Friday, May 19, 2006

Justice League Dream Team #3

Martian Manhunter

J’onn has been in every incarnation of the League EVER and he’s not about to stop on my watch. Just look at the superstition of it…when this cat is on your team, you WIN. Are you going to bench him EVER? I didn’t think so. Beyond that, he’s a tactician on par with Batman and possibly the only other being who has as much experience coordinating the efforts of metahumans. On top of that, he’s immensely physically powerful both close up and at range. He is one of the handful of telepaths in the DCU and he’s very good at it. Lastly, if necessary, who better than a mind reading shapeshifter to join Batman on the espionage squad?

Not to burst your superstitious bubble here, Tate, but . . . you do realize J'onn was a member of Justice League Detroit, right?

Seriously, though, J'onn almost made my list, but I felt like I was giving in to peer pressure: "C'mon, everyone else has put him in their League, why don't you?" I can recognize the power he would bring to the team, but love J'onn as I do, there are others I'd like to see on the team more. For example, my next pick:

Red Tornado

Another "Satellite Era" Leaguer, there's always been something about Reddy that has appealed to me. And although he hasn't really been a member of the team since the original Crisis (man, can't believe it's been that long), he's one of those characters who always pops into my head when I think of the League. Reddy's an odd creation: on the one hand, a creature of science, but on the other, a quasi-mystical Elemental being. This dual nature makes Reddy a character with an intriguing potential which has not been fully tapped, in my opinion.

Plus, he just looks cool (are you noticing a pattern here?)

You're damn right J'onn was in Justice League Detroit! That's the reason that the world wasn't taken over by Darkseid or mind controlled by Starro or sucked into Qward while Vibe was breakdancing and Gypsy was trying to figure out why the soles of her feet were like workboots!

Heaven help me, I agree with the reasoning for this pick as well even if I can't bear to find a spot for Reddy in my League. I loved Red Tornado's place as a mentor for the Young Justice team even if the overall title was a little uneven (was it supposed to be funny all the time? and if it was, did anybody laugh when that one villain's parents tried to kill him?) and I absolutely agree that the combination of Air Elemental (especially in the DCU with Animal Man's Red, Swamp Thing's Green and Aquaman's Clear connections) and technological wonder are a ripe ground for storytelling. Reddy's gotten short shrift for too long and deserves a really sweet team to make him shine again.

I think I'm starting to see the divergence here. I'm putting together a team built to deal with the biggest threats the DCU has to throw at planet Earth and Todd's putting together a team he'd like to hang out with (or at least read about). A different question may be cropping up: what types of stories do Tate and Todd want to see from the JLA and how do they differ? I can answer the last part... I think they differ A LOT.


Chuck T. said...

Red Tornado has always fallen prey to what a friend of mine calls "Worf Syndrome." A writer introduces a villain or threat, and he needs to establish it as such. The easiest way to show that the villain is tough is by the villain kicking the stuffing out of your Worf character, the tough guy.
Reddy gets roped into this role because when he's blown apart or dismantled it's a cool visual, and because a brand-new villain can't beat up Superman convincingly on day one.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

You know, now that you mention it, an inordinate amount of my old JLAs featured Reddy getting incapacitated; heck, the very first issue of JLA I ever bought was narrated by him because he was still "recovering" from a battle in an earlier issue.

One of my favorite moments in this last week's issue of 52 was T.O. Morrow's consternation at Reddy sacrificing himself. "Again?"