[identity profile] trelas.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
As some of you may know, they showed the new line-up for the JLA under James Robinson in a recent ad and since I haven't seen it around here yet, so I thought I would share it and some thoughts I had about the new roster. I initially thought about doing at our sister site, as this post has a lot of words for a single image, but I also wanted to share the page as well. So I'm posting the page first before going to my thoughts on it. I would also recommend reading this Newsarama post, as it has great thoughts and comments on it: http://blog.newsarama.com/2009/09/17/hey-its-time-to-dissect-the-justice-league-roster-again/.

So, without further ado, the roster for the new JLA, sorry about the quality:



Now my primary reaction this is that I'm extremely confused on what DC is trying to achieve with this roster, and I'm not even being sarcastic with that comment. For those not familiar with the characters and who didn't read the Newsarama link above, the new League will consist of:

-Green Lantern Hal Jordan
-Green Arrow Oliver Queen
-Ray Palmer, formerly known as the Atom.
-Mon-El, a Silver Age character who recently returned to modern canon and can be currently seen in Superman instead of Superman. Yeah, it's a bit weird. Anyway a Daxamite, so he has the same powers as Superman, but has a deadly allergy to lead. Currently has a temporary immunity to it.
-Donna Troy. Not even going to try to explain her.
-The Dick Grayson Batman. Probably doesn't need explaining.
-Cyborg and Starfire, recently in Titans. Apparantely DC has decided to bury that book.
-Doctor Light, originally appearad in CoIE. Light-based powers, quite powerful.
-Congo Bill and Guardian, characters recently introduced back to modern canon from the Golden Age. Can't even begin to explain them, but Wikipedia can.

The reason for my confusion is that I'm truly having difficulties seeing how they are going to market/push this to a higher sales figure. The thing is that the JLA sales have always been uneven, with one approach peaking at a point, then declining as happens with every title until they manage to again find a new angle. However, even after all these years people often quite fondly speak of the League of Gods and I think it's partially because it finally kind of found a way to make JLA significant, to make it big and to give a clear position in the DCU. They became the big guys, they were the major leagues, the heroes who made the gods themselves cry. With the new League after OYL, they still clung that concept, but the team was clearly not those guys anymore. They had the power hitters, it wasn't that, but about half of the team didn't have the power level or the established to be there. This lead to the writers having the almost impossible of situation of trying to write those big threats, yet have the people who clearly didn't belong on that front line to be significant, to have a role in it. In short DC decided to try to push B- and C-level characters through the JLA. Now in itself that wasn't new, Morrison, Waid and Kelly all did that during their reigns with Plastic Man and, on a certain level, John Stewart being the most famous results. However what was different with them was that while those characters played a role, it was still clearly the League of Gods, with the pushed characters being on that power level and the main focus still on the interactions between the established characters. The OYL JLA instead became about the B- and C-level characters, their soap opera like interactions and really, really weird plot structures that almost always fizzled or led to other miniseries. Yes, there were reasons for that, some good and some bad, but the sales were continuisly sliding and it is hard to argue that the lack of significance or stability weren't hurting the title. These are of course simply my opinions, of course, as always.

So DC decides to go with this. First of all not only are there no members in the League presented here who were in the League of Gods, there are actually no members from the prior JLA it is replacing. It's a completely new roster with no legacy aspect, which is weird in itself. Secondly, I can only think of two members of the cast qualifying as big name draws: Dick Grayson and Hal Jordan. Now both are involved currently in stories that are selling pretty well, but neither has been tested as someone who can carry a team title. Although I am biased, I can see Dick Grayson being succesful on that front, especially since this is the first title to expand he's role as Batman on the superhero front, but Cry for Justice, which was marketed heavily as Jordan's JLA, hasn't had the expectional numbers the hype was going for, although sales were somewhat solid, so he is a bit of a question mark. Third, the roster sends a really mixed signal as it is clearly going for some sort of legacy/graduation wibe with the inclusion of the new Trinity and former Titans, but graduation by whose standards. Neither Jordan or Queen have been established as leader-figures in the superhero community and they sure as hell don't promote and acknowledge the next generation. There's no welcome from the previous generation, as they aren't included in the new roster. Besides, by including them and Palmer in to the current League, they basically push aside the legacy members they have. Fourth, there has been no build-up recently for Troy to be a credible successor for Diana and Mon-El is a really weird choice there, as if it is a legacy aspect, shouldn't it be Kara and not the guy whose sidelined even in his own title, sorry, the Superman title and who, at least based on what I've read, hasn't really set the fan community on fire as an independent character.

My main annoyance with the cast, however, is that of the eleven characters, Robinson is at the moment writing six, including the really weird choices to team, namely Congo Bill, The Guardian, Mon-El, Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen and Ray Palmer. Basically, this isn't the JLA, this is the Robinson League. Now it is justified to point out that Morrison and Meltzer did the same thing, but not to this extent or prior engagement with the characters. This is where editorial should have put their foot down and make Robinson to create a roster that can further expanded and continued by later writers instead of just giving him an opportunity to continue writing characters he already has a crush on and is already writing. I know this a matter of opinion and I am biased on this, but it just kind of irked me.

The truth is that in the end it is the sales which decide the fate of this team and Robinson's brave new take on the team and it is hard to truly speculate on it, considering the first issue hasn't even been published yet. Truthfully, I hope it's good, I would like to see JLA again rise to the prominence it once had, but this roster and Robinson's previous track record with big titles isn't filling me with a lot of confidence on the matter. So here I have babbled this far and shall end it now, if someone read it to here, I hope I wasn't too boring.

Date: 2009-09-19 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schala_kid.insanejournal.com
I know everyone is rawwwring at this title but I will give it a chance just cause it has Mon-El, Donna, Dick and Guardian in it! I don't care about the rest though.

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