Sunday, August 21, 2011

DC RetroActive: Justice League of America '80s

What a fun little comic. I suppose it is an easy thing to look back on an era of the JLA where the team doesn't quite measure up and make that the point of the story. The whole idea works even better when the reader knows how sadly the story is going to end for some of the team.

Gerry Conway does a great job with some of the old Leaguers, giving them time to shine and really showing the characters in just a few pages. I know nothing of Hank Heywood, Steel II, but he sure seems like an interesting hothead in this one. I loved seeing him butt heads with Aquaman. Martian Manhunter and Elongated Man don't have a lot to do, but they and Zatanna get a few lines of dialogue at least. Vibe is basically an enigma, and the heart of this team was clearly Vixen and Gypsy. Looking back, this does seem like a team that had a lot of potential. (Of course, having Aquaman as your team leader probably doesn't help your odds too much.)

Conway uses a classic villain in Felix Faust. Faust's plan is pretty standard and not very original, but his dialogue is great and the low power-levels of the team actually make the thread seem dangerous. I mean, the freaking Justice League was about to give up against some transformed bums! Things turn out ok, of course, but I'm surprised Conway made the situation seem so dire.

Ron Randall's pencils are very solid. I remember his art in the 90's, but I actually think it looks better now. Why aren't these guys working post-relaunch again?


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