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The Justice League is the world's greatest super-team, formed to fight threats couldn't be defeated by a single hero. Since its formation in 1961, the team has undergone constant changes and incarnations. Virtually all major heroes in the DC universe have been Leaguers at some point.

History[]

Silver Age

The Brave and the Bold 28

Justice League Battles Starro!

The Justice League of America appeared, fully formed, in the pages of the anthology series, The Brave and the Bold #28 in 1960, battling the interstellar starfish called Starro the Conqueror. Writer Gardner Fox felt that the time had come to update the original Golden Age superhero team, The Justice Society of America, but thought that a Society was a bit too genteel, and instead used the term League, bringing to mind a baseball team.

After the team got their own title, the story goes that one of DC's publishers was playing golf with one of Marvel Comics' head honchos and remarked how popular their team was. True or not, Stan Lee was instructed by Martin Goodman to come up with a new superhero team book for Marvel, The Fantastic Four, debuting in 1961. The cover of that issue would appear strikingly similar to that of the JLA's first appearance.

The JLA would receive their origin story in Justice League of America #9, where it was revealed that they formed to combat the Appellaxian invaders. In Justice League of America #21 the JLA met their recently reformed,[1] the Justice Society of America for their first ever team-up. The success of it would inspire many more team-ups, becoming a yearly tradition.

In the 1970's, many title were getting new starts and revamps for the Bronze Age of Comics, and the JLA was no different. After the location of their Secret Sanctuary was compromised in Issue #77, the league moved to their Justice League Satellite in #78.

. The books would be drawn by artist Dick Dillon, from the late 1960s until the 1980s.

Post-Crisis

In 1985, after DC Comics rebooted their storytelling universe, the history of the League was retconned. After the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the JLA's New Earth origin differed [2] from the Pre-Crisis origin slightly, most notably the inclusion of Black Canary, as a substitute to Wonder Woman, the absence of Batman, and Superman single-handedly defeating the last alien but leaving moments before the group arrived.

Because the decision was made not to completely abandon all of the Pre-Crisis history, there was a six to seven year period that was "skipped" between when the revamp occurred and the regular series began. This period has sometimes been referred to as the "Lost Years" and has been covered in such series such as JLA: Year One and JLA: Incarnations as well as countless flashbacks and allusions in such works as Identity Crisis.

The team was rebuilt in the 1987 company wide crossover miniseries, Legends. This new team was given a less America-centric mandate than before, and was dubbed the Justice League International (or "JLI" for short); the new comic was written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, with art by Kevin Maguire. This new and very popular series added a quirky sense of tongue-in-cheek humor to the stories, with an occasional slant toward excessive silliness.


Justice Leagues

The Justice League titles expanded to a total of five by the early 1990s: Justice League of America (formerly Justice League International), Justice League Europe, Justice League Task Force, Justice League Quarterly, and Extreme Justice. By the 1990s, however, with the departure of Giffen as writer, the humor prevalent in the early JLI-era had disappeared in favor of more serious stories. As the commercial success of the series faded, each of the titles was canceled.


JLA: Grant Morrison's Pantheon

Justice League 0033

Morrison's League

In 1997, a new Justice League series titled JLA debuted, written by Grant Morrison and with art by Howard Porter and John Dell (though the new version of team first appeared in the miniseries JLA: A Midsummer's Nightmare #1-3, written by Mark Waid and Fabian Nicieza). This series, in an attempt at a "back-to-basics" approach, used as its core the original and most famous seven members (or their character successors) of the team: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), and the Martian Manhunter.

Added to this core roster was the character Plastic Man, as well as a new headquarters for the team, the "Watchtower", based on the moon. Morrison introduced the idea of the JLA allegorically representing a pantheon of gods, with their different powers and personalities. Since Morrison left the title, other writers and artists have taken over, though none with the success of Morrison's version of the Justice League. Has fought the Injustice Gang, which consists of Lex Luthor, Prometheus, Queen Bee, and Wade Eiling, who now inhabits Shaggy Man I.

JLA: Mark Waid and Ra's Al Ghul

In 2003, Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire returned with a separate miniseries called Formerly Known as the Justice League with the same humor as their Justice League run, and featuring some of the same characters in a team called the "Super Buddies" (which parodies the Super Friends). A follow up miniseries entitled I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League soon began to be prepared, though it was delayed due to the events shown in the Identity Crisis limited series.

Justice League of America: Brad Meltzer

In late 2006 a new series, again titled "Justice League of America" began with the first 12 issues written by Brad Meltzer who, ironically, wrote the story Identity Crisis in which the revelation of the mind-wiping by members of the original team led in many ways to the dissolution of the last incarnation.

New 52

With the advent of the New 52 reboot, a new version of the Justice League was created in Justice League (Volume 2) by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. The book was initially set 5 years before present day and focused on the formation of the League in the new universe, but soon catched up with present day.

Rebirth

Starting in 2016, Bryan Hitch and Tony S. Daniel became the new creative team of the team, for the DC Rebirth initiative, with Justice League (Volume 3).

DC Universe

In 2018, on the aftermath of Justice League: No Justice, a new incarnation of the league was formed on Justice League (Volume 4), by writer Scott Snyder and a varied set of artists. It concluded with the Justice/Doom War arc in Issue #39. The title was then taken over by Robert Venditti, whose run lasted trough issue #47 and was followed by separate arcs from writers Simon Spurrier and Jeff Loveness. To finish this era of the title, writer Joshua Williamson took over for the Doom Metal arc, tiying into the Dark Nights: Death Metal event, followed by a single issue part of the Endless Winter event.


With the Infinite Frontier relaunch, the title got took over by writer Brian Michael Bendis, and included Justice League Dark backups, continuing directly from Volume 2, written by Ram V. The backup eventually crossed over into the main story, and the run ended with issue #74. The title soon ended with #75, which featured the "death" of the Justice League, as a prologue to the Dark Crisis event.


Movies

Failed Pilot

In 1997, a TV movie was released as a pilot to a Justice League TV Show that ended up not happening. It was loosely based in the Justice League International team.

DCEU

In November 15, 2017, as part of the DC Extended Universe, a Justice League movie was released in theaters. A director's cut of the movie was later released in 2022 under Zack Snyder's Justice League.


Related Articles

Justice League Origins


Links and References[]

Footnotes[]

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