Soon I'll be going to South Korea to teach ESL for a year. This is great news and I'm psyched but I'm not looking forward to being away from my beloved Western superhero comics for a whole year. To soften the blow, I've been buying up the entire Giffen/DeMatteis run of Justice League so I can read it from start to finish whenever I feel homesick. I've read much of it before, sure, but never the entire run from beginning to end. I've also got much of the rest of the volume up to issue #92 and Zero Hour since I'm not as familiar with the runs done by Jurgens and Vado. Anyway, all this got me thinking back to how Giffen/DeMatteis had wanted to do a Big Seven revival with their Justice League but how those plans were basically ruined by the Post-Crisis status quo:
They were told hands-off when it came to Superman because Byrne and co. wanted tight control over the man's character and history.
George Perez wouldn't give consent for the use of Wonder Woman for basically the same reason. He wanted complete authority over her rebirth.
The Flash wasn't available because Barry Allen had died in Crisis and Wally didn't officially take up the mantle full-time until after Legends which is about the same time this Justice League started up. I guess DC wanted Wally to find himself first...
Hal Jordan wasn't given to them because he was already leading The Green Lantern Corps team, and DC figured that one team was enough which Marvel could maybe learn a lesson from.
Despite all of this, Giffen and DeMatteis made the most of what they had to work with. Denny O'Neil took pity on them and allowed them to use Batman. The Martian Manhunter was free and clear so he became the mainstay of the team throughout their run. They were allowed to use the Green Lantern Guy Gardner in place of Hal which may have led to more humor in the long run. To replace Wonder Woman, they did exactly what DC did to replace her in the late 60's: Use Black Canary. Initially Captain Marvel was brought in so no one would miss Superman and was later replaced by Captain Atom. Basically, they dealt with it by playing up the idea that this League wasn't made up by the best and most notable and they got a ton of laughs in the process. One question remains, though:
Why couldn't they use Aquaman? I can't remember. I know there was something funny going on with the character back then. He had a well-received mini-series in 1986 that was supposed to get a follow-up but never did until a one-shot in 1988. Maybe this is proof that DC couldn't decide what direction to take him in and that this was the reason? He had left the Detroit League to work on his marriage. Maybe he and Mera were still having problems? Do any of you know the answer? I'm really just curious and bored.