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Comic Book / Justice League of America (Rebirth)

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The rougher, tougher Justice League.

"The world needs heroes they can know, not gods, to inspire them—show them they can be heroes."

Justice League of America is the second main Justice League ongoing series to be part of the DC Rebirth initiative, running twice-monthly from February 2017. Written by Steve Orlando (Midnighter, Supergirl) with art by Ivan Reis (Blackest Night, Aquaman), the series follows a second Justice League team formed by Batman in the wake of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. The team consists of:

The series itself was preceded by four one-shots in January 2017, Justice League of America - The Atom: Rebirth, Justice League of America - Vixen: Rebirth, Justice League of America - The Ray: Rebirth and Justice League of America - Killer Frost: Rebirth, which give introductions to those characters. The Atom and The Ray were written by Steve Orlando, while Vixen and Killer Frost were co-written by Orlando with Jody Houser (Faith, Mother Panic).

While the series features the second team to use the Justice League of America name in the post-Flashpoint DCU (the first being the team in Justice League of America (2013)), it is the third series to use that name, after Bryan Hitch's brief run, which featured the main Justice League.

Noticeably, the cast has strong ties to the Arrowverse, with much of the team having a counterpart in one of the shows. It features an Atom (Legends of Tomorrow has Ray Palmer in Powered Armour), Vixen (Legends features an ancestor of Mari's, and Mari appeared in Vixen), Killer Frost (The Flash (2014) features Caitlin Snow) and Black Canary (both Legends and Arrow have Canaries), with the Ray slated to get his own animated series as well.

Justice League of America (Rebirth) provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Sexuality: Ray Terrill goes from being straight, as he was pre-Flashpoint, to being gay, like the Rays of Earth-10 and the Arrowverse.
  • An Ice Person: Killer Frost can generate and manipulate ice. She can also absorb heat from living beings - in fact, she needs to do this to live, and it's usually fatal to whatever she's draining. It's eventually shown in her Rebirth one-shot that she has learned how to partially drain a small amount of heat through simple contact with another person.
  • Arc Villain: The first arc has the JLA going up against Lord Havok and the Extremists, who want to impose their own brand of law on Earth.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Ryan Choi is awkward, and Ray Palmer and his parents note his allergies, shyness and bad posture.
  • Big Bad: Every threat that the heroes face in the first 24 issues is tied to a mysterious threat called the Might Beyond the Mirror, aka The Queen of Fables.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Lobo, who is a Sociopathic Hero at best, is oddly attached to Ryan. This is because Lobo considers Ryan to be one of the very few beings in the entire universe who are truly innocent.
  • The Big Guy: Lobo, whose super strength is at least on par with Pre-Flashpoint Superman's when he was at his peak.
  • Blatant Lies: The young group The Ray meets when he first leaves his home do this. They invite him to join their group, but when his powers go off, they tell the cops he came over with no invitation.
  • Captain Ersatz: As always, the Extremists: Lord Havok is the ruler of a European nation who employs super technology and magic, just like Doctor Doom. The tentacled member shares a strong visual resemblance to Doctor Octopus. The magnetic one is... well, Magneto. The feral one is basically Sabretooth with Wolverine's powers.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Continuity Snarl: Lobo's a bit of a tricky situation continuity-wise; in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Lobo was apparently imprisoned on Earth since before the New 52 Suicide Squad series began, which conflicts with the separate New 52 Lobo having killed him, claiming him to be a fake. Whether this will be addressed remains to be seen.
  • Death by Origin Story:
    • Mari's mother was killed, and her father afterwards.
    • Ray Terrill's father was apparently killed by his susceptibility to light. However, given that Ray later found that he could turn invisible, and that he gained his condition from his father, it's possible his father didn't die.
  • Flashback Within a Flashback: Mari's origin story is set "years ago" when she first became Vixen, and features a flashback to when her father gave her the totem.
  • Genius Bruiser: Lobo, most notably when he completes Ryan’s Microverse ship.
  • Handwraps of Awesome: Canary binds her fists with some in issue #28 before going into battle.
  • Healing Factor: Lobo, who is able to even heal after having his head blown up.
  • The Heart: Black Canary joins to keep the team honest and speak her mind, similar to Green Arrow in the DCAU.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Caitlin Snow's Killer Frost was always a victim of circumstance more than anything, but this series sees her really trying to be a hero.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lord Havok is defeated this way — he's not wearing armor, that's his skin. As such, Vixen takes him on and uses the properties of a poison dart frog to strike him down.
  • I Choose to Stay: After finally finding the missing Ray Palmer, he decides to stay within the Microverse in order to help repair the damage done to it thanks to Dr. Manhattan.
  • I Gave My Word: The reason Lobo is on the team; he promised Batman one free job at the end of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad
  • Important Haircut: Ray Terrill shaves the sides of his head, giving himself an undercut as we see him acting more rebellious to his mother.
  • Internal Homage: The scene in Justice League of America: Rebirth with Batman telling Lobo to sit down is almost identical to a similar scene in the first issue of Giffen & DeMatteis' Justice League, where Batman tells Guy Gardner to sit down. Guy sits; Lobo doesn't.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Ryan Choi is the second heroic Atom, and the third Atom(-ish) character in the post-Flashpoint universe including Atomica, who was secretly a supervillain from Earth-3.
    • Mari's mother used the totem before her, and the way Mari talks about the Vixen name, it's implied her mother used it too.
  • Light 'em Up: Light powers the Ray - he no longer needs to eat or sleep, absorbing light instead. He can generate energy blasts, fly, create hard-light constructs, and turn himself and others invisible.
  • Lovable Jock: Adam Cray, Ryan's roommate. He's into sports and is well aware of how privileged he is and openly admits it. But he's also a nice guy who is genuinely interested in Ryan's experiences in Hong Kong, gets Ryan into video games, and tries to get him to be more athletic.
  • Love Confession: In Ray Palmer's message to Ryan, he tells Ryan to tell his ex-wife, Jean Loring, that he loves her.
  • Mission Control: Ryan's role for Ray Palmer before taking up the mantle himself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Ryan fantasises about having adventures in a Civvie Spandex version of Ray's Sword of the Atom-era costume, complete with sword.
    • Adam Cray, Ryan's roommate at Ivy University, is a reference to the third Atom pre-Flashpoint and even has the same backstory sans Atom (he's the son of a senator).
    • Vanity was the pre-Flashpoint home of Aztek. The Aztek series hinted that Vanity was a Wretched Hive thanks to Alien Geometries in the architecture, which gets a nod when one character dismisses the architecture as a reason for the place being depressing.
    • The Secret Sanctuary was the Justice League's original base when they were first introduced.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Mari, who contributes to many causes and has her own organisations set up to help troubled youth. In fact, it's the accusation of a little girl that she is Idle Rich that made her start superheroing to begin with.
  • No-Sell: Killer Frost is unaffected by Terrorsmith's attempt to turn her into a monster out of her worst nightmare because, in her own words, "You want to turn me into my worst nightmare? Guess what? I'm already living it!"
  • Not Afraid to Die: Ray Terrill snaps after an argument with his mother and ventures outside, no longer willing to live in the dark, and no longer caring whether the light kills him.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There's one Ray on the team (Ray Terrill), and another strongly linked to a team member (Ray Palmer).
  • Only Friend: The Ray's only friend as a child was another boy named Caden. Ray would later write to Caden once he left home, then rescue him as his first superhero act, and Caden would be the one who gave him his superhero name.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: The team's two scientists, Caitlin Snow (Killer Frost) and Ryan Choi (The Atom) are shipped with each other.
  • Powered Armour: Ryan Choi's Atom suit, which Ray Palmer didn't wear.
  • Recycled Premise: The Killer Frost one-shot, which featured a test of Frost's morals as she has to stop herself from killing people for their energy, and seems to indeed do so despite the inevitability of her death if she doesn't, before the reveal that she was actually taking just a little bit from everyone she came into contact with... This is basically the plot of the "We All Die at Dawn" issue of Grayson, which featured Dick Grayson being told by Midnighter, who has a super-computer brain, that he couldn't survive the issue without killing a baby for its energy, only for it to be revealed that his proximity to the baby was enough to give him the energy he needed.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: While Caitlin's teammates do trust her to an extent, it takes a while for them to build that trust, and most of the general public isn't really willing to believe that Killer Frost has changed.
  • Retcanon: Ryan Choi's Atom suit has more in common with the Arrowverse Ray Palmer's than previous Atom suits.
  • Retcon: Regarding the scene of Ryan finding Ray Palmer's message after his disappearance. The Atom: Rebirth noticeably gets rid of some dialogue from the scene that appeared in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, removing references to a Silver Age villain as well as removing some of Ray's hesitation and condescension towards Ryan.
  • Secret Test of Character: Amanda Waller stalls Killer Frost's release and tempts her with "bait", as Frost can't survive without draining heat. Frost thinks it's because Waller wants an excuse to keep her locked up... which she sort of does, but this trope is also in effect.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Ray Palmer leaves a message for Ryan, telling him to become the new Atom.
  • Walking the Earth: Ray Terrill spent four years travelling the world, avoiding getting involved with events around him, before he came to Vanity.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Ray's mother is shown to be the one largely responsible for his isolation, but once he runs away from home, he never mentions her again.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Mari and Ray's one-shots - Mari's is set "years ago", when she first takes up the totem, and Ray's follows him through his life up till he becomes a superhero.