Back in March, I wrote a post about European superheroes in the respective universes of DC and Marvel.
Today, presented for your consideration, are international heroes exclusively from the DC stable, on this occasion. Again, I’ll ask: do any of them have what it takes to make the Justice League?
The first and probably best known international are the Batmen of All Nations aka the Club of Heroes. But later, in the Bronze Age, E. Nelson Bridwell introduced the Global Guardians in Super Friends. They were awarded their alliterative sobriquet in 1982 and went on to appear alongside Infinity Inc. and Justice League Europe. We’ll also meet some heroes from crossover events of yesteryear.
Starting off in the Northern hemisphere, a fairly new addition from Canada is Equinox. This Cree teenager has elemental powers.
USA (Oklahoma) is home to Cherokee heroine Owlwoman, who has mystical avian abilities.
Acrata, a teleporting urban avenger, is from Mexico.
Green Fury, Brazil’s heroine has had multiple codenames. Again, like the preceding females, her powers are magical.
The Super-Malon is a team of heroes from Argentina. The members who were most developed in 2000’s Flash annual are Cachiru, a winged avenger and La Salamanca ( again with the magic!)
In addition to the follicled fighter Godiva, England is home to the armoured hero Lionheart, a descendant of Richard Coeur de Lion.
Sala is another Planet DC character with mystical powers not dissimilar to the original Captain Britain (more of whom later this year).
Janissary, also introduced in the Planet DC event, has…magical powers, yes, from Merlin’s Eternity Book, as seen in the world of Kirby’s Demon. (Huh?)
Bridwell’s Seraph, the Man Who Could Work Miracles, is one of my favourite Global Guardians and he starred in a few back-up strips in Super Friends. However, his Biblical powers also appear … essentially magical.
Aruna is a shape-changing stuntwoman from India from the untouchable caste.
Grant Morrison created Communist super-team The Great Ten ten years ago. The field leader of these “super-functionaries” is August General in Iron, who was also a member of the New 52 iteration of Justice League International.
Japanese pop culture is reflected in further Morrison creations The Super Young Team and Mr. Unknown. They are all homages to JLA members . Mr. Unknown, a Shadow-like crimefighter was mutilated and murdered by Lord Death Man and replaced by his sidekick, who then adopted a Batman guise.
With the rather safe choices of the 2016 Rebirth JLA ( dull Cyborg and two Green Lanterns!) I decided I’d prefer five international heroes to bring greater diversity to the League. They needed to be iconic but shouldn’t duplicate existing members too greatly. It’s proved to be a tricky decision.
The placeholders had to be Superman- or one of his imitators-Wonder Woman, Batman and Flash and (a) Green Lantern. John Stewart had the edge over Kyle Rayner, with his military veteran animated series personality , although I was very tempted to use Alan Stewart from the New 52 Earth-2.
I replaced Superman with Dwayne McDuffie’s conservative Republican hero Icon, a Leaguer in the Young Justice animated series. I wanted the team to be racially diverse but had considered the new Chinese Super-Man, who hasn’t been officially introduced just yet!
Then, in honour of Bridwell, I thought Green Fury’s jade flame would be a reasonable substitute for an Emerald Gladiator.
Next, for the European representative, I thought of Fleur de Lis, Len Wein’s covert agent -cum- savate expert from Blue Beetle.
As a role model for Muslim women and as a doctor, Janissary appeals to me, especially in this wimple design by the inspirational Jemma Salume.
The third time I cheated was having Batman replaced by Jiro Osamu, because his youth and Manga freshness would be appealing:
Aruna’s metamorphic powers recall the Martian Manhunter, I suppose, but her Bollywood milieu is interesting, so I picked her:
While August General In Iron could be seen as a Chinese Tony Stark, he has such a fantastic name, I had to add him:
My final choice for my diverse Justice League was slightly unusual. Vixen , with her African heritage came so close. But the tenth spot on the League went to gay teenager Jackson Hyde aka Kaldur’ahm: Aqualad, the son of Black Manta. With his hydrokinetic powers, Aqualad represents seventy per cent of the planet!
So: Icon, Batman of Japan, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Fury, Fleur de Lis, Aruna, August General in Iron, Janissary and Aqualad are my Justice League of the World. Who has earned their place and who is missing? I strongly suspect that I need a Native American or Canadian First Nation Leaguer. Let me know what you think.
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