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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Justice League Detroit: The Space Between

Tomorrow marks another issue of DC's pre-New 52 celebration of comic book decades-gone-by RetroActive series, with an installment featuring a story from the 1980's JLA. In-between the League's original 200+ issue run during which the membership grew organically from 7 to 15 members (yes, we include the Phantom Stranger!) and the "Bwah ha ha," America-less League of the late 80's & early 90's, existed the version that became known affectionately (if not a bit mockingly) as the Justice League Detroit:
Conceived and written by the legendary Gerry Conway (click here for an exclusive Shrine interview with GC), this very first new incarnation of the JLA was inspired by the successful pairing of iconic characters with new original creations in better selling books of the day such as The New Teen Titans and Batman & the Outsiders. With Aquaman as the leader (yay!), JLD included Zatanna, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man (and wife Sue) with newbies Vibe, Vixen, Gypsy & Steel.
The Detroit League's stories ran from JLA #233-261, a mere 28 issues (Aquaman departed the series after being reunited with Mera in issue #243), but they remain a significant footnote in the JLA's more than fifty-year history. In fact, while "diversity" is the comics industry buzzword of the moment, it was in this brief incarnation that the League saw its first two non-Caucasian, non-alien, non-android members in Vixen and Vibe added to its roll call.

So it is with both surprise and anticipation that the Aquaman Shrine looks forward to one last look at this under-appreciated run of the original
Justice League of America series as we are sure it will be a long time (if ever) before they are seen again. You can pick up DC RetroActive: Justice League of America - the 80's at your favorite LCS tomorrow. Be sure to drop us a line and let us know what you think!

For Further Reading: The Aquaman Shrine's long-dormant sister site, JLA Satellite.com, will be focusing on this book specifically later in the week!


JB said...

Oh man...too cool! I LOVED the JLA with Aquaman as its leader. Finally he was getting his time in the spotlight and being written as a complicated character! When he ultimately left the JLA, so did I, as I recall. I really liked the development of the AM/Martian Manhunter friendship that continued through Grant Morrison's JLA. I will definitely be picking this one up!

Diabolu Frank said...

Isn't "significant footnote" an oxymoron?

Wings1295 said...

Looking forward to this issue!

Mick said...

I loved this JLA.

I read the annual when Aquaman dissolved the league and then recruited the new one. He had such a forceful, 'take charge' personality, so different that what I remembered from the Super Friends growing up.

I think that was when I really came to love Aquaman.

Earth 2 Chris said...

On the flip side of that, my 9 year old self HATED Aquaman for a time after this. That annual actually made me cry!!!

This Retro-Active stunt is interesting, and it's now obvious that it is a final good-bye to the DCU as we know it.


Orin's dad said...

I picked this up today and am looking forward to reading it.
rob!, I wish DC would let you do a tshirt of the JLA cover on the left with Aquaman and Mera in the center. That would rock!