Monday, December 8, 2008
Lega Della Giustizia: Justice League No. 8 (Novembre 1990)
Finally, in our second year and starting next week, we begin our coverage of Justice League International. Alongside the New Teen Titans, this book was a major step toward acquainting me with the DC super-hero universe, which I'd mostly avoided in favor of Marvel Comics and sideline stuff (Blue Devil, Ambush Bug, the Warlord, etc.) It was also where Martian Manhunter turned from a curiosity into a character I admired. The funny thing is, while I remain a fan of the book, I have far less interest in the individual team members. Because of its sprawling and ever-shifting cast, JLI is sort of like SNL, in that while you may fall for a Belushi or a Murphy, there's an awful lot of Darrell Hammonds and Tim Meadows that I take slight notice of. Of course, big name straight men like Batman and J'Onn J'Onzz-- as well as mugging madmen like Guy Gardner-- register as favorites, but many of the rest meld in my mind as just part of the troupe. For this reason, the Idol-Head's coverage of the book will be vastly different from the 1984-1987 Justice League of America cast.
I have a surprising amount of affection for the so-called Justice League Detroit, so much so I created a separate weekly blog for them, though that's mostly just repackaged stuff from here so far. Now that group coverage is at an end, that will change, as I devote space to the solo appearances of Gypsy, Vibe, Vixen, Steel II, Aquaman, Elongated Man and Zatanna. I do this because:
a) their book returned Martian Manhunter from 13 years in exile
b) these characters were integral to the re-conception of Martian Manhunter's role in the DCU as a brooding drill sergeant for lesser heroes
c) Vibe and Steel II made virtually no appearances in any other context, making them easy to cover
d) I really like Vixen, Aquaman, and Zatanna a lot
e) Gypsy became such a fixture in J'Onn J'Onzz's world throughout the '90s, earning a special place in my heart
So feel free to visit their blog as it suits you. However there will be no JLI blog, and their coverage here will be far more subjective. Instead, I'm going to try to treat the book as a Martian Manhunter pre-solo series. It'll be his world, with the other Leaguers just living in it. Concurrently, I'll be attempting the same treatment with the short-lived Superman-led incarnation of the group, but spotlighting Bloodwynd. I guess it will be sort of like Garfield Minus Garfield, somehow with less existential angst.
As for the poor foreign edition comic I used to explain this all to you, it's Justice League in Italian! Sandwiched between JLI #4 & 5 was this reprint of their first annual's lead story, as well as the ongoing translation of the 1987 Wonder Woman series (issue #6, to be precise.) The extra length of the annual ousted the other regular feature, Green Lantern's serial from Action Comics Weekly.