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"The Origin of the Justice League – Minus One!": While he is looking through the JLA casebook, Green Arrow discovers discrepancies in the established "origin" of the team, and asks for the true story, which [[Kal-El (Earth-On

Quote1.png Once I would have sold my soul to return home! Now, I see the truth-- The truth I should have seen years ago! The Mars I loved is gone! It is a world of lost causes and dead dreams! Evil triumphed over good there! But here, on Earth, the eternal struggle continues! Here one such as I-- And ones such as yourselves-- can still tip the balance the right way! I love my adopted world! It needs-- a Manhunter from Mars! Quote2.png
Martian Manhunter

Justice League of America #144 is an issue of the series Justice League of America (Volume 1) with a cover date of July, 1977. It was published on April 7, 1977.

Synopsis for "The Origin of the Justice League – Minus One!"

While he is looking through the JLA casebook, Green Arrow discovers discrepancies in the established "origin" of the team, and asks for the true story, which Superman and Green Lantern relate with the aid of a videotape account narrated by J'onn J'onzz.

In February, 1959, a panic is generated by the revelation of the presence of Martians (specifically from J'onzz and his enemy Commander Blanx and his followers) on Earth. Unable to cope with the situation alone, the Flash, then a mere fledgling as a super-hero, summons the more experienced Superman, Batman, and Robin to help out.

When Roy Raymond, telejournalist and host of the "Impossible But True" program, learns of the situation, his public disclosure of the problem instigates a gathering of heroes, including the Blackhawks, the Challengers of the Unknown, Plastic Man, the Vigilante, Robotman, Congo Bill and Congorilla, Rex the Wonder Dog, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen. The only prominent hero missing is Green Arrow, who is involved in a case that takes him and his sidekick Speedy back to the island of his origin [1].

The assembled champions divide up into groups to search out further Martian activity: Plastic Man, Jimmy Olsen, and the Blackhawks accidentally run afoul of Rip Hunter's newly invented Time Sphere. Vigilante, Robotman, Congo Bill, Congorilla, Lois Lane, and the Challengers have a near-encounter with Adam Strange and the Zeta-Beam

Finally, the remaining heroes discover Blanx and his men, and rescue the captive J'onn J'onzz. The successful team, with the exceptions of Robin, Roy Raymond, and Rex, consists of the same heroes who will make an agreement to unite formally as the Justice League of America some months later; even the future Green Lantern is present, having encountered the Martians in his identity as test pilot Hal Jordan.

Appearing in "The Origin of the Justice League – Minus One!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:







  • Note the use of an actual date (1959) in the narrative. That would place the events 18 years in the past (from the publishing date). An editor's note this is comic book time and that characters have their own ways to stop the clock on aging. However, this is inconsistent with other methods of tracking the Pre-Crisis DCU chronology that was contemporary with the publication of this issue. For instance, Superboy's non-Legion adventures had been said to take place in Smallville during the 1950s by the time the 1970s came around[2][3], making the idea that the adult Superman or any of the other JLA heroes would have canonically been around in 1959 highly dubious by 1977 standards. Superman: The Secret Years, published in 1985, has the adventures surrounding the transition from Superboy to Superman in Metropolis take place in the 1970s, shifting the timeline ahead further. The editorial decision that Superman and Batman should be made perpetually 29 years old also conflicts with the notion that the extended flashback in this issue should be taken to have taken place 18 years behind the part of the story depicted as "contemporary." In other words, the use of dates, time scales, and topical references should not be taken seriously for the purposes of establishing the canonical place of this issue within the Pre-Crisis DCU chronology.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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Justice League Origins
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Origin stories for how the Justice League of America came together have had multiple retellings over the years. Although numerous attempts have been made at writing a definitive origin story, the true history of the team has spanned many decades and many changes.