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Justice League: BF

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Following the events of Infinite Crisis, the JLA disbanded leaving the world without a Justice League. On August 16th, Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes will debut DC Comics’ new Justice League in the aptly titled Justice League of America #1. Although it’s only a short time away, the world we live in today is entirely too dangerous to be without Earth’s greatest heroes any longer. At the urging of Broken Frontier’s Creative Director, Frederik Hautain, I have been authorized to assemble Broken Frontier’s own Justice League.

For assembling my dream team, (now and forever to be known as the mighty Justice League BF), I’ve laid down some ground rules for myself: no more than 8 members (our fearless EIC informs me that coming up with a budget to fund anymore will be impossible); they must be an alumni member of some official incarnation of the Justice League (sorry, Justice League Antarctica doesn’t count). I’ve stretched this one a little to also include characters appearing on the Benes cover for the upcoming Justice League of America #1; and any team member must be currently alive, a hero and available.

With that in mind, I proudly present, the Justice League BF;

Although his only previous tenure with the Justice League was as the leader of a substitute team, Nightwing (Richard Grayson) is my first pick for the squad. As leader of JLBF, Nightwing embodies the best in humanity, with mental skills, physical ability and emotional maturity. A former sidekick and Teen Titan, Nightwing has earned the respect of his mentors (the Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman aged heroes), his peers (the mid to late 20-somethings that comprised the original Teen Titans) and the new generation of heroes (the teen and early 20’s, such as the current Teen Titans and former members of Young Justice). Dick’s detective skills may not be quite on the level as his mentor Batman’s, but his ability to see the human side of a situation more than makes up for this.

Princess Diana, better known as Wonder Woman, is the second member of Justice League BF. As part of the trinity of DC heroes (along with Superman and Batman), Diana will provide this new League with legitimacy and continuity to past incarnations. Her strength only surpassed by Superman himself, Wonder Woman also functions as the powerhouse of the team. Raised in the ways of the Amazons, Diana will guide this new League in efforts to find peaceful, humanitarian and proactive solutions to world problems. As demonstrated during the recent Infinite Crisis, when the peaceful approach fails, Diana will not hesitate to take whatever steps necessary to protect her friends or the world at large. 

While he may have been a reluctant member in the past, Steel’s (John Henry Irons) sense of responsibility will lead him to join Justice League BF. Having first proven himself as Metropolis’ protector when Superman was dead, Irons is probably the closest thing to the Man of Steel’s spiritual successor. In addition to a strong moral fiber, Irons possesses a powerful intellect and inventive genius that provides the League with frequently needed scientific knowledge. Dr. Irons may prefer to spend his time tinkering with machines, but when push comes to shove, Steel has held his own against many of DC’s deadliest villains.

Providing the Justice League BF with an expert in the mystical realm was a difficult decision. Satellite-era mainstay Zatanna was a forerunner, but her questionable status due to the unresolved Seven Soldiers series led me to settle on the angel Zauriel. This exiled angel may not have Zatanna’s spell casting abilities, but he does have a respectable knowledge of the mystical as well as a unique perspective on divinity. Complementing the spiritual aspects brought to the League by Wonder Woman, Zauriel also possesses a host of formidable powers, including super-strength, flight, a sonic scream and his angelic over-mind (a divine connection to the flow of magic and life).

As much as Aquaman's ill-fated Justice League Detroit is mocked, I found their roster gave me a certain amount of inspiration. Part of Aquaman’s logic behind the move of forming a team of rookie heroes was that they could devote more time to the League as opposed to their own solo adventures. For JLBF, I’m trying something similar by bringing on board 3 junior heroes. The benefits are twofold; first, these young heroes will have the opportunity to learn under the more experienced members of the League. Secondly, this will lay the groundwork for the next generation of the Justice League (after all, how many times has the League disbanded? Let’s keep some fresh blood on the team so we don’t have another “World without the Justice League”).

Supergirl is the first of my junior recruits.  Already possessing abilities that rival that of her cousin, Kara Zor-El has the potential to be the most powerful of all the DC heroes. That being said, in her short stay on Earth, Supergirl has found herself straddling the lines between good and evil – having been brainwashed by Darkseid, exposed to black kryptonite by Lex Luthor and apparently controlled by Saturn Queen. Given Supergirl’s friendship with Wonder Woman, as well as the compassionate and temperate natures of Nightwing, Zauriel and Steel, the League will provide the young heroine an opportunity to grow into a true Superwoman.

 The Justice League just isn’t the Justice League without a super-speedster – in this case, Bart Allen, The Flash. Bart’s entire superheroic career has been about growing and learning, beginning as the hyperactive Impulse, evolving into the more mature Kid Flash and now finally taking up the mantle of his grandfather. Following the traumatic events of Infinite Crisis, Bart has found himself even more uncertain of his role, even to the point of attempting to reject the Flash mantle. Hopefully under the tutelage of the new League, Bart will finally be able to confidently claim the title of Fastest Man Alive.

Rounding out the new recruits is Jason Rusch, the new Firestorm. Like his peers, in a short period of time, Jason has already had a lifetime of adventures and tragedy. More mature and eager to learn since the tragic events of Infinite Crisis, Jason brings with him to the League the ability to transmute both energy and matter. Given the amazing elemental nature of his abilities, it’s critical that this young hero be trained to use his abilities responsibly. With the proper guidance, Jason may one day be able to become a true benefactor to humanity.

Another “classic” Justice Leaguer rounds out the team - Oliver Queen, also known as Green Arrow provides JLBF with a link to League history.  Often dismissed as “the guy with trick arrows,” Ollie has proven that a good gimmick, talent and some dirty tricks can easily even the playing field against all but the greatest of threats. The main reason for including Arrow however, is as a mentor to the junior members of the JLBF. Having helped train three junior partners (Roy Harper, Connor Hawke and Mia Dearden), Ollie has experience as a teacher. More importantly, the lovingly cranky, realist, liberal Ollie will provide a good counterpoint to the other more conservative senior members of the League. Green Arrow may not be a father figure, but at the least, he’s a cool uncle.

Ladies and gentlemen…The Justice League: Broken Frontier!

Alright…my work is done, but yours is just starting. Somewhere down below you’ll find a link to the message boards where you can form your own Justice League dream team. The rules for picking the team can be found at the start of the article, while below I’ve listed the available heroes. Go nuts and let’s see who you would want defending the world.

Unavailable Leaguers:

Aquaman (Arthur Curry/Orin) ? status and location currently uncertain
Atom II (Ray Palmer) ? location unknown
Big Barda ? status unknown
Captain Atom (Nathaniel Atom) ? status unknown
Captain Marvel (Billy Batson) ? currently trapped at the Rock of Eternity
Dr. Fate ? new identity unknown
Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny) ? believed to be no longer active
Flash (Wally West) ? presumed deceased
Hawkman (Carter Hall) ? location unknown
Kasumi (Cassandra Cain) ? currently affiliated with the League of Assassins
Lightray (Sollis) ? status unknown
Menagerie (Sonja) ? currently active in life of crime
Mr. Miracle (Scott Free) - status unknown
Orion - status unknown

Available Heroes:

Adam Strange
Animal Man (Bernhard Baker)
Arsenal (Roy Harper)
Atom-Smasher (Al Rothstein)
Batman (Bruce Wayne)
Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance)
Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce)
Bloodwynd
Blue Beetle (Jamie Rayes)
Blue Devil (Daniel Cassidy)
Blue Jay (Jay Abrams)
Booster Gold (Michael Carter)
Coldcast (Nathan Jones)
Cyborg (Victor Stone)
Donna Troy
Dr. Light (Kimiyo Hoshi)
Dr. Mid-Nite (Pieter Cross)
Faith
Fire (Beatriz DaCosta)
Firehawk (Lorraine Reilly)
Flash (Jay Garrick)
Green Arrow (Connor Hawke)
Green Lantern (Guy Gardner)
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Green Lantern (John Stewart)
Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders)
Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)
Icemaiden (Sigrid Nansen)
Ion (Kyle Rayner)
Jason Blood
Jayna
Karate Kid (Val Armorr)
L-Ron (L-Ron H*bb*rd)
Major Disaster (Paul Booker)
Manhattan Guardian (Jake Jordan)
Manitou Dawn
Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz)
Maya (Chandi Gupta)
Metamorpho (Rex Mason)
Naif al-Sheikh
Obsidian (Todd Rice)
Oracle (Barbara Gordon)
Phantom Stranger
Plastic Man (“Eel” O’Brian)
Power Girl (Kara/Karen Starr)
Question (Charles Szasz)
Ray – Ray Terrill
Red Tornado II (John Smith)
Sister Superior (Vera Black)
Superman (Clark Kent)
Tasmanian Devil (Hugh Dawkins)
Tempest (Garth)
Vixen (Mari Macabe)
Zan
Zatanna (Zatanna Zatara)

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