I can stay silent no longer.
As a lifelong Justice League fan, I’ve always enjoyed liking and disliking the various league incarnations. Sometimes it’s even been enjoyable when three or four of my favourite characters leave at the same time and are replaced by some new blood.
During the last few years, a trend has developed where a grouping of former league members team up for a random adventure and either think of themselves as or refer to themselves as “Justice League.” I’m sorry, but they are NOT Justice League. They are FORMER Justice League.
I thought that was bad enough, but DC is making an even bigger mistake with their new JLA roster (which I thought was a practical joke up to a few months ago):
1] Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
See objections below
2] Green Arrow
See objections below
3] Dick Grayson (as Batman)
Always looks like a great idea on paper (he’s led a team before, better social skills than Batman, moderately popular), but somehow Grayson never delivers...
4] Donna Troy
I’ve had a bit of a tolerate-hate relationship with Donna Troy...only briefly liked one of her incarnations and that was because her personality had been changed 100% during a transformation. If you say you like the Titans, some people assume you’re a Donna Troy fan for some reason and when you reveal that you’re not those people will have these bewildered facial expressions. To me, she’s really like someone who is friends with one of your friends and you can never figure why your friend likes her (or people in general for that matter).
If you have Dick, Starfire won’t be far behind (that didn’t sound good when I read it)...Are Dick and Starfire the prototypes for Edward and Bella? Does Stephanie Meyers read comic books?
At least he’s not a sidekick
The new Superman or Superman analogue, plucked from the Legion where this character actually worked...
He was more interesting as a supporting character to Superboy of the 90s
10] Atom (Ray Palmer)
This guy needs a hug more than he needs JLA membership
11] Doctor Light
EDIT: I'd forgotten to add the good doctor...Maybe, she and Atom were added last to try to please fans of different incarnations of the league and to make the league smarter. Also, she's Guardian's girlfriend (??) and they're both in the current Superman books (That's a Morrisson move, isn't it? Adding charcters to the JLA that you write in other titles...)
Reasons for my dislike of this roster:
1] I absolutely hate the idea of the JLA as “graduate school for Titans.” Most of The Titans were former sidekicks of Original Leaguers, right? All of them have reached the level of their mentors, right? Oh wait, no, most of them haven’t. Doesn’t this make the JLA easier to defeat (collectively or individually)? And experience doesn’t seem to be the big factor here, because the Justice League Titans have plenty of experience. They’re just not as good as their mentors and in some cases heroes with less experience are actually better than them. Fine, graduate, but do it somewhere else! Make your own way – don’t trade on your mentor’s reputation and good standing...
2] Having heroes with the same powers or skill sets as former members makes the team pretty easy to plan against. You need one or two dark horses in your team to make villains go, “Don’t really know anything about this guy...At least, I can use one of the 212 strategies that work against Nightwing, but this other guy he’s an unknown quantity...He’s not even a legacy hero, so I can’t even use Google him to read up on his...”
3] Aren’t these Titans sick of each other yet? They’ve spent more time together than some of the original leaguer BFFs. There’s a reason the Big Seven of the JLA aren’t in every incarnation of the league.
4] Whenever the league creates a new roster or holds try-outs (isn’t there a better, more prestigious term to use?), I prefer the line-up with well-known or incumbent league faces plus three or four heroes who are totally new to the league AND to each other. So, ONE non-sidekick Titan would have been acceptable to me, but not half of the former tenants of Titan’s tower!
5] We don’t need a Batman analogue (Dick), a Wonder Woman analogue (Donna), or a Superman analogue (Mon-el). If Supes, Bats, and WW aren't there, pick other heroes who don't have their powers.
I came across this article. I totally disagree with the article itself (especially the author's proxy definition of "iconic heroes") and some people rightfully objected to the line-up. There’s even a commenter called 3GP...I think we share a mind or something. Another guy called Captain Silver Age also made a sensible suggestion. General themes in these comments: Hal is Boring; Hal is tainted by his past actions and has been forgiven too easily; People miss Steel (John Henry Irons, not the Detroit league guy); Get Red Arrow or Connor Hawke instead of Ollie; People miss Firestorm and say he should replace Starfire because his name has the word “fire” in it; People think Atom is going to be the book’s only saving grace; and WHAT, No Flash?! They make a lot of fair to good points, IMO.
My current (subject to small changes) dream JLA line-up (irrespective of death or membership to another team) would be made up of 9 or 10 members:
3] Wonder Woman
4] Martian Manhunter
6] Green Lantern [Kyle or John]
9] Ragman [He’s the only NEW member in my line-up AND my current mystical obsession]
10] Mr. Miracle (Scott Free) [Vote Bromance with Ragman!]
I think the JLA should more often than not have most of those first 6 heroes (at least 4), the rest is up to the individual fan...The only good thing about the Justice League Titans team is that it’s 10 members strong instead of 12 or 14. I can think of 6 or 7 other heroes who would be a better fit that Mon-el and the Titans...
Hey, if the league creative team and editorial staff want to steal the members associated with other teams, why don’t they go after Dr. Fate (JSA) or Geo-Force (Outsiders)? You know, they would at least be in the same league (excuse the pun)?
I think the major problem is how DC editorial and as result the characters and some fans view the Justice League and the Titans as teams – the former being a step up from the latter. You would never see one of the X-men joining the Avengers thinking that way. No, such a switch would be viewed as a lateral move. Even members of other DC teams (Doom Patrol, The Outsiders) would think of a move to the league as a step into a different direction (for example, into the spotlight) rather a HUGE improvement of status. Maybe, it was the whole sidekick team thing back in the day?
Rant over for now...