JLA/Avengers is Canon

The Epic Crossover Event

JLA/Avengers, written by Kurt Busiek, is described on its Amazon page as “perhaps the most eagerly anticipated and memorable crossover of all time, as the Justice League of America unites with The Avengers. Superman, Batman, and the other members of the JLA join forces with Captain America, Iron Man, and the many other Avengers to fight a threat so immense it threatens two entire dimensions.” This was the ultimate Marvel/DC event, featuring hundreds of character cameos as well as headlining bouts like Superman vs Thor!

But are the events that played out in this adventure considered canon?

What is canon?

In regards to fictional universes, canon refers to everything that is judged to be included in the history, setting, circumstances, and overall makeup of the property. When the property is written by a single creator, then that person is responsible for acknowledging what is or is not canon. When it comes to much larger properties, the publisher sets the guideline that keeps contributing authors writing stories in the universe that “fit” in the continuity of what is expected for characters and events.

When ranking the validity of different types of evidence, I’d consider the following in order:

  1. Direct Comic Page Reference
  2. In-house Published Sourcebooks
  3. Off-hand Author/Publisher Comments
  4. All Third-Party Sources

Now, let’s get to the evidence…

The DC Evidence

This one is pretty easy since the author of JLA/Avengers also wrote a JLA arc that included overt references to the events of the crossover in its story. Kurt Busiek wrote it. DC published it on its comic pages. JLA/Avengers is clearly canon in DC.

The events of JLA/Avengers is referred to in JLA #107.


© DC Comics


© DC Comics


© DC Comics

In JLA #111, also written by Kur Busiek, Owlman explains that the Crime Syndicate reboot is a result of the events of the JLA/Avengers crossover.


© DC Comics


© DC Comics

In addition to this, DC used the Cosmic Egg that appeared at the end of JLA/Avengers. In Trinity #7, John Stewart refers to the Avengers as “Others.”


© DC Comics

Marvel Evidence

Marvel repeatedly acknowledged the canonicity of the events that took place in JLA/Avengers in their 2008, 2011, and 2012 sourcebooks. These were all titled the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, published by Marvel themselves.

The Terminus entry states, “In a distant cosmos, he arrived on another Earth and began to rampage across its USA attracting and battling a league of justice-seeking superheroes. Though Terminus easily resisted even their mightiest warrior, their detective correctly deduced the importance of Terminus’ power lance. Combining their minds via their telepath, the heroes assaulted Terminus on several levels, then dumped him into thinking they were trying to steal his lance. As Terminus unleashed a potent blast of power through the lance, one of the heroes channeled the energy back at Terminus, blasting a hole in his helmet and incapacitating him. A being of high power from that universe then dispatched Terminus back to the Earth-616 reality.”


© Marvel Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

In Monica’s entry, it mentions “the will-powered energies” of an “emerald gladiator.” That’s a reference to a GL (Kyle Raynor) who she fought in JLA/Avengers.


© Marvel Comics


© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics


© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

The Galactus entry reads that he was “assaulted by yet another extra-dimensional powerhouse, who sought the origins of the universe, but he recovered via the actions of the Avengers and a league of heroes from another reality.”


© Marvel Comics


© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

Avengers’ entry says that they “teamed with the league of heroes from a divergent cosmos to save both their universes from a cosmic scholar turned semi-omnipotent destroyer.”


© Marvel Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

The Grandmaster’s entry recounts nearly the entire plot of JLA/Avengers.


© Marvel Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

© Marvel Comics – © DC Comics

The Verdict

The events in JLA/Avengers is canon because it is acknowledged in publications from both Marvel and DC since its release.

Grow (yourself) Locally

Everything is harder when you are doing it on your own.  That’s the first idea people need to understand before they decide to self-publish instead of seeking an agent or a traditional publisher. While working on your next project (book, painting, t-shirt design, etc.), you have to make it easier for people to find your work.  Authors who do not have a global reach need to start small in their home towns and build from that base.


This is the easy part.  Anyone can set up a free website, run a Twitter/Facebook page, and purchase a cheap domain to bring it all together.  Those who are more advanced use email lists to focus the attention on their audience.  All of this costs less than you might think.  The greatest expense is time, which is always in short supply.

Amazon has been a great advantage for Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan.  As of this post, it has reached over 15,000 readers and is rated more highly than Capt. Hook: the Adventures of a Notorious Youth, Peter Pan in Scarlet, and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.  (Your days are numbered Starcatchers!)

Not one part of this is local, but it helps you to be seen as more credible when talking to local businesses.


The first thing I did was hitch up to a worthy cause close to where I live.  The Metropolitan Community Church of New York specializes in caring for the needs of LGBT homeless youth.  Often, these kids are on the street because they were born into intolerant or abusive homes. You can read more about them here.  A major chunk of the money the book will make this year will go to them because they are truly great people and they can do more good with $1000 than I can.


Jeremy Marshall and I are showing off our display at the "Tales of Our Cities" event in September 2013.

Jeremy Marshall and I are showing off our display at the “Tales of Our Cities” event in September 2013.

In the spring of this year, I contacted the Jersey City Free Public Library regarding their fall event.  The “Tales of Our Cities” event in September was a great way to gain exposure for the book.

We signed a few copies and I did a reading for the crowd.  In addition, the library bought ten copies for their use.  The platform was important, but the push behind our involvement came from my status as a local.

I read for the crowd at the "Tales of Our Cities" event in Jersey City.

I read for the crowd at the “Tales of Our Cities” event in Jersey City.


Business owners are shrewd, and for good reason.  They need to be certain that what they are doing is good for them and for their customers.  Two places in particular have opened up to me and to the book.  Yes, the global platform gives me credibility in an anonymous and ambiguous way, but living in Jersey City is a key factor in our agreements.

Jersey City Free Books is located on Griffith Street in Jersey City Heights, blocks from my door.  Books are collected for trade in a manner that fits everybody’s ideal of a socialist utopia.  The concept is simple: take a book, leave a book.  There is no money exchanged and the books are generally not tracked or catalogued.  I dropped off a few copies for them to give away and, in return, the owner posted on his Facebook page.

The stand at JC Made where you can find our book for sale.

The stand at JC Made where you can find our book for sale.

JC Made is a store that sells work exclusively from artists who live in Jersey City.  When you walk in, you will see a collection of vases, t-shirts, lamps, cards, and now… books.  On Friday, I signed a contract to sell my book there, making it the first place where you can walk in, see a copy of Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan, and pay for it at a register.  Again, the Amazon sales and ranking gave me a platform, but my local status made this possible.

Building a writing career, while climbing in your main career, is hard when you are doing it on your own.  However, if you look closely enough, local opportunities are all around.

When is it okay to change an existing work?

This week, I received an Amazon “Kindle Quality Notice.”  It stated that Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan had internal errors in which “at least one” reader reported.  The errors weren’t related to formatting or appropriateness in content.  It was about an alleged typo.   Now, to be fair, some of my readers have found keystroke mistakes before and their input is always welcome.  Still, a man is innocent until proven guilty, so I investigated.  


The Kindle Quality Notice stated: There are typos in your book. You can see examples of this error at the following location(s): Kindle location: 577; Error description: “I led.” should be “I lied.”

This seemed like an open and shut case until I opened the document and read the whole section.  It is at the start of Chapter 8, when Peter meets James for the second time.

“I’m Peter Pan,” the child said proudly. He was standing on the mast as if it were the floorboards of the deck. I had seen him fly before and although this was nothing new, I was still amazed.

“I’m James,” I told him. It didn’t bother me that I had to reintroduce myself. “We’ve met before.” His blank expression told me of his genuine surprise that we knew each other. “We played weeks ago in my room in Port Royal.”

“Oh,” was all he said, as if bored already. I decided to retell one of the adventures in my literature books as if it were one of ours.

“Did I say my room?” I led. “I meant we played in a magical forest.” His head turned and bent to the side with interest. “You and I had a jolly time robbing wealthy carriages and saving England from the evil prince and his sheriff.” His eyes burst with excitement as I retold the whole adventure.

This wasn’t a typo.  Although “lied” would fit, I purposely chose “led” because young Hook leads Peter in the conversation.  Looking  back, there are other things I would love to change about my writer’s voice from that time, but that word isn’t wrong.  The question is whether it is distracting.


The problem develops from one of an alleged typo to one about a word choice.   James leads Peter in this conversation, but do enough people read it that way or do they see that word as an oddity?  If it gets in the way of the flow of the story, then it doesn’t serve its purpose and it doesn’t belong.  However, the story is nearly one year old and this is a change that is not necessary.  The Artist in me is offended a the idea of making an unneeded change to my work.  The part of me that wants to sell books is more eager to appease any request.  What to do?


I decided to keep it as it is.  If this were a genuine typo, I’d change it, but the section above is narrated by an older James Hook and his voice has to show through.   He would have no problem saying that he “led” his one-time friend this way and that, not as a boast, but to demonstrate his superiority without expressly saying so.  That is good form, after all.

Welcome to my new author platform.

The new year has begun and I am kicking off my new author platform.  On this site, I’ll keep you updated on my progress as an author and educator.  The link to my old blog is on the right column, as are the links to where my book can be purchased.

New Business for a New Year

After listening to several podcasts and reading blogs on self-publishing, I’ve decided to take myself off of KDP Select and diversify the availability of Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan.  I have had no problems with KDP Select and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to get noticed.  Even though it is fair to say that roughly 80% of the 3000+ ebooks I’ve sold have been Amazon giveaways, the main selling point for being exclusive with Amazon is that I would not have reached so many people otherwise.  Through their free promotional days, I now have over a dozen free four and five-star reviews.

Amazon KDP Select has been good to me, but it is time for a change.  I am now less than a week away from when my ninety-day enrollment expires on January 18th.  The next day, I’ll be posting the book on Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.   My wonderful wife, Melissa, bought me Scrivener for Christmas this year.  I’ll post more about the necessary learning curve another time, but I generated .epub files through the program for immediate upload.  The day after my enrollment expires, I’ll be going live in more markets around the world.

Needless to say, I’m excited.