Justice League of America


Because the Batman run in DETECTIVE COMICS had such an impact, the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA I did simultaneously is often overlooked. But it was the JLA that I was recruited to DC for. They wanted to give the characters personalities - like The Avengers - after decades of being simply "costumes." I knew that would require a lot of work on each individual, and that would be tough in a traditional format, so I asked to make the book double-sized - and keep it monthly. Nothing like this had ever been done before, but they went for it - the result was a nice run where there was room for characterization and superheroics - and its impact hasn't been completely overlooked, as we shall see.

I floated the idea recently of doing something similar now, and was told that it would never happen under current conditions. Right off the top, no artist that today's readers would want could draw 34 pages every month, and no artist who could draw 34 pages would interest today's readers - at least according to the editor involved. And then there's what they'd have to charge...

The artist who did draw the JLA was Dick Dillin, a long-time DC stalwart I was very proud to work with. I love being part of comics tradition.

One of the things I did when developing characters for the members of the Justice League was answer the question "Why is Hawkman in the group and Hawkgirl not?" by simply adding her and updating her name. She did have the same powers he did, after all, and as aliens together on earth, it made no sense for him to abandon her.

My revamp of Wonder Woman and Hawkwoman got me a segment on the syndicated television series Evening Magazine. And Hawk-"girl" has replaced Hawkman in the Justice League animated series, apparently abandoning him.

Speaking of Justice League, the comic has gone through many changes since I left it, but the animated series follows the approach I originated here. The Green Lantern-Manhunter story in numbers 140 & 141 became their first two-part episode, and John Stewart is their GL, which comes from GREEN LANTERN. My LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE story has also been (very loosely) adapted, so that's four Hollywood productions I've helped get made to this point (Guardians of the Galaxy, UltraForce and Captain America are the others), in addition to the five I've generated directly (Dr Strange, Batman, NightMan, Batman: The Animated Series/The Adventures of Batman & Robin, and The Silver Surfer).



IJustice League, the Animated SeriesI
ICOLLECTION: contains JLA 146 I



139: There were two stories in this book. Mine, the second, was written after #140 when the decision to expand the title came down; it became a prequel to the run, and showcased a man named Esteban Corazón who came to believe in the JLA. Plus, I got a Neal Adams cover, even if it did refer to the other story.

140: These Manhunters would later become a crucial component of MILLENNIUM.

142: A woman named Willow appeared.

147-148 were the annual Justice League/Justice Society team-up, written by an editor.