The Big League
Team player Bryan Hitch takes on the JLA
Superstar artist Bryan Hitch returns to DC Comics this June. And he’s onboard to write and draw flagship title Justice League Of America, the team book that unites the biggest hitters in the DC Universe. “[ Publishers] Dan DiDio and Jim Lee had often talked to me about coming over to do something,” Hitch tells Red Alert. “A couple of summers back I was on holiday and after I’d declined the latest offer of project and writer Dan said ‘ Okay, wise guy – what would you do?’
“You can never tell when lightning strikes but for whatever reason I instantly sat down and wrote a one- page… something. Outline? Pitch? Idea? I didn’t think much more about it but I sent it to Dan, who said we should lock it in and do it as a JLA relaunch. Eventually we made a deal and last summer I started writing the eight issues of the first story arc.”
Hitch reveals that the core appeal is a personal one. “It was a favourite growing up,” he says. “Much as Superman was the guy for me, JLA had all of them in… Growing up on only DC books, it had the widest possible appeal. If you only get one DC book, it’s got to have them all in it, otherwise what’s the point?”
So what kind of stories does Hitch want to tell? “They have to be immense ideas, vast threats,” he shares. “They have to be things none of them could sort out on their own. And given their respective reputations and power levels, that’s only the biggest possible threats. If it was only that, though, it might be dull, so I want to be able to put the characters in unusual situations, challenge their principles and beliefs somewhat. It’s not just about the cool shots and fights. It has to be about something too.
“If anything I feel I’m channelling the classic DC as that’s my emotional touchstone for these guys. I’m not aiming for nostalgia in any way, though, so I’m just doing what I think I do best and trying to take a modern approach to what I’m doing.”
Justice League Of America is out on 17 June.