The Big League

Team player Bryan Hitch takes on the JLA

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

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.

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