Greetings from the Odinson,
In the late 90s, writer Grant Morrison’s run on JLA not only reestablished the Super Friends as THE premiere super team of the DCU, but it is also easily one of the Odinson’s favorite superhero comic book runs ever. Morrison’s take was profoundly unique as he took these modern day legends and asserted them with the mythology of old.
The Justice League is the modern day Greek Gods: Superman (i.e., Zeus) the king of the sky. Batman (i.e., Hades) the dark prince of the underworld. Wonder Woman (i.e., Hera) the queen of the gods. Aquaman (i.e., Poseidon) the king of the seas. Flash (i.e., Hermes) the fastest. Green Lantern (i.e., Hephaistos) the builder.
This amazing take on DC’s premiere heroes firmly established a link between the legends of now and those of the past and gave fans one of the greatest comic runs in history. This got the Odinson thinking what could another avant-garde writer dream up using the archetypes established by first the Olympians and later the Justice League?
What Would the Justice League of Alan Moore Look Like?
Where Grant Morrison’s take on the myths was widescreen, summer blockbuster larger than life action/adventure, Alan Moore’s take on them tend to be introspective, exploratory, and existential. As Morrison used the Greek Gods as templates for his Justice League, the Odinson shall use the Justice League to speculate on how the great Alan Moore would assemble his team.
Martian Manhunter – J’onn J’onzz is a tragic figure. He is the last surviving member of an ancient race of people that once lived on Mars. Now, transported through time and space, J’onn lives among people of Earth, an alien, an outcast, haunted by the loss of family and the horrors of the past. He is among the strongest and strangest heroes in the world, and the Manhunter moniker is more than just a name, it’s his profession. He is a law officer by trade, a detective, a strange being from another world making his way through a world that is not his own with powers and abilities beyond those of ordinary men.
Alan Moore’s Analog: Smax – Jeff (a.k.a. Jaafs) is a failed dragonslayer from a world of might and magic. Haunted by tragedies of the past, Smax now makes his way in a world that is not his own as a law officer. Like the Manhunter from Mars, Smax possesses strange and powerful abilities and customs that are alien, even to those closest to him.
Like J’onn J’onzz, Smax fulfills the role of the outsider with knowledge and a perspective the other team members do not have but can also be the strong backbone every super team needs to lean on when capers get especially rough.
Green Lantern – Kyle Rayner was an everyman, an aspiring comic book artist trying to make ends meet and keep a girlfriend. That is until the night he was given the Power Ring and conscripted into the Green Lantern Corps. Except there is no Corps anymore. As the last Green Lantern, Rayner was thrust into a world beyond imagination of aliens, monsters, supervillains, and mind-blowing adventures to the stars and back.
Alan Moore’s Analog: Robert Black – Robert is a reporter and aspiring novelist who suddenly finds himself thrust into a dark, mysterious world of supernatural intrigue, monsters, and apocalyptic consequences.
Like Rayner, Robert Black is an everyman in an extraordinary situation. It is through their eyes that we, the readers, watch in astonished amazement as events beyond our normal understandings unfold in ways too overwhelming to comprehend.
Flash – As the living conduit of the extradimensional energy source known as the Speed Force, Wally West is the fastest man alive. Though Wally is not the scientist Barry Allen was, he did prove that he took his mentor’s lessons to heart by constantly quoting Allen’s insightful Flash Facts and using the power of the Speed Force in so many inventive ways, even more so than any Flash before or after him.
Alan Moore’s Analog: Tom Strong – Tom Strong is a brilliant scientist and inventor who is at the peak of human conditioning complete with superior strength and fortitude. He uses his mind as much as his muscle to solve problems and win the day. He is a modern-day Doc Savage, complete with an eclectic group of intrepid sidekicks and allies.
Like Wally West, Tom Strong’s adventure span across dimensions and into parallel worlds as well as different eras in history, both past and future.
Aquaman – He is the king of the seven seas, able to breathe underwater and on land and use his aquatic telepathy to communicate with all the strange and varied denizens of the deep. Arthur has accumulated many scars over the years, both physical and emotionally. He has been shunned by his people, lost his child, lost his hand, and died (several times).
Alan Moore’s Analog: Mina Murray – Mina survived an encounter with the deadliest monster to ever stalk the earth. Her dealings with the Prince of Darkness scarred her flesh and her soul to the point where her only associates left in the world seem to be madmen and monsters.
Like Arthur, Mina is a natural leader and is an experienced traveler in worlds both natural and beyond. And like Arthur, Mina is stronger for her experiences and a core ingredient to holding together a group of truly extraordinary individuals.
Wonder Woman – Given birth by the gods of myth and legend and raised by the Queen of the Amazons, Diana Prince is one of the greatest champions in the DC Universe. With the beauty of a goddess, the strength of an immortal, and the courage of a lion, Diana is the avatar of hope and the ambassador of peace and goodwill.
Alan Moore’s Analog: Promethea – Adopted by the immortals, Promethea transcended mortality and became the embodiment of imagination and possibilities. Promethea has manifested many times over the long centuries, always through a mortal avatar given rebirth through inspiration.
Like Diana, Promethea is a goddess among mortals attempting to show mankind there is a better way, a brighter path above the sins and evils mortals so often find themselves mired in.
Batman – By day he is Bruce Wayne, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist (sound familiar?). By night he is the Batman, the Caped Crusader, vengeance, and the world’s greatest detective.
Alan Moore’s Analog: V – V is a Guy Fawkes mask-wearing vigilante anarchist out to expose and bring down the totalitarian oligarchy that has society in a stranglehold of censorship and control.
Like Batman, V is an above Olympic level athlete with superior intellect and combat skills and is an unwavering soldier in pursuit of justice and a reckoning for those that use felonious power to tyrannize the people of his city.
Superman – The Man of Steel is the paragon of truth and justice. He’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Superman is the stalwart standard for what a hero can and should be, by any measure of the word.
Alan Moore’s Analog: Supreme – Alan Moore’s Supreme is vastly different from the character’s dark, violent origins in the early days of Image Comics. Supreme is the strongest hero of the Maximum/Awesome Universe and the standard by which all other heroes are measured.
Superman from Action Comics #1 to Post-Crisis continuity to The New 52 to Rebirth are all Man of Steel stories that have happened, all showing the changes and evolution of the character throughout history and consequently being explained as canon by the multiverse concept. So, like Superman, Supreme has an incredibly interesting premise as every single incarnation of Supreme is cannon with each version of him being the representative of the storyline that is going on at the time of their inception. This is all made possible by the MacGuffin known as the Supremacy reality.
This is truly meta stuff as only a master of his craft like Alan Moore could conceive.
Now, of course, the Odinson cannot even begin to claim to know what a mastermind like Alan Moore may do when assembling a premiere super team JLA-style, but it sure is fun to speculate.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: For past entries of the So Sayeth the Odinson blog, over a decade’s worth of comic book and pop culture articles and reviews, click HERE. Also, be sure to check out my novels The Survivors and Autumn Dawn, which were inspired by 1980s horror – HERE and HERE