Justice League

Justice League
The Justice League stand among rubble
Pictured clockwise, from top right: Green Lantern Simon Baz, Cyborg, Flash, Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Aquaman and Jessica Cruz
Art by Jason Fabok and Alex Sinclair
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceThe Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960)
Created byGardner Fox
In-story information
Base(s)The Hall
Watchtower
The Refuge
JLI Embassies
Detroit Bunker
Satellite
Secret Sanctuary
Roster
See: List of Justice League members

The Justice League is a team of fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The Justice League was conceived by writer Gardner Fox, and they first appeared together, as Justice League of America (JLA) in The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960).[1]

The Justice League is an assemblage of superheroes who join together as a team. The seven original members were Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman. The team roster has rotated throughout the years, consisting of various superheroes from the DC Universe, such as The Atom, Big Barda, Black Canary, Cyborg, Green Arrow, Elongated Man, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, Power Girl, Orion, Red Tornado, Stargirl, Captain Marvel/Shazam and Zatanna, among many others.

The team received its own comic book title called Justice League of America in November 1960. With the 2011 relaunch, DC Comics released a second volume of Justice League. In July 2016, the DC Rebirth initiative again relaunched the Justice League comic book titles with the third volume of Justice League. Since its inception, the team has been featured in various films, television programs and video games.

Background

The seven original members of the Justice League pictured from left to right: Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. Art by Alex Ross.

Various comic book series featuring the Justice League have remained generally popular with fans since inception and, in most incarnations, its roster includes DC's most popular characters. The Justice League concept has also been adapted into various other entertainment media, including various forms of television from the classic Saturday morning Super Friends animated series (1973–1986), a live action series of specials Legends of the Superheroes (1979), an unproduced Justice League of America live-action series (for which the pilot film exists), the acclaimed Justice League animated series (2001–2004), its sequel Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006) and Justice League Action (2016–present).

A live-action film was also in the works around 2008 before being shelved. On June 6, 2012, Warner Bros. announced a new live action Justice League film was in development with Will Beall hired as screenwriter. However, the project was scrapped again. After the success of the Superman reboot Man of Steel, a film titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released in March 2016, directed by Zack Snyder. Batman v Superman script writer Chris Terrio has also penned the script for Justice League.[2]

Various origins of the Justice League

In a story told in flashback in Justice League of America #9 (February 1962), the Appelaxians infiltrated Earth.[3] Competing alien warriors were sent to see who could conquer Earth first, to determine who will become the new ruler of their home planet. The aliens' attacks drew the attentions of Aquaman, Batman, Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman. While the superheroes individually defeated most of the invaders, the heroes fell prey to a single competitor's attack; only by working together were they able to defeat the competitor. For many years, the heroes heralded this adventure as the event that prompted them to agree to pool resources when confronted with similar menaces.

In Justice League of America #144 (July 1977), Green Arrow uncovered inconsistencies in the team's records[4] and extracted admissions from his colleagues that the seven founders had actually formed the League after Martian Manhunter was rescued from Martian forces by the other six founders, along with several other heroes including Robin, Robotman, Congorilla, Rex the Wonder Dog, and even Lois Lane.

Green Lantern participated in this first adventure solely as Hal Jordan, as he had yet to become the costumed hero, the biggest inconsistency Arrow found, as they celebrated the earlier incident's date, while recounting only the later one's events. When the group formalized their agreement, they suppressed news of it because of anti-Martian hysteria. Because the heroes had not revealed their identities to each other at the time, they did not realize that Jordan and Green Lantern were one and the same when he turned up in costume during the event described in #9. While most subsequent accounts of the League have made little mention of this first adventure, the animated Justice League series adapted this tale as the origin of the Justice League as well.

Secret Origins vol. 2, #32 (Nov. 1988) updated Justice League of America #9's origin for post-Crisis continuity. Differences included the inclusion of the Silver Age Black Canary as a founding member and the absence of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman. The JLA: Year One limited series, by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn and Barry Kitson, further expanded the Secret Origins depiction.[5]

In Justice League Task Force #16 (Sept. 1994), during Zero Hour, a then unknown superhuman named Triumph appeared. Triumph was revealed to have been a founding member of the Justice League and was their leader. On his first mission with the Justice League, Triumph seemingly "saved the world" but was teleported into a dimensional limbo that also affected the timestream, erasing all memory of him.

In Infinite Crisis #7 (June 2006), the formation of "New Earth" (the new name for the post-Crisis Earth) restored Wonder Woman as a founding member of the Justice League. In Brad Meltzer's Justice League of America (vol. 2) #0 (September 2006), it was revealed that Superman and Batman were again founding members as well. 52 #51 (June 2007) confirmed that the 1989 Secret Origins and JLA: Year One origins were still in continuity at that time, with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman joining the team with founding members' status shortly after the group's formation with Aquaman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter.[6] In Justice League of America #12 (October 2007), the founding members of the Justice League were shown to be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter.

With DC's history rewritten due to the Flashpoint limited series, an entirely new origin for the Justice League appeared in the subsequent Justice League series which debuted with an October 2011 cover date as part of the company-wide event, The New 52. Issue #1 portrayed the first meeting between Batman and Hal Jordan, with the two encountering each other during a battle against a Parademon in Gotham City. After realizing the creature is extraterrestrial in origin, the two heroes head to Metropolis to seek out Superman only to be attacked by him.[7] Later, after a brief fight in which the Flash arrives and Batman convinces Superman they are on the same side, they move to an abandoned building to work on analyzing a mysterious alien box, when it suddenly activates and more Parademons arrive.[8] While fighting the Parademons, Aquaman and Wonder Woman appear and join forces with the other heroes.[9] The mysterious box leads to Darkseid's arrival on Earth, and the heroes come together, along with the newcomer Cyborg, to defeat him. The public becomes enamored with the heroes, and a writer dubs the group the "Justice League", following the Flash's suggestion of "Super Seven".[10]

Justice League

Character Real name Joined in Notes
New 52 Justice League

The Justice League was rebooted in 2011.

Aquaman Arthur Curry Justice League Vol. 2 #6 Co-Founders of the Justice League
Batman Bruce Wayne
Cyborg Victor Stone
Flash Barry Allen
Green Lantern Hal Jordan
Superman Kal-El/Clark Kent
Wonder Woman Princess Diana/Diana Prince Co-Founder of the Justice League; Active in the team and as leader in the Justice League Dark
Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onzz/John Jones Between Justice League Vol. 2 #6 and Justice League Vol. 2 #7 Joined but later attacked the Justice League and left, as noted in Justice League vol. 2 #8.
Former member of Stormwatch.
Former member of the Justice League of America.
The Atom/Atomica Rhonda Pineda Justice League Vol. 2 #18 Revealed in Justice League Vol. 2 #23 to actually be a member of the Crime Syndicate of America, a spy posing as a member of the Justice League.

Died in Forever Evil #7.

Element Woman Emily Sung Left after Forever Evil #7
Firestorm Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch
Shazam Billy Batson Justice League Vol. 2 #31 No longer a member after the DC Rebirth event
Lex Luthor Lex Luthor Justice League Vol. 2 #33
Captain Cold Leonard Snart
Green Lantern Jessica Cruz Justice League Vol. 2 #35 Left the team in Justice League Vol. 3 #8 but returned in Vol. 3 #11
Simon Baz Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 Former member of the Justice League of America.
Black Canary Dinah Drake Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 Co-Founders of the Justice League of America II.
The Ray Ray Terrill
Killer Frost Caitlin Snow
Lobo
The Atom Ryan Choi
Vixen Mari McCabe Co-Founder and former member of the Justice League of America II; Active in the Justice Foundation and as a reserve member in the main Justice League; former member of the Justice League International
Mera Justice League Vol. 3 #24 Active as a reserve member; Former member of the Justice League United
Green Arrow Oliver Queen Active as a reserve member; Former member of the Justice League United
Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders Dark Nights Metal #6 Former member of the BlackHawks
Green Lantern John Stewart Also active in the Green Lantern Corps
Adam Strange Active as a reserve member; Former member of the Justice League United
Animal Man Bernhard Baker Active as a reserve member; Former member of the Justice League United
Hawkman Carter Hall Active as a reserve member
Mister Terrific Michael Holt
Plastic Man Patrick O'Brian
Swamp Thing Alec Holland Active in the Justice League Dark and as a reserve member in the Justice League
The Atom Ray Palmer Active as a reserve member
Miss Martian M'gann M'orzz Active as a liaison of the league to the Titans
Firestorm Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein
Green Lantern Guy Gardner

Antagonists

The Justice League often unite to face supervillains who pose catastrophic challenges to the world.

Related series

Throughout the years, various incarnations or subsections of the team have operated as Justice League Dark, Justice League Europe, Justice League International, Justice League Task Force, Justice League Elite, Justice League United, and Extreme Justice.

Formerly Known as the Justice League

In 2003, Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire returned with a separate limited series called Formerly Known as the Justice League[11] with the same humor as their Justice League run, and featuring some of the same characters in a team called the "Super Buddies" (a parody of the Super Friends). A follow-up limited series, entitled I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League, soon was prepared, although it was delayed due to the events shown in the Identity Crisis limited series, but was eventually released as the second arc in JLA: Classified. The Super Buddies consisted of Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Fire, Mary Marvel, the Elongated Man with his wife, Sue Dibny, Maxwell Lord, and L-Ron. The second story arc of JLA: Classified focuses on the Super Buddies in a humorous story that features Power Girl, Guy Gardner, with and associated by Doctor Fate.

JLA/Avengers

In 2003–2004, George Pérez and Kurt Busiek produced a JLA/Avengers crossover,[12] an idea that had been delayed for 20 years for various reasons. In this limited series, the Justice League and Marvel Comics' superhero team the Avengers were forced to find key artifacts in one another's universe, as well as deal with the threats of villains Krona and the Grandmaster.

JLA: Classified

Cover of JLA: Classified #1 (January 2005). Art by Ed McGuinness

In 2004, DC began an anthology series titled JLA: Classified, which would feature rotating writers and artists producing self-contained story arcs and aborted miniseries projects that were reappropriated for publication within the pages of the series, starring the JLA. While the bulk of the stories took place within the continuity of the series (circa JLA #76–113) some of the stories take place outside of regular DC Universe canon. The series was canceled as of issue #54 (May 2008).

Justice

In October 2005, DC began publishing the 12-issue miniseries Justice by writer Jim Krueger, writer/illustrator Alex Ross, and artist Doug Braithwaite. The story, which takes place outside regular DC continuity, has Lex Luthor assembling the Legion of Doom after he and several other villains begin to have nightmares about the end of the world and the failure of the Justice League to prevent the apocalypse. As the Legion begins engaging in unprecedented humanitarian deeds throughout the world, they also launch a series of attacks on the Justice League and their families. The threat that the Legion was warned about destroying the Earth turns out to be caused by Brainiac, who seeks to destroy Earth during the chaos.

Justice League: Cry for Justice

Originally planned as an ongoing title, Justice League: Cry For Justice is a miniseries created by writer James Robinson and artist Mauro Cascioli. The miniseries, set after the events of Final Crisis, has Hal Jordan leaving the League following the deaths of Batman and Martian Manhunter, as their deaths have caused Hal to seek a more proactive manner of dealing with supervillains. Hal, along with Green Arrow, and later joined by Supergirl, Captain Marvel Jr., and Batwoman are then recruited by Ray Palmer to investigate a murder of a former colleague that had been carried out on orders from Prometheus. This ties into another string of murders, bringing Starman Mikaal Tomas and Congorilla together as their investigation of the murders of several European superheroes are also revealed to be the work of Prometheus.

With help from the Hawkman villain I.Q., Prometheus plans on creating the ultimate weapon in mass murder, a massive doomsday device which he plans on using to destroy entire cities, as part of his revenge scheme against the JLA for lobotomizing him. Disguised as Captain Marvel Jr., Prometheus maims Roy Harper and brutally injures JLA members Dr. Light II, Vixen, and Plastic Man while using the JLA Satellite to activate his doomsday device, which destroys Star City, killing 90,000 innocent civilians, including Roy Harper's young daughter Lian. Prometheus ultimately extorts his freedom from the League in exchange for the codes that will shut down his weapon, much to the horror of the JLA members. Green Arrow (with help from reformed supervillain the Shade), tracks Prometheus down and kills him by firing an arrow into his head.

The miniseries leads directly into the formation of a brand new JLA roster with Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Donna Troy, Dick Grayson as Batman, Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi), Mon-El, Cyborg, Starfire, Congorilla, Guardian, and Mikaal Tomas.

JLA/The 99

Launching in October 2010, JLA/The 99 was a crossover mini-series featuring the Justice League teaming up with the heroes of Teshkeel Comics' The 99 series. The JLA consisted of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (John Stewart), The Flash (Barry Allen), The Atom (Ray Palmer), Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi), Hawkman, and Firestorm (Jason Rusch).

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