The Best Justice League Line-Ups
There is no greater team of heroes in comicdom than the Justice League. They may not have been the first team of superheroes but they are the ones who established the idea of collecting the best heroes around as a single team as a hallmark of comics. Since the League first battled Starro the Conqueror in 1960, the line up has been constantly changing. Over the decades a few variations of the Justice League have stood out to fans, so now we can look at the best line-ups the Justice League have ever had.
Detroit League: Everyone loves a good underdog story, and when Aquaman finds himself the leader of the Justice League, you know its an underdog team.Believing that the world deserved a League of people who could focus ALL their time on the mission, the King of the Seven Seas recruited the likes of; Vibe, Gypsy, and Vixen. The team set up base in of all cities, Detroit, Michigan to give the book a hip urban feel. Eventually even Aquaman left the team he had put together, leaving Martian Manhunter in charge. Though they may have been the least star studded in League history, they had their high point when they actually managed to save the world from Despero, a villain who is always a threat to the League no matter who is on the roster.
Justice League Unlimited: The biggest exposure the Justice League has had to mass audiences outside of comics has come courtesy of the critically acclaimed animated series from the great Bruce Timm. Originally the team kept to the usual seven members that the league has been known to keep, but when the series was revamped as Justice League Unlimited, it threw every hero from the DC Universe at the viewers and it was a smash hit. Against the odds the series was able to develop every one of these characters and give them the right amount of screentime, even making obscure characters like, the Question and Vixen into fan favorites. The series may have ended but at least it ended with a bang and left its mark on superhero shows for years to come.
Justice League International: It is no secret that things get heavy with the Justice League as a full team of heroes assembling must mean that a huge threat is looming. In these kind of situations, humor goes a long way and that’s what this era in Justice League history gave us. Led by creators; Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; this roster brought laughs and adventure in equal measure in every issue. With Batman taking the lead this line-up with a more international flavor. This era gave us many fan favorite moments that still resonates; from Batman punching out Green Lantern to the constant hijinks of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, this is a unique run that will always be remembered.
New 52: Arguably the most controversial move a major comic publisher has done in the past couple of years, the entire DC Universe was revamped and this team was at the forefront as Justice League #1 was the debut issue of this new status quo. Going with the core heroes of the DC Universe, the creative team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee made the bold decision to promote fan favorite Titans member Cyborg to the status of found League member. Every single story arc in this run of the League has been absolutely epic, pushing the team to the limits. But not every problem they face is an earth shattering apocalypse as they also had to deal with long time foe, Lex Luthor gaining membership and having to tutor a new Green Lantern in Juessica Cruz.
Big Seven: The most iconic heroes the DC Universe has to offer, the pantheon that even non-comic readers are familiar with. Shortly after Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, the Flash, and Martian Manhunter put the team together, Superman and Batman joined in the action establishing the team as a powerhouse. Even having a cave as their original headquarters and hanging around Snapper Carr did little to diminish their prestige. In the 90’s when grant Morrison had to revamp the Justice League of America into the new series JLA, that era’s incarnation of this same roster was who he chose to fill out their ranks. If there was ever a Justice League all-star team this is it.
Satellite Era: This is the quintessential roster of the Justice League, a perfect combination of heavy hitters like Batman and Wonder Woman, with fan favorites like Green Arrow and the Atom. Dubbed the Satellite Era by many due to the satellite station above the earth the team used as a base during this period of time. The creators who steered the direction of the team at this time reads like a who’s who of legendary comic talents, the likes of; Len Wein, Steve Englehart, George Perez, Gerry Conway, and so many more. Everything about the League that fans love was showcased in this time, which stands as arguably the best roster the Justice League has ever assembled.
Awesome read. My Justice League it the Bruce Timm Justice League Unlimited. Loved reading through all the other line ups. Really fun and interesting piece!
Funny I should see this today…a viewing of Arrow yesterday led to looking up more information on Huntress which led to me being sucked into YouTube clips of the “League of Justice” TV specials. So much awesome.
And I don’t know why, but I have been on a Booster Gold kick recently, so good to see him in the JLI mentioned here. 🙂
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