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…

 

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I don't know if I missed a trade or something but near the end of one a new Flash turns up who shows his face to Supes but keeps his identity secret from everyone else including the reader,I get the next trade to find Wally back and no mention of this other guy.

Perhaps someone could inform me if I missed it.

It had to do with Flash's own title.  During his second stint, Mark Waid introduced an alternate, older Flash from another world named Wallace West.  He wanted to keep his identity a secret.  However, he was willing to reveal it to two trusted heroes who could then vouch for him: Donna Troy with the Titans and Superman with the JLA.  Naturally, the change was temporary as the older Wallace West eventually returned home and our Wally West resumed his spot in the DCU.

 

I clearly remember the "unmasking" from both Titans and JLA.  However, I'm pretty sure that both titles then ignored the new Flash for a story or two until everything was sorted out in his own title.

 

I would guess that Grant Morrison was getting pretty tired of these kinds of changes by this point.  He'd already been through the lightning blue Superman and the Hippolyta Wonder Woman.  He dedicated a full issue for Superman, and a couple of scenes made note that this was a different Wonder Woman.  But by the time he had to deal with a new Flash, he didn't give it more than a cursory mention.

 

donovan5 said:

I don't know if I missed a trade or something but near the end of one a new Flash turns up who shows his face to Supes but keeps his identity secret from everyone else including the reader,I get the next trade to find Wally back and no mention of this other guy.

Perhaps someone could inform me if I missed it.

Thanks for that

Chris Fluit said:

It had to do with Flash's own title.  During his second stint, Mark Waid introduced an alternate, older Flash from another world named Wallace West.  He wanted to keep his identity a secret.  However, he was willing to reveal it to two trusted heroes who could then vouch for him: Donna Troy with the Titans and Superman with the JLA.  Naturally, the change was temporary as the older Wallace West eventually returned home and our Wally West resumed his spot in the DCU.

 

I clearly remember the "unmasking" from both Titans and JLA.  However, I'm pretty sure that both titles then ignored the new Flash for a story or two until everything was sorted out in his own title.

 

I would guess that Grant Morrison was getting pretty tired of these kinds of changes by this point.  He'd already been through the lightning blue Superman and the Hippolyta Wonder Woman.  He dedicated a full issue for Superman, and a couple of scenes made note that this was a different Wonder Woman.  But by the time he had to deal with a new Flash, he didn't give it more than a cursory mention.

 

donovan5 said:

I don't know if I missed a trade or something but near the end of one a new Flash turns up who shows his face to Supes but keeps his identity secret from everyone else including the reader,I get the next trade to find Wally back and no mention of this other guy.

Perhaps someone could inform me if I missed it.

I believe that the alternate Flash was Walter West, and "ours" was Wallace. He was supposed to be more dangerous, nearly crippling Captain Boomerang. Any Flash/Waid fans know the Whats and Whys?

These kind of "intrusions" to team books is what led to Cap's Kooky Quartet and Justice League: Detroit!

Wow, I don't remember any of this, and I was a big-time Flash and JLA reader at the time! My memory, she ain't what she used to be. Either that, or some kind of Crisis sent rippling waves all the way out to Earth-Jupiter!

These kind of "intrusions" to team books is what led to Cap's Kooky Quartet and Justice League: Detroit!

 

<(Not the Silver Age) Fogey> Two teams that should never be mentioned together in the same sentence!  HARUMPH!!! </(Not the Silver Age) Fogey>

I was wondering where this thread had gone to. I've actually gotten a little farther in my JLA reading now, and *still* am kicking myself for not appreciating Howard Porter's art when it was first being published. There's something going on on every millimeter of the page!
There's nothing cookie-cutter about Porter's art.  He's great all round.  Even his name = my all-time favourite alcoholic beverage!

 

 

As to where this thread has gone, it was zapped by a Zeta Beam and transported 25 trillion miles away and 6 decades into the past!  The trouble with getting continuity maven Mark Waid to do JLA fill-ins, is that sometimes a passing commentator needs to know his own continuity onions before posting on his work.  So my Adam Strange thread will have to reach the 1990's before I resume the forward motion my JLA posts and comment on Waid's Adam Strange guest appearance in JLA #20!

 

Here on the Grant Morrison threads, we aim to give you a little more by way of discussion than "I liked it/ Meh... / It raped my childhood!!!!", so I thought I'd do some research.

 

I hope you can post on any of the issues we've already covered above.  I always enjoy your insights, Rob.  And of course this is a chance for anyone else to catch up, before we get properly stuck into JLA phase II.

I hope to write a little more on the JLA books I've read since my last batch.. but I can say that there's a vacation between now and when I get the chance to do so.

Is there a negative missing in that last sentence or what?

 

I do know that the word "can't" isn't in your lexicon, Rob.  :-)

 

And BTW I've just looked up the word Maven.

 

'from the Hebrew mevin (מבֿין), meaning "one who understands,"'

 

Ah.



Philip Portelli said:

I believe that the alternate Flash was Walter West, and "ours" was Wallace. He was supposed to be more dangerous, nearly crippling Captain Boomerang. Any Flash/Waid fans know the Whats and Whys?

These kind of "intrusions" to team books is what led to Cap's Kooky Quartet and Justice League: Detroit!


Phillip, from what I recall, Walter West was the Flash from an alternate timeline where he wasn't able to save Linda from Kobra. Consequently, his outlook got a lot darker than Wally's. He appeared for about a year -- from Flash 150-159.
Oh, and that sentence isn't missing a negative, Figs -- but I can't say why I included "I can say" in it at all. Regardless, there's a vacation between me and writing about the JLA issues I've read. Po-boys and oysters, here I come!

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