JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
Brad Meltzer's Justice League Reader Q&A Answers
22 August 2006 • from Newsarama
Depending on when and where you're reading this, you can finally get yourself a copy of Justice League of America #0 in a matter of hours, or minutes... Either way, Part Two of our special preceding Reader Q&A with Brad Meltzer follows.
You can still read Part One here of course, and as a reminder to our readers - Brad Meltzer answered every question sent to him. If yours wasn't asked it was not selected by the Newsarama staff to be forwarded, probably for one of the reasons stated in the solicitation for questions, or it was determined the question was too similar to a question already asked - nothing personal.
And look for Brad to return to Newsarama for an interview next month before the release of Justice League of America #1, format to be determined...
Q: What is Red Tornado's favorite season?
Q: Though the JLA has been close to the JSA in recent times, will more interaction with the Outsiders, Titans, and other age-specific teams of the DCU be shown?
I hope so.
Q: How long did it take you to decide on the roster you chose?
I had 9 of them since before I wrote Identity Crisis. I debated on two. One made it. One didn't.
Q: So was the beginning of All New Atom #1 a sneak peek at who will be on the team since it says one hundred days from now?
Now? In a series of one year later books? Please...
Q: Alrighty, Diana says in the preview that they broke it now they are going to rebuild it. Alls good that ends well, BUT, are we going to see the ramifications of how the other heroes feel about the Trinity?
In large part, yes. (not avoiding the question here -- just don't wanna give it away).
Q: Batman was pretty harsh to the members of the JLA before and during Infinite Crisis, are there going to be any characters that are asked to be in the league but don't join?
Q: And what about Supergirl? Where do you think she fits in with the other heroes?
Depends what her cousin's vote is.
Q: Will you treat Superman as vulnerable to magic as any other person; as vulnerable to magic as any other person with his level of power and strength of will; or as critically allergic to magic of all kinds (i.e., more susceptible than most people)?
Love the details in this. He's screwed by magic. Period.
Q: There have been many differing characterizations of Batman throughout the eras. An easy contrast to make would be between the Batman of Grant Morrison's JLA and the darker noir Batman in Batman Year One and so forth.
While the JLA Batman was a bit more of a transcendental wonder, with gizmos out the wazoo capable of defeating alien threats and the like, we're also used to the bare bones urban legend Batman who disarms common street thugs with Batarangs and is an infinitely more earthbound character in many ways.
How do you plan to balance these somewhat divergent views of the Dark Knight? Or do you clearly favor one perspective over the other?
I don't favor Batman as the dick who everyone hates because he hates everyone. I think that's what a few writers thought Miller was doing in Dark Knight and therefore stretched it to it's worst extreme. The Batman I like is far more human. And internal. And just as dangerous.
Q: Are the "Big Three" necessary for a successful Justice League?
That's a very good question.
Q: Do you intend to show us more of the human side of the characters, how they interact with each other when they are not on missions, etc..?
That's my number one goal. No joke.
Q: Any thoughts or interest in using the CSA?
Q: Will the "New" JLA search for the whereabouts of Ray Palmer?
Who says he's still missing?
Q: Which DC villains that have never faced the Justice League would you like to see challenge the team?
Q: Which team other than the Justice Society would you love to have the Justice League team up with?
Legion, Titans, Outsiders, Challengers, Blackhawks, and the All-Star Squadron.
Q: Which former JLA creators do you feel deserve more credit for their work on the title?
Gardner Fox, who we've never done a fitting tribute for in the book. Mike Sekowsky -- same reason. Even Len Wein. The point is, we tend to forget the older guys fast. That's why you should donate to A.C.T.O.R. Plus, in the last few decades, Busiek for his old Paragon story. Didn't even realize it was him until recently. The opening page alone...
Q: I know this question is a long shot but will we ever see Bloodwynd again in the Justice League or how about Amazing Man II?
Not by me on the first. And love Amazing Man.
Q: You said Kimiyo a.k.a. Dr. Light was one of your all time favs...What are the odds of her joining the team?
She's up for the vote. I promise.
Q: When forming the new League, do you get "first dibs" on characters in the DCU or are certain characters off limits because of their status in other team books (ex: Star Girl and Mr. Terrific in JSA, Cyborg and Beast Boy in Titans, etc?)?
I got who I wanted. Only one fistfight.
Q: You said in a recent issue of Wizard, in regards to Roy Harper, that Batman had respect for him. How much respect would Batman really have for someone who's only power is a gun?
Who says he's still using a gun?
Q: Who was the most unusual character you considered for the roster?
They're on it.
Q: Are you a fan of the Super Friends version of the JLA? If so, any chance we'll see Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, Rima, or the Legion of Doom in your run? Thanks.
Love the Super Friends -- love them almost unhealthily. But don't think the Chief or Vulcan ever had me convinced they were "real." Legion of Doom though...
Q: First of all, there seems to be some confusion surrounding statements you gave early on regarding the number of Leaguers you're planning on having on the team. To paraphrase, you said something along the lines of "ten members appear in the Benes picture and one does not?" Does this mean you'll have a team of eleven Leaguers with one of those not pictured in the Benes spread?
Or will there only be ten Leaguers, nine of whom are featured in the Benes spread?
The first way you said it. 11 total when we're done.
Q: Will your League be reflecting the entire history of the League, with members pulled from the Satellite Era, the Giffen Era, the Detroit League, the Morrison League, and (maybe/hopefully) the JLU cartoon? Or will it be more representational of the Satellite League, which you've said is your favorite?
It's a mix of them all. Yes, I love the Satellite League -- but I have no intention of just recreating that with nothing else. Even I don't want that.
Q: How do you feel about the characters from Power Company? Would any of them have a shot of making the Justice League roster?
Love the original Manhunter. Seems like he would be a great informant.
Q: Will the new JLA run afoul of Checkmate?
Rucka, that you?
Q: Why do you hate G'nort? He was part of the JLA at one time... sure, it was Justice League Antarctica, everyone knows killer penguins are downright evil.
Killer penguins are evil. So are GLs turned into easy jokes.
Q: How soon will the JLofA run into trouble with Black Adam?
Can't give away all our villains... You'll see.
Q: Whatever happened to that kid Red Tornado adopted?
Traya. Issue 1.
Q: Will there be conflict with the Great Ten in the near future?
Q: Would a Green Arrow and Hawkgirl romance drive Hawkman insane?
Q: Any chance of seeing Firestorm visit the JLofA?
Does visit mean join?
Q: Captain Atom or Firestorm?
Is this slam book style? Captain Atom - Cute. Firestorm - Wuv.
Q: Black Canary or Zatana? Or Both?
Slam book style still? Both. I would date both of them.
Q: Will there be a World War fought between different Countries' super teams?
That's a nice idea.
Q: Why did you decide to go with Hawkgirl instead of Hawkman? (spoiled in The All-New Atom #1)
See above. There's a reason she was in Superman too.
Q: Why did you decide to go with Hal Jordan instead of Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, or Guy Gardner? (spoiled in The All-New Atom #1)
Q: Why would Captain Marvel be easy to control? He only has a child's mind when he's Billy Batson, otherwise he has an adult mind with the wisdom of Solomon.
He has wisdom -- not necessarily full maturity. That's the battle within. See Judd's work on First Thunder.
Q: Why wouldn't Diana want Nightwing on the team?
She's making a joke. Watch her vote.
Q: I noticed in the gathering of heroes, that the Wonder Twins seem to be missing! Are you holding out for "your big reveal?"
They're doing it with Wendy and Marvin in the Titans Tower. Really.
Q: Any chance of seeing the Joker in the pages of JLofA?
Insert magic 8-ball joke here...
Q: Will the all-new League get an all-new mascot?
Q: Or any mascot?
Q: I'm dying to know, how many people stop you on the street and give you their "who they think should be on the new JLA"? What was the strangest if so?
Not even in my comic store. Surprises me actually.
Q: Can the JLA be a place for introducing new heroes (like Zauriel in Morrison's run, etc.) or should the precious roster spots be reserved for those who have already proven themselves?
Depends on the writer. Zauriel worked. For me, I prefer the established. There's no right answer.
Q: Any chance we could see an end to all this League of Assassins nonsense and get Batgirl on the JLA? She performed quite well on the Elite while they were sponsored by the League's previous incarnation.
Love Batgirl. And would love to see her on a team...
Q: Which Green Lantern do you enjoy writing more Hal, John, Guy, or Kyle?
Guy's the most fun to write. Ask anyone.
Q: Aside from the big seven, what's your favorite costume among all the former Justice League members?
Firestorm, GA, Atom, Black Canary in her original costume, even Perez's Zatanna one. The highlight of my pathetic geek life is we got an action figure of her in that costume for the Identity Crisis line.
Q: If you could have ANY comic characters in your League, who would you have? This includes Marvel, Image, Star Wars (okay, maybe that's too far).
Hawkeye, Vision, Cap, Beast with the blue fur and old Perez pointy hair. And Daredevil. Just to see him with Batman.
Q: What's your favorite issue of the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League? (JLI, JLA, JLE, or even JLQ.)
The one punch. Still the best.
Q: I am curious about the interactions with your editors. How much input did they give you in choosing the lineup? Was their any character they "strongly suggested" you put in the lineup or where you given free reign?
Eddie is a prince. How he survives me is unclear. He knows I've been planning this for far longer than is healthy.
Q: After the Justice Society failed and closed down, it wouldn't have made sense to reactivate it as the preeminent superhero organization, so when a new one was formed, it took a new form: the Justice League. (In the same way, the League of Nations was supplanted by the United Nations.) But the Justice League failed and ended much more disastrously. Why would the new team be a Justice League again, instead of coming up with a new structure and a new name to go with it?
See above. History does matter. Just like the populace realized with Teddy Roosevelt. And New Coke.
Q: With all the talk of who's in, is there anybody who's definitely not in? Even someone who people will be surprised to see absent?
Yes and yes.
Q: To my mind, the JLA have been most successful when they're done classic DC style, with the team mostly filled with the big guns and very little of the soap opera drama you get in the most successful runs of the Avengers.
Which do you find yourself leaning towards?
I think even at the height of the most intense "big gun/big fight" scenes, the only reason it worked was because of the character moments throughout. That's why Connor going for that boxing glove arrow worked. That's why white Martians worked. That's why it all worked. Morrison knew the men and women underneath.
Q: I read the little blurb in Wizard #178 about why Hal Jordan wouldn't be in the JLA due to Batman's feelings about him. Wasn't this covered in the recent Green Lantern # 9 and some kind of burying-the-hatchet made? I could've sworn it was. I'm wondering if the statements in that issue were yours or the Wizard staffers?
The hatchet is buried--but forgiving isn't forgetting.
Q: Do you already have X-number of issues "in the can"?
All of them.
Q: Will we see any former Teen Titans in the JLA? If so, any clues as to whom?
Q: Do you feel writing the Trinity properly (as being powerful, smart, and highly skilled), hampers the development of the other four members?
Not if the threats are good enough.
Q: Would you prefer to handle characters that you are the only one writing for?
Very fair question. And of course, every pig would say yes. It's so much easier when you don't have to worry about anyone else. But mom and dad take away the toys if you don't share.
Q: Will references to other Brave New World titles be made? E.g. Trials of Shazam, Martian Manhunter (which I feel should be touched upon)?
For J'onn, it will be.
Q: I've never collected JLA...why should I start? I mean that in the politest possible way.
Read the first issue. Issue number 1. If you don't like it, don't buy issue 2. But I'll stand behind that issue as one of the things I'm most proud of writing in my life.
Q: whose idea was it to do those 'mysterious' silhouettes on the cover for issue three? We know they're not final art and we can make out all the characters, if we couldn't then actually showing them would be meaningless...
My idea. And my requests to play with some of the shadows.
Q: With all the anti-meta feelings after IC, what is the JLofA going to do to win the people's trust back again, and how important is that to them?
Will the "man on the street" play a large part in your run?
I leave that to Civil War. That's their game and they're doing it so well. For us, I think of One Year Later as the time that healed those wounds.
Q: One of the best tools a writer has to flesh out characters is dialogue.It's easier for me to do when writing about characters that I have created in my own stories. How difficult is it to write believable dialogue for a large number of characters, none of which you have created? How important do you see dialogue as a tool to help write the story?
My dialogue is everything to me as a writer. To hear the pit-pats and the ping-ping-pings—that's the bridge what builds every character toward believability. The hard part is to make them sound different. That's the magic trick.
Q: Any chances of seeing the following during your run on JLofA:
1. Jack O'Lantern [from Primal Force]? Nope. 2. Starro? Love it. 3. Starbreaker? Love him. 4. Ultraa? Love him. 5. Doctor Destiny? Love him. 6. Manhunter [Mark Shaw]? Nope. 7. Global Guardians? Nope. 8. The Joker? Love. 9. Amazo? Love. 10. Snapper Carr? Love like a valentine.
Q: Anyway, what are the chances of seeing Booster and the new Beetle considered for the League? I don't want them on it per say, would just like to see them appear for the big 3.
You'll see one of them.
Q: Will the new JLA take advantage of the fact that there are two heroes for every costume, i.e.: Nightwing, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc.?
Q: If you take both covers of issue 1 (Benes) is the final roster a mirror image of each other? Example Captain Atom/Hawkman?
Can't say. But it's not that.
Q: Would you ever consider having 2 Green Lanterns in the League at the same time?
I thought about that. Thought long and hard about it.
Q: Will your narrative be first person like Identity Crisis or the standard narrative used in the old JLA stories?
Like Identity Crisis – multiple first-person narrators.
Q: If we didn't like Identity Crisis, will we still enjoy this series?
Mom, that you?
Q: What research, if any, did you do to prepare for your work on Justice League? Have you read Infinite Crisis and all the crossovers?
Sadly, the research is in my head. Still, I reread all the old stories that applied -- and again, the sad part was, I remembered it right.
Q: Were there any limits put on you (regarding the roster or even appearances) due to "52" and the mysteries surrounding the missing year before One Year Later? Did you have ideas for JLofA that had to be altered because of it?
Had one character we had to change a mention of because of the outcome of 52. Otherwise, they let us do our dance.
Q: Which character do you hate to write most in Justice League?
The ones…er…not on the team?
Q: Will we see new conflicts between the Big 3 or other members of the team and if we do, will the new status quo from post-Crisis have an effect on the relationships between the members?
God puts cracks in everything. That's how the light gets in. (I stole that from a Leonard Cohen song and use it in The Book of Fate).
Q: When your deciding on which characters will and will not be apart of the new team do you look at things from a psychological and interpersonal point of view (i.e. who is more level headed or who gets along or doesn't get along with each other, who is more or less a hot head and not worth dealing with...) or do you look at it from a more military point of view? (i.e.Superman is strong, Green Arrow has range and is low tech, Flash has speed, Elongated Man can slide under doors, Aquaman has advantage over / under water....)
I looked at it slightly from military, but mostly from a character POV – if I put this character in, what will be the reactions of these other characters? The more differences I can find, the more the characters start to find their own views, the more they'll tell me what to do as a writer. Otherwise, I'm just pushing dead pieces around the board.
Q: When we last saw the so-called Big 3, one had snapped the neck of a person on global TV and the other had built the OMAC network that resulted in hundreds of deaths. Do you think the public and the superhero community might have some trouble accepting this new League at first?
Sure. Everyone has to prove themselves everyday.
Q: Do you plan on covering the reaction of the super-teams that kept the peace while the JLA took a year-long hiatus?
Q: Who is going to be most upset that the so-called Big 3 came back and unilaterally picked the new roster? Aquaman?
YES. Martian Manhunter? YES. Oliver Queen? DOES A FROG BUMP HIS ASS A-HOPPIN'?
Q: With a U of M grad writing JLofA, and a MSU grad writing JSofA will there be any interesting "Easter eggs", "winks", "or results of lost bets" making their way into the inevitable first JLofA/JSofA crossover?
Yep. Especially when the League beats their ass.
Q: My older son is a typical superhero loving 3-year old. Wll JLofA be the kind of title he can enjoy at this age or is it more appropriate to kids (& adults) older than him?
3 years old? He'll like the Big 3 scenes.
Q: Why has the League never set up a true "Kangaroo Court" to deal with internal strife - a way to police themselves in a group instead of individually, like Superman feels he needs to do, or Batman with his Brother Eye. I.E. non-members, former members to sit on this and help with disputes, or problems that arise such as the Doctor Light dilemma?
That's what the Power Pact vote was. Democracy at work.
Q: How can Hal Jordan be accepted as a JLA member after what he's done as Parallax?
Nice try for the second time.
Q: Same question about WW and the death of Maxwell Lord?
See Wonder Woman.
Q: Once the new team is established, will there be a junior member who will act as the eyes of the reader ala Firestorm years ago?
Q: In this post-IC brave new world, is Batman going to be a recognized and (publicly) acknowledged League member, or is he going to continue to skulk in the shadows of his "Urban-Legend" cover?
I don't see him doing press conferences if that's the question.
Q: In this ' Brave New World' of the DC Universe, it's become apparent that battle lines are being drawn between the nations of earth's super powers. China's got some bad ass back up, Kandaq is forcing itself into the position of the 'moral' far right, and Russia has an army of soldiers with nuclear reactors strapped to their backs. Will the JLA represent the fighting front of the US, or take the position of referees on high (or in a cave somewhere in Detroit) in the upcoming super power standoff?
Look…Ruth Bader Ginsberg! Next question…
Q: Will the Justice League of America's Headquarters have a support staff or will you have it completely and totally automated so that the superheroes will not have to do the day to day operations such as cleaning the toilet, changing the filters in the life support system, fixing shorted computer panels when someone hits it or is damaged during an attack, etc.?
I love you.
Q: Will you show how the team gets the funding to build a satellite/headquarters/etc?
Q: How will the formation of this new Justice League of America be perceived by the 'powers that be' in the DCU? (That is, organizations like Project Cadmus, Checkmate, DEO, the ruling parties of other world governments, etc.)
That's up to Rucka and the rest of the DCU writers.
Q: What will the predominant color be in the full array of League uniforms?
Seriously, I do love you. When X-Men and Teen Titans crossed over, and they did that big splash where you saw both teams meet, I always loved how the Titans uniforms were so much more multi-colored than the X-Men's, which were all black and yellows and reds. Do you pity me yet? No? Good, because I did think about it for the League. Didn't effect anything, but I did think about it. Especially how the League is lined up in issue 7.
Q: Any romance between any of the Leaguers??
Q: With so many comics being late nowadays, how far out is Justice League of America planned out? Can we expect an issue every month?
That's the goal. There are 4 upcoming issues with added pages though, so we'll cut a few close. And that's my fault. With each issue, they tell me I have to limit it to 22 pages, then with each issue, I keep turning in stories with 24, 29, 30 pages, and 38 for issue 1. We're trying to give you all 10 characters and all the space and love and characterization that requires. Thanks to Dan and Eddie for allowing us to keep giving you more.
Q: I couldn't help but notice that on the cover to #1 that Captain Marvel and Green Arrow are the only two not looking at the camera. Is there any reason for this or am I reading too much into this?
Captain Marvel can't believe he's there. Ollie is the guy who talks in the back of a funeral.
And since this is it for THIS month, Brad just wants to remind you...
For more JLA action, keep an eye on the boards and blogs of bradmeltzer.com and myspace.com/bradmeltzer. Most important, thanks again to Ed Benes, Dick Giordano, Gene Ha, Tony Harris, Michael Turner, Phil Jimenez, Dan Jurgens, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, Kevin Maguire, Luke McDonnell, Rags Morales, George Perez, Howard Porter, Ethan Van Sciver, Eric Wight, and J.H. Williams – the true stars of issue zero. To DiDio and Eddie for the chance. And thanks to all who believe in the League.