Giffen/DeMatteis 'Justice League' is back!

Fri, April 5th, 2002 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

After a long hiatus from the D.C. Universe, the Justice League is finally set to return. Well, sort of.

Formerly Known As The Justice Leage #2
"Formerly Known As The Justice League #2"
Art by Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubinstein.
Click to enlarge.
OK, so the team has been already back in a big way with both the "JLA" comic and the "Justice League" television show on Cartoon Network. While both are big hits, many nostalgic fans fondly remember an '80s Justice League team that featured a dysfunctional group of super-heroes with a membership that included J'onn J'onz, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire and others, headed up by a guy named Maxwell Lord. Who could forget J'onn J'onz's love of Oreo's or Gold and Beetle's numerous squabbles and money making schemes? Written by Keith Giffen and J.M DeMatteis with art by Kevin Maguire, the series was a huge hit and later this year that creative team will be back together working their magic once again.

DC Comics has confirmed for CBR News that work has begun on a new, six-issue limited series called "Formerly Known as the Justice League" that would reunite the comic creators.

The Giffen/DeMatteis version of the Justice League" departed from previous incarnations in several ways: Their team was no longer the Justice League of America, but instead an international peace-keeping force, funded by billionaire mogul Maxwell Lord. They had only two veteran members, Batman and J'onn J'onz, The Martian Manhunter, playing den mothers to a number of squabbling second-stringers. Most importantly, their Justice League was funny. That version of the League ran from 1987-1996, spawning many spin-off books and inspiring a live-action television pilot.

Formerly Known As The Justice League #3
"Formerly Known As The Justice League #3"
Art by Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubinstein.
Click to enlarge.
With "Formerly Known As The Justice League," Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire will reassemble that team, but things have changed a bit since those early days. The new concept has Max Lord itching to get back into the super-team game. He calls together the former JL'ers who aren't on the current team's roster: Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Captain Atom, Elongated Man (and Sue) and L-Ron. Also, providing the muscle that used to come from Captain Marvel will be Mary Marvel.

The new team is a far cry from the 1980s heyday. They find themselves headquartered in a store front, a bit of a step down from their satellite HQ. The now-matured Blue Beetle finds himself recast from class clown to team leader, a move which is the source of great enmity for former head-honcho Captain Atom. We've also learned that plans are to give fans a Mary Marvel that they've never seen before, but will likely want to see a lot more of.

While DC Comics has not yet scheduled the book for publication, we have been told that fans can expect it late this year. Whenever "Formerly Known As The Justice League" does hit shelves we can be certain of one thing; the book is certain to do comedy fans justice.

CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland contributed to this story.

 
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