What I Remember:
This was the first issue of the new, revamped JLA by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter that my local newsstand carried. I had read about the first arc of the series in Wizard and was really excited to read this series. This series was a big change from the Justice League International titles that DC published since "Crisis on Infinete Earths" because it featured A-list heroes
This issue features T.O. Morrow and Professor Ivo, creators of Amazo and the Red Tornado as villains and a new generation of DC superheroes looking to join the league. This is also the first issue in the series to feature the new energy-based blue Superman.
JLA #5 “Woman of Tomorrow”
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciler: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Color Separations: Heroic Age
Editor: Ruben Diaz
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: May 1997
Cover Price: $1.95
Re-Collection Price: original
Dr. Ivo and Professor Morrow create a new android, Tomorrow Woman as part of a plan to infiltrate the Justice League and destroy them from within.
Meanwhile, Superman attends the funeral of the fallen hero, Metamorpho then leaves to attend the recruiting meeting. In order to fight accusations of elitism the team has decided to expand its membership to 12.
The recruits arrive at the Watchtower and none seem to be Justice League material, especially not Hitman...
Suddenly, the ceiling begins to break apart and Tomorrow Woman enters.
She’s the only recruit to pass the tests. She earns the team’s trust, participating in mission after mission without resting. Ivo and Morrow bicker over whose work is more responsible for her brilliant execution of their plan.
When the team battles the entity known as IF, Implicate Field, weapons technology from the 32nd century, that is unleashed due to a government screwup. Tomorrow Woman deduces that IF’s "brain" can be wiped out through an electromagnetic pulse. Professor Morrow thinks that Tomorrow Woman will turn on the team and destroy them with the help of IF, but something else happens, she disobeys her programming, thinks for herself and sacrifices herself to save the team.
Ivo and Morrow are impressed with their creation of a machine with a soul are captured by the league. Superman sees to it that Tomorrow Woman, despite being a machine gets a hero's funeral.
Continued After Ad:
This was a fun issue. The writing was tight. In the span of 22 pages, Morrison introduced the theme of the noble death of a hero with Metamorpho, the character of Tomorrow Woman and her creators. No background info is needed. The story is completely self-contained and the characters are well developed. You get a sense of who each of the characters are. Superman and Wonder Woman are the leaders, Martian Manhunter is a respected adviser, Batman is a loner and always has one foot out the door, and Flash and Green Lantern are the young upstarts trying to fit in among the established heroes.
My favorite character is Morrow. Sure, he sets out to destroy the Justice League with his new android, but he got something better, he created life. He’s not motivated by destruction, but by creation. He is more impressed with Tomorrow Woman saving the team than if she had done what she was programmed to. It makes for a interesting antagonist.
I must discuss Superman with his "updated" powers. I remember hearing that the new Superman was thrust on Morrison after some scripts were in for this series. The JLA creative team had to adapt to make the new Superman work. Morrison knows how to write Superman, the character, no matter what his powers are. He’s always the leader and moral compass of the team.
We continue to look at Grant Morrison's JLA with JLA #6! The Justice League meets an angel and the Devil?! See you in two weeks!