This week’s Comics 101 with Scott Tipton on Movie Poop Shoot is about the 1984 Justice League relaunch (A.K.A. “The Detroit League”, where a bunch of new characters, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter became the new Justice League).
To be fair, around 1984, the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA book definitely needed some sort of shot in the arm. Frequent guest writers had robbed the book of any sense of long-term storytelling, unremarkable villains like Paragon and Hellrazer weren’t bringing in new readers, and an ever-rotating stable of pencillers denied the series any sense of artistic continuity.
His intention was to show readers that the New Avengers stuff that’s going on now is very similar to what happend with DC’s flagship team title in the 80’s.
Unfortunately what he fails to recognize is the fact that DC’s own JLA title is suffering a repeat of history here. A few months back we had John Beatty and on a Justice League run, then we had the dreaded Chris Claremont/John Byrne Doom Patrol relaunch in JLA, currently there’s the Kurt Busiek/Ron Garney Crime Syndicate storyline, and up next will be a Geoff Johns/Allan Heinberg and Chris Batista/Mark Farmer Identity Crisis follow-up.
Meanwhile over in the spin-off title “JLA Classified”, the “Formerly Known as the Justice League” sequel is finishing off (which while good, is of a totally different tone than Morrison/McGuiness’ 3 issue arc that started the title off). Justice League Elite is wrapping up its own 12 issue mini. Sadly, the most consistent JLA book of the last 12 months was Elite…and it’s a satelite book at best, while all of the other titles are a mess.
Maybe it’s time to dust off the old Justice League Detroit concept again?