P:R Approved: Cliff Chiang’s Justice League of Japan!

Note: For an artist working full-time in super-hero comics, sometimes when you have some free time you want to experiment. Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang did just that a few years back with a series of illustrations imagining a band of Japanese superheroes inspired by the heroes of the Justice League. In what Chiang describes as a mix of DC, old school anime and kaiju, this take was almost greenlit by DC a years ago. Just imagine. – Chris A.


71 comments on “P:R Approved: Cliff Chiang’s Justice League of Japan!
  1. I dig it. Yeah, there’s the issue of G-Force/Gigantor similarity and the like, but I think story wise, that’s appropriate. It forces the reader into a mental state of story approach: What if G-Force was J-Force.

  2. @ GerkMax- That’s not the Atom behind Aquaman. He’s illustrating that Aquaman can grow in size to take on big kaiju monsters in hand to…er, claw combat.

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  4. Y’know, I had an idea similar to this once, but it was more inspired by Japanese superhero tokusatsu and the like. The Justice League was like a Super Sentai. Batman was like Kamen Rider. Superman was like Ultraman. And Wonder Woman was morphed into a sort of magical girl anime type thing. I called it DC: Earth J. Too bad I can’t draw.

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  7. tbolt: Superman

    Sure it does! He’s the “Man of Steel,” summoned by a signal watch that goes Zee Zee Zee. What’s not to love?

    If I remember correct from Cliff’s page, Clark Kent is the scientist, and the boy is Lois’s son.

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  9. I absolutely LOVE some of these redesigns. Batman’s is so great, and honestly, it looks pretty classic looking already. I would love to see it in a genuine Bat-manga. It looks so sleek and Japanese-looking, like the perfect midpoint between Japanese and American superhero design.

    I love the Superman super robot, too. I’ve been interested in super robot anime like GaoGaiGar and Gurren Lagann lately and I’ve always been interested in how superheroic humungous mecha can be in Japanese pop culture. I’ve always wanted to see how Superman would translate to such a concept. For a super robot design, I’d like to see something more complex for Superman, but I still like it.

    LOVE Aquaman there. I think he looks awesome.

    I like Wonder Woman’s design, but it doesn’t work for her character, I don’t think. You can’t even really tell its supposed to be Wonder Woman.

    GL and the Flash were okay.

  10. i like the design of this. the only issue i would have would be the Superman concept. i understand Japan=big robot but this one seems WAY to similar in design to Mazinger. i think the only reason i have reservs about it would be that i grew up watching Mazinger and hes my all time favroite.

  11. …I’m not even a fan of anime and I still think these are all pretty brilliant. Wonder Woman’s redesign is perhaps the newest one to me, but you know what? It actually made me interested in her again. Perhaps she did need a complete stylistic overhaul.

  12. plsburydoughboy: That was supposed to be Wonder Woman? i got confused and thought it might be Big Barda or something.Yeah, some of these are kind of off, but others are perfect (Aquaman Ultraman? perfect) and in general it’s fun to speculate.I personally would have preferred Shazam getting the Giant Robo/Mazinger Z treatment, and Batman seems closer in kindred to Mask Rider/Skull Rider.Hard to come up with genuine Superman and Wonder Woman analogues though.

    I’d think Captain Marvel might fit Ultraman better, though I can see the Kaiju fighting aspect for Aquaman.

    Personally I think if we are going with on the nose type mashups here that Astro Boy makes a lot more sense to be combined with Superman. Especially with the trying to fit in and be human background and bearing the last hopes of a scientist dad. You might have to make it more Superboy to keep other aspects of the character from messing things up. Though I DO love that watch.

    Now that Mazinger is freed up I’d make a Super Giant Robot the parallel to say the most powerful weapon in the universe, ie a Power Ring.

    Given how large the posse of the supposedly lone wolf Batman is, I think the Gatchaman parallel is kinda spot on. I agree, the team dynamic might not be there though.

    I agree on WW. Magical girl type stuff doesn’t really work for her.

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  17. I absolutely love this concept and think of it often (especially Science Ninja Hero Batman). The only change I would make is have the Superman robot be switched to Shazam. The child summoning it and all blends in more with Captain Marvel’s story, and Superman is such a star player in the DC universe, making him an emotionless robot just feels like the wrong way to go (although the watch ala Jimmy Olsen is pretty inspired). Plus, I think doing Superman as a Dragonball-inspired Saiyen-type would be way cool and very fitting, given the frequent comparisons between Superman and Goku.

  18. Batman & Robin are a bit to Gatchaman to not infringe anything.

    Also Superman should have been crossed with Japan’s first modern Hero Ogon Bat. Who debuted in 1930/31 and had all of Superman’s powers and more years before his creators even thought about it. I still think Bats also ows something to him, if only the looming over the city thing in the 67 anime. http://youtu.be/o7Gn9dtpsC0

    Also they should have gone with 8-man for the flash. first cyborg hero of japan, one of the two inspirations for Robocop (Gavan is the other), has superspeed and runs on special cigars. http://youtu.be/A-8RLQ3F2JQ

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