Thursday, August 11, 2011

JLA No. 6 "The Debut of the Time Lord!" AFTERWARD

So, what did you think? Did you see the time-travelling ending coming? My guess is after the whole team showed up and it was already page 30-something you probably guessed it would be a two-parter. A little side note: in true continuity the first two-parter in their history featured The Time Lord (and Felix Faust, but he's not coming up for a few issues yet) so I figured I'd do the same. :-)

You have to remember that this story took place in the early 90s. Dinosaurs were BIG then ( know what I mean!). So it seemed like a no-brainer to pit my guys against them. How to do it: either bring them back to the dinosaurs, or bring the dinosaurs to them. It's a lot easier to draw jungles than it is to draw cities, so....:-)

A few other notes about this issue that struck me as I was scanning the pages in:

 As I mentioned in the Forward, this story started by me asking the question: How would the JLA come across a character like the Time Lord? I picked Black Canary as the main protagonist for two reasons: 1. she had a brand new logo (more about that later) and 2. she was popular with the girl readers (and I had an idea for Wonder Woman that I used two issues from now). As soon as I hit on the idea of having a member come across the Time Lord on an individual case and then have that adventure escalate into a story that involved the entire group, I narrowed the choice down to Black Canary easily. So...the first few pages are actually a Black Canary adventure, which seemed kind of cool. She maintained her popularity as long as I was drawing these, which I liked.

It always seemed odd to me that if you happened to be reading an issue of BATMAN, he would be able to solve whatever death-trap plot-devise his Arch-Nemesis would toss at him, but if he happened to be in JUSTICE LEAGUE then he would suddenly need his buddies' help.  So with that in mind, when Black Canary is faced with a choice of either breaking into the museum or asking for a quick teleportation lift, it seemed logical for her to call Aquaman to help her out. He is at her service, after all. Especially characters like Black Canary and Green Arrow, who would otherwise not have a way into the building without teleportation (unlike, say, The Flash or Green Lantern, who could get in under their own power).

This was the first issue where I started to create some of the internal logic and rules of "my" Justice League: namely, I established that there are two types of "alerts" that members can send out: Yellow Alerts, which is asking for help from anybody who happens to be available; and Red Alerts, which are A-1 emergencies that all members must respond to.  This made sense to me at the time, even though in the very next panel showing Aquaman staying on duty, Green Arrow is shown receiving the signal...! So...uh...what exactly is Aquaman supposed to be doing? Co-ordinating something? Or did *he* send along her signal? That part was left unclear. And when the Red Alert signal goes out, he is shown to be
responding himself, leaving no one at the satellite on monitor duty. That doesn't seem right, either....and will be addressed in a couple of issues after I had realized my mistake. Later issues will show that there is always a member on duty...although I guess if it's a Red Alert that member would also respond...? See how complicated it gets? ;-)

As for Black Canary's logo, she is the only member to ever get two logos. When I was putting together the Roll Call Portraits I only had access to the comics I had with me in Japan at the time...and the only logo I had for her was the straight block type. So that is the one I used in issue 5. Then between issues 5 and 6 DC came out with their new BLACK CANARY ongoing series, and with it a new logo. THIS is the one I used from issue 6 on! :-)  

In general I thought this issue did what it was supposed to do very well: it starts out as a solo adventure, becomes a team-up, and then, finally, a team story: just in time To Be Continued; all in a straight-forward and logical way. We'll see if it all ends as clearly as it starts! 

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