Dawn of Justice! (Justice League #1 [1987])

What I Remember:

This was one of my favorite comics as a kid. It’s the first team-up of the Justice League International. In an attempt to be global, “of America” has been dropped from the name of the team and for some reason diminish the star power of the team.  


Vital Stats:

Justice League #1 “Born Again”

Plot & Breakdowns: Keith Giffin

Script: Keith Giffin & J.M. DeMatteis

Penciler: Kevin Maguire

Inker: Terry Austin

Letterer: Bob Lappan

Colorist: Gene D’Angelo

Editor: Andrew Helfer

Publisher: DC Comics

Publication Date: May 1987

Cover Price: 75¢

Re-Collection Price: $1.75


What Happens:

"I'm going to lead, bigly"

Guy Gardner is early for the meeting of the new, revamped Justice League and hopes to lead the team. The rest of the team begins to trickle in, Black Canary, Mr. Miracle,Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter and Guy manages to piss each one off.

J’onn  J’onzz arrives and is clearly still mourning the last incarnation of the team, which disbanded after murder of Vibe and Steel.

How can he focus on anything?

Guy attempts to call the meeting to order, as Maxwell Lord IV watches the news coverage from his office.

Inside, things have deteriorated. Black Canary and Guy are going at it, Martian Manhunter Captain Marvel and Mr. Miracle’s manager get involved.

"I'm a renegade baby, I can't play by your rules"

Finally, Batman and Dr. Fate arrive and Batman restores order, calls the meeting to order and tells the team that he wants them to maintain a low profile.

"You mean, you're eating other people's lunches? Stop it!"

At UN headquarters, Dr. Light is trying to ignore her signal device and return back to the meeting but she’s cut off by a terrorists that have taken the General Assembly hostage! She manages to activate the signal and alert the team.

I love 80s comics with TV news montage. 

Guy is ready to go in, guns a’blazin’ but Batman reigns him in and attempts to get the team to follow a plan. The team races off in the Blue Beetle’s Bug and they watch news coverage of the hostage situation, learning that one of the terrorists has a bomb strapped to his chest and it will detonate when his heart stops.

The people on the floor abover were startled. 

The team’s bickering continues as they arrive in Manhattan. Beetle questions Batman’s orders, Guy hates being stuck sealing off the building but Black Canary and Martian Manhunter begin taking out the terrorists, while the Blue Beetle intercepts the communications.

Batman begins to notice that something is off about these terrorists, but presses on and takes out all of the terrorists but the leader, whom he leaves alone after evacuating the room.

It’s later learned that he was a mentally ill drifter named John Collins and shot himself. The bomb fails to detonate. We then learn that Maxwell Lord set this up as a test and failed to give him the pin.

Continued After Ad:

Where's Harley Quinn?


Worth Re-Collecting?

This is still one of my favorite comics of all time. This book shows humor that you don't often see in superhero comics and most of it comes from the interaction between the heroes. Every character has a distinct personality that doesn’t mesh with the group, Batman is the frustrated leader, Guy Gardner is the 80s action star, Black Canary is the feminist, Captain Marvel is the innocent child, Martian Manhunter is a former leader with survivor’s guilt, Blue Beetle just wants to be taken seriously, Dr. Fate acts as Batman’s right hand, and Dr. Light is the diplomat.

Guy Gardner is the star of this book, he’s just such a cocksure asshole. He belittles the rest of the team hits on Black Canary, refuses to take Batman’s orders without a fight but continually gets put in his place by Batman. He’s the brash third-rate Green Lantern that everyone loves to hate.

Batman is perfect in this issue. He knows he’s on a different level than the rest of the team and takes control immediately. He establishes himself as a leader immediately and tries to control the team and manages to get them to come together as a team. This issue is also great for seeing Batman face the press, something that a hero who lurks in the shadows of Gotham rarely does.

Pick up this book, pick up the whole run, buy the trade. Issue five is worth it for this sequence alone:


Next Issue:

Scan 661.jpeg

We take a look at Superman Special #1 by legend Bill Kane! One of the only pre-Crisis Superman stories I had in my collection!

Back Cover: