The Justice League at 60, Part 8: Fantasy Drafts

In this edition, Tom Bondurant dives into the “Crisis Cycle” era that defined the Justice League before the New 52 kicked in.

For a series which only lasted five years, there’s a lot to talk about with regard to Justice League of America volume 2. Much of this involves events outside the series, both in DC’s other comics and with the people producing them. Meanwhile, the “comics blogosphere” came into its own, intensifying fan scrutiny and offering real-time commentary on controversies. This post won’t go too deeply into all that extratextual drama; but rest assured it was there, and it crept inevitably into the work.

With that said, let’s get started.

The Legends miniseries begat Justice League International and the Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare miniseries begat JLA. The 2006-2011 Justice League of America similarly traced its roots to 2004’s Identity Crisis, written by novelist Brad Meltzer, pencilled by Rags Morales and inked by Michael Bair. Featuring the murder of a superhero’s spouse and reaching back into the League’s hidden history, Identity Crisis kicked off a “Crisis cycle” that churned through DC books for the next several years.

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Green Goblin returns in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #850

The oversized issue will feature the work of Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Mark Bagley, Kurt Busiek, Humberto Ramos and more.

Marvel has announced that Amazing Spider-Man #850 — or #49 if you’re using the current numbering — will be an oversized issue with stories by a variety of creators, and will feature the return of the Green Goblin.

Those contributing include Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Tradd Moore, Humberto Ramos, Mark Bagley, Kurt Busiek, Chris Bachalo, Saladin Ahmed and Aaron Kuder. Ottley will supply this issue’s cover.

“This is maybe the most action-packed and harrowing issue of Amazing Spider-Man ever,” said Executive Editor Nick Lowe. “There are so many twists and turns and Spidey has never had his back up against a wall like this before.”

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30 years of changing the world: Celebrating the anniversary of the New Warriors

Hear from writers, artists, editors and fans about the impact ‘New Warriors’ has had on them.

Special thanks to Doug Smith, who contributed additional reporting to this post.

Thirty years ago, comic shops were selling the first issue of a brand new comic book series starring a brand new Marvel Comics superhero team. The New Warriors starred a lineup of mostly forgotten and obscure characters by a creative team who had never launched an ongoing series before. Conventional wisdom at the time said the new series would fail. And yet, improbably, New Warriors not only survived, it thrived. At its peak, it was among the top 25 best-selling comics in North America and the United Kingdom.What was it about this underdog series that defied the odds?

Was it the characters? The book starred supporting characters like Namorita from Sub-Mariner and Marvel Boy from The Thing, and stars of previously cancelled comics like Nova and Speedball. Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief at the time, Tom DeFalco, assembled the team. He also included the abandoned co-star of the animated Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends TV show, Firestar, and a new character co-created with Thor artist Ron Frenz, Night Thrasher.

Was it the creators? Writer Fabian Nicieza inherited these characters and immediately embraced them as his own. The first two years of the book was tightly plotted out and featured sharp dialogue, humor, betrayal, adventure and surprise revelations. Artist Mark Bagley, initially inked by Al Williamson and later by Larry Mahlstedt, injected character-driven storytelling with fun action in every issue. After two years, Bagley was moved to Amazing Spider-Man and replaced with Darick Robertson, who brought his own dynamic and expressive storytelling visuals. Even 30 years later, the series is fondly remembered by fans and comic book professionals, even inspiring some of them to become professionals.

We reached out to a number of comic book writers, artists, retailers and others to hear in their own words what made the New Warriors so special to them. We also reached out to Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley, as well as the first editor on the series, Danny Fingeroth, and writer Evan Skolnick, who succeeded Nicieza as writer, to get their own thoughts on their time working on this secret classic.

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All-star line-up assembles for new Spider-Man tale

‘Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle’ will feature appearances by Nick Fury, Wolverine and Peter Porker.

Marvel has announced a new Spider-Man project titled “Full Circle,” which brings the character together with Wolverine, Nick Fury and Peter Porker — and features the work of a Murderer’s Row of writers and artist.

I mean, check out this line-up: Written by Nick Spencer, Jonathan Hickman, Gerry Duggan, Al Ewing, Chip Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson and Jason Aaron; Art by Chris Bachalo, Chris Sprouse, Greg Smallwood, Michael Allred, Rachael Stott, Valerio Schiti, Cameron Stewart and Mark Bagley; Cover by Rod Reis.

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Larsen, Conway, Bagley return to ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ for Marvel’s 80th

Dream team of Spider-Man creators brings decades of experience working on the character.

The guest list for Marvel’s 80th anniversary blowout continues to grow, as the publisher has announced Savage Dragon creator and Image Comics co-founder Erik Larsen will return to do an Amazing Spider-Man one-shot in September. He’ll be joined by two other creators known for their work in the character – Gerry Conway and Mark Bagley.

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