Justice League Of America #0 Free Comic Book Day edition
DC Comics (original edition: September, 2006 | FCBD reprint: May, 2007)
“Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”
WRITER: Brad Meltzer
PENCILERS: Eric Wight (pages 1-4); Dick Giordano (page 5); Tony Harris (page 6); George Perez (page 7); J. H. Williams III (page 8); Luke McDonnell (page 9); Gene Ha (page 10); Rags Morales (page 11); Ethan Van Sciver (page 12); Kevin Maguire (page 13); Adam Kubert (page 14); Dan Jurgens (page 15); Jim Lee (page 16); Howard Porter (page 17); Andy Kubert (page 18); Phil Jimenez (page 19); Ed Benes (pages 20-24)
INKERS: Eric Wight (pages 1-4); Dick Giordano (page 5); Tony Harris (page 6); George Perez (page 7); J. H. Williams III (page 8); Paul Neary (page 9); Gene Ha (page 10); Rags Morales (page 11); Ethan Van Sciver (page 12); Kevin Maguire (page 13); Adam Kubert (page 14); Kevin Nowlan (page 15); Jim Lee (page 16); Dexter Vines (page 17); Jesse Delperdang (page 18); Andy Lanning (page 19); Sandra Hope (pages 20-24)
(pages listed according to comics.org as of this writing)
COLORIST: Alex Sinclair
COVER ART: Michael Turner (drawing) and Peter Steigrwald (colorist)
LETTERER: Rob Leigh
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Jeanine Schaefer
EDITOR: Eddie Berganza
There’s not a lot of story to summarize in this story, as Meltzer seems to just be setting up the new status quo of the Justice League Of America by going through the history of its three most prominent members–Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (often referred to as DC’s “Trinity”). It features the heroes getting together once a year, using it to flash back to major events in the characters lives, as depicted in comics as far back as the Silver Age to the present of 2006. I’m not sure some of those things are even canon anymore (by 2006 standards–The New 52 made things even more confusing), like Diana’s no-powers jumpsuit years or some of the weddings. Certainly many of the costumes Batman had, although they made that stupid spike shoulder cape look…less stupid but I still don’t understand what the point was for that…thing. It also makes it sound like they started the Justice League, which as we just went through a few months ago with the 12-issue JLA: Year One we know that’s not the case. If I had any real problem with the book is that Meltzer is trying to pull a Grant Morrison by trying to make every incarnation, or at least every comic incarnation, canon despite the minor and major reboots over the years.
Where the story shines, and probably why it was chosen as a Free Comic Book Day reprint, is how it highlights where the Trinity was at different stages of development for the DC Universe. Through them we see how the DCU itself has evolved, even the events that put a strain on their friendship. Through it all these three are close friends and to write their relationship any other way is just not right. We also see moments of their humanity even in costume. Superman has doubts, Batman smiles and has fears, Wonder Woman makes mistakes but also plays peacekeeper. We see so much about how “godlike” the DC superheroes are, but in this story we see they’re very much human, just with great powers and abilities. And they lose none of what makes the DC heroes so great for those of us who love them. If Dan DiDio read this and somehow understood this was the kind of thing DC’s fanbase was built on instead of the dark and gritty Marvel wanna-be he keeps trying to turn it into Rebirth would have stayed the norm and longtime DC fans wouldn’t be jumping ship in favor of old stories until something like what made DC so enjoyable comes along. Or WarnerMedia gets rid of him and finds someone who knows what the DC Universe should be. Each art team also does a good job of capturing the time period they’re working in.
Whatever version you get (the original has two variant covers and was added to the “Lightning Saga” trade collections) I think this is a must-own issue for fans of the real DC Universe, either pre or post-Crisis. (I’m of the former of course.) It’s a proper love letter to the various histories of the DC Universe and the Trinity. I just hope the rest of his run was that good. At any rate it’s a good celebration of the Trinity, the League, and the DC Universe at its best.
It also makes it a good series for me to end the regular DC Universe comic reviews on since I’ve reviewed everything else in my collection at one point or another. Next week the DC Animated Universe takes over this spot with digital library reviews returning on Saturdays.