announced the Justice League of America would move to Canada next spring, it sounds kind of like a hoax or a joke, something to divert attention away from Batffleck, but no, it's true enough. Fellow bloggers immediately intimated that I should comment, being, as we know, the only comics blogger this far north (shhh, don't tell anyone Moncton is more southerly than Washington, Montana, et al.). Well ok then. Here are some random thoughts on the whole affair.
1. My first thought wasn't that wooot, finally DC is putting out a comic book that takes place in Canada. It was my second thought. No, my first was that Lemire was writing a Justice League book, indeed taking it away from Geoff Johns. This is good news from my perspective. And David Finch won't be on the re-titled JLA/JLC. Mike McKone will be doing the art chores according to Lemire's blog. Again, good news.
2. The move follows the events of Trinity War, which means that thing is gonna take until SPRING?! Lord have mercy. (Not that I'm reading ANY Trinity-related books.)
3. The new HQ will be in Northern Ontario, and much of the action will take place in Toronto. That makes sense since Lemire is from those areas, though I do hope the heroes will be going to other places as well. One thing Alpha Flight did very poorly was cover Atlantic Canada, so I always hold out hope that Canadian superheroes will get a chance to at least fly over my province. But Toronto is a fine place for superheroes to be since it WAS the model for Metropolis (that's why the newspaper was originally called the Daily Star, as in, the Toronto Daily Star). As for the boonies in the north, that runs the risk of out Detroit-ing JLDetroit, but Lemire as shown again and again that he knows how to tell rural stories (Essex County, Sweet Tooth), even superhero ones (Superboy).
4. Some purists have condemned the decision to mix Canadian heroes with American heroes on this team (or non-Canadians, shall we say, since it looks like Lemire has plans for the Martian Manhunter). I don't mind it. It might provide some amusing scenes in the style of Due South, and if a superhero team is a little like a hockey team, Americans play for Canadian teams all the time.
5. Of the Canadians on the team, only a re-nationalized Adam Strange has been named. An odd choice, given that he's really a Rannian citizen, although in the New52, who knows? Booster Gold might have been likely, since they gave him Canadian citizenship in the press, but never did anything with it AND he's already a member of a (now forgotten) Justice League. (I now hear it's confirmed he won't be in it.) There will also be a new teen hero who likely WON'T be a "clichéd Canadian archetype", something Lemire criticized about Alpha Flight (the team has had people wrapped in flags, characters based on Native myths and a guy called Puck). Other than that, it's way too early to tell. Can't say who'll stick around from the old team either.
6. And talking roster, I just realized, moving to Canada probably takes them out from under Amanda Waller's thumb, a major major reason I disliked the JLA book from the first issue.
7. If I have a #1 on my wishlist, it would be to make a French-Canadian member NOT be Quebecois. We've never seen that. The token Frenchie is always Quebecois, never Franco-Ontarian, Franco-Manitoban or Acadian. It's possible Lemire, despite his French name, won't be including any French-Canadians in his team, not with all those old, non-Canadian members in there. But if he does decide to be more inclusive, and more representative of the country, at least over time, I hope he'll consider French language minorities.
8. That's if "Justice League Canada" lasts for any length of time. On his blog, Lemire calls it an "arc", which could mean the move is entirely temporary, lasting no more than a year. Perhaps it will depend on the book's success. (According to this interview on CTV, 4 or 5 issues, but Lemire would love to work on a spin-off.)
9. To those who criticize DC for simply copying Marvel's Alpha Flight 35 years too late, I say this: I agree that it IS very late to finally give Canada a little love (though I can complain about that no more than Australians, to name just one other English-speaking country that probably reads these comics), but that doesn't mean it's not worth doing, the same way comics are trying to be more inclusive about sexual orientation or race. If you have a strong fan base in a certain country, especially one without its own well-developed comics industry, maybe they'd like to see themselves portrayed. It just so happens DC has a "hot" Canadian writer right now who's inspired by the assignment.
10. To round things off with a tenth bullet point, let me address the idea that Canadians are so polite, our country could never spawn villains. HA! Nice reputation, but no, this country is as full of douchebags as any other. We have crime too. And Plastique. Don't forget we have Plastique.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?