DC bigwig Dan DiDio told Newsarama in his 20 Questions feature today that “The ’80s JLA group is going to be back, and be back with a vengeance, in 2010,” and it got me thinking that maybe a handful of recent comments and announcements add up to something–that something being the reformation of the Justice League International, a development I’ve been expecting since DC announced that there would be two Titans titles and two JSA titles but that the JLA, their tentpole franchise, wouldn’t have the same treatment.
So what’s happened lately that might play into this? Characters like Blue Beetle, Superboy and Kid Flash/Impulse, who have been written with a humorous aspect in the past, have been freed up lately. Also free of obligations right now is Wally West, who served on the Justice League Europe for a while. You’ve also got DiDio trumpeting a “new direction” for Booster Gold in 2010, both as a character and as a title (complete with creative changes). When he announced the jettisoning of Jaime Reyes’ second feature in Booster Gold, DiDio told CBR that the character would be seen as a regular in another title soon, but that he wouldn’t be featured as either the headliner, or the second feature. Of the existing DC Universe teams, the only one that would really make sense for Blue Beetle III to be on is the Teen Titans–of which he’s already a member. Recent comments by Geoff Johns suggest that Martian Manhunter’s life as a character may not end as a Black Lantern–and when I think of his being back I wonder about Aquaman–another character who seems, based on February’s Brave and the Bold solicitation, to be back among the living after Blackest Night.
There was, a couple of years ago, a panel in Booster Gold that depicted a reformed JLI as having played a role in Final Crisis. The story hasn’t yet come to fruition, but it did depict Aquaman on the team and wearing his blue-camo suit. Although it was very short-lived when he wore it in the early ’90s (I think), he does appear dressed that way in a new toy available at KMart. Do the marketing folks know something we don’t?
Not conclusive, I grant you, but all of that tends to suggest that some or all of these characters could be headed in the same direction. Add to that famed JLI artist Kevin Maguire’s recent departure from Doom Patrol’s Metal Men backup–the co-feature was ended when, DiDio said, Maguire had to leave for “another project” and they decided it would be best not to try and go on without him. What project could he be working on? UPDATE: Not this one, apparently. When questioned via e-mail, Maguire responded that he had no idea whether or not a project like this was in the works. “This is the first I’m hearing of Dan’s comment,” the veteran penciller told us. “Whatever’s going on doesn’t involve me.”
To me, if even half of these announcements are connected, they suggest a JLI mini-, maxi- or ongoing series starting in late spring 2010.