Monday, July 11, 2011

Introduction Part 4: Where is "Of America?" and Numbers 1-4?

So I had my ten members set for my Justice League and I started work on the first issue...Almost immediately I decided to drop the "of America" from the group name Justice League OF AMERICA.

Now, before you get all crazy patriotic on me, let me try to explain. In this international age, and as an American living in a foreign country at the time (Japan, circa 1990) I just did not feel it was appropriate to keep "America" in the name of a group of heroes sworn to protect the entire Earth. There were precedents for my move: Giffen & DeMattius had just started on "JUSTICE LEAGUE" (which is where I took my shield logo from) and very soon after I started on my series DC began publishing Justice League International and Justice League Europe. And of course, as I have mentioned before, when the producers of the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon started up, they must have been drinking the same water as me, because they did exactly as I did. Besides all these reasons, as an interpreter it was easier to say "League of Justice" then to throw in "America." With another nod to existing continuity, however, I kept the name of the JSA as "Justice Society of America." It just seemed natural that a group that was formed in the 1940s around the time of World War Two would incorporate the USA into its name.

And lastly, you might be wondering why this internet series starts with Number Five. The answer is very simple...until issue 5 the layout of the books was haphazard and the translation of the English into Japanese was very difficult to read. Plus I was just starting, and the art was pretty bad. Also, in issues 2 and 4 I paid homage to ripped off the stories from the Pocket Books collection JUSTICE LEAGUE and they are not a pretty sight. (Changing Hawkman to Hawkwoman was especially...ugly.) The other two issues were my original stories, versus the Queen Bee and Dr. Light. As I was wondering how to improve the storytelling and readability I came across the idea of using four panels per page with plenty of space in-between for the Japanese translation. This is the format I stuck with through the rest of the series. What I lost in creative panel designs I gained in clarity. After I get through the first few issues I'll scan in some pages from these Forgotten Issues and show you just how bad they were. Believe me, I'm not proud of them. :-)

For now, here is a panel I feel okay to show you. Number Three was "The Debut of Dr. Light" which was based loosely on JLA #12 "The Last Case of the Justice League." Instead of getting Snapper Carr to write the story, though, Dr. Light videotapes himself. I thought that was clever. Anyway, SPOILER ALERT he didn't get away with it (haha) and that leads directly into Number 5, "The Return of Dr. Light."

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