Justice League

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TEAM

Justice League

The World's Greatest Super Heroes, the Justice League has endured many roster changes to remain the earth's premiere team of champions.

Introduction

Aliases: Justice League of America, Justice League International, Justice League Europe, Justice League Task Force, Extreme Justice, JLA, Justice League Elite
First Appearance: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28, 1960

 

 

 

Separately, DC Super Heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern are the greatest fighters for truth and justice the world has ever known. Collectively, however, they are a force of nature, leaders of a team of heroes who are only rivaled by the pantheons of gods from ancient mythology -- the Justice League. The League is the earth’s first line of defense against threats to large for humanity to face alone. 

 

For decades, the League has saved humanity from the worst threats it has ever faced, from alien warlords to ancient demons and powerful sorcerers, to the God of Evil himself, Darkseid. And they have always overcome the odds and saved the human race. 

 

Although not the world’s first superhero team, the League is nevertheless the standard by which all other superhero teams are measured. Although they have gone through several permutations over the years, broken up and gotten back together countless times, when the chips are down and the earth needs its greatest heroes back together on the front lines, the League always answers the call to duty. 

 

 

Origin

Silver Age

The Justice League of America was formed when an alien incursion from the planet Appelax forced seven of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes to come together and defeat them. After Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter came together to repel the invasion, they decided to regularly band together to tackle crimes too large for one hero to handle alone. They set up their headquarters in a mountain in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, and although Superman and Batman were only part time members in those early years, they successfully saved the world from the likes of alien despots Despero and Kanjar-Ro, the sorcerer Felix Faust, and Starro, the Conqueror. 

 

In time, the League inducted more heroes, like the Green Arrow, the Atom, Hawkman, and Black Canary. During these early years, the JLA made contact with the parallel world of Earth-2, where their predecessors the Justice Society of America had fought in the days of World War II. This began an annual tradition, where the JLA and the JSA would cross dimensions and share an adventure together. One of those adventures was joining forces to battle the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3, who were all evil doppelgangers of the League, and who would return to menace the team time and again. It was during the end of the Silver Age that the team’s mascot, teenager Snapper Carr, betrayed the location of the League’s home base to the Joker. Around this time, Wonder Woman lost her powers and left the League. These were the first two large blows to the team’s morale. 

 

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The Bronze Age

After the breach of their original home by the Joker, the League found that they needed a better, more secure base of operations, and they built a sophisticated orbiting satellite headquarters, some 22,300 miles above the Earth. During this time, the JLA grew in power, as they added new members like the Elongated Man, the android Red Tornado, Hawkgirl, the sorceress Zatanna, and Firestorm. Wonder Woman returned to the team during this time, and the Martian Manhunter left for a long sabbatical. 

 

Personal crises drew various veteran members away as the League grew larger. Batman left to found his own team, the Outsiders, and other members kept getting drawn away from the League by personal problems. With several of their “big guns” gone, the team was vulnerable to a Martian invasion that left the JLA satellite in pieces. With their high tech HQ gone, Aquaman disbanded the League, and reformed it with only members who would dedicate themselves to the team full time. Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Red Tornado, Firestorm and Green Lantern all declined to commit to the team full time. Only Aquaman, Zatanna, the Elongated Man, and the newly returned Martian Manhunter remained. 

 

This new full time JLA set up shop in a bunker in Detroit, and were soon joined by a group of young heroes who wanted to join the team. Vibe and Gypsy were young metahuman street kids, and they were soon joined by Vixen and Steel. Despite their best intentions, this “Justice League Detroit” simply couldn’t cut it, and never lived up to the potential of the team’s legacy. After a brief couple of years, two members of the group, Vibe and Steel, were brutally murdered by the villainous Professor Ivo – the first Leaguers to die in the line of duty. In light of the tragedy, the Martian Manhunter disbanded the JLA, seemingly for good. 

 

 

Post Crisis 

Following the events of 1985-1986's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Darkseid’s tried and failed to get the people of Earth to turn against their heroes. The League then reformed again, with Batman rejoining the team, along with Black Canary and the Martian Manhunter. New members were added when Blue Beetle, Dr. Fate, Mr. Miracle, Shazam, Green Lantern Guy Gardner and Dr. Light joined the group. Under the manipulations of the mysterious billionaire Maxwell Lord, the team added new members, like Booster Gold, Captain Atom, and the Soviet Rocket Red, along with Fire and Ice. Lord’s goal was to move past the idea of the Justice League of America, and get a United Nations charter and become the Justice League International. The new JLI opened up embassies all over the world, and permanent team was housed in their Paris location, later dubbed the Justice League Europe. New recruits for the European League were heroes like Power Girl, Animal Man, Metamorpho, and the Wally West incarnation of the Flash. 

 

During the next few years, the League kept expanding and contracting – prominent members would leave, while new heroes would join up. New branches of the League like the Justice League Task Force and Extreme Justice were established, and would then quickly dissolve. Instead of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, the League had become famous for being the home of lesser known costumed adventurers, many who weren’t exactly worthy of the team founded by the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

 

Things changed when the alien Hyperclan came to Earth, promising to be the heroes who would truly save the world in a way the League never had. But these aliens were, in fact, white Martians in disguise, and plotted to take the Earth for the own. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and the inheritors of the mantles of the Flash and Green Lantern came together to rid the world of the alien invaders, and to restore the Justice League to greatness once more.

 

The new powerhouse League built a Watchtower on the moon, from which they monitored all activity on Earth. This iteration of the team was perhaps its most powerful, as they took on the threats like the rogue angel Asmodel, the Injustice League, Darkseid, and the apocalyptic anti-sun known as Mageddon. The roster expanded to include heroes like Big Barda, Orion of the New Gods, Plastic Man, Huntress, Oracle, and Steel. The Justice League now resembled the Gods of ancient Greece, and the moon based Watchtower was their Mount Olympus.

 

This “Big Guns” JLA stayed mostly intact until the events of the Infinite Crisis, after which Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman vanished for a year. When they returned one year later, they built a new Justice League of America, one which had a new headquarters on Earth called the Hall of Justice, along with a new satellite Watchtower. New recruits during this era were former Green Arrow sidekick Arsenal, along with Black Lightning. Former Teen Titans Cyborg, Starfire, Donna Troy and Dick Grayson, now using the title of Batman, joined the team during this time as well.      

 

 

New 52

Following the events of 2011's FLASHPOINT, the history of the DC Universe was reimagined, and the entire history of the Justice League was erased. In this New 52 timeline, the League was founded by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Flash Barry Allen, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Martian Manhunter was not a founder in this new history. The team was able to repel an invasion from Darkseid, and this roster of seven did not add any new heroes to the team for their first five years in existence. Eventually, they would add Firestorm, Element Woman, and a new female Atom to the League. But this new Atom was a spy, studying the team for the evil Crime Syndicate of Earth-3. This precipitated an invasion of the Earth by the Syndicate, an invasion they ultimately repelled.

 

Other teams with the name Justice League formed in response to the main League, like Justice League International, a United Nations sponsored team, and the Justice League Dark, a group of heroes who investigate mystical threats. The United States government even formed their own League, which they created in the event of the actual Justice League ever going rogue.           

 

                                                             

Powers and Abilities

justiceleague-powers-JUSTL_40_14_15-v1.jpg With nearly a hundred members in their collective history, the League has a variety of powers too long to list. But their collective power is always exhibited in their base of operations, starting with the Justice League Satellite, and later, the Watchtower (both the moon base and the orbiting satellite), and the Hall of Justice on Earth. The original satellite had transporters that could teleport members anywhere on Earth, as well as across dimensions.

 

When the League moved their base to the moon, they constructed their new HQ, the Watchtower. This new headquarters had all the technology of the original satellite, plus much more. It was constructed of promethium and used highly advanced Martian, Thanagarian, Kryptonian, and human technology to operate. When it was destroyed during the Infinite Crisis, a new combination Watchtower/Satellite was built to take its place, in orbit around the Earth. 

 

This new HQ had a training area called “The Kitchen,” advanced holding cells that can dampen the superpowers of those imprisoned inside, and the Crow’s Nest, or Monitor Womb, where members can monitor Earth for signs of trouble. It connected directly to their Earth bound base, the Hall of Justice, which was designed by Green Lantern John Stewart. The New 52 era Watchtower is similar to the second orbiting base, but also has a fleet of spacecraft, and Boom Tube technology.

 

 

Essential Storylines and History

“Justice League of America” (THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28, 1960)

justiceleague-essential1-comingtogether-BAB_28_cvr-v1.jpg The decade of the sixties opened with a roar, as the biggest Super-Heroes in DC Comics came together for the first time as the Justice League of America. Essentially a reboot of the Golden Age Justice Society of America, the League took the concept to the next level, by adding icons Superman and Batman to the roster. And unlike the JSA, Wonder Woman was a fully fledged member, and not just the team secretary, as she was with the Justice Society. 

 

When the three world famous heroes teamed up with the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter, it kicked off the Silver Age of comics in earnest. And the first villain they faced, Starro the Conqueror, would be a thorn in their side for decades. And it all began here. After just two more “try out” appearances, the League would graduate to their own title, which ran for 26 years.

 

 

 

“The Origin of the Justice League” (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #9, 1962)

justiceleague-essential2-inthebeginning-JLA_9_Cvr-v1.jpg Nearly two years into their publication history, we finally learned the story of what brought all these iconic heroes together in the first place. When the League gets together to celebrate the third anniversary of the team’s founding, the original members tell their mascot Snapper Carr and new recruit Green Arrow the story of how the team first formed.  

 

They recount how aliens from the planet Appellax had come to Earth after the death of their sovereign, so a representative of each of that planet’s species vie for leadership by fighting one of Earth’s heroes. When the heroes manage to fend off the Appellaxians by teaming up, they decide to work together again should a threat this large ever loom again.                                                                                                                                                             

 

 

“The End of the Justice League” (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ANNUAL #2, 1984)

justiceleague-essential3-downtoearth-JUSTLANN_02_C1-v1.jpg After protecting the Earth for decades, the world’s greatest heroes undergo the biggest change in their ranks ever. After the Justice League Satellite is destroyed by alien adversaries, the team is in tatters. They return to Earth, where Aquaman decides to re-think the very concept of the team. Addressing the United Nations, he realizes that the JLA can’t function unless each member is ready to commit themselves full time. Since he is one of the original charter members, he uses his authority to disband the group. 

 

He later decides to restart the team, but only with heroes willing to become full time Leaguers. This leaves only himself, Elongated Man, Zatanna, Martian Manhunter, and four young new recruits – Vixen, Vibe, Gypsy and Steel. They relocate to a new bunker HQ in Detroit, Michigan, and continue the League’s legacy as best they can. But this version of the JLA would fight an uphill battle, and only stay together a few years. 

 

 

 

“Born Again” (JUSTICE LEAGUE #1-6, JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #7, 1987) 

justiceleague-essential4-internationalflavor-JL_01_C1(1)-v1.jpg The Martian Manhunter, after the death of two of the younger Leaguers, Vibe and Steel, decides to disband the Justice League of America. But not long after, a coordinated attack from Darkseid forces Earth’s superhero community to get together once again, and Dr. Fate convinces the heroes to form an all new Justice League. Operating out of the JLA’s original mountain HQ, the new League – which includes Batman, Black Canary, Blue Beetle, and hothead Green Lantern Guy Gardner – finds themselves manipulated by billionaire Maxwell Lord, who bankrolls the team and adds new members like Booster Gold. 

 

After a rigged attack on Earth by an alien satellite, which Lord himself was behind, the United Nations grant the League a charter, and the team now works for them as their representative peace keeping force. The Soviet Union adds Rocket Red to the team, and the U.S. adds Captain Atom. Embassies open up all over the world, and a Justice League Europe is also established. This era is marked by a lot of humor.

 

 

 

“New World Order” (JLA #1-4, 1997)

justiceleague-essential5-areturntogreatness-JLA_01_C1-v1.jpg After several years of roster changes and status quo upheavals, the League found itself a shell of its former self, with no high profile heroes left in its ranks. When an alien force called the Hyperclan came to our world promising peace and prosperity, the people of Earth bought their story, hook line and sinker. But the Hyperclan were in fact malevolent White Martians in disguise looking to conquer, and it took five of the original Leaguers – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter – to unite with the inheritors of the Flash and Green Lantern legacies, Wally West and Kyle Rayner, to fend off this invasion and save the world. Recognizing that the world needed its greatest heroes as the League once again, a new JLA was formed, more powerful than ever, and headquartered on a Watchtower on the moon. Together they faced the biggest threats in League history, and saved the world countless times.

 

 

 

“The Tornado’s Path” (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #0-6, 2006-2007)

justiceleague-essential6-oneyearlater-JLA-Cv1a-ns-1-v1.jpg After the universe shattering events of the Infinite Crisis, the trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman each took a year off from superheroics. When they reunited, they decided to reform the Justice League once again. Going over a list of heroes, they decided to bring back team stalwarts like Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Black Canary, while adding new recruits like former Teen Titan Arsenal, now called Red Arrow, Black Lightning, the JSA’s Hawkgirl, and heroes like Red Tornado and Vixen, who had not been members of the JLA for decades. This iteration of the team fought valiantly in the Sinestro Corps War, The Final Crisis, and the Blackest Night. 

 

 

 

“Origin” (JUSTICE LEAGUE #1-6, 2011)

justiceleague-essential7-anewbeginning-JUSTLREB_Cv1_ds-v1.jpg After the multiverse-altering events of 2011's FLASHPOINT, the history of the DC Universe was reimagined, and all previous incarnations of the Justice League were erased from history. In this new timeline, the League came together when Darkseid attempted to invade the Earth, and young heroes like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, the Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman and Cyborg came together to defeat him. This version of the League was very insular, and did not add any new team members for years. Eventually, they opened up their ranks, and allowed heroes like Shazam and even Lex Luthor to join the team. 

 

This iteration of the League fought the Crime Syndicate, The Secret Society of Super-Villains, and fought in the epic Darkseid War. In this reality, the team was never called the Justice League of America – instead, the JLA, and the Justice League International, were separate teams formed by the US Government and the United Nations in response to the Justice League. Following the events of 2016's DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, the League has replaced Green Lantern Hal Jordan with rookie Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. They continue to protect the Earth via their orbiting Watchtower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Affiliations

  • • Justice League of America
  • • Justice League
  • • Justice League International 
  • • Justice League Europe
  • • Justice League America
  • • Justice League Task Force
  • • Extreme Justice
  • • JLA (Watchtower Based League)
  • • Justice League Elite
  • • Justice League Unlimited (Animation) 

Appearances in Other Media

Television

Main Character Appearances

 

Live-Action

  • • Legends of the Super-Heroes
  • • Smallville

 

Animation:

  • • The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure
  • • Super Friends
  • • Justice League
  • • Justice League Unlimited
  • • Young Justice
  • • Justice League Action

 

Guest Appearances/Cameos

Animation:

  • • Static Shock
  • • The Batman
  • • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • • DC Nation Shorts

 

 

Film

Main Character Appearances

 

Live-Action:

  • • Justice League

 

Animation:

  • • Justice League: The New Frontier
  • • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
  • • Justice League: Doom
  • • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
  • • Justice League: War
  • • Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
  • • LEGO Batman The Movie – DC Super-Heroes Unite
  • • Justice League: Gods and Monsters
  • • JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time
  • • Justice League Dark

 

 

Video Games

  • • Justice League Task Force
  • • Mortal Kombat vs. The DC Universe
  • • DC Universe Online
  • • Justice League: Earth’s Final Defense
  • • LEGO Batman 2: DC Super-Heroes
  • • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • • Injustice 2