In a new episode of DC All Access, writer Jeff Lemire introduces the core concepts behind Justice League United. The book debuted with last month’s Justice League United #0, but the series’ official issue #1 releases tomorrow.
Lemire has written several superhero comics for DC, including Animal Man and Green Arrow, but Justice League United will be his first team book. He spoke a bit about what that experience is like, and hints at a major change he has planned for the relationship between Adam Strange and Alanna.
“It’s fun,” Lemire says. “I don’t want to spoil the new take I have on that relationship, but Alanna’s actually as big a part of the team in the book as Adam. They’re constantly switching spots and they can’t control it. So I guess I did just spoil it.”
Lemire also hinted that certain key characters in the series haven’t been revealed just yet, including an mystery character from DC Comics' past.
“There’s one big character who I love that’s going to be a central part,” says Lemire, “but I don’t want to spoil it…He’s a very fun, obscure DC character who I’ve drawn before in Vertigo. So that’s a hint.”
Beside his creator owned works like Trillium, The Nobody, and Sweet Tooth – which have no connection to the DC Universe – Lemire has a pretty small body of Vertigo work. That makes it easy to pin down Ultra the Multi-Alien as the likely mystery character. Ultra is an incredibly obscure silver age science fiction character published by DC Comics.
Ultra, created by Dave Wood and Lee Elias, replaced Adam strange in the pages of Mystery in Space in 1965. The character is a human from Earth’s future named Ace Arn who goes into space and is shot by four different aliens using four different rayguns designed to transform him into a member of their four different alien races. As a result, he is partially transformed into all four races but maintains his own mind.
Lemire wrote a story about the character, titled "Ultra the Multi-Alien: The Life and Death of Ace Arn," in Vertigo Comics’ Strange Tales anthology. His inclusion in Justice League United is still unconfirmed, but it seems the only likely candidate.
Justice League United #1 hits store shelves May 14.