Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where we’re sticking with 1994’s Elseworld Annuals by look at Justice League America Annual #8, “The Once and Future League”.
How’s It Different?
I would call this one another “For Want of a Nail” story, in which the original Justice League (with a very Pre-Crisis line-up) is killed by Felix Faust very early in their careers. This leads Faust to successfully conquer the world, ushering in a totalitarian era of “peace” 100 years on.
What’s The Story?
A century after the death of the Justice League, the elderly Dr. Martin Jonas leads a rebel movement against the totalitarian rule of the sorcerer Felix Faust. His resistance has used forbidden science and rigorous training to grant six of their number metahuman abilities and the costumed identities of long dead heroes: Superman (Perry Ross), Flash (David West), Batman (Morrison Dent), Wonder Woman (Deborah Trevor), Hawkman (Kevin Hall), and Red Tornado (Mike Morrow)!
Will they succeed where their predecessors failed? What secret is Martin Jones hiding? Does the new Superman truly stand for Truth, Justice, & the American Way? Find out!
Best of Differences
- The best dressed of the new JLA are Hawkman and Red Tornado, with the faintly 90s-upped new Superman and Wonder Woman earning honorable mentions. New Batman…just looks like Batman.
- I’m fairly certain that this is the first version of Red Tornado to both be human and have wind powers, predating the creation of Cyclone for Kingdom Come by two years.
- Martian Manhunter surviving the slaughter of the original League and mentoring the new team really fits well with the elder statesman role he found himself in Post-Crisis and is reminiscent of his appearance in the JLA TV pilot.
Worst of Differences
- The New Flash’s costume is a bit underwhelming, just a bald guy in a maskless Flash suit.
- The story boasts cameos from classic characters like Jimmy Olsen, Ted “Blue Bettle” Kord, Ralph “Elongated Man” Dibny, and “Snapper” Carr that don’t go anywhere.
- We don’t get a whole lot of time with the New League, and they’re generally pretty flat characters as a result. This tale might have been better told as a mini-series.
Come Back Next Week for ANOTHER Installment of Strange Times & Places!