Over the weekend, sleuth-site Bleeding Cool took note of some interesting photos on artist R. B. Silva’s Instagram. The artist posted several pictures of artwork for what seems like a new Justice League team. Several photos feature the hashtag #justiceleagueinternational, but with the one exception the team depicted is very American. Check out some of the photos and a bit of speculation after the jump.
Now, if all of this is to be taken at face value, it seems we can expect a new Justice League International team consisting of Hawkman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Tornado, Black Canary, Booster Gold, and SHAZAM. This is a GREAT line-up in my opinion. I loved James Robison’s recent JLA series led by Dick Grayson as Batman, and would love to see Nightwing have play a big role on a team book. Booster Gold is a great character who got dumped on by the New 52, and I’d love to see stories building off of his last appearance in JLI Annual. Red Tornado is a big surprise, considering the character was believed to be an Earth 2 exclusive. Jeff Lemire recently tweeted pictures of Red Tornado, which has some linking him as the writer for the project. As exciting as all of this is, there’s a lot of information that doesn’t seem to fit together.
First of all, we just had a JLI book and it didn’t do so well, leading to its cancellation after 12 issues and an Annual. It doesn’t seem likely that DC would resurrect the team name within one year its demise. Second, as I mentioned earlier, this line up features only one non-American character, the newly Canuck-ized Booster Gold. This hardly makes for a team with an international flavor. Third, several characters have upcoming roles on other Justice League teams. There’s always the possibility that the characters could be pulling double duty, Avengers style, or it could be due to an upcoming plot-point. Either way, it seems strange for characters like Hawkman and SHAZAM, who, according to Geoff Johns, are committed to the JLA and JL respectively, to be featured on a new team so soon.
Of course, this calls into question when this proposed team will see the light of day. Is this a book that will replace the recently cancelled “I, Vampire” or rather a peak a something in the post-Trinity War New 52. Considering how little we know about ‘Trinity War’ it’s nearly impossible to say. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the current Justice League disband sometime in the immediate future, considering the team’s myriad of issues, to be replaced by this trinity-less Justice League.
One possibility is that this will be a new incarnation of “Justice League Detroit,” the ill-fated team from the late 80’s. Recent interviews regarding the upcoming “Vibe” book and his role in the New 52 have revealed how significant that particular city is to the DCU, so it makes sense for DC to revive the property. However, none of the characters on this mystery team have a previous affiliation with the JLDetroit, so this too seems unlikely.
It’s also possible that this isn’t even the final roster. In the “team” photo seen above, the letter “B” is circled. The top half of the page is blurred, but there appears to be another “A” team consisting of six characters. This probably means that the final roster has yet to be decided, lending further credence to the idea that this book is still quite a long way off.
No matter what else you take away from this “leak,” you have to admit that Silva’s designs for these characters are fantastic. Whatever this turns out to be, it will likely get a first issue purchase on looks alone.