Not sure if this has been asked (didn't see it in the link), but what are your thoughts on Priest's Justice League run?
So remember how right before/as this was coming out it was being heralded as the rightful, long-in-coming climax to a painfully unappreciated career finally being given the credit and opportunities he deserved, springboarding into him getting a spot in Detective Comics #1000? And then he did that one interview and now we just don’t talk about Christopher Priest anymore?
In the shining twilight beforehand however, this was a hell of a little run. Plagued by artistic inconsistency and chained to being an interim run - one that would only ever have so much space to explore what it was tackling in the main DCU under even the best of circumstances - but the most successful attempt at doing what DC had been trying to make Justice League for 15 years, right on the eve of finally dropping that approach. After years of the League grappling with inter-team drama threatening to tear them apart and the vaguely political repercussions of their actions and widescreen destruction, we finally got the plainly post-Authority take on the concept.
Not purely that: the currency this book traded in on an issue-by-issue basis was actually fairly Silver Agey in its puzzle-box science-quiz escapades, the kind that’s always fit well for the group and that Priest was smart enough to do exceptionally here, across scales from industrial accidents and terrorist attacks to space invasions and natural disasters. But the distinct juice here - aside from Priest’s profoundly distinct and calculated style of pacing and dialogue (people complain about how haaaard they have to pay attention to get what’s going on in a Grant Morrison comic, and I hope and pray those poor souls never catch wind of this guy) - is the context and knockoff consequences of the relatively traditional saves. That industrial accident has the dominoes fall in such a way that the League has to prioritize protecting a wealthy neighborhood in the most direct and severe danger, appearing to the public as if the team is pointedly ignoring the impoverished black citizens nearby who are also taking it on the chin. Rescues are blocked or complicated by political circumstance. The League relies on unorthodox methods to deal with global threats that don’t come in the form of superhuman physical force, and drop the ball with all they have to juggle at once. It’s an interesting take on the League as a ‘realistic’ team, less concerned with the nuances of any individual plausible complication than the degree to which they compound over time to tangle them up as they try and go about their superheroic business, with the main villain of the run being the worst kind of fan who, actually living in the DCU, wants to cut through the red tape at any price without a care that there’s a reason the heroes reckon with that sort of thing.
It’s a compromised run in more ways than one: while the assorted art teams all fit the tone and I tend towards being more accepting of those sorts of change-ups than most, having it happen several times in the space of a 10-issue run is unavoidably jarring, especially next to the bold, pared-down, lightly manga-esque aesthetic Pete Woods cultivated here as the main artist in a far cry from his Superman days. And amidst the briefer complications Priest does somewhat delve into more high-minded traditional “are superheroes violating civil rights and accountable for it if so/where and how do they intervene” genre questions without giving much focus to the answers. The implication at the end seems to be that they’ve recognized the criticisms levied at them and will attempt to do better, which fits on a character scale given who we the readers know they are, but thematically speaking - especially since they’re framed as akin to a special ops group in here as much as a classical superhero team - comes across as underwhelming. For a ten-issue run that had to end with the board cleared that’s unsurprising, but I can’t shake the feeling that less might have been more for that aspect given what struck me as the run’s primary goals and sources of conflict.
Compromised though it may be, this was quite a special thing. DC let one of their most unorthodox, clever creators loose on all their biggest guns and clearly let him do pretty much whatever he pleased within the space allotted him, and in the process finally successfully realized the ambition of a Justice League run grappling with their place in the modern world after years of trying, as the final hurrah and testament to the efforts of that era before the full shift under Snyder to world breaking Morrisonia moral drama. It’ll never be spoken of alongside your Snyders or Morrison/Porters or Giffen/DeMatteis’ in the annals of definitive Justice League runs, but it deserves note alongside the likes of Orlando and Waid and Ellis/Guice and Simone/Lopez as having done something worthwhile relatively outside the spotlight.