As things stand, Justice League and Justice League of America are two separate books, and come 2017 the company hopes to make the latter one of its flagship titles. Where the former is a more classic lineup, including the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, and Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, the upcoming lineup for the latter includes a selection of characters DC is establishing in other media. The latest additions to the JLA? Black Canary, Batman on double duty, and the villainous Lobo. Can’t say we saw that one coming!
The Canary, The Caped Crusader and The Main Man will join a roster that already includes The Flash’s Killer Frost, Legends of Tomorrow’s Vixen and The Atom (different characters inhabiting the same identities) and soon-to-be headliner of his own series The Ray. Considering Arrow featured two Black Canaries and Batman will be getting another solo film, it makes sense to include someone like Lobo since there are plans for a movie about him, even if it’s on par with the Avengers willingly inducting The Punisher. It’s weird, but it could make for some interesting scenarios.
Created in 1983, Lobo didn’t take off until his solo series in the ‘90s, but he was a perfect fit given his gritty “'90s cool” outlook and aesthetic. And while the image of violent, muscle-bound hypermasculinity isn’t necessarily “cool” anymore, his intro to the
biglys big leagues comes at the hands of Steve Orlando, writer of Midnighter & Apollo, i.e. DC’s own gritty Batman and Superman analogues who also happen to be a badass gay couple. Here’s what Orlando had to say about the shakeup:
“For some people, Lobo will be a hero. For others, he'll be an anti-hero. It's moving past these black and white definitions and realizing that you have to have a malleable idea to serve everyone instead of just the people in the mainstream. Lobo, I think there's more to him than ever before.”
Orlando goes on to lay out his plan to give the bike-riding assassin more depth than he’s been afforded, which is by no means a bad idea since DC Films will likely be looking to do the same. The new JLA lineup will hit stands early next year, though there’s no word yet on the release date for the film.