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Comic Book Talk

So Geoff's piece got me thinking about Justice League and why it's not as good as it could be. The problem is that there are an awkward number of heroes (seven), and you simply can't cram them all into one plot. Inevitably, someone gets short shrift, and I end heckling the screen and making up excuses for the absent people: He left his batsuit at the batcleaners; she took a weekend off to attend Ladyfest and lead the "Unleashing Your Inner Amazon" workshop.

What the show should do is shamelessly crib strategy from Stormwatch, a title published under the WildStorm imprint a few years ago and revived in a much-different format recently. Around issue #37, evil genius Bendix -- aka "the Weatherman" -- splits up twelve different metahumans into three distinct teams. One's a black ops team that works covertly, one's a "red" team, handling offensive counterstrikes, and one's an elite police team. Over the course of the subsequent issues, some plots handled individual team missions, and others showed how the three teams worked together to execute a complex mission. As a result, nearly everyone got equal plot time and the stories were richer for it.

Justice League needs to do this. This would allow them to add some truly interesting Marvel heroes who have dropped by the wayside (especially the Oliver Queen Green Arrow and Dinah Lance's Black Canary) in order to flesh out the group, assign the existing members of Justice League to compatible missions, and provide all sorts of character development as the dramatic tension between, say, a black ops team headed by Batman and a counterstrike team headed by Green Lantern clashed during a mission.

Best of all, you could shunt the two characters I find the most boring -- J'onn J'onzz and Wonder Woman -- into one team (the uptight do-gooders?). Have Superman run all three teams, if only because on the show, he's less than super anyway and it gives us an opportunity to see a conflict with Batman vis a vis their opposing crime-fighting philosophies. Everybody wins in my scenario.

Of course, the chance of this happening is very tiny because this is a television show, and it doesn't support the same complicated conceits that comic books effortlessly float. Besides, borrowing something outright from someone other than Marvel probably prompts merry hell in the permissions office.

Also, there is the possibility that I may have flipped and gone over the fangirl edge with this whole comics and cartoon thing, and everything I say falls under the category of "demented rambling." At least I'm not brooding over Crisis on Infinite Earths as it affects Justice League. Yet.


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