Justice League”
Justice League House Ad

House Ad For The New Justice League Series

Justice League #1 – Born Again released by DC Comics on May 1987

The Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis-era “Justice League”

May 1987
Writers: Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Penciler: Kevin Maguire
Inker: Terry Austin

Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ take on the Justice League was a dramatic departure from the expected, which was a reboot of the team book featuring DC’s big seven (Aquaman, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman). Let’s set the historical perspective for this issue. In the post-Crisis DC universe, the Legends crossover event had just wrapped up and the current incarnation of the Justice League (known as the Justice League Detroit) was destroyed, including their orbiting satellite base. Also at that time, Superman was being rebooted by John Byrne, Wonder Woman by George Perez, and the Flash (Wally West) by Mike Baron and Butch Guice. In the wake of all of this, the Justice League was being rebooted as well, but without the majority of those big seven superheroes. Giffen in his 2007 introduction to the hardcover reprint, mentions that they didn’t have input into who was going to be on the team.

Tales from the Longbox – Justice League #1 (1987)

When house ads started appearing in DC’s superhero titles for a new Justice League comic in 1987, it was clear that something was different. It wasn’t the line-up of the team, per se; as fun as it might have been to see characters like Mister Miracle or Blue Beetle in the publisher’s premiere super-team, the combination of A-list characters like Batman and Green Lantern alongside more obscure heroes wasn’t anything new. It wasn’t the fact that the new series was missing the “of America” clause in the title, either, although that was certainly unusual. No, what was different was the way that the various heroes staring out at the reader… looked like real people.