(CBR) Jeff Lemire likes to bring his work home. Literally. Last week at FanExpo in Toronto, DC Comics announced that the Canadian cartoonist is taking over writing duties on "Justice League of America" in the spring. His first item of business is moving the team north of the border and renaming the series "Justice League of Canada."
That noise you just heard was the sound of thousands of bottles of maple syrup bursting open simultaneously in celebration.
Sworn to secrecy about plot details and the majority of his roster due to the possibility of spoiling the ongoing "Trinity War" crossover in the Justice League books and the upcoming "Forever Evil" maxiseries, Lemire did share with CBR News exclusively that Adam Strange will be joining Justice League of Canada and that he will be introduced into the New 52 as a Canadian character.
Lemire also teased the introduction of an all-new character that will also be Canadian but wouldn't reveal anything beyond the superhero's citizenship.
The current roster of the Justice League of America -- formed by the government as a counter balance to the Justice League that boasts heavyweights like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman -- consists of Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Catwoman, Stargirl, Katana, Vibe and the new Green Lantern, Simon Baz.
Lemire revealed that three of the current members will move to Canada to join Adam Strange on the new roster alongside some other "fairly major" DCU superheroes.
CBR News connected with Lemire in advance of the official announcement and he also shared his thoughts on what it means for him personally to showcase Canada as a part of the greater DC Universe, how picking his roster was not unlike being a GM for a fantasy hockey team and why British artist Mike McKone is the perfect choice as the artist for "Justice League of Canada."
CBR News: You and Geoff Johns have been working together on "Trinity War" for most of 2013. Was taking over "Justice League of America," moving the team north and renaming the series "Justice League of Canada" always the plan or did that come about organically?
Jeff Lemire: I knew my "Justice League Dark" run was coming to an end with "Trinity War." I just felt like it was a good place for me to stop. I'm happy with the run that I've done and I knew that the events of "Trinity War" and "Forever Evil" were going to have some pretty dramatic repercussions across the DC Universe but especially with the Justice League franchise. Without spoiling what's coming, this is only one of the changes that will happen in the "Justice League" books after "Forever Evil."
It all came out of those stories and working with Geoff and working with a lot of those characters. At the same time, it's obviously something that's pretty personal to me. It's me taking the reins on a "Justice League" book and making it my own and building something here that I can be proud of.
Like me, you're Canadian. Did you threaten Geoff and DC Comics by saying that you would only take the book if you could move the team to Canada?
[Laughs] No, not at all. I took it as "Justice League of America." And I was really excited to have that. The actual idea to move the team to Canada wasn't mine. It was [DC Co-Publisher] Dan DiDio's. When we started talking about the book and the direction we were taking it, he actually threw that idea out there. At first, I thought he was just joking but then I realized that he was serious and I embraced it. And really went crazy with it. This "Justice League of Canada" storyline is going to be a lot of fun and I'm really going to try to make something really special for Canadian fans. And it actually leads to something even bigger for the team.
While Superman resides in fictional Metropolis and Batman lurks in fictional Gotham, Spider-Man swings through the streets of a very real New York City in his comic adventures. Is this move to Canada in name only, or will readers see landmarks and cityscapes that quintessentially set the story in Canada?
Yeah, I don't want it to just be a fight scene happening in a city and the banner reading "Toronto" instead of "New York." I really want this to feel Canadian. And I really want to use real locations and create an atmosphere and a backdrop for these stories that feels authentic.
Toronto will be used as one of the main locations. I'm not going to reveal who the team is going to be just yet but I can reveal that one member will be Adam Strange and the New 52 version of Adam Strange that we're going to introduce in my first issue is Canadian.
He lives and works in Toronto and that's where the story begins but it's going to spread across the country. And actually, a bulk of the action is going to take place in northern Ontario near Moosonee and Moose Factory. That's going to serve as the backdrop for the main action of the story.
You mentioned that you are hoping Canadian fans are really going to dig this. Do you think locations like Moosonee and Moose Factory, and an overall move to Canada, will be a distraction for American readers?
By no means is this an anti-American move or me trying to slander our neighbors to the south. It's very much just me trying to put my own personality into the book. And to do something that reflects where I live. And, like you said, to show that the DC Universe extends around the world and not just in the United States. I'm showing other places of the DCU and trying to build them up and frankly, show Canada as a big part of the DC Universe, as well as the States. And this story gives us a chance to do that.
Copyright © 2013 Comic Book Resources. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.