Comic Name: JLA
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Bob Harras
Artist: Tom Derenick
# of Issues: 6
Release Date: 2006
Reprints JLA #120-125 (December 2005-April 2006). The JLA is no more with lies and deceit destroying the team. Despite the Justice League’s destruction, there is still danger in the world and someone needs to deal with it. When a killer with ties to the Justice League resurfaces more deadly than ever, it is up to the former members of the Justice League to pick up the pieces…if they can work together. Even worse than the killer, something is brewing that could destroy not only the Earth but the universe itself!
Written by Bob Harras, JLA Volume 19: World Without a Justice League is the final volume in the JLA series. Following JLA Volume 18: Crisis of Conscience, the collection features art by Tom Derenick. Considered a tie-in to Infinite Crisis, the issues in this collection are also collected in JLA—Volume 9.
The Justice League has always had a tricky path. Despite being the primary team of the DC Universe, it always felt like a secondary title. Grant Morrison’s relaunch of Justice League as JLA seemed to really make the team a premiere team and the comic a real feature. The series faced ups and downs after Morrison’s leaving and it feels kind of like a shadow of its former glory here.
The problem can’t be entirely placed on JLA or Bob Harras. The DC Universe was undergoing a real flux at the time and facing a reset yet again with Infinite Crisis. The whole “mind-wipe” idea set up by Identity Crisis created a real problem for writers since it wasn’t clear if the JLA were good guys for their actions…and here Harras tries to get the story to come to fruition (in a so-so attempt).
The structure for this collection is a little odd in that the comic needs to do three things. It needs to solve murders (being committed by the Key), wrap-up storylines in JLA (like Manitou Dawn’s story), and set-up specific members of the team for assignments during Infinite Crisis. It works somewhat but it feels choppy because it has a lot to do in a little time…the Batman/Green Arrow rift seems really, really forced.
JLA was a great series and it is worth reading through the whole series since writers really took time to develop their storylines. It might not have ended in the most positive light but it was good to see a real team like the Justice League finally get a quality book about the Justice League (I have enjoyed other incarnations like Giffin’s Justice League, but they always felt like spin-offs of the real Justice League). JLA…R.I.P. 1997-2006.