I’m looking forward to DC’s No Justice “event,” a series of four one-shots that will bridge the current Justice League series and a relaunched title, to be written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Jim Cheung. The No Justice one-shots will run weekly in May, and I’m always interested in weekly stories, and I’m a fan of several of the creators involved in them (such as Snyder and artists Francis Manapul and Marcos To).
Based on the promotional artwork, it appears the main Justice League team is fractured, and key members have formed their own squads. Included in those lineups are some unlikely members, including several Teen Titans and, oddly enough, some villains. Sure, No Justice isn’t shaping up to be particularly cerebral, but the unexpected array of characters do promise a lot of super-hero genre fun.
However, when I first heard of these No Justice comics, the weekly schedule and the promise of a fractured Justice League forming new teams, I was immediately struck by the fact that DC has travelled down a similar road in the past. Justice Leagues was one of DC’s “fifth-week events,” something it would do to fill out its publishing lineup in months that had five Wednesdays, or five days in which new comics shipped to direct-market comic-book stores. That story, published in 2001, also featured a divided League forming alternate versions of the title team.
The plot revolved around an enigmatic agent known as the Advance Man, who comes to Earth to pave the way for an alien conqueror to take over, but first, he sets out to eliminate the biggest opposition: the Justice League of America. He gets telepathic villain Hector Hammond to make the planet’s population to forget the JLA, but Hammond, finally realizing what could happen to Earth, endeavors to undo that amnesiac order, transmitting the notion that every should “remember the Justice League of A–,” but the Advance Man stops him.
The result is the central members of the real JLA forming their own groups, inspired by the broken telepathic message. The story unfolded in six one-shots: Justice Leagues: JL?, Justice Leagues: Justice League of Amazons, Justice Leagues: Justice League of Atlantis, Justice Leagues: Justice League of Arkham, Justice Leagues: Justice League of Aliens and Justice Leagues: JLA, all boasting #1 numbering.
JLAmazons was led by Wonder Woman, Atlantis by Aquaman, Arkham by Batman and Aliens by Superman. There were other alternate JLA teams that didn’t get their own one-shots: the Justice League of Anarchy (led by Plastic Man), the Justice League of Apostles (led by the angelic Zauriel), the Justice League of Adventure (led by the Flash), and the Justice League of Air (led by Green Lantern Kyle Rayner).
The premise was more than a little forced, but again, it made for a fun concept and an interesting number of unexpected and unconventional super-hero teams. And the visual highlight of the fifth-week event was the fact that all of the cover art was rendered by the legendary George Perez (though sadly, he contributed none of the interiors).
It remains to be seen if No Justice is a bit of a rehash of that obscure storyline from 17 years ago, but I doubt it will be. I fully expect the catalyst for these new stories to be significantly different than Justice Leagues, but I’m hoping for the same sense of super-hero fun.