Saturday, February 17, 2007

Justice League vs. Justice League Unlimited


So I was talking Wednesday with Big Mike and "EW" Devon about what the Justice League should be.
Big Mike thinks the Justice League should be the showcase for the heroes of the DCU. Whenever a disaster strikes, a call goes out and whoever is available comes together as the Justice League. This way, not only is the reader treated to the kind of story anyone interested in superteam books (which is everyone), but also draws attention to the characters whose first name isn't Bat, Super or Wonder.
"EW" Devon agrees with BM (heh, I'm so calling you that, Mike) with the reasoning that, realistically, the Big Seven (Bats, Supes, Wondy, GL, Flash, MM, & AM) can't always just be there, tossing aside the many over events that befall them on a monthly basis. Which makes sense in comic-realistic and real-realistic. Wolverine seems to be on three teams, as well as a fugitive from SHIELD, and dealing with other personal problems, and it just gets to be too much in a month.
Devon suggests that the team consists of maybe three core team members (Bats, Supes, Wondy-I'm noticing a theme with my interludes) and random available heroes showing up for the occasion.
Valid points all.
I have a problem with that concept though. One, without a set team, the book becomes an anthology series, without any real focus for prolong plots. The cartoon series had the underlying plots, but it also called for many of the same characters to show up every week.
Another issue I have is that, well, we've seen what happens when lackluster members make up the World's Greatest Heroes. And would the Justice League deserve that title when Blue Beetle and Flamebird have an equal chance with Captain Marvel and Huntress? No offense to the former, but they are not JL material, but if they were available, then they could be in. This isn't the Outsiders or Teen Titans, this is the pro-team.
So what do YOU think, Justice League of America or Justice League Unlimited?


mlpellegrino said...

I think the question of who in the DCU is JL material has become moot. At this point, if we're putting Vixen, Black Lighting, and Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow/Junky in the JL, who are we to deny such pleasures to Blue Beetle? Ideally, Justice League should never not include Superman, Batman, WW, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Aquaman, a Green Lantern (or two!) and Green Arrow, but that doesn't seem likely to happen. If you're going to have B and C list heroes in the League anyway, I say go all out and make it all the B and C list characters so we at least get some variety and DC gets a chance to showcase some of its better characters.

Then there's another big issue, which is that none of the people who fought to keep the League together while Batman and WW were tearing it apart are in the current incarnation. That's just annoying to those of us who were on the infinite crisis train for however long. JL needs to be the best or the best available, but I will not suspend disbelief enough for Meltzer to say 'Why would we want Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow when we could have Red Tornado and Green Arrow's junky sidekick?'

rachelle said...

I'll tell ya, I used to think a Justice League book without at least one of the big three was not a proper Justice League book. Justice League Unlimited changed my mind. Now I am much more into the idea of a comic that highlights different superheroes in every story.

I like the idea of every hero in the DCU essentially being Justice League members (and the ones who aren't: reserve members). I love the idea of endless combinations, and of second or third-stringers getting their chance to shine. JLU was a brilliant series because it introduced a lot of casual fans to a wide variety of lesser-known characters. This is what the Justice League comic should do. I love my big three, and it makes sense that they would be leading the league in some capacity, but there are a lot of Batman titles, and a lot of Superman titles (and...a Wonder Woman title). I like reading a book that showcases Black Lightning or Red Tornado.

Why should the big three waste time voting heroes in or out? Let 'em all in! You know you're gonna need them anyway. I know comic fans love to argue about who is Justice League material and who isn't, but every single hero in the DCU is, y'know, impressive. I mean, they can all contribute something.