When I got into reading about Justice league international(1987) I was really enjoying the book so much that I reread the series again that I noticed there was something I missed on my first reading and never really thought about the first time.
At the time I wasn’t fully aware of the Justice League of America series before international. I just accepted it as something that exist. Morbid curiosity got me to search it up and find out about Gerry Conway’s 1984 Justice league of America that most people dub Justice league Detroit. From what I understand, Gerry Conway wanted to update the Justice league series and desired to appeal to the same crowd of readers from New Titans and legion of superheroes. With the theory, that the Justice League needed to be street-level, focusing on a team of established characters who didn’t have a book at the time, set it in the city of Detroit where we have a new and younger heroes alongside the team.
Thanks to the DC infinite service, I read the run and got a good grasp of what the series is about.
The premise is that Aquaman after leading a small portion of the team in battle against an alien invasion, leaving their space satellite destroyed, he decides as the leader to disband the league and remake it into something new. A team fully committed, able to become a fighting force that has a common purpose. It’s his speech that convinces Elongated man, Zatanna, and Martian Manhunter to join him to create that league, fortunately he finds better luck with new members Vixen and Steel in which one provides the base of operations in Detroit. Other members Vibe and Gypsy finish the roster that create the Detroit team.
It’s something of an oddity in the DC universe, but I found myself enjoying it. I would agree that it reads less like a justice league book and more like the West coast Avengers, but I maybe enjoyed it for that reason. The book’s focus on a more lived in Justice league team and the fact that one-third of the cast were teenagers gave this era of the team a more familial vibe that doesn’t really exist with other versions of the justice league. While other versions of the league might use the metaphor of family to describe the team’s dynamic. I would argue that only Justice league Detroit era might be the only version of this team that fits that description perfectly.
This era is no way my favorite and ain’t a series without some obvious problems, but I don’t think it deserves all the hate it got. I consider it an enjoyable series that is worth revisiting in the future.
That’s my opinion though, really interested to know what other people thought about the Detroit era?