‘Justice League’: DC will write new first chapter for super team

June 12, 2011 | 7:30 a.m.

DC Comics has been making headlines for weeks, but on Saturday, three of the top creative forces finally stepped into the spotlight to discuss the seismic changes planned for the oldest and most iconic comics universe.

The Justice League, the superhero team at the very center of the DC Comics universe, will get an all-new origin story, beginning Aug. 31 in “Justice League” issue No. 1, according to artist Jim Lee and writer Geoff Johns, the celebrated creators who will be working in tandem for the first time.

Johns and Lee said the story will be set five years in the past, as will the new Superman tale, which will launch with “Action Comics” issue No. 1 in September. “Action Comics” writer Grant Morrison sent a special video message to Saturday night’s audience at the Hero Complex Film Festival at the Chinese Six theater in Hollywood.

Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison

With a sense of awe, Morrison said he considered Superman to be “the greatest-ever idea of the human species,” and he aimed to “re-create that guy for the 21st century.”

“We want to try to create a new language for comics, a new kind of philosophy, a new kind of propulsive storytelling that will do things that only comics can do and that movies can’t even catch up with,” Morrison said in the video message. “We hope everyone’s going to get involved and join us in this voyage into the unknown.”

Lee called the decision to reboot the universe and reinvent the origin stories “unprecedented,” saying the move was a “creative opportunity” for artists and a chance for new readers to jump into comics.

“It’s not just renumbering all of these books, but it’s also about going systematically through the entire DC universe and sort of reenergizing and reimagining a lot of the stuff that sort of formed these characters, the back stories,” Lee said. “We’re talking about ‘Justice League,’ but there’s never been a really awesome origin for the Justice League. … To me, it’s a prime example of something that we can go in and maybe add something to the lore and add a really kickass contemporary story that feels modern and really shows why these characters need to be together, because this is a such a diverse group of heroes.”

jimleegeoffjohns Justice League: DC will write new first chapter for super team

Jim Lee and Geoff Johns (DC Entertainment)

One of the main goals of the new origin story is showing the relationship between the core “classic, iconic seven members” of the league, Johns said.

“Our first arc actually is the origin of the team, so it takes place in the past, and the next arc will take place in the present,” he said. “One thing I was really interested in was how do these guys really get along? Like Green Lantern when he first meets Batman, he’s like, ‘So what are your powers?’ Because you’d assume if this guy is dressed up like a bat fighting bad guys, that he can’t be crazy, that he’s got to have powers. And so Jim and I talked a lot about what their first opinion would be of each other. Like if Green Lantern’s on Earth to patrol to search for extraterrestrial trouble, what’s he think of Superman?”

The new comics will develop the classic characters as people as well as superheroes, Johns said.

“One of the lines I used in my script is, ‘They’re not gods, they’re the Justice League,'” he said. “So what are the people like behind the masks, and how do they interact. Really the three words I use for what we’re trying to do are heart, humor and heroics.”

Lee and Johns said they’re prepared for backlash from hardcore comic fans, but that they are confident they can “execute it correctly,” and fans will embrace the new mythology.

hcffteaser2 Justice League: DC will write new first chapter for super team“I remember when I wrote ‘Green Lantern: Rebirth,’ which brought Hal Jordan back, and people were really unhappy, and the hardcore fans were like, ‘You can’t do that,’ and we did it anyway,” Johns said. “I think if you do it with care … [and stay] true to the emotional ideals and the morality ideals that are in the heroes, that’s the goal. … Let’s try and capture the essence of what these characters can be, show how they could interact. Make it just a little bit different and unexpected. It’s an exciting time.”

The festival continues Sunday at the Hollywood & Highland complex. Sunday’s special guest is Jon Favreau with a screening of “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2,” as well as an exclusive new preview of “Captain America: The First Avenger” — plus some interesting surprises.

The purchase of an all-day Sunday ticket is now also the only way to get a seat in that day’s sold-out noon screening of “The Incredibles,” which will be followed by a special sneak preview of footage from “Cars 2” and an interview with Dave Mullins of Pixar. Buy tickets for individual days right here.

– Noelene Clark



16 Responses to ‘Justice League’: DC will write new first chapter for super team

  1. Patrick says:

    Marvel has a tendency to allow their movies to seep into the current runs of the comic stories. I wonder how much of Snyder's Superman flick will coincide with Morrison's relaunch of Action Comics, if at all.

  2. tbplayer says:

    "but there’s never been a really awesome origin for the Justice League. …"

    What about Darwyn Cooke's The New Frontier?

  3. Paul says:

    I really hope that this works out or it will be one of the biggest comic flops ever, also I hope they are not doing this reboot because of what happened with Warner Bros and DC loosing many of the rights to Superman to the Siegel family. Because if this is the excuse, it does not matter how they try to spin it, more than likely will not work. And after all the money Warner and DC have made from Superman to not want to share it now with the families of those who created Superman looks completely like corporate greed to me.

    • brettghampton says:

      I highly doubt that the Siegel litigation is a strong motivating factor. Sagging comic book sales and profitability almost always end up being the reasons for big splashy "events" that beggar media attention.

    • George Scully says:

      DC is just protecting their assets. If the next round of lawsuits is won by the descendants of the Siegels and the Shusters, Superman would not be legally allowed to be the Superman that generations of fans – both casual and hard-core grew up with. In a weird way, this may be the last generation that remembers a Superman that was able to "fly". That right there? That's sad.

  4. Michael A. Crane Jr. says:

    I am willing to wait and see. I often do not like reboots, but sometimes they do turn out well.

    I grew up in the Silver Age of comics, and I am glad that they evolved from there, even if I did not always like the directions the stories and characters were taken.

    Looking forward to seeing where things go this time.


  5. jeffsd says:

    “unprecedented,” ??? DC does this about every five years, which is really confusing. Please pick a reality and stick with it for a while. Crisis this and infinite that. It is getting very tiresome. Which one of them is dead and resurrected this time?

    Oh yeah? …and who destroyed wonder woman? She looks like a trailer trash meth head.

    • Steph says:

      Agreed…the constant reboot in plotlines is actually quite confusing for some of us younger comic book readers! Sometimes its hard to tell just what the hell is considered cannon by DCU standards…who's alive, who's dead, and who's releated to who still?! I have no clue!! I still remember the days when Supergirl had no biological relation to Superman….now she's his OLDER cousin? Really? When did this happen? And is this still standard accept DCU cannon or am I going to have to wait and see if she erased from continuity again?

      • Chris says:

        Ummm …. Supergirl, in first incarnation was Supermans older cousin. That was before 1985. Then she died in Crisis on Infinite Earths, at which point the Earth born angle/Matrix (which I still don't understand) took on the persona of Supergirl after bonding with Linda Danvers. Finally, at the end of that Supergirls series, she found Kara, the current Supergirl, in her rocket from Krypton. This current Supergirl is Supermans older cousin. I have no idea what we will see in the reboot.

        But the thing with this reboot is that its different from all the others. In the past (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis) the big events were meant to streamline continuity and make things LESS confusing. The unfortunate problem is that writers often write things out of continuity without telling anyone, and it was especially bad before 1985, when Crisis happened to make sure the multiverse was streamlined. Unfortunately, a lot of these reboots made things even more confusing because no one was quite sure what was still continuity. What makes this reboot different however, is that it appears to be a nearly complete restart to the DCU, which is very different than the past reboots.

    • websnap says:

      Why, because she has pants? Please! Why aren't you saying that about Arsenal/Roy? He ACTUALLY looks like a trailer-trash Meth-head.

      Funny how society feels comfortable judging women's appearances… fictional or not, it's ridiculous.

  6. Tib says:

    There are things I like and dislike about the Superman family's costumes. I'd rather see Superman's belt yellow and the shield be more of a buckle than the ends be joining points. Personally, I'm fond of the raised S emblem on the chest since I saw it in the 2006 movie. To me the jeans and t-shirt look suited Superboy, though I wonder how that shade of blue would look as a muscle shirt with full color shield, black jeans (trousers), and boots. Supergirl's costume is intriguing though I think I'd take away the sleeves and make it look more like a strapless one piece swimsuit that leaves her arms sleeveless with red gauntlets on her arms with yellow trim on cape( as is), gauntlets, and boots. Wouldn't mind seeing red gauntlets added to Superman's costume either.

  7. MMaurer73 says:

    I want no part of this frakin' crappy reboot garbage. So long DC. Its be real. Still got Marvel

  8. Jimbo says:

    I'm particularly interested in this "reboot" of the Justice League, since it's the book that got me started into comics (around the time of the Earth/Mars war, first volume, just before the Justice League Detroit). I am all for a return to the original seven, as I feel that they are the stalwart heroes of the DCU and should always make up the majority of a team that touts itself as the most powerful in the DCU. I've always thought of the Justice League as a team that all other heroes in the DCU should aspire to become a part of, and I think a spot on the team is something that should be "earned".

  9. jimbo says:

    Heroes like Donna Troy, Dick Grayson, Vic Stone, etc…who have been training their whole lives for the chance to join the Justice Leagues ranks. I'm sorry, but Congorilla?? While I always liked the B-Leaguers (Red Tornado, Zatanna, Firestorm, Elongated Man, etc), these heroes were always much more interesting when paired with heavyweights like the Flash and Aquaman.
    There have been numerous versions of the Justice League whose stories will always be cherished by myself and many others, but a Justice League without Batman (BRUCE WAYNE), Superman (Clark Kent), Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern (Hal or John Stewart), Flash (Barry Allen), and the Martian Manhunter, or at least four of these guys, then, I'm sorry, but it's just NOT the Justice League.

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