Interview: Geoff Johns Talks JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

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Posted by G-Man (33891 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

Comic Vine: Is the Justice League of America strictly under Steve Trevor's leadership or is he answering to Amanda Waller or anyone in the government?

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 ==
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL #1

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.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #8

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.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #2

CV: Are you going to have to update Stargirl's origin for the New 52? Will she still have a connection to Jack Knight?

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.

Staff
#1 Posted by Alchemax_7 (347 posts) - - Show Bio

Looks awesome.

#2 Posted by Superdork (917 posts) - - Show Bio

This book sounds great, and it sounds like it will be an important book for the Trinity War. I'll be buying it.

Also, if you're reading this, Geoff, I love Cyborg. I'm one of his biggest fans on this site. But you DC boys need to develop him more. Give him a back up story or an ongoing series please

#3 Edited by JakeN7 (12295 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't wait! It sounds like Geoff Johns knows what he's doing and what he wants with this book. I was worried that this wouldn't be different enough from regular ol' Justice League but it looks like he's building up a completely different "vibe" (okay, bad joke) for this series. I can't wait to see Selina embrace her role as a true hero and leave her past as a villain or antihero behind. I love Simon Baz, he's my favorite new character in the DC right now and I'm glad he's going to be in the Justice League as well as still be prominently featured in a book even when the spotlight is shifted away from him in Green Lantern. I also can't wait to read Oliver Queen when he isn't written like crap in the New 52. I also love Martian Manhunter, and I look forward to reading about the characters I know nothing about.

#4 Posted by mpierce2690 (316 posts) - - Show Bio

Definitely thought it was interesting to see him mention Stephanie Brown at the end there.

#5 Posted by kennybaese (1114 posts) - - Show Bio

This book has potential. It'll be interesting to see how this book interacts with Justice League proper.

#6 Posted by tchalla3000 (58 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm waiting for that clash just because Manhunter vs The Justice League. Gonna be sweet.

#7 Posted by Outside_85 (8970 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't be surprised if the rejected member turned out to be Booster Gold.

Online
#8 Posted by Saren (25671 posts) - - Show Bio
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.

I'm guessing Stargirl is the new Gypsy, then...

Moderator
#9 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh look, the Justice League are going to fight the JLA. How dull and predictable. 

#10 Posted by StMichalofWilson (3817 posts) - - Show Bio

@kennyshat said:

This book has potential. It'll be interesting to see how this book interacts with Justice League proper.

Indeed. Especially with the upcoming Trinity War

#11 Posted by xxxddd (3572 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

Oh look, the Justice League are going to fight the JLA. How dull and predictable.

Haha!

#12 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Outside_85 said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the rejected member turned out to be Booster Gold.

I dont think so. He is lost in space and time.

#13 Posted by ComradeCold (20 posts) - - Show Bio

the only way i could see vibe being a good a book would be if Fraction wrote it, DC really needs to spends less time fucking up what should be amazing movies and more time working on the cloning process

#14 Posted by blackkitty (327 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, think it would be awesome if the rejected member is Spoiler. I love Catwoman, I'd like to see someone write her well so, will give this a shot.

#15 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33338 posts) - - Show Bio

Wish there was a Justice League Britain

#16 Posted by WildStyle (331 posts) - - Show Bio

It's pretty obvious they're going to fight the Justice League in the Trinity War.

#17 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
@WildStyle: It's even more obvious since all Geoff Johns' Justice League is is the members fighting each other. 
#18 Posted by jointron33 (1902 posts) - - Show Bio

Is Steve ever going to go to the actual WW title? And why does Vibe exist?

#19 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
Wish there was a Justice League Britain
Where's that? It's not in the US, so it mustn't exist. Stop making up places. 
#20 Posted by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

Even though I haven't been the biggest fan of Johns on Justice League, his run has at least been respectable so far. Will probably get this.

#21 Posted by DarklyDreamingDeadpool (174 posts) - - Show Bio

i'm very excited and can't wait to read this book, and the vibe soloseries too.

#22 Posted by MyComicStoreDotNET (46 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't wait to read this!

#23 Posted by pspin (891 posts) - - Show Bio

This looks better and better the more they release about it. Geoff Johns is great.

Which Green Lantern is that?

#24 Posted by Lvenger (19836 posts) - - Show Bio

Some interesting tip bits dropped by Johns here. I knew he'd use Stargirl given what she means to him. Dislike Vibe and Katana on the JLA though and even more that they have their own ongoings before Martian Manhunter and Shazam, two solid B-A lister heroes. Priorities not straight much?

#25 Posted by Mezmero (930 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm looking forward to this book. I can tell this team is being put together specifically as a counter-measure to the real Justice League. Obviously they're going to fight at some point as a matter of who is above the law when it comes to the fate of America. I have been thinking that Selina is being put on this team to compete with the popularity of the Black Widow but now I'm thinking she would be a decent deterrent to use against Batman as they have an attachment. There seems to be at least one hard counter in this group to each member of the league plus a larger roster. I guess the remainder of the JLA will be there to keep the Bat family at bay while the others fight. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Steve Trevor on field. I want to see his tactics and weaponry put to the test against Batman's.

I really don't care how cool Geoff Johns makes Vibe. He will forever live in the shadow of the legendary monster Shirohige. Sorry Geoff but Oda beat you to the punch on the bad ass with vibration powers.

"One Piece exists!"
#26 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (13122 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane said:

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.

I'm guessing Stargirl is the new Gypsy, then...

I cant help but like that.

#27 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

Now I'm curious to who the rejected member is. Captain Atom could've added some power to this team and really fit in.

#28 Posted by Outside_85 (8970 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: He could have returned and thought he'd be a natural fit :) Could be one of the other JLI members though, if anything was left of them?

Online
#29 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33338 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:
Wish there was a Justice League Britain
Where's that? It's not in the US, so it mustn't exist. Stop making up places.

Sorry, I forgot non-American heroes are only aloud to exist as long as they live in America

#30 Posted by Nightwing82 (38 posts) - - Show Bio

Jason Todd taking the Batman role would be cool!!

#31 Posted by Atomiic (26 posts) - - Show Bio

Does this book have a back up?

#32 Posted by G-Man (33891 posts) - - Show Bio
Staff
#33 Posted by bloggerboy (573 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm interested to see what Johns will do with this.

#34 Posted by johnqestion (174 posts) - - Show Bio

Well Geoff if you think Cyborg is great then freaking start developing him and the rest of them in that book. I tend to feel just because it was JL Geoff's did not make that big an effort because he knew they would sell regardless.

#35 Posted by Mucklefluga (2563 posts) - - Show Bio

This has made the book sound even better! Great interview!

#36 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (13122 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll give this book a shot . hopefully i'll be impressed.

#37 Posted by Azrael66 (277 posts) - - Show Bio

This title is looking amazing.

#38 Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan (3079 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm excited to read this title

#39 Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan (3079 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:
Wish there was a Justice League Britain
Where's that? It's not in the US, so it mustn't exist. Stop making up places.

Sorry, I forgot non-American heroes are only aloud to exist as long as they live in America

wait there's such a thing as non-American?!?

#40 Posted by Mojo65 (137 posts) - - Show Bio

If the interiors are anything like the covers I won't be liking the art much.

Baz and Manhunter really don't look very good, Finch can't seem to get Manhunter's chest symbol right ether, should probably just go back to the full X if that's a problem.

#41 Posted by MaxSchreck (99 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder which Hero was rejected and could not join the team °_°

#42 Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan (3079 posts) - - Show Bio

@MaxSchreck said:

I wonder which Hero was rejected and could not join the team °_°

it was me, I got rejected! :(

#43 Posted by slade_wilson (461 posts) - - Show Bio

How about you make the New Gods great again? wink wink, nudge nudge

#44 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAmazingImmortalMan: Oh, you poor thing. You should form your own team, or turn evil and get revenge. It's always one or the other in this situation. X^D

#45 Posted by Portimion (31 posts) - - Show Bio

Did anyone else notice that Geoff Johns may have dropped a hint by saying Stephanie Brown? Anybody?

#46 Posted by guttridgeb (4832 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

Wish there was a Justice League Britain

That would be awesome.

#47 Posted by dondave (37296 posts) - - Show Bio

@pspin:The Green Lantern who replaced Hal Jordan, Simon Baz

Online
#48 Posted by KZR (487 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jonny_Anonymous: I'd sign up for that.

#49 Posted by TheMess1428 (2176 posts) - - Show Bio

He mentioned Stephanie Brown... You all know what that means! ...Nothing.

#50 Posted by wessaari (622 posts) - - Show Bio

@Portimion: can you find where i he said that, becuase i missed it.

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