History of the Justice League


I have been a big DC Comics fan since I was young, from the Batman and Superman movies, to the DC animated TV universe to the comics. But there is one superhero team that made me a lifelong DC comics fan and that team is the Justice League. The Justice League first came into fruition during the late 1950s when Julius Schwartz asked Gardner Fox to reintroduce the Justice Society of America. Schwartz, who was influenced by Major League Baseball, decided to change the name of the team from Justice Society to Justice League. The Justice League made their debut in Brave and the Bold #28 in March of 1960. After two more appearances in that title, the Justice League were given their own title. Justice League quickly became one of the top selling comics for DC comics.  Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky were the creative team during the team’s first 8 issues.  The original JLA lineup included Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter.

Over the years the lineup would include new members like Green Arrow, The Atom, and Hawkman. The team would operate out of a cave in the small town of Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. The JLA over the years would cross over with the JSA and they would do battle with the Crime Syndicate of America. For those who don’t know the Crime Syndicate of America are like the JLA but evil. In 1968 Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky left the series and Danny O’Neil and Dick Dillian became the new creative team. In JLA #78 the JLA would move to a new headquarters, they would move into an orbiting satellite in space. The team would also introduce new members to the team like The Elongated man, Red Tornado, Hawkwoman, Zatanna, and Firestorm.  Two years later Wonder Woman would rejoin the team. In 1986 a new Justice League team was formed titled Justice League International. This title had less of an American focus and featured members such as Batman, Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Doctor Light, Doctor Fate, Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle, and Guy Gardner. Sadly though sales were low for this series, along with Justice Europe, Extreme Justice, and Justice League Task force. So DC decided to put all the team under one roof and all the different branches of the JLA were disbanded. They were revamped as JLA under writer Grant Morrison this run on the book would become my favorite iteration of the team. One of the stories that made me a fan of this team was a Midsummer’s Nightmare which reunited the original 7 Justice League members. Grant Morrison introduced the idea of the JLA as a pantheon of gods, with their different powers and personalities. Morrison departed the series after issue 41 writers Mark Waid and Joe Kelley would take over the series. The series would end during the event Infinite Crisis in which Green Arrow struggles to keep the team afloat. A year after the events of Infinite Crisis a new Justice League team was formed

Starting with issue #0. The new team included members such as Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Black Canary, Red Arrow, Red Tornado, Vixen, Black Lightning, and Hawkgirl. This series was helmed by writer helmed by writer Brad Meltzer and artist Ed Benes. The first story arc focused on Red Tornado and it pitted the Justice League a new intelligent version of Solomon Grundy and the rebuilt android Amazo. In 2011 following the conclusion of the miniseries Flashpoint, all DC comics titles were cancelled and were relaunched as The New 52. The JLA in this continuity were called The Justice League. This Justice League team was written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee, the team consisted of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman,  Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg.

In addition to a new Justice League book two more Justice League books were formed they were a new Justice League International and Justice League Dark. Following the events of the mini series Forever Evil two new members joined the Justice League Lex Luthor and Captain Cold. Another thing that came out of the mini series Forever evil was a new Justice League series titled Justice League United. This Justice League series was located in Canada and consisted of  Animal Man, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Stargirl, Supergirl, Adam Strange and his wife Alanna, and a new superhero named Equinox. In 2015 another Justice league book launched called JLA and consisted of the same members from Justice League.

In 2016 DC announced a new event titled Rebirth this event was similar to the New 52. Following that announcement DC announced several new titles including a new Justice League book. This series was written by Bryan Hitch and drawn by Tony Daniel and Fernando Passarin. This Justice League team consisted of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and two new Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. The Justice League have also appeared outside the comics as well. They have had appeared in video games. They have also appeared several times on tv, the first being Superman/Aquaman hour of adventure. They appeared in the loosely adapted SuperFriends cartoon. They also appeared in an episode of Batman Beyond. In 2001 they were given their own series on Cartoon Network which lasted 5 seasons. The JLA also appeared on the tv series Smallville. In 2016 they will be yet again be getting their own Series on Cartoon Network titled Justice League Action. In 2017 they will be making their big screen debut which I am excited for. In the end JLA have made me a bonafide DC comics fan and I hope to those reading this will pick up a Justice League comic and enjoy them like I do.

Nathan  B

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