It Really Brings the Room Together
O.k. so I have a confession to make. I don’t hate the lineup on Meltzer’s Justice League. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that I kind of like the new roster. I like Vixen. I like Black Lightning. I like Arsenal…I mean Red Arrow. By the way Geo-Force, despite his many appearances, has not been asked to join the League. Even if he were, I’d be o.k. with that, too. These are an interesting mix of personalities and powers that could be a great team. It is not the characters’ fault that the team is falling short of feeling like the Justice League. It is something else in the writing. It is something else that I have not been able to put my finger on until a couple days ago.
Let’s go back a few years to the “Obsidian Age.” Without going into too much detail, the arc dealt with the JLA being sucked backwards in time. Just before they disappeared Batman yells out, “Omega Gabriel Alpha.” Suddenly, superheroes all over were being recruited as replacements. Look, at whom Batman chose. Green Arrow, the Atom, and Nightwing are understandable. I can even buy Batman calling on Firestorm and Hawkgirl. But Fade, Jason Blood, and Major Disaster? Come on now. If this is a team that can be called the JLA, then our current roster can bear the same name.
I bought this replacement team for two reasons.
1) These were Batman’s recruits and if Batman says that they are League material, then they are.
2) Because they acted like how the League should act, though not from the start. The first time they sit down at the Big Table they start bickering and acting petty. Then Nightwing comes in and says this.
See Nightwing gets it. Well, Nightwing speaking on behalf of writer Joe Kelly. When you enter the room, when you sit at the table you have to be more than your secret identity, you have to be the damn Justice League of America. In his run, Meltzer has yet to have the characters sit down and act they belong there. The table is so much more than furniture; it is a symbol to the members on how they should act.
See a group of superheroes; living together; working out in a holographic training room; talking about their worries and doubts is not a JLA comic. It is a X-Men comic. That is not meant as a slight. I love the X-Men, heck; through “Executioner’s Song” they were my favorite team. But the X-Men are the X-Men and the tone of their book does not work for the number one team in the DCU.
Sure, I miss Flash and Aquaman in the League but characters do not make the team. It’s a frame of mind, a way of living and of acting. Meltzer's lineup possess the potential fill the bill. Really, I think it is in every character he has chosen. They just need to be written that way. They have to be written at that table.