Last August it was announced that Geoff Johns and David Finch were going to launch a new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA series. In the New 52, the Justice League has consisted of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Cyborg. Aside from an attempt to have Martian Manhunter join the team, there hasn't been other members added to the roster. Looking at the team in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, we've been wondering why certain members were included.
With the series set to debut next month, we asked Geoff Johns a few questions about the series and the characters involved.
Geoff Johns: He's answering to Amanda Waller. Or so Amanda thinks. Steve plays a central role for the team. One of the things we talked about with another Justice League title, I wanted to make sure it wasn't 'just another Justice League title.' It has to be driven by necessity, story and character. What's going on with Steve and the team that's assembled and how it interacts with the Justice League and the rest of the DC Universe is all very story driven. This becomes apparent in issue #1. A lot of the why's and questions surrounding what the team's function is, what they're going to do and how they're different from the Justice League are answered in issue 1.== TEASER ==
CV: Is Steve still angry after Wonder Woman ended things and is now with Superman?
GJ: He is not right now. He doesn't know they're together. He's trying to find his place in the world. He's a little bit lost and Waller is trying to help him. Steve just doesn't know if Waller is on the up and up. They have a history going back. They worked together in Team 7. Waller went off and formed the Suicide Squad and didn't have to worry about if people died. People were just pawns to her. Steve knows that's how she thinks of people. Now she's doing the same thing with the Justice League of America. Now she's asking Steve to lead a team he has a lot of questions about.
CV: Speaking of the Suicide Squad, there's almost a Suicide Squad feel to the team with some unlikely members, are we going to see any members coerced into joining?
GJ: All the members have become members of the team because of something the JLA can offer them. With Stargirl, she believes 'they really want me because I'm an up and coming hero with a lot of potential.' To her it's all about being part of the next generation and here's this great team so she says, "I'm in!" Things will be extremely different and whether or not she wants to stay on the team is a whole other question.
Every character is on the team for a different reason. For somebody like Catwoman, of course the first thing you'd say is "Why the hell would Catwoman join the JLA?" Especially when fighting next to somebody like Green Arrow and Green Lantern. It doesn't make any sense. What can she do, how does Steve Trevor convince her to do it and why is she on the team in the first place will be clear in issue 1.
What I really wanted to do was create a team line up that makes you ask what in the world is going on? Why would Catwoman be on this team? How do Green Lantern and Green Arrow interact? Why is Katana there? This will all be explored in issue #1. Your questions will start to get answered but there will be a lot more questions coming in.
CV: We've seen tiny glimpses of this team forming with Steve and Green Arrow, will the first issue continue to show the building of the team or will it already be established?
GJ: The team will be gathered within issue 1. It's imperative you see how and why.
CV: And then we'll see why each member was chosen?
GJ: Yeah, you'll find out why each member says, "Okay, I'm part of this team." There's actually a member that's rejected, that's not on the cover.
GJ: She'll have a connection to a 'Starman.' You'll see how we update her origin but it's as close to her original origin as possible. Stargirl is a character that always has a smile on her face. She'll be like, "I can't believe they asked me to be on the Justice League of America. This is great." She's this huge hero that on the rise and gaining a lot of popularity.
She's a hero that people look up to and say, "This is an example of the potential our heroes can bring to us. They don't all have to frown, hide in the shadows or only come out at night. This one, she helps us, she talks to us, she interacts with the community." Stargirl will think, "They want me here because of that. I have all this potential." The book is all about that, unlocking the potential in every character.
You know my work, Tony. I like taking characters like Sinestro or Aquaman, characters that people wouldn't look twice at and try to unlock something in them people haven't seen before and make fans of them. I think the fact that there are big fans of Aquaman, Sinestro or Green Lantern or any of the characters on Justice Society when I worked on that, that's really my goal on this book. Not only on the inside to have that be the mission for Steve Trevor, in trying to get this team into shape but also for me creatively and David Finch creatively, to try to take these characters and elevate them to a place they're not at yet
CV: Will anyone be taking Stargirl under their wing since she's young and on a team with some members with questionable pasts?
GJ: She's a character that really stands on her own but yes, you will see someone gravitate towards Stargirl to try to help her out.
CV: Does Steve want the team to have a public presence or will they protect America from behind the scenes?
GJ: Steve doesn't but Amanda Waller does. They will have a very very public presence. Stargirl is specifically chosen for that reason.
CV: How soon until the Justice League and Justice League of America clash?
GJ: Sometime within the first year.
CV: Does the government hold the copy right on the name? Could they make money off t-shirts and merchandise?
GJ: Yeah. That's something they do almost immediately actually.
CV: What makes Vibe so cool in your eyes?
GJ: People talk about Vibe I think because he's the most unlikely member to be on the team and get the spotlight. Justice League of America is all about characters that are under appreciated, underrated or unpredictable. Because you don't know where Vibe's going to go. At the end of Batman, Batman's gonna be Batman. He's going to stop the guy and be Batman. Superman's going to save the day and be Superman.
Those are great characters but with these characters like Vibe, Stargirl, the new Green Lantern, Hawkman, Catwoman and Katana, you have no idea where they're going to go. You have no idea if they're even going to make it. You have no idea what kind of members of the Justice League of America they're going to turn out to be or why they would even be on the team in the first place. Vibe is sort of the personification of the theme of the book. He's a character people say has zero potential. That's really something we wanted to challenge and get into. Hopefully people will have fun with it.
Why Vibe? Why not Vibe? I think any character, whoever your favorite character is, if you have a thing for Vibe or Stephanie Brown or Cyborg, whatever character you like, I think if you pour your passion into that character, you can make them great. Every character deserves a chance and that's what JLA is all about.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA by Geoff Johns and David Finch is on sale in February.