAGUE will always support its national security interests or in fact not be a threat itself to the Country.  So the United States creates its own super powered team, THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, meant to safeguard the country versus the Justice League and to perform secret missions for an agency called ARGUS (Advance Research Group for Uniting  Super-Humans).

The Justice League of America team in the NEW 52 is made up of essentially the type of characters who would be second-tier characters for the Justice League and pits them against DC’s core super heroes.  The cast for Justice League consists of Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Stargirl, the new Green Lantern Simon Baz, Katana, and Vibe plus are led by someone most of us probably associate as a criminal, Batman’s lover and antagonist the Catwoman

So DC COMICs did make a gritty change in its NEW 52 reboot with the origin and cast of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.  Did you miss the original monthly installments of Justice League of America?  If so and you are interested in this newly formatted team DC has just published a paperback book compilation of the first seven issues of the series titled JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: VOLUME ONEThis New 52 monthly series has decent artwork and storylines worth giving it a read.  This comic book is probably most interesting for those people intrigued about the angle of how this Justice League of America differs from the one most of us are more familiar with from before the New 52 timeline.

For more information, visitJUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: VOLUME 1

DISCLAIMER:  The publisher provided me with  digital PDF advance copy of THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: VOLUME 1  for this review.  The comments and opinions in this post are my own.

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