Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A rotating roster, shifting mandates, even headquarter relocations. Sometimes, it seems the only thing that's constant in the Justice League is the once-a-decade need for reinvention.
Not even two years earlier, the Justice League International concept had given way to the three-headed Justice League America / Justice League Task Force / Justice League West (aka Extreme Justice) teams, yet by 1996 the winds of change were already swirling again. In order to clear the board for the imminent Magnificent Seven of Grant Morrison's JLA, the bulk of the Justice League America team was shot into deep space in Justice League America #112, the next-to-last issue of the series.
As Wonder Woman and the Flash grasped at straws to save their team, the other two Justice Leagues did little more than idly stand by. Maybe because he's a time-traveler with knowledge of what's to come, or maybe because he's a student of history with perspective of what's been before, Booster Gold doesn't bother to open his mouth in the current emergency. Our hero leaned against a wall, coffee in hand, as Blue Beetle represents the Extreme Justice team in the Justice League America's final story. (Booster's not the only character to be seen but not heard: the rest of Extreme Justice poses in an awkwardly mid-1990s fashion. Firestorm in particular appears to hover around the ceiling like a human candelabra.)
Justice League America #112 is no better than an average comic and is probably representative of why the series was being rebooted for a more iconic line-up. The book is ugly, confusing, and chock full of characters today's audience wouldn't even recognize. It is, however, a great reminder that every once in awhile, reboots are necessary to reinvigorate even the most high-profile comic books. Take comfort in knowing that it has happened before, and it will happen again.
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