Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
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.