Webcomic / JL8
is a webcomic by Yale Stewart, featured on Tumblr
and his DeviantArt
Done in the style of Sunday newspaper comic strip, JL8 follows the exploits of a group of young students who just happen to be kid versions of the Justice League. A brooding, slightly bratty Batman
, a mischievous version of The Flash
, and many others deal with the typical pratfalls of school.
It was originally called Little League but due to trademark reasons, the author was forced to change the name of the strip to JL8.
The deviantART page is no longer updated, stopping at Strip #136
Can be found here
. It's mirrored here
in a different browsing format as well.
Tropes featured in JL8:
- Adorkable: J'onn, and Clark when he's trying to talk with Diana. Hal too, especially when space or aliens are involved.
- Affectionate Parody: Of the Justice League, and the DC Universe in general, of course.
- Alien Catnip: Oreos, for J'onn. Just look at that reaction. Oh, and don't touch his plate.
- All Girls Like Ponies:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Bruce and Clark attempt to invoke this, but it doesn't work on Diana.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Among the things Bruce has studied are forensics, chemistry, sleight of hand, martial arts...and long division.
- Art Evolution: The kid's heads used to be really weird shapes, but eventually Yale rounded them out. Especially Clark, whose head size has gone down a third.
- Badass Adorable:
- Pretty much all of the kids, but Diana especially managed to turn slamming a door into something epic when she demanded to know why Karen is giving her the cold shoulder.
- Then there was the time she managed to shut Lex Luthor up (and by extension the kids-version of the Legion of Doom) with nothing more than a Death Glare.
- Badass Creed: Or Bad Butt Creed at any rate. The Green Lantern oath, recited by Hal's scout troop.
- Berserk Button:
- Do not insult Bruce's friends while he's around.
- Diana's mom does not appreciate arm punches as a sign of affection.
- Big Eater: Barry. At Diana's birthday party, she had a special table set aside for him, so that everyone else could get something to eat.
- Blown Across the Room: By straw paper.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Downplayed, by Bruce.
- Bromantic Foil: Clark and Bruce, of course.
- Bullying a Dragon: Schwartz Elementary School bully- Lex Luthor, a kid in a suit. His choice of victims- a godlike alien, a master martial artist and the wielder of the most powerful weapon in the universe.
- The Cameo:
- Cleavage Window: Powergirl's mom is having none of it◊.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Despite wearing their costumes (with the exception of J'onn), all the characters call each other by given name.
- Comic-Book Time: Diana's party, lasting little more than the afternoon and early evening, started in August 2012 and ended in June 2013. Later, between June 2013 and February 2014 only a week had past in-universe.
- Barry comments that it felt like months ago that Bruce admitted to his crush on Karen, which was a week ago in-universe. Then again, he is the Flash...
- Coming of Age: The story arcs tend to have this. Diana learning it's okay to be a princess, Bruce learning not to care what other people think, Clark learning to deal with his feelings toward Diana.
- Compelling Voice: While not an example of actual control, Hipollyta can put on a damned good one.
- Compliment Backfire: Bruce compliments Powergirl's shirt, not knowing that her mother forced her to wear it.
- Crazy-Prepared: As usual, Bruce◊.
- Death Glare: Diana gives one to Lex and Len.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Played for laughs with J'onn, who - being an alien - is unfamiliar with much of Earth culture. When Hippolyta introduces J'onn to the concept of dipping his newly discovered oreos in milk, he punches her in the arm. When she gets angry, he says that he had been led to believe this was an earthly sign of affection by Hal and Barry.
- Disappointed In You: Alan Scott says this to Hal, after he loses J'onn in the woods
- Dope Slap: Diana to Bruce◊ when she hears he thinks she has cooties.
- Dramatic Irony: Karen asks Diana, quite innocently, why any girl wouldn't want to be a princess.
- Everyone Went to School Together: The basic premise.
- Evil Redhead: Lex Luthor, who's famously red-headed when he's not bald.
- Face Fault: Bruce does one after the Gym Class Hell.
- Face Palm: Diana after Bruce tells Karen that he owns horses, causing her to go from outright rejecting his profession of a crush to "owing it to ourselves to explore these newfound feelings."
- Flat "What.": One of the kids at the park, following Diana batting a baseball into orbit.
- Girls Have Cooties: Bruce certainly thinks so.◊
- The Girl Next Door: What looks to be shaping up with Lois Lane.
- Go Look at the Distraction: Bruce enacts one with a Smoke Out to allow Clark time to swap presents.
- Gym Class Hell: With Darkseid as the gym teacher no◊ less.◊
- Heroic Sacrifice: A non-leathal variant. At Diana's Party, while playing "Truth or Dare" Diana forces Clark to pick Truth when he takes Dare, and so throws her rope at him demanding to know who he has a crush on. Bruce pushes Clark out of the way and answers the question.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: A kid-friendly parody version — "Root beer float. Make it a double."
- Incest Subtext: A significant subplot centers on Karen having a crush on Clark. It wasn't until after writing it that the author was informed that she's technically his cousin, since in the mainstream DC continuity Power Girl is (usually) an alternate universe version of Supergirl, who is Superman's cousin.
- Insult Backfire: Guy makes a couple of jabs at Flash's and J'onn's outfits, and J'onn happily admits that his mother made his shirt for him.
- Just Friends: Diana does this to Clark, not even realizing Clark had been crushing on her. She, instead, sees him like the brother she never had.
- Kirby Dots: Of course, since it's an homage to the classic comics. For example, here.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Naturally, scout leader Alan Scott has one.
- Last Name Basis: Sinestro's full name is actually Thaal Sinestro, but he prefers to just be called Sinestro.
- Love Triangle: Karen has a major crush on Clark, Clark has a crush on Diana, Diana's trying to set Karen up with Clark. Became a Love Dodecahedron when it's revealed that Bruce has a crush on Karen.
- Mathematician's Answer: As demonstrated here.
- Moment Killer: After Diana yells at her mother for revealing to Diana's friends that Diana is a princess, and after Clark cheers her up, Diana returns to the party and apologizes to her mother. Their hug is interrupted by Barry snarking.
Barry: Aww! Check out this kodak moment!
- MST3K Mantra: Invoked by Hal when Jon wonders how Bruce can produce a full-sized butterfly net out of his utility belt.
Hal: We've stopped asking those kinds of questions.
- Mundane Utility: Hal uses his ring to get all his household chores done without leaving the couch.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Hal after◊ Sinestro and the others give him a What the Hell, Hero? over his treatment of J'onn.
- Mythology Gag: For the DC Universe as a whole... Part of the fun is spotting all the witty references.
- The children's teacher is longtime DC editor Julius "Julie" Schwartz.
- Ted Grant was their former gym teacher.
- Neil Gaiman runs a bookshop.
- The Lane family just moved into "the old Byrne place".
- Jekko The Clown appearing here◊.
- Bruce's favorite tv show is The Grey Ghost, and for added giggles, his favorite episode is The Mad Bomber.
- Little Lex derisively refers to Bruce as "Bat-Mite" and Bruce later returns the insult by calling Lex and his gang the "Legion of Dorks."
- The Red Hoodie kid yelling "Hit Me! Hit Me! Hit Me!" at Bruce before breaking out into manic laughter.
- Just like in the comics, J'onn develops an insatiable fondness for Oreos. (Although in the comics, the Oreo-like cookies were referred to as Chocos due to legal reasons).
- Bruce, of course, has a fear of clowns...
- Diana steps on Bruce's head in reference to a memorable Greg Rucka Wonder Woman story
- Barry's gift to Diana, a chemistry set, is a sly wink at his day job as a police scientist with a brilliant knowledge of chemistry.
- Likewise, Hal's gift to Diana is a model airplane, referencing his line of work as a pilot.
- Finally, Clark's story could be seen as a reference to his own profession as a journalist.
- An early strip has Clark (ironically) annoyed at being called by the newspaper "Superboy". Additionally, Clark became Superboy (pre-Crisis) in grade school (at the age of 8).
- Alan Scott is the troop leader for Hal's scout troop, The Green Lanterns. Members include John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Thaal Sinestro.
- Specifically, The Green Lanterns Troop 2814.
- When Barry and J'onn join Hal on a Green Lantern camping trip, they bring their own rings, so Alan Scott makes them honorary lanterns, and names them a blue lantern and a black lantern respectively.
- John Stewart wears glasses, in an episode of Justice League where the League are reverted to childhood, John Stewart needs to create glasses with his ring to correct his vision, mentioning that he needed glasses as a child
- Narcissist: How Clark sums up Luthor.
- Oblivious Adoption: Of a sort.◊ Sinestro knows he's adopted, but whether or not he's human seems to be a Berserk Button for him.
- Obviously Evil: Well, Obviously Jerkass anyway. Barry observes that Sinestro prefers to be called Sinestro, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about him.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Not actually, but poor Jekko was freaking out.
- Oh Crap!:
- When Diana and Karen see Bruce coming over after his forced confession.
- After Clark gets hit on the head with a baseball and doesn't notice, some other kid (apparently with Super Strength) chucks another ball at him. Diana catches it and gives him a mighty Death Glare, resulting in his friends saying, "Oh, #@$%*."
- Only Sane Man:
- Diana is easily the most mature of the main cast. Well, except in violent confrontations.
- Clark is very mature and level-headed as well. Especially around Bruce.
- Parental Substitute: As usual, Alfred is one for Bruce◊.
- Power Walk: An adorable one.
- Pun-Based Title: On "JLA".
- Queen Incognito: Or princess at any rate. Diana's friends know she is an ambassador's daughter. They didn't know she was a princess and she was keen on keeping that a secret.
- Reality Ensues:
- Not surprisingly, taking Karen to ride horses does not cause her to fall madly in love with Bruce.
- No one finds the fact that the kids dress like superheroes to be unusual except for Jekko, who is baffled by the "Halloween costumes", and driven to madness at the slightest display of Barry's superspeed.
- The Reveal: In a game of truth or dare, it's revealed that Bruce has a crush on Karen.
- Rocket Punch: Used by an action figure in this strip, much to Barry's chagrin.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Clark.
- J'onn has a bit of this too, as a result of being from Mars.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: While playing "Truth or Dare" for Clark's Dare, she forces him to pick Truth. Bruce calls this out, but Diana replied "It's my party. I'll do what I want."
- Serious Business: Bruce, Clark, and Hal don't appreciate being referred to as "kids/boys".
Bruce: And the names they gave us... "Batboy". How intimidating.
Clark: "Superboy", ugh.
Hal: Apparently I'm "The Green Nightlight".
- Shout-Out: In strip #50, Joker taunts Bruce by saying, "come on...come on...HIT ME!"
- Special Guest: Neil Gaiman.
- Spin-Off Babies
- Spoiled Brat: Bruce can lapse into this at times◊. Usually when Diana's not around to Dope Slap some sense into him.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Batman is in it. You've gotta have at least one.
- Stealth Pun: Lex's little group of friends.◊ Most of them are obvious, but the kid in red bears no immediate resemblance to any prominent DC villains and...wait a minute. A hoodie. A red one. Red Hoodie. To be fair, he does have the pointy nose and chin from the animated series as well.
- Stuffed into a Locker: Oh, J'onn...
- Superhero School: Surprisingly averted. The concept is child versions of DC heroes and villains going to school together, but beyond that it seems to be a normal school, they're never seen to train in their powers, nor is it ever suggested they're learning anything beyond a normal curriculum, it just so happens that most of them have superpowers, and they all attend school in full costume.
- Take That:
- The arc with Hal, Bruce, & Clark switching to their costumes from the New 52 featured a couple.
- To Flash's post-reboot costume being the same as before the reboot, only with a load of unnecessary lines added, by having a jealous Barry draw on his costume with a market pen.
- DC making the universe Darker and Edgier, by having characters like Superman acting like jerks.
- Those Two Guys: Hal and Barry, Mikey and Ted.
- Trademark Favorite Food: J'onn and Oreos.
- Two Girls to a Team: Karen and Diana.
- Unishment: Batman rather liked Time-Out.
- The Unsmile: Oh, Bruce◊
- You Go, Girl!: A minor example. A boy at the park challenged Diana to hit a single baseball pitch, claiming that girls can't throw balls well and definitely can't hit a ball he throws, given his apparent Super Strength. Cut to, he throws the ball as hard as he can... and Diana casually bats the ball into orbit one-handed, even taking the time to do a "bored yawn" before doing so.
- Weirdness Censor: Nobody finds it even remotely unusual that eight year olds with superpowers are running around in costumes
- Wham Episode: Issue 127, where it's revealed that Bruce has a crush on Karen.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Barry is incredulous that a member of Hal's troop is named Sinestro. It turns out to be his surname, but still.
- Wimp Fight: Justified, as Lex and Bruce are still kids having a tussle on the playground.