Some of this Morrison reading project has been fairly heavy going. The Filth, The Invisibles, and Seven Soldiers of Victory are meaty lumps of sequential narrative. On top of that, the modicum of research some of my posts have necessitated has felt a tiny bit like work here and there*.
So I’ve been saving up Morrison’s JLA for when burnout beckons and I need some simple 4-colour superhero fun.
That moment has arrived!
JLA was my introduction to the mainstream DCU. Even though the stories weren’t designed to be read in conjunction with the rest of DC’s output at the time, reading about these central characters each month gave me a good handle on where the DCU was at back then. I loved this incarnation of the team. Morrison’s deft handling of these characters in their team book and his portrayal of them as a group bound together by mutual trust and respect allowed them to have a strong presence when they appeared as a team in other books, or when other writers borrowed the reins.
Because I have a fondness for this period of DCU history, I’ll probably be taking side-trips to appearances of the JLA in other comics during Morrison’s tenure as chief custodian. Such was my fanboyish enthusiasm for the JLA that I eventually bought many of those appearances, including events like JLApe and Day of Judgement. These summer crossovers might have been knocked at the time, but they are veritable models of restraint in light of DC’s publishing practices since DiDio took over.
Here is a chronology of Morrison’s JLA and the storylines that intersected with it. I’ll be using it to decide the reading order and possible side-trips. Let us know if there are any glaring errors on it. I’d love to read through every appearance of the JLA during 1996-2000, but unfortunately, most of them are amongst the comics I had to leave behind when I made my big move. If you would like to chime in with commentary on JLApe, Paradise Lost, Day of Judgement or any of the other stories in the chronology, be my guest.
JLA was stratospherically popular back when it hit the stands, so it’d be good to hear what you all thought of it at the time and how you think it reads now.
If possible, I’d like for all the early posts to focus on the first 2-3 storylines rather than ranging too far ahead. Not really for SPOILER reasons, but just to keep the discussion from getting too general. I don’t think we have to worry about spoiling later developments, though, as most of us have probably read this series already.
Given I’ll be branching out to the work of other writers, it seems right to begin the discussion with Justice League: Midsummer’s Nightmare, written by Mark Waid and Fabian Niceiza.
*Ironic, given where I wrote most of them…
(1224 - 240113)
I'm amused that when Grant Morrison plays with preexisting characters and concepts a la his Batman run, it's genius, but when Geoff Johns does it it's insular and derivative.
I struggle to see the relevance of that statement to the topic at hand.
Playing the man, and not the ball, perhaps?
Philip Portelli said:But those are just variations on the Green Lantern theme, which might I add, got REALLY repetitive after a while. What's next, Brown Lanterns, Grey Lanterns, Maroon Lanterns, Burnt Umbre Lanterns and whatever's left in the Crayola 64 box!
Sorry, but you're wrong. It's kinda like saying that a character who's a teacher isn't a new character because there's already a teacher character. Just because one aspect of a character is similar or even identical to another character doesn't mean the entire character is.
Each one of the other Corps characters is a distinct character. Larfleeze is nothing like Atrocitus is nothing like Hal Jordan is nothing like Amon Sur is nothing like Dexx-Star is nothing like Indigo-1 is nothing like...
The only thing they have in common is some kind of ring. I guess that means none of the Legion of Super-Heroes was an original character, either.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx
Check out the Secret Headquarters (my store) website! Comics and Games for Everyone!
I used to listen to WOXY.com; It was the future of rock-n-roll! RIP WOXY
Figserello said:Playing the man, and not the ball, perhaps?
My point exactly.