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)
Most of the team are involved in vanquishing the Angels. Probably most instrumental is Green Lantern who constructs a machine that disrupts the Angels earthly vibrations, sending them back to a higher plane. We saw him earlier constructing a telephone line to the Watchtower, and all this makes me wonder if his power needs him to know how an Earth-Moon communications device might work and then build all the ‘working parts’ with his green light, or if he just has to imagine a general ‘communications device’ and its capabilities, which the ring makes real. The same could be asked of his sound converter in this issue.
Speaking of JLA-branded miniseries, it seems that JLA: World Without Grownups is being re-released in December as one of their 'DC Comics Presents...' I'm looking forward to getting that as I missed out first time around and it's one of the few Starman appearances I don't have.
I'm still not sure if $7.99 is an acceptable price for an all-reprint comic. I wonder will it be bookshelf format at all? Good if it was.
I am under the assumption that since Kyle is an artist, his constructs are more intricate then Hal's are. Also, he doesn't have to know how things work, just the basic function and the ring takes care of the rest.