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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – Which was the Better Justice League?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!

Enjoy!


80 Comments

Why don’t you just ask which leg I would rather amputate? ;)

I know, right? It’s like asking which I’d rather have, a $1000 in tens or a $1000 in twenties…

I voted for the Giffen, DeMattias League simply because they had to draw all these non-A-list characters together and make them work, which I think they did with great success. Sure they focused on characterization and *gasp* humor more than typical comic creators do, but it was great fun and full of excitement well.

I love me some Morrison JLA also, and in the case of both books they were at the top of my stack whenever I got them, but he got to work with the good toys, and he made his own great stories. I think that Giffen and DeMattias also made great stories, but they did so with less decent source material. And they really made their mark on a certain few characters. They made you love Booster Gold and Blue Beetle and even went a long way in developing Guy Gardner and Martian Manhunter.

Also, Morrison’s run was more a return to glory to me. The JL/JLI/JLE was more its own thing.

Anyway, my 2 cents…

And sorry JM DeMatteis for misspelling your name. Twice! Dammit! :p

I went with JLA just because that was the comic that got me back into superheroes after a long 90′s hiatus. I still remember the excitement reading issue no. 1.

I remember buying Justice League no. 1 in the 80′s, and while I liked it, there was so much amazing competition coming out that year that I decided to let it go by the wayside. Friends spoke of it fondly, though. Maybe if I’d stuck with it I would have the strong attachment that its fans seem to feel towards the material (which is how I decide in these polls; I know “best” shouldn’t equal “favorite”, but I can’t help voting with my heart, darn it…)

I found the Morrison JLA overrated. Still good, just overrated.

The Giffen/DeMatteis run, however, was just brilliant.

There’s more stuff I love in the Giffen/Dematteis stuff. There’s also more stuff I think is mediocre. Morrison’s JLA probably has a better batting average overall, but it’s really a tough call.

I went for Morrison’s JLA because the questions asks which is the better Justice League. While I love the JLI era so much, they were a bumbling league that could barely hold it together at times. Morrison’s JLA was what the JLA was supposed to be: A team that was brought together to defeat the bad guys that they couldn’t defeat individually because they were so large in scope. They did it best.

Never read either, but I’ve always drifted to second stringers when in the DCU, so I went with the bwa-ha-ha era.

What??? No Detroit League? Vibe? Steel? Gypsy?

Oh, alright, second best then.

JLI Rules!

Giffen & DeMatteis. I love Morrison, but he’s stint on JLA was very uneven, featuring some of his worst writing in mainstream comics. Take Crisis Times Five, for example: even though it has some cool ideas, storywise it’s an incoherent, badly paced dog’s dinner. Whereas Giffen & DeMatteis’ JLI featured these two at the top of their came. Also, while Howard Porter is not the worst possible artist, his art on JLA still exemplifies some of the worst qualities of 90s superhero art: “edgy” line, no sense of human physique, faces that look like the character is suffering from constipation, supposedly cool “metallic” colours, etc. Compared to that, Maguire’s non-flashy, classic line looks much better. Furthermore, Morrison’s JLA didn’t really much shine when it comes to characterization. Most of the JLA were treated as bland ciphers, the biggest things he got out of them was that Batman is a badass who prepares for everything, and that Wally and Kyle like to quip at each other. Those aren’t particularly unique ideas. Giffen & DeMatteis, on the other hand, took a bunch of second and third tier characters, gave them cool, idiosyncratic personalities and created a style of superhero writing that was so unique and impressive that few people have been able to do reach the same heights with JLI/JLA ever since.

Loved JLI but Morrison’s JLA was the iconic way that the Justice League is meant to be portrayed as.

I for one greatly appreciated Morrison making it big guns again after coming off the Detroit league and then thinking we were getting something awesome after Legends only to have the book end up being a sitcom.

That said, I do appreciate a lot of the humor that was in the book because it was genuinely funny. It’s just not Justice League to me. Not to say you can’t have humor in Justice League but aking the flagship team book into a sitcom doesn’t work IMO.

I’m gonna have to vote Morrison even though I agree with some posters here that it was uneven but I think there is most definitely a place for what JLI had to offer. My pitch? Despite the grimdark BS of the past few years give Ted Kord Beetle and Booster their own book by the same creative team.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 8, 2009 at 6:30 am

Much as some other posters here, Morrison wrote a better take on the Justice League premise; Giffen and DeMatteis were brilliant, but largely because their books had virtually nothing to do with that premise.

There’s a reason it works just as well when you call it “Super Buddies” or whatever, and ideally we’d have had both titles running in some form rather than just the one in both eras of the title.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 8, 2009 at 6:31 am

That should read, “Much as some other posters here, I think Morrison wrote a better take…”

I guess your opinion has to do with what sort of preconceptions you have about Justice League. JLI was the first Justice League comic I read, and I had no idea about the title’s legacy nor what it’s premise should be, I simply enjoyed it as it is. But I can see why people with longer Justice League reading histories and different sort expectations on how a Justice League comic should be would feel that JLA better fits those expectations.

even thought i liked them both have to go with the demitis griffin run for one it showed that the leque does not need all the big guns and also who can forgot t batman taking down guy with one punch.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 8, 2009 at 7:07 am

The fact that the title is “Justice League” says plenty by itself, surely…and I’m not sure how the Giffen/DeMatteis idea made any sense under that name. It was brilliant and hilarious, but after the first year and a half it was rare to see the characters really doing much for “justice.”

JLI. As much as I liked Morrison’s JLA, he wasn’t writing a series with a unique hook, beyond it being Grant Morrison writing the team. Note how tepid the title would become in the period after Morrison left and before Meltzer rebooted it…

Morrison for me!

Giffen/DeMatteis’s brand of humour was hit and miss with me. More often “miss.”

The sitcom humour of the title, to my mind, was just another manifestation of the same disillusionment with superheroes that gave us Image’s grim and gritty. I’m sometimes a little surprised that it’s so loved by the same Internet inner circle that hates the “excesses of superhero deconstruction.”

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

That’s sort of what counted against the JLI years for me, Nitz; it was less a Justice League book than a great idea by Giffen and DeMatteis that ended up in a book called “Justice League.”

They’re both the best, and they’re so different it’s pretty hard to compare and contrast in any meaningful way too.

But I voted JLI; I came to it fairly early on in my comics reading so it was probably more foundational to me, and also it was much better than anything else I was reading at the time (whereas by the time JLA came out there were other books that were often just as good). And JLI wins art-wise, pretty easily.

Morrison’s.

But not by a large margin. He lost many points due to using Kyle Rayner and abusing the “Bat-God” mystique.

But if it is going against the satyrical league that cost us so many good characterization, so be it.

Rene – We’re talking 1988 here. There were no excesses of superhero deconstruction at the time. JLI was a part of that initial, necessary wave of deconstruction; not the derivative, lifeless copies that came later.

Tough choice, since I love both.

My head say Morrison. The Big 7 were the perfect place for his epic style and wild ideas. He captured everything that is cool about the JLA just about perfectly. Everyone got their moments and the menaces were well defined.

My heart says Giffen-DeMatties. Everyone talks about the jokes, but what made it special was the character stuff. I really understood the inter-personal relationships in those books. Ted Kord and Booster Gold had a more interesting (and plausible) friendship than Barry Allen and Hal Jordan ever did.

I’ll go with Giffen, but more for the lack of respect those characters have gotten since than any clear difference in quality.

Gotta go with Giffen: he had to do his league WITHOUT the heavy hitters, beyond Batman and MM, and still did a great job. He made Booster and Beetle and Fire and Ice popular. And while folks remember the jokes, they forget that the stories were good, too!

It really depends on what you like in a comic. If they were movies, JLAEIOU was a comedy and JLA was an action flick. You can like both.

I had to vote for the Giffen/DeMatteis League. But I like them both.

Roquefort Raider

October 8, 2009 at 8:29 am

Blue Beetle : “Gogol? The overcoat?”
Rocket Red : “Gogol who?”

Giffen for me, at least as long as the formula didn’t grow stale.

Morrison’s JLA was what the JLA should be, big ideas, big stars, big action. The Giffen/DeMatteis League was fun and a great book, but it didn’t fill the “Justice League” niche in the DCU.

I’m surprised there aren’t more options–not because these two aren’t the obvious leaders, but because I’d like to have seen how JL Detroit, the satellite years and the most recent relaunch rank.

Alan Lauderdale

October 8, 2009 at 8:32 am

What’s great about this poll question is that it’s so plastic: Which Justice League is better? First, everyone has to decide what he or she wants that question to mean to him or her. And then each one has to respond to the interpretation he or she comes up with.

One thing that’s neat in the comments is that there are people for whom the choice seems to have turned out to be easy for whatever reason and there are others for whom the choice is very hard — and everybody can make a case for their choice.

OTOH, the actual poll result doesn’t seem likely to be very interesting.

After voting for Morrison’s JLA, I have to say I’m surprised you didn’t offer any other Justice League eras as voting options — specifically the Satellite era. Perhaps aside from the two “Big Seven” incarnations, that’s the League to which others are most often compared: The DCU’s big guns plus all the best B-listers (and then the occasional elevation of a C-lister, like Zatanna, Red Tornado or Firestorm). I’d probably have to vote for the Satellite Era over Morrison’s for my favorite Justice League.

I’m guessing the other eras weren”t included because they aren’t as identifiable with specific creators.The “sattelite era” was a pretty long period handled by various writers.

Maguire vs Porter. No-brainer. Maguire everyday. Bwa-ha-ha-ha

Unlike Marvel supergroups like the Avengers, I don’t think the JLA ever had very definite eras associated with specific creators. It seems to me like, except for Morrison and Giffen/deMatteis, the JLA several other runs seem to blur together.

Morrison.

Pretty easy call for me. I started collecting in ’91 and so my first exposure to the JLA was the Jurgens-era team. Missed that ‘as-it-happens- exposure to the Bwa-hah-ha team, which I’ve since grown to love but not as much as I like Morrison’s.

LouReedRichards

October 8, 2009 at 9:37 am

JLI for me.

What I’ve read of the JLA was pretty good stuff, but it seemed to be pretty much just another bunch of superhero comics. JLI came out at a time when anything with any kind of humor was just so rare that it seemed very fresh and exciting. Plus like a lot of people have stated, I think people play up the humor angle and sometimes forget the action and excitement of the stories in the JLI era.

Porters artwork was serviceable and competent enough, but I’ll take Maguire, Templeton and esp. Hughes over Porter any day.

Morrison’s JLA was basically a well-told superhero book, but nothing else. JLI was a breakthrough, an innovation on the form. It was also the first time DCU took a stand to put the greatest world heroes on service to the world, not just to the USA – something forgotten on the last decade. So it is to JLI my vote.

I don’t think I could read when JLI was out, so I recently read it for the first time in trades and was disappointed. It’s not funny, let alone bwa-ha-ha funny, you guys.

Morrison’s JLA got me into comics. When I was 9, JLA #5 was my first comic I bought that wasn’t Sonic the Hedgehog (quite the leap right?)

I’ll commit heresy and say that while I loved the first 8 issues of the Giffen run, the jokes REALLY started to wear thin on me. When it was Super Heroes combined with wackiness, it was great…but when it was ‘Friends in Costumes’ it just really declined for me.

It would definitely have been nice if other JLA eras -especially the much-maligned Detroit era- had been included in the poll. As it is, there’s no doubt that Morrison’s League is the better team. However, as a SERIES, there is no comparison- JLI was meant to be an humorous series (with some action) while JLA was all about action and ideas. Two different concepts, both enjoyable on their own, neither better than the other.

” That’s sort of what counted against the JLI years for me, Nitz; it was less a Justice League book than a great idea by Giffen and DeMatteis that ended up in a book called “Justice League.” ”

True, but that’s more a matter of terminology, whether ” Better Justice League ” means ” better comic ” or ” better representation of the historical concept of Justice League “. If the latter is true, Morrison’s JLA is a better Justice League than Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire JLI, but then so is Meltzer’s Justice League of America series.

Also the notion that JLI was a great idea attached to the franchise Justice League is correct, but there’s only a very superficial idea behind Justice League to begin with ( and since the JSA came first, and later reinvented itself as the generational hero team book, JLA falls in the same category as the Avengers of ” superhero team comic by high concept, and nothing else except by individual author execution ” ).

Nah, the JLA and the Avengers aren’t just “superhero teams and nothing else.”

They’re supposed to be the greatest and mightiest and brightest superheroes of their respective universes.

I’d say Morrison’s team lived up to the premise in a way Giffen/deMatteis didn’t.

Napoleon Dynamite

October 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm

“It took me hours to get the shading just right under Superman’s chin.”

I’d say Morrison’s team lived up to the premise in a way Giffen/deMatteis didn’t.

But by default Giffen/DeMatteis could never have lived up to that premise, because they weren’t allowed to use the “greatest and mightiest” superheroes in their book. So can you blame them for taking a different approach to the whole group, one that better fitted the characters they were allowed to use? Anyway, nothing in their Justice League as such inferred that the series should have “the greatest and mightiest superheroes of the DC Universe” as a premise. You only assumed that premise if you’d read previous Justice League comics, and expected this incarnation to be the same. The fact that it was called JLI and not JLA, like the previous and following teams, should hint that this was a different group and different series with a different premise.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Perhaps, Tuomas, but you’d have to explain why the book was called Justice League when it wasn’t really about a league of folks fighting for justice after the first year. And then, suddenly, all that history and context comes back in with the associated premise.

These two are a tie for me. They both had great stories for the first two years.

Satelite era’s still the best.

Followed by the Detroit era (I’m sick, I know).

i also wish that there were other eras of the Justice League. i loved both eras here, but there are great others as well. Personally, i thought that Joe Kelly/Doug Manke made a hell of a team and that the Obsidian Age was one of the most interesting stories that i have read in any comic book. Plus, i’d love to know how many people loved something like JLDetroit or the horrible comics after Jurgens left [blech!]
As for me, i love both eras for many different reasons and shall not be voting. [not that anyone could care if i voted or not]
DFTBA.

I couldn’t be more tired of the Giffen/DeMattis League. I liked it as a kid, but can’t even look at it now. Bleargh.

The conversations between Wally & Kyle during Morrison’s run accomplished everything JLI did. And, obviously, Morrison’s JLA had a lot more to offer. God, that was a great fucking comic. Also spawned DC One Million, which is far and away the best crossover DC has done.

I’m probably being harsh on JLI but I just don’t think it’s held up well over the years.

They’re both tied with Len Wein and Gardner Fox for best.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

I couldn’t be more tired of the Giffen/DeMattis League. I liked it as a kid, but can’t even look at it now. Bleargh.

You know you’ve been at CSBG too long when you can’t tell if Joe Rice is being sarcastic or not.

I voted for Morrison. The Giffen years wore quite thin, quite quickly. And the JLI wasn’t ALWAYS knee-slappingly funny – there were moments of real creepiness, especially in the early issues.

I WOULD have liked to see some other options. I grew up reading the Satellite years (which taught me that geo-synchronous orbit was 22,300 miles).

Man, can Eric and Joe Rice be any wronger?
DFTBA

Yes, i do know that ‘Wronger” isn’t a real word, thanks! ;-]
DFTBA

” They’re supposed to be the greatest and mightiest and brightest superheroes of their respective universes. ”

From a professional, in-their-fictional-universe perspective, that means a lot for the JLA and Avengers’ respective standings. From a conceptual, to-the-reader-outside-the-pages perspective, that’s still just being straight conventional superheroes, which can be very dull. Unless you have a writer like Grant Morrison who uses the super-basic premise as a springboard for more interesting ideas, but that’s far more about Morrison’s strengths as a writer.

Note how, when big guns team books don’t have A-List talent, and don’t go for unique hooks like the JLI, they become peripheral ( often becoming a crossover vehicle for other projects, like JLA was just prior to the Meltzer relaunch ), and can even go for years without being published. The solo characters that comprise their memberships will continue, and even some of the second-stringers can find homes in other titles.

Seeing what Dan Jurgens did with the same characters that Giffen and DeMatteis had just shows how well done the original Bwa-ha-ha era was.

What, no Satellite League? That would have been my choice.

I thought Morrison’s League was a return to greatness of sorts, but the early JLI era made me laugh and feel good. Not too many comic books can do that, so they get my vote.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm

I really don’t want to click either button… where’s the ‘This is as sadistic as making someone choose between their children’ option?

I’m going to have to do some hard thinking on this one!

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Ironically, Nitz, the JLA actually had that shtick as their “reader-outside-the-comic” distinction.

It should be remembered that the Justice Society was quite deliberately a team of second-stringers; the entire point of their comic was to highlight characters who weren’t as popular as Superman and Batman. Indeed, the actual charter of the team in the comic was that any member who got a quarterly second title became a reserve member who didn’t appear in the book thereafter. (This is why Flash and Green Lantern leave for a while in the early years of the JSA’s stories.)

The JLA, by contrast, was deliberately made up of the characters DC considered its most prominent superheroes at the time. Second-stringers like Prince Ra-Man or Metamorpho were generally kept out of League membership, and it took until the 1970s for a B-team of folks like Elongated Man to become mainstays of the roster.

Nor is the concept as effervescent as some posters seem to think. Rather, the idea of a team of elites or specialists has broad appeal across media. It’s a recognized genre in film going back to the Seven Samurai and its American reinvention as the Magnificent Seven, where the seven most skilled specialists in some or another brand of action band together for missions bigger than any one of them. In literature, one can go all the way back to the medieval period and find the Seven Champions of Christendom. In music, one has supergroups; in sports, the All-Star games and Dream Teams.

Within their respective universes, as well, the concet of a team of the best and brightest tends to produce replicas and echoes; that is, far from fading into generic emptiness, it grounds and centers a particular subgenre, the team book. You get the team of second-generation best and brightest in the Teen Titans; you get the retroactive redesignation of the JSA as Earth-2′s best and brightest, when in publication terms the fact that they weren’t was the reason Superman and Batman only turned up as active JSAers for a single issue of the original series run.

The Justice League suffers the same ironic misfortune as Superman, really: they’re actually a foundational genre concept, so foundational that their original hook becomes identified with the genre itself rather than the character or book that exemplified and codified said genre or subgenre. They’re crossover farms, yes, but because they’re the book the publisher sees as the best place to launch the crossover. In a sense, their appeal these days is that they’re a regular, monthly mini-crossover; this appeal is also clearer back in the Silver Age, when the JLA title was the only place solo heroes really interacted significantly.

A lot of what we call “high concept” today has to do with a distaste for the idea of genre, really, yet that sort of high concept is often more reliant on a genre standard to react to than anything else.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

October 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm

danjack, add me to the “wronger” camp. I think Giffen and DeMatteis are both incredibly talented gentlemen but …

Why do I get the feeling I’m gong to hate the results of this poll? :-)

Point 1:

Nah, the JLA weren’t the most prominent superheroes at the time of the book’s creation.

They were, basically, the ONLY superheroes. Everyone who had their own feature, or back-up feature, and wasn’t a side-kick was drafted ASAP.

All the other extant characters who have been folded into the DC Universe (Prince Ra-Man, Congorilla) were exclueded, as far as I can tell, for being not supe-hero-y enough – And I’m not sure they were any less popular than other can’t-carry-their-own-feature second stringers like the Martian Manhunter or Aquaman.

Certainly if Metamorpho debuted a few years earlier, he almost certainly would’ve been folded into the JLA – barring backstage internal politics. Heck, there was an issue of Justice League devoted to explaining why this major, fairly prominent new superhero WASN’T a member – Like every other solo superhero-type published by DC Comics.

Your mileage of what is and is not a superhero may vary from the editorial heads at DC circa 1969, of course.

Point 2:

As it was originally conceived, the Justice League OBVIOUSLY didn’t feature DC’s biggest characters – Both Batman and Superman were downplayed, rarely showed up on the covers, and had less panel time than the “core” five.

Some of this is due to office politics, and some of this is probably due to similar reasoning as the original JSA was based on – IE highlighting characters that weren’t as popular as Superman and Batman.

(Basically, my take is that ANY group of superheroes can be ANY team, as long as the team is built around extant characters. Vibe and Steel JLA? Sure. Entire concept of the Defenders tossed out the window for the Beast and Gargoyle? I’m game. One johnny-come-lately and three reformed villains as the Avengers? Sure, what the hell.)

The Justice League has had B-List members since Green Arrow joined. In issue 4? Aquaman and Martian Manhunter are hardly A-list, as well. Morrison did great work with both of them.

Blue Beetle and Booster Gold (whom I do not like as a character, frankly) are certainly both as B-List as Vibe and Steel. Giffen did great work with both of them. It’s a tough call.

All the other extant characters who have been folded into the DC Universe (Prince Ra-Man, Congorilla) were exclueded, as far as I can tell, for being not supe-hero-y enough – And I’m not sure they were any less popular than other can’t-carry-their-own-feature second stringers like the Martian Manhunter or Aquaman.

Actually, Aquaman and J’onn J’onnz were carrying their own features, in Adventure Comics and House of Mystery respectively. That was the original criteria for JLA membership.

No, the “team of greatest champions” isn’t just an in-universe artifact. At least for me. I don’t consider myself a very conservative reader, but I have to admit my expectations for a JLA or Avengers comics aren’t quite the same as for a X-Men or Doom Patrol comic.

If it’s the JLA or Avengers, I expect a certain glandeur and larger-than-life quality that I don’t feel is essential (or even “right”) in a Defenders comic, say.

That, more than anything else, is why I never warmed to Bendis’s Avengers. Not his supposed disregard for continuity or the way he may have treated certain characters, but the absence of this larger-than-life quality in his work. He is just too “street,” and when he tries to be cosmic, it’s not always comfortable.

Yes, in the long story of those teams, they have not been always “grand,” but I feel they work better when they are.

Yeah, I phrased that poorly. Neither of them had their own BOOKS, and they were both one feature of many – Aquaman wasn’t even on the cover of Adventure, as far as I can tell, ’till the ’70s.

While various incarnations of the Justice League had good points, and stories I’ve enjoyed–only the Giffen/DeMatteis era hooked me in.

That was the only era I enjoyed on a large scale, the only one I bought on a regular basis.

I had to vote for it–and I would have voted for it against all other version of the League out there.

It may sound like blasphemy to some–but I’m just not a Morrison fan. So I would have voted for most other versions of the league over Morrison’s.

Englehart/Dillin

12 issues of bliss – well, 10, cause he didn’t write the JLA/JSA/LSH crossover.

How do I vote for Gardner Fox?
Actually, I don’t know if I’ve even read any by Fox, but I have read a few stories from the early sixties. I assume he wrote them.
And I read a few issues in the seventies. I don’t know who wrote them, but that was how I learned about some characters I hadn’t heard of before, such as Green Arrow, Black Canary, Green Lantern, and the Flash. I was very young.
But I haven’t read any version of the Justice League since the seventies, so I don’t know why I even bothered to comment here.

i got only one issue of JLI…guy on cover yellin thats it heroes i quit…yeah who cares but I got all one shots,LS & MAIN sereis of JLA
so my vote goes to JLA & dont forgot that was the book of GOD sumthing BATMAN before he was GOD sumthing BATMAN :)

Which one has blue and gold in it? there is your answer

You are right MarkAndrew When JLA debuted Superboy was in Adventure. It wasn’t until Supergirl left Adventure that Aquaman had a short run as lead

In the nerdiest thing to happen to me in quite some time, last night I had a dream that Keith Giffen died, and I was devastated. I just double checked, and, thankfully, it’s not true.

AAARRGH!!! Morrison’s, because of the reasons stated above by other posters. Even though I like the Giffen/ DeMatteis/ Maguire, etc. comics better, overall.

William J. Rivera

October 9, 2009 at 8:13 am

I seem to remember a wizard interview where Morrison noted JLI & Superfriends as his inspiration for his run.

Another thing I find humorous is that a lot of the anti Giffen run JLI comments above mirror complaints that appeared in the letters page of JLI. Month after month you where sure to find at least one letter demanding a return greatness, and when DC capitulated there fans and changed direction DC lost 3 title in the top 50 and JL books went from 3 titles(International, Europe, Quarterly) to 1.

I still remember that Maguire cover that transformed me from a Marvel zombie and started my progression as a true fan of all comics. That cover had so much attitude and charisma. And the stories where very solid. The Blue beetle being deprogrammed by Waller was tense and fantastic.

Giffen DeMatteis Maguire …..Gods of Comics

Morrison is overrated.
Giffen/DeMatteis ‘ run was fun!
Do you remember when there was actually some comics that were fun to read?

By the way, why did DC stop at volume 4 of the hardcover collection of this excellent run????

Also, how can we see the results of polls?

The fact that the title is “Justice League” says plenty by itself, surely…and I’m not sure how the Giffen/DeMatteis idea made any sense under that name. It was brilliant and hilarious, but after the first year and a half it was rare to see the characters really doing much for “justice.”

Someone should write a Justice League comic where they just shout “JUSTICE!” a lot. Oh wait …

Wow, talk about opening a can of worms. I took the question to mean “which was the better comic”, but most of the comments here make me think I’m the only one who took it that way. I voted for the Giffen/DeMatteis run without any hesitation, and then I scroll down to the comments and find all of these arguments about which team had the better lineup of characters. WTF? Morrison’s run on JLA was CRAP compared to what he did on Doom Patrol, which had no “A-list” characters. That alone should tell you something…

Can I write in Squadron Supreme?

Fine, Morrison then.

I think people forgot that many stories on JLI/JLE HAD greater-that-god appeal. The first JLA/JLE crossover is a good example. And Breakdowns too. It is a cliché that JLI was all bwa-ha-ha. It was about three things in my opinion:

1) Expanding the concept of “a group of heroes working for the US” to a “consortium of heroes working for the world”.
2) Asking the simple question: how would heroes REALLY behave if they had to stay together for a long time together? (and this is where the humor comes from)
3) How can we make B and C-string heroes be more than just their powers? How to give them some depth. Fact is JLI made ALL their characters leave the Z-list to become at least B-listers.

Again, Morrison’s JLA is traditional fist-fight comic book well done, but nothing else. I wish we could have Andy Helfer back as editor at DC. All his books were solid.

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