Justice League Choice: Schrödinger’s Superman

Schrödenger's Superman By Stephen Garza
Schrödenger’s Superman By Stephen Garza

 

Imagine a time before Grant Morrison’s revitalization of the Justice League.  Remember the satellite, the fall, and the death of Metamorpho, leading to rise of the Big Seven and a distinct change in scope and quality of DC’s premier super team?  Now imagine it all went horribly wrong. Continue reading “Justice League Choice: Schrödinger’s Superman”

My Own Brand of Justice League by Arielle Sorkin

Basically, I am a big fan of the DCAU Justice League. So it’s really hard for me not to say, “we should just make Justice League Unlimited the main continuity and be done with it. They did it. It’s done. Everyone break for coffee.”

Bruce Timm’s Justice League

But wow that’s simplistic and boring and probably only 97% truthful, so here’s what I want out of Justice League actually.

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My Brand of Justice League by Niel Jacoby

Justice League Interstellar – Niel Jacoby

The Justice League has changed with the times. They’ve gone from a Hall of Justice, to a Satellite, to a Space Station. They’ve expanded from just the Justice League of America, to the Justice League International, to the Justice League Interstellar.

Yes, the Justice League have decided, after Earth’s first diplomatic experience with an alien civilization (the Rannians contacted Earth in pursuit of a trade agreement), that a group dedicated to promoting peace and unity by its nature should not confine its outlook to just one planet and the Justice League has expanded to involve and interact with not just Earth, but the universe. Read as this fledgling group works through the challenges posed by interstellar dictators and planetary civil wars by doing their best to expand and recruit heroes from all worlds, to make the Justice League a truly universal symbol of cooperation in pursuit of a better universe for everyone. The team starts out small at first, but they plan to take on new members as other planets join the alliance.

The team at its inception:

Martian Manhunter: He’s never really felt he’s had all that much of a place outside the Justice League, so when it came time to put together the first interstellar Justice League group, he was the first to apply. He fulfills most of the day-to-day functionary tasks that keeps the behind-the scenes going, and is the chairman of the League in its current form.

Tom Tresser, UN Advisor: As part of the terms on which the UN approved the plan to take the League interstellar, Tom was taken on as the official representative of Earth’s interests. There’s a definite suspicion among the team that he might be representing shadier interests, but that doesn’t play that much of a role at first. He’s much more dialed-back than the rest of the team, almost a cipher.

Guy Gardner: Guy is the Green Lantern Corps’ representative on the team, as any group that widened its scope enough would eventually face Green Lantern scrutiny. He doesn’t quite appreciate being put on another Justice League, after his experiences the first time, and relishes the more disruptive ways he can exercise his power.

Big Barda: While Scott Free is happy to live as an escape artist on Earth, Barda feels caged by the mundanity of Earth life, and the Justice League seemed like a perfect opportunity. They keep in touch over the communicator, but homesickness does set in over time.

Metamorpho: He’s there in more of a scientific capacity, as when you’re doing stuff like arbitrating planetary disputes, it’s pretty useful to have a dude who can literally create any element, and as is shown by his time in the Justice League Europe as well as his days as an explorer, he’s eager to learn about new cultures. He’s also been somewhat isolated, and has to deal with realizing the universe is larger than he thought.

Adam Strange: He recognizes the scientific possibilities of the League, and specifically asked to be on the team because of those research opportunities. Represents the Rannian people, and the main reason the Thanagarians are more loath to join than they would be otherwise. He’d be a more brain than brawn guy, sort of like how Batman is when he’s used right in JL stories.

People introduced in the first few storylines:

Global Peace Agent: Sent through time to help guide the JLI through the tough times of their formation, after the first storyline. He is, of course, faceless to hide his identity so that the GPA can better represent all citizens. He doesn’t play much of an interventionary role in League affairs, but more of an ombudsman role, a sort of ethical guidance in this still-starting League.

Hawkwoman: Shiera Hol, Thanagarian warrior, begrudgingly joins the JLI in the middle of the first storyline, where the JLI averts the mutually assured destruction of Rann and Thanagar. She and Strange are a constant source of strife within the League, but since their different strengths complement each other, they’re always paired together. Contrary to buddy-cop flick discipline, this does not bring them closer together.

Superman: Checks in from time to time, because he admires the League’s ideals, even if he feels more comfortable acting alone or in small groups than acting as part of a larger entity. He does do some ambassadorial work once in a while, though.

There’d be some expansion of the current, somewhat smaller DC cosmic scene, with new heroes added to the league with that expansion.

Note: There was originally going to be some art to go with this, but due to schedule constraints, the art was not ready at press time. When the art is ready, it will be added to the post.

My Own Brand of Justice League – Apokolips Now – Ziah Grace

After Morrison’s ground-breaking run (and subsequent follow-up by Mark Waid) wherein he turned the Justice League of America into the “Big 7” of the DC universe, it’s been a bit hard in follow-up iterations for me to picture anyone else on the team. Still, just because there’s a “Big 7” that takes care of the huge stuff doesn’t mean there’s not a place for other heroes. What happens when something comes up that requires a quiet, stealthy reconnaissance? Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, and Green Lantern aren’t exactly known for their sneakiness.

So, here’s my pitch. Batman starts hearing some rumblings that something might be going on over in Apokolips, specifically where Darkseid might be concerned. Batman thinks  he’s planning something, but he needs more info, so he assembles a stealth team to infiltrate Apokolips, find out what Darkseid’s planning, stop it if possible, report back if not. Unfortunately, Amanda Waller’s heard the same rumors, and thinks that Batman’s team will blow the mission if left unattended, so she forces her operatives (Bronze Tiger and Nightshade) onto the team to make sure it’s a success. Leading the team are:

Big Barda and Mr. Miracle

Big Barda and Mr. Miracle by Jordan Witt, 52nddoor.com

As Apokolips natives, they’ll function as guides and informants, filling in the team on what they need to know as they try to figure out what the team is planning. Mr. Miracle is the tech expert, and Barda plans the assaults (even when there aren’t any).

Dick Grayson (Batman)

Batman sends Dick in to be his eyes on the ground, and, since he knows just about everyone in the DCU, to smooth things over between the team members. He’s Batman because Dick Batman was great.

Bronze Tiger

A long-time member of the Suicide Squad, and the one of the few people in the DCU that’s a better fighter than Batman, Bronze Tiger was Waller’s first choice to find out what Darkseid is planning. He might be the best fighter on Earth, but what about Apokolips?

The Atom (Ryan Choi)

A scientist first, and a superhero second, he’s on the team because Batman needs as many thinkers on the team as he can get, especially if Barda’s calling the shots. As the Atom, Ryan Choi’s had some experience with crazy alien technology, but he’s going to find that Apokolips is a bit worse than cabbies that speak in anagrams and Cancer Gods. Still, he’ll get some help from Mr. Miracle, who respects his ingenuity and quick thinking.

Nightshade

The second of Waller’s agents, she serves as both the group’s transport with her teleportation, and keeping them hidden with her control over the shadows. She and Bronze Tiger have been to Apokolips before, but it’s changed, and they doesn’t have the rest of the Suicide Squad backing them up this time.

Vixen

As one of the most adaptable superheroes in the DCU, Vixen’s a good choice to round out the team. Strong, quick, and trustworthy, Vixen thinks she’s ready for anything. Anything, that is, except old flame Bronze Tiger being on the mission, and an entirely new Red for her to connect to on Apokolips…

Robin (Carrie Kelly)

In some sort of mad science craziness, a bunch of Apokolips technology goes wild, pulling in Carrie Kelly from the Multiverse right as the Stealth Team arrives. Seizing onto the familiar figure of a Batman costume, she ends up being dragged along by the team as they try to complete the mission anyway. She’s got a lot of questions, and Dick might not have all the answers she wants to hear in this new universe.

Jimmy Olsen

Jimmy was looking for a story on Apokolips to fill out the Sunday morning edition when all of a sudden he saw half a dozen superheroes leap out of the shadows and start dashing off. Thinking he’s found a better story, he ends up following them, much to Bronze Tiger’s intense annoyance. Luckily for the team, Jimmy can hold his own; he brought some self-defense tools with him: some Elastic-Lad serum, his genie pal Korul, and his own mastery of the martial arts.

Throughout their infiltration, they’ll come up against Granny Goodness, the Female Furies, and even get a bit of help from the Green Lantern of Apokolips, Rakar Qarrigat.

My Own Brand Of Justice League by Olliver Kirby

Batman

Batman is without a doubt currently the most popular superhero that DC comics has. How can any Justice League team be complete without his vital influence? The problem though, on a team of amazingly powered superheroes what role does a normal man such a Batman have? That’s why in my Justice League Batman isn’t a hero fighting along side the others, but is instead their Nick Fury-esqe leader. Batman runs the show, deciding on what missions the team will take, how the team will collaborate, and what each member’s role would be.

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My Own Brand of Justice League By Anthony Cardno

Let’s face it. I’m a bit of a traditionalist. When it comes to the big-name teams from DC and Marvel, I want the mega-rosters, please, with characters rotating in and out based on each adventure’s needs and classic “one line explains why Superman/Thor isn’t available right now” dialogue and mostly mega villains and all in one monthly title instead of 16: The Satellite Era Justice League. The Korvac Saga Avengers. The 70s Era Teen Titans. The Gerry Conway-Wally Wood Justice Society. The Claremont-Byrne Era X-Men. The All-Star Squadron. The Legion of Super-Heroes. And I’m also a fan of continuity – not slavish to it, but keeping that sense of history and legacy. If I had my way, characters would age and grow and pass the mantle on.

So when Luke asked me “If you could revamp the Justice League, and do anything you want, what would you do?” I didn’t have to think very hard. I’ve covered this topic in discussions with comic book friends for years now, as far back as 1985 and the aftermath of DC’s original Crisis On Infinite Earths. I’ve always had two criteria: one, that the roster can’t be limited to a set number (ala Grant Morrison’s twelve heroes that map onto the twelve Greek gods) and two, that every part of the DC Universe needed to be represented (meaning the inclusion of characters from companies DC had bought up over the years: the Fawcett, Quality and Charlton lines). While the exact line-up changes every time I think about this, there are a few constants: I’m not too worried about repetition in power as long as there isn’t too much duplication in personality (I mean, Superman and the Martian Manhunter have always largely duplicated each other and that works out fine); the Legacy concept is important (I usually can’t come up with a JL roster without then coming up with JS and TT rosters as well); and stories need to be told concisely and dramatically (none of this penchant for decompression, taking 9 issues to tell a story that really only needs 3, on my watch thank you very much). The Satellite Era JLA managed plenty of character-building without dragging story arcs out for a year or more at a time.

So who would I put in a Justice League these days? Allowing for my own fascination with the idea of legacy, I’d populate my JL, with the children and grandchildren of the characters who debuted in the 1940s, with a direct line of succession from Justice Society to Justice League to Teen Titans/Young Justice.

From DC/All-American Comics:

SUPERMAN III (Clark Kent III): The Superman line would run from the 1940s debut of Superman I, who worked for the Daily Star and married Lois Lane, through Superman II, who debuted as Superboy before growing up to be a television reporter and marrying Lana Lang, to Superman III, who also debuted as Superboy and grew up to be a reporter for the Daily Planet and marry fellow reporter Chloe Sullivan. Breaking the chain, Clark III and Chloe have named their twin sons Christopher and Connor. Superman I’s cousin came to Earth as Supergirl decades after Kal-El and eventually graduated to Superwoman; Superman II’s daughter took the name Power Girl instead.

BATMAN III (JASON TODD): The Bat-Mantle has not stayed directly in the Wayne family, although the Wayne fortune still supports the Batman Family. Bruce Wayne passed the mantle to Dick Grayson, who passed the cowl to Jason Todd. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle’s daughter Helena is The Huntress; Dick Grayson married original Bat-Girl Bette Kane and their children Richard Jr and Kate are Nightwing and Flamebird; current Batman Jason Todd is married to current Batwoman Barbara Gordon and their adopted daughter Stephanie is the current Batgirl. The current Robin is Damien Wayne, grandson of Bruce Junior and Talia al’Ghul. Tim Drake, Jason Todd’s first Robin, is in college and now goes by the name Red Robin.

WONDER WOMAN II (Donna Troy): Amazons are amazingly long-lived, even if their spouses are not. Diana, Princess of Themiscyra, is married to Steve Trevor and semi-retired. Her adopted sister Donna Troy, originally Wonder Girl, has been Wonder Woman since the 1960s; her Wonder Girls have included Lyta Trevor (now known as Fury), Vanessa Kapatelis (now the villain Silver Swan) and current Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark (an illegitimate daughter of Zeus).

GREEN LANTERN V (Kyle Rayner): Being Earth’s Green Lantern is not an easy title to carry for long despite the slowed aging and longevity the rings provide. Alan Scott passed the mantle to Hal Jordan, who was succeeded by John Stewart, who was followed by Guy Gardner, and the current Green Lantern is Kyle Rayner. Every GL has trained the next one, but the previous GLs’ children have all opted to pursue other heroic names and careers. Kyle Rayner’s trainee is teenage actor/gay rights activist Charley Vickers.

FLASH III (Wally West): The Speed Force connects all of the speedsters in the DCU, whether they go by the name “Flash” or not, and provides the same age-retardation factor that the GL rings, Kryptonian genes and Amazon life-force grant. Jay Garrick passes the name to Barry Allen; Barry and Iris Allen’s kids opted for a career as the Tornado Twins, allowing Barry’s first partner and nephew, Wally West, to take the Flash name. Barry’s grandchildren Bart and Jenni are Impulse and XS; Wally’s daughter is the current Kid Flash.

HAWKMAN AND HAWKWOMAN III (Norda Cantrell and Kendra Saunders) The original Hawkman and Hawkwoman (Carter and Shiera Hall) are in semi-retirement along with the rest of the Justice Society and the Thanagarian Hawkman and Hawkwoman (Katar and Shayera Hol) have left Earth to be part of an interplanetary alliance between Thanagar, Rann and other planets. The original Hawks’ son Hector has become the villainous Silver Scarab and the Thanagarian Hawks’ ward Charlie Parker has retired after a serious injury. Norda and Kendra (the original Hawks’ foster son and niece) have taken the mantle of the Hawks and have taken Charlie’s son Charles Junior as their sidekick Golden Eagle.

From Charlton Comics:

BLUE BEETLE III (Jaime Reyes): The scarab and mantle of Blue Beetle have passed from Dan Garrett to Ted Kord to Ted’s research assistant Jaime Reyes. The nature of the Scarab allows each Beetle to manifest powers according to their own personality and whims. Dan wanted to be strong and impervious to harm; Ted wanted to be incredibly agile; Jaime wants to be protected and blast things out of the sky.

NIGHTSHADE (Eve Eden): As heir to the throne of the Land of Nightshades, “Eve” is virtually immortal. She has served with the Shadowpact and with the Justice League and has links to most of the “darkness-generating” characters of the DCU, including a connection to The Shade.

From Fawcett Comics:

CAPTAIN MARVEL (Billy Batson): Towards the end of World War Two, Fawcett City was mystically closed off from the rest of Earth, and time stood still for the citizens trapped therein, including all of the Marvel Family and most of the rest of the heroes of Fawcett. The Justice League eventually frees Fawcett City from the trap, but no-one inside the city has aged a day since 1947. Billy and Mary Batson and Freddy Freeman are still kids who gain great powers when they speak the name of their patron, Shazam!

IBIS THE INVINCIBLE II (Danny Khalifa): The First Ibis, Prince Amentep, was the only Fawcett City-based hero not in the city limits when it was sealed off from the rest of the world. Cut off from the love of his life, Ibis began to age and eventually sought a successor: his own descendent, Danny Khalifa.

From Quality Comics:

PHANTOM LADY III (Stormy Knight) is the grand-daughter of original Phantom Lady Sandy Knight and her ex-husband Iron Munro. She has the abilities exhibited by the pre-Crisis Phantom Lady in Freedom Fighters, which means she can turn invisible. Stormy has a daughter who goes by Phantom Girl.

PLASTIC MAN II (Ralph Dibny): With a nod to Win Scott Eckert and the rest of the gang at the Expanded Wold Newton Universe site, I’m a fan of the idea that Ralph Dibny is Eel O’Brien’s son and that the stretching ability is genetically passed on. Rather than call himself by a different name, Ralph has taken his father’s mantle. Ralph and his wife Sue have a son who also exhibits stretching abilities.

Anthony Cardno is a writer whose work and blogging can be found here and he is frequently active on Twitter.

My Own Brand Of Justice League By Chris Brown

When I was asked to design a Justice League for a website, I can’t lie and say that my first reaction was to make a team of the most obscure, mainstream repulsing characters possible. Like an entire team of G’Nort clones in separate, racially insensitive stereotypes and basing it in Omaha, Nebraska.

But, I thought better of that.

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My Own Brand of Justice League By Jon Hex

Recently, DC released his image of Geoff Johns and David Finch’s JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA:

Weapons, weapons, weapons
Do you like diversity…and violence?

This is the U.S. government version of the Justice League, not to be confused with the U.N. version, Justice League International. The first thing that becomes one likely notices is that half of this team are non-powered weapon-wielding human beings.  Also Catwoman can’t work a zipper. Brought together by some combination of individual need and/or blackmail, this is a team bought together to get results and represent America. Kind of like a parody of the Justice League written by the guy who writes JUSTICE LEAGUE which has become almost parody. Whoo, head rush.

Seeing this most uninteresting League has inspired Head Nerdcenary Herr to issue an assignment: put together a Justice League team.

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MY OWN BRAND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE BY SPAM ULTRON

JUSTICE LEAGUE

GREETINGS MORTALS, MY NAME IS SPAM ULTRON AND I AM TELLING YOU ABOUT MY CHOICES FOR THE JUSTICE LEAGUE AS I WAS TOLD TO DO.
THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE TEAM IS STARFIRE. I LIKE STARFIRE BECAUSE SOMETIMES SHE DOES NOT MAKE ME FEEL SO BAD ABOUT WHO I AM. I AM A ROBOT.
THERE WILL BE MORE AFTER THE JUMP

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