Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and ninety-third installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
As always, there will be three different posts for each legend this week!
Batwoman was going to join a new Justice League team, but then the plans for two ongoing Justice League titles was squelched and she was dropped
In 2009, James Robinson talked about launching a brand-new Justice League series. Dan Didio and Robinson discussed the new series with Newsarama:
“The book is about justice and seeking justice, rather than responding to emergencies, letting the problems come to them, and being almost entirely reactive,” DC Sr. VP and Executive Editor Dan DiDio said when asked about the new series. “The team is led by Green Lantern and Green Arrow who have in the past disagreed in points of view on what they can accomplish and what they, as heroes, should do, but when they work side by side, they have a very clear sense of goals. I think, with this group of heroes, you’ll see a more clearly defined mission statement for a team as put forth by these two. Plus, they’re motivated by an event in the DC Universe that makes them feel that they need to take a more active stance in regards to the need for heroes in the world today.”
That event? A murder. Unsurprisingly, neither DiDio not Robinson are saying who will be taking the upcoming dirt nap, only that it’s tied to Final Crisis, and that the League’s response causes a schism.
“Hal is outraged and wants to immediately go after the villain and get justice for the fallen hero,” Robinson said. “Given the circumstances, the rest of the group is pulling back and waiting to see where things land when all the chips fall, but Hal refuses to, and goes off half-cocked with a plan that’s none too well thought out. The only hero to go with him to help him is Green Arrow. So the team and the book will have that tone from their partnership – a little of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Hal’s decision has a lot to do with the book’s origin, Robinson said.
“It had long bothered me that the Avengers had never really ‘avenged’ anything – they’re either stopping a crime, or are under attack, which means that the name ‘The Defenders’ would’ve been better suited for them. Or The Crime Stoppers. It’s the same thing with the Justice League – they’re rarely about bringing villains to justice, or even bringing justice to the world at large. They’re attacked and they defend themselves, or there’s a crime in progress and they go and fight it. Again, they’re candidates for calling themselves The Crime Stoppers. Or the World Police. My thinking was that if you have ‘Justice’ in your name, then you should do something about bringing justice to people, or bringing villains to justice.
“Either that, or change your name.”
Joining Green Lantern and Green Arrow on the team (which will be complete and an official “team” by the end of the first arc): Ray Palmer (not as the Atom though – at least at first), Supergirl and Batwoman (“to get the iconic emblems on the team,” Robinson said), Freddy Freeman (“ideally with the blue costume and a new name”), and two from left field:
Mikaal Tomas – “The blue alien from Starman, because Dan asked for a ‘Starman’ in the book,” Robinson said. “If you remember in the final issues of Starman, Mikaal was becoming more and more militant and angry – the spirit of his alien blood was welling up into him. He’ll be the one who’s savage and warlike when he’s fighting, but when he’s not, he’s this languid, charming fellow.”
And the last?
“This was a character that Dan, Eddie [Berganza, editor] and everyone else stopped cold when I suggested him (and Geoff [Johns] was appalled). I didn’t let up, and they and finally said, “Okay, we trust you James, if you’re that passionate about the character, then use him.” And then, after reading the pages devoted to him in the first issue, they’ve all told me that I was able to make them care about him. He’ll be the oldest character in the book – he’s 90 years old, his human body has been destroyed, and he’s trapped in the body of a gigantic, magic, golden gorilla. Congorilla will be on the team.
“I guarantee you, the same way that The Shade was nothing when I took him over, you will love this character when I’m done with him.”
That series became Justice League: Cry for Justice...
However, Batwoman, oddly enough, barely appeared in the series.
She was in a montage of various heroes at the end of the third issue...
Then we see her stalking the team from the shadows in #4...
And then she contacts them in #5, but does not actually team up with them (she's too busy)...
Robinson then took over the main Justice League of America series, and he brought in most of the members (including the idea of having "fill-ins" for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in the person of Dick Grayson's Batman, Supergirl/Mon-El and Donna Troy)...
But what happened to Batwoman?
Well, in the sixth issue of Cry for Justice, Robinson explained in a text piece that when the series was turned into a miniseries as opposed to a second ongoing series, Batwoman was dropped from the book, as he was not planning on introducing her to the story to later on in the book and thus, when it became a miniseries, I suppose he thought that it would be weird to introduce a team member that late, so he just dropped her.
Not to mention, of course, he was then named the writer of the regular series, so he brought a bunch of his ideas to the main book, but now had access to Batman (via the Dick Grayson Batman), so I guess there was no need for Batwoman as a the Bat-representative.
Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this week's legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!