Saturday, February 13, 2010

Can the Justice League Return?

There is no reason the Justice League of America book should not be DC's best selling book. No reason it shouldn't be the best selling monthly book. It (under best case scenario) has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman among others as the stars every month. That alone should be enough to bolster sales. However, for the last year or so, the Justice League has replaced those names with Vixen, Plastic Man, Red Tornado, among others. What went wrong and how can we fix the problem?


There was a time less than three years ago when Justice League of America was a hugely successful book, even outselling New Avengers by a large margin. Now a days, outside of the Blackest Night crossover, Justice League of America is outsold by a 2 to 3 margin.


Back then, Justice League of America had the Big Three in the book. They even had a huge storyline of then against a Luthor battlesuit led Injustice League. Don't remember? Didn't read it? The problems were varied and many. People point to the editorial mandates on the book, however, the biggest problem was that it didn't matter!


For the last several years, since after the Identity Crisis storyline in 2004, the events in the Justice League of America and it's stars, had absolutely no bearing in other books. Most times, they weren't addressed for months it at all. It has been made into a very skipable book.

New Avengers on the other hand, since Civil War has been the lynchpin book of the Marvel Universe. Now granted, there are changes to the characters in New Avengers that don't affect their core books (Wolverine, Spider-Man, etc.) so that's not the only thing that makes these two books different.

I feel the main problem is that DC doesn't treat the Justice League franchise the same way Marvel treats the Avengers. Quality out the window, Marvel in their press releases and ads makes you FEEL like your have to read New Avengers, DC not so much regarding Justice League of America.

How can they fix this though? Is the Justice League franchise dead? Part of the problem could be how far in advance plans are made/rumored to happen in the information age. It has been rumored for quite some time that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, arguably two of the biggest, most recognizable names in comics, are doing a Justice League book. That could be hurting the current book, perhaps.

Another issue could be the line up. Marvel is basing their whole future on the return of Captain America, Thor and Iron Man to the Avengers. DC's comparable top tier group would be Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. And they haven't been near a Justice League book in quite some time.


But wait you say! The current line up for the Justice League kinda sorta looks like it has Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. But it doesn't. That's Dick Grayson, former Robin/Nightwing wearing the cowl. And that's Mon-El, from the Legion of Super-Heroes standing in for Big Blue. And Donna Troy, former Wonder Girl, as the stand in for Diana.

Now, I think this could be a pretty cool story, but I don't think this will bring people to the book in droves. But what do I know, I think Franken-Castle is a poor excuse for a story. I'll be keeping my eyes on this and hoping Justice League of America becomes the top tier book it should be.

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