JLA: Year One #1
DC Comics (January, 1998)
“Justice League Of America: Year One”
WRITERS: Mark Waid & Brian Augstyn
ARTIST: Barry Kitson
(although the comic lists the three together as “storytellers” and I had to find out which is which via a fan wiki–I thought only Kurt Busiek comics in this period pull that on me)
COLORIST: Pat Garrahy
SEPARATIONS: Heroic Age
LETTERER: Ken Lopez
EDITOR: Peter Tomasi
Taking place after events chronicled in Justice League Of America vol. 1 #9 via flashback, the heroes who defeated them (roll call: The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary in place of Wonder Woman due to post-Crisis shenanigans) aren’t sure if they really want to be a team, but their own lives now seem rather mundane or just problematic. Then there’s the giant alien monsters they defeated–at least the ones that still survive, the bird and fire giant–that they hid in a cave Aquaman found. As they attempt to hand over the aliens to the Air Force they find an army of soldiers from a group calling themselves Locus attempting to take the monsters themselves. In the ensuing fight both monsters awaken and the heroes have to take them and the Locus soldiers down. In the end the Locus escape with the bird and the heroes hand the fire giant over to the Air Force, deciding that maybe they should team up after all. This does not make the Locus happy, but is that tied to the strange new people who have befriended or visited each of our heroes?
What they got right: Using the term “mystery men” instead of “superhero” fits in the timeline considering where this story takes place. I haven’t read the original comic so I don’t know if these two are actually the only survivors but it’s a nice callback to the group’s origin. And Black Canary is a fine replacement for Wonder Woman given how things changed in this new continuity. We also see that each hero has their own concerns about the aliens, the forming of a team with other heroes, and even how their lives are since they became heroes.
What they got wrong: I don’t have any complaints now unless they don’t explain how Locus found out about the aliens (later dubbed Appellaxians, but they wouldn’t know that name at this point) or how they’re watching the heroes without any noticeable cameras and microphones.
Recommendation: A decent first chapter to this miniseries. If it stays good it’ll be worth picking up.