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JLA, Vol. 1

(JLA: The Deluxe Edition #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,782 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Relive the legendary 1990s JLA series, written by comics mastermind Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) with stunning art by Howard Porter and others, in this amazing oversized softcover collecting JLA #1-9 and SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS #1! The action begins as the JLA reunites to stop the Hyperclan, who have come to Earth posing as a new group of super heroes. But as their true ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by DC Comics (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  1,782 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Word on the street was that back in the 1990s DC Comics were lagging so Grant Morrison wanted to help recharge it by bringing back the original JLAers and DC gave him the green light. Fortunately for all of them sales shot up with this JLA refresh.

As usual it's in the typical “over the top” style that Grant Morrison likes to approach with his tales. The first one is titled “JLA #1-4” and focuses on the Hyperclan which is supposedly a group of alien superheroes who are “better” than the JLA and g
Sam Quixote
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter: together, they are the Justice League of America. They face a hostile alien super-powered team who appear on Earth to enslave mankind, sentient robots, the army of Heaven, and trickster aliens harnessing cosmic power.

This is Grant Morrison’s late ‘90s run on the JLA and boy can you tell it’s the ‘90s! Superman’s rocking a mullet for the first four issues but afterwards, inexplicably, he becomes all blue an
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This is my first official Justice League comic that I recall reading. That's to be celebrated, even if it was not as good as I hoped. I read some Batman in my youth, but my major exposure to the Justice League is through the "Superfriends" (regrettably that hasn't aged well), and the awesome Cartoon Network "Justice League" tv show (and also "Justice League Unlimited").

I don't know. This just seemed kind of hokey for lack of a better word. It was an interesting idea, a space alien counterpart to
James DeSantis
This is a 2.5. Right down the middle. Because that's what it is. Just okay.

So I know a lot of people love this guy. "Grant has done amazing things for comics" and "he's so deep" and "his stories define characters like Batman and Superman" but for me, this guy has huge writing issues.

Okay so let's talk about what works. The art is solid, if not a little overboard. Sure everyone looks terrible (superman's hair, Kyle looking like he's always yelling, why is wonder women more muscular than Aquaman
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, dc
Grant Morrison's late 90's JLA run is considered by many readers to be the best Justice League incarnation, and I can definitely see why. It's just a heckuva lot of fun! The stories are huge in scope and scale, and the all-star cast is mostly well-utilized. While this is probably the most straight superhero book Morrison's ever done, it still has a lot of his style and imagination. The book does feels slightly dated with its sometimes excessive use of exposition, and the dialogue can be pretty c ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, superhumans
I know that this was considered a huge step forward for DC at the time, and maybe if I'd read it at the time, or what came before, I might feel the same. But I didn't. I'm reading it for the first time more than 15 years later, and it's ok. Decent, mostly entertaining, but not spectacular. It doesn't help that it's just so painfully 90s. I mean, Superman Blue. I distinctly remember that stunt as something that kept me away from the DCU in the 90s, so there was nothing nostalgic about going back ...more
This book collects the first 9 issues of Grant Morrison's JLA run. Like all of his stuff, this is very kinetic work here. Lots of action and movement and not much introspection. I find a lot of Morrison's dialog to be a bit clumsy and sometimes opaque, but the plots are pretty good if finished off in a slapdash manner occasionally.

For instance, the issue dealing with Tomorrow Woman was a nice one issue story, but it came together rather quickly. She ingratiated herself with the team but it was n
Morrison's take on the Justice League is all high concepts and highly compressed storytelling. There's some clever metatextual jokes and references, but it isn't nearly as hermetic as his later DC comics. Sometimes his dialog is hampered by a need to show that he can be "fun," but for the most part the scripts are exactly what I want out of cape comics.

The biggest problem with Morrion's JLA is that it's drawn by Howard Porter. Porter's work is exxxtremely 90's in the worst possible way. Characte
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theres so many different layers and ideas here. Some work some are just too wacky for me.
Mar 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Rereading this for the first time since buying it loose. Morrison really attacks JLA like it is insane-o Silver Age comic action but peppers it with the modernism he's known for. It's funny too because some of the characterizations are wildly off, Kyle Rayner in particular, whom Morrison writes as kind of a Bill & Ted type "dude."

Its also very indicative of the '90s ACTION style, where everything is so overwrought and wall-to-wall and the character interactions come second. I remember that being
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really up and down read. I normally love Morrisons work but I found the 2 story arcs just polar opposite in style and quality. The 2nd involved angels and alot of fighting, which I found was way too complex and confusing than it should have been. Even after finishing I'm still confused as to what actually happened. To me its 2 in 1. The first is 4 star quality and the 2nd 2 star. The artwork was fun but some of the characters just had annoying features. What was up with supermans hair ...more
Judah Radd
Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: dc-comics
Not as good as I wanted it to be.

I’m an unparalleled fan of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, so I walked into this with expectations. I thought it would be a page turner with intense drama and intrigue. What I ended up with was some relatively standard superhero fare. There were moments I loved (Batman fucking up the superbadguys was especially awesome,) but overall this just wasn’t all that consistent.

I’m also not crazy about Howard Porter. Everything he draws looks like it’s made of silly putty. Pe
Will Robinson Jr.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
So I have reread volume one of Morrison's run Justice League. There has always been great buzz on how great this series was under Mr. Grant. The truth is I think I appreciate it more after another reads through. Morrison had some big ideas about the scope of his Justice League stories. What is great about Morrison's take on one of the most important superhero teams in comics is that he was able to tell these larger event stories while still not straying away from the continuity and status quo of ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've figured it out. I finally know the key to enjoying Morrison's work. Completely let go of any sense of reality (yes, I do know how that sounds in the context of comic books, just go with me on this) and expect weirdness on a massive scale. Expect the ridiculous, expect over the top and insane. Expect to be left with questions and feeling like you've missed something, an inside joke that careened past your head. You were too busy looking at the right hand that you didn't notice what he did wi ...more
Nov 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: justice-league
The first volume's easily the weakest, but it's still really awesome. The stand-out stories are "Woman of Tomorrow", where the team gains a new member who's got a few secrets that even she doesn't know, and "A Rage of Angels", which brings the first taste of the hugely epic tone that would make the series famous. ...more
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know a lot of people don't like the art, but I find it all right. I have some minor issues with it, but for the most part, I don't think it takes away from the story that much. ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Long-haired Superman tackles martian millennials, JLA recruitment, and a costume change that I didn't really understand. ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Superman save us...blahblahblah....oh no a weird alien, superman save us....blahblahblah...wonder woman is hot...blahblahblah.

Siona St Mark
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics-manga, dc
Didn’t particularly enjoy this tbh. Morrison is either hit or miss, and this was a miss.
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I had started watching Justice League the animated show a few weeks prior to purchasing JLA 1-4 volumes, but you can see where they found certain designs and storylines from. This is an easy jump on point for newcomers and fans alike. Grant Morrison shows considerable restraint and the straight forward storylines keep this from growing into something subliminal or cerebral. If you're worried about JLA being like The Invisibles, don't be. Accessible and a large ensemble of characters.

Why the
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5. Man the 90s really did have a bullet wearing Superman. Kinda had to see it to believe it. This is a very strong start for the JLA. I don't want to say too much because this story is best enjoyed without any idea of where it's going. The first issue annoyed me because it looked so fucking expected, but then deconstructed the tired old plot device it was going for. It really did. Also I love Grant Morrison so much when he has fun with the characters and this shows how much he really genuinely ...more
Chris W
Over the top, 90s DC fun. 90s art, Superman with a mullet, Electric Blue Superman, Hook Hand Aquaman and Kyle Rayner as GL. All the 90's DC ups and downs in one but somehow Grant Morrison makes it all work with some fun and extremely fast paced stories. It's not too emotional, but the stakes and villains suit the level of the heroes and the characters bounce off each other well. Morrison also does better with Kyle Rayner as GL than the people who have written him. This is far from a top tier com ...more
Christopher (Donut)
Already legendary? I don't know. I got back into comics because I liked Final Crisis, but people I talked to who were still into comics said FC was weak sauce compared to Morrison's JLA.

I am prepared to accept the "canned" account that Morrison's JLA represented a return to roots, a silver age approach to super heroes in stark contrast to the darker themes of the nineties.

At any rate, these stories are lighthearted and fun, with many of the Morrison tropes already on display.

May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this series back when it was new. Fortunately, it held up very well. The Justice League takes on White Martians, warrior angels, virtual reality, and the usual sort of stuff from the Silver Age with a modern age style. A ton of fun.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s Grant Morrison. He brought the central league back to center stage in a title that was bleeding readers at the time. His stories are batshit and tons of fun.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Some pretty fun JL stories in this one, not fantastic, but solid.
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having recently finished a re-read of Morrison's entire Doom Patrol run, I was primed for that particular brand of insane, psychedelic storytelling Morrison is particularly versed in. This is my second (maybe even third?) time reading this particular JLA hardcover, though I've never read beyond this one. And yet I forgot just how accessible it is compared to stuff like Doom Patrol or The Invisibles. It's honestly kind of impressive that Morrison can dip in and out of such vastly different tones ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Where’s this been all my life?

As mentioned in several of my other reviews, I consider myself a comics noob. Been reading comics now for about 2.5 years. Yeah, I’m new to this, but quickly latched on to arcs and stories I wanted to know more about and began collecting a respectable amount of trades to create a nice chronology.

One of the first names that came up for me as in “I should read their work” was Grant Morrison. I dove headlong into his mid-to-late2000s stuff and thought it was nice and a
Justyn Rampa
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So I don't know what I was expecting with this as Grant Morrison can really go in any direction and any given time, but I gave it a shot based on a recommendation and I really kind of loved it.

The first arc was solid as seemingly peaceful superteam came to save Earth and replace the Justice League. The second arc was about a new member to the Justice League that may not be quite what she appears to be. The third arc was a strange Heaven/Hell storyline that was probably the weakest (and definitel
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This graphic novel collects 9 issues of JLA from the late 90's (hence Superman with a mullet).

I liked this (surprisingly) pretty well.
The art was very good (except Superman's extremely small ears - don't ask why that sticks out to me) and the writing was well above average, kept me turning the pages and wanting to know what happens next.

Why not 5 stars? Because it has the same problem that every DC comic has had for 70+ years - it's not believable, it's not relatable. The hero's are almost god
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Scottish comic book author Grant Morrison is known for culture-jamming and the constant reinvention of their work. They are known for their nonlinear narratives and countercultural leanings in their runs on titles including DC Comics' Animal Man, Batman, JLA, The Invisibles, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Doom Patrol, and Marvel Comics' New X-Men and Fantastic Four. Many of these are contro ...more

Other books in the series

JLA: The Deluxe Edition (9 books)
  • JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2
  • JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 3
  • JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 4
  • JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 5
  • JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 6
  • JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 7
  • JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 8
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