Time for a nerdy comic post!
Over the past year I have discovered and fallen in love with the original Justice League International. I picked up the six available trades at Comic-Con last year and the only thing I could fault them for was that the last one ended on a cliff hanger and DC seemingly has no plans to collect the series any further.
Now, I’m not the first person to love this series- in fact, I’m WAY behind the curve. Truth be told, my renewed love of comics over the past few years was triggered by the Nolan Batman films, which had me break out my old Batman-related comics and wonder why I ever stopped collecting them. I was a fan of the more serious, street-level stuff. I had zero interest in Batman with the Justice League - Bruce Wayne in space made no sense to me. Fast forward a few years when I had branched out some and decided to check out the original JLI stuff due to all the praise.
Folks, there’s a reason people love this stuff- it’s hilarious! The idea of bringing silliness to comics’ premiere superhero team seems, well, silly. But Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis make it work.
And maybe the best thing that came out the whole JLI series? The wacky duo of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.
These guys together are the great comedy team of comics. Some more great moments available HERE.
Okay, actually, maybe the best thing to come from JLI was the running gag of the super serious Martian Manhunter loving oreos:
Now, over the past couple of weeks I’ve read/re-read my entire JLI collection, which now consists of:
- Justice League/Justice League International/Justice League America #1-60
- Justice League Europe #1 - 35
- Justice League Annual 1-5
- Justice League Europe Annual 1-2
- Justice League Quarterly 1-4
- JLA 80 Page Giant #1 (1998) (thanks to Will for the tip on this one!)
- Formerly Known as the Justice League TPB
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League TPB
- DC Retroactive: Justice League America The 90s
- Justice League: Generation Lost
- Booster Gold: Past Imperfect (TPB)
Is there anything else as far as the Giffen/Dematteis run I am missing? Is the post-Giffen/Dematteis stuff worth getting? I’m not a huge fan of Dan Jurgens’s writing so figured the conclusion of “Breakdowns” was a good place to stop.
In addition to the above, I also re-read Identity Crisis, which involves the murder of Sue Dibney, and The Omac Project trade, which centers on Max Lord first murdering Blue Beetle and then trying to use OMACs to wipe out metahumans. Reading these right after all the classic, zany JLI stuff is heartbreaking. Not sure why DC decided to turn everything so dark, but the idea of Maxwell Lord becoming this unbeatable super-villain who murders Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) is jarring, to say the least. And the scene of Booster and Beetle that I posted above, with Beetle jokingly claiming Max would “aim for the spinal cord” is equally upsetting when you consider that, when written, the idea that Max Lord would actually shoot anyone was literally laughable, then years later…
But enough of that. I will forever dream of the day when DC decides to put out an omnibus or two or three of the full JLI run I listed above (along with anything I’ve left out, of which I would like to be informed of folks!). Until then, my trades/single issues are more than adequate. Plus you get all the silly late 80s/early 90s ads…
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