When the Justice League was funny, it was supposed to be tied to the United Nations. That meant it actually had to have some foreign members instead of the usual collection of Americans. Oh yeah, some of those Americans were aliens, and Aquaman probably had duel citizenship with Atlantis at the time, but when the closest you can come to a foreign member is Wonder Woman from Paradise Island, then you need to try a little harder and maybe pull out a good guy from a real country instead of a fictional one.
So, yeah, we got ourselves a Russian hero in Rocket Red.
The Justice League was originally DC’s premier super team, the big guns team you called in when really serious problems that even Superman (theoretically) could not stop alone came a’ callin’. Then, Post-Crisis, the League was actually turned into a book that was largely played for laughs. That run was actually hugely popular. Heck, Watson likes it, and he largely dislikes comics these days. Considering the run occurred about the same time as Frank Miller and Alan Moore had (inadvertently in Moore’s case) made superheroes a lot less fun and funny, that means a whole lot more.
And hey, we got the Beefeater from that period, too.
In American comics, for obvious reasons, most superheroes are Americans. If other countries even have superheroes, they tend to be few enough that you can count them on the fingers of one hand, and many are blatant weird stereotypes to boot. Big crossovers will show teams of superheroes going all over the world, but local heroes often seem to be missing.
As a result, every so often, DC or Marvel will attempt to create more international heroes. Some of these efforts are more successful than others. While the original X-Men line-up was entirely American, the “All-New, All-Different” team was composed of mutants from Africa, Canada, Japan, Ireland, Germany, and Soviet Russia. The two Americans there were a leftover from the original team and a Native American. Half of those characters would stick around. Marvel has also introduced a couple international superteams, most notably Alpha Flight and Excalibur, with special mention made to the Soviet Winter Guard.
One of DC’s attempts to follow suit was the Global Guardians. They were a team of international heroes, most a stereotype of their native country, and among their number was the Tasmanian Devil.
Do you like Kingdom Come? The pre-Zero Hour DC universe? Epic crossovers designed to take all your money and probably not maybe leave you satisfied? Then cart yer arse on in here and read more about Convergence Week Two!
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