In the DC Universe, there is no team more prestigious than the Justice League. Through its various incarnations, the Justice League has been protecting the planet since 1960. Populated by the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman, the Justice League is supposed to represent the best of the best. While the team has had plenty of prestigious members over its illustrious career, not every member to join the roster meets the criteria for “best of the best.” Hell, some members barely qualify for “alright of the alright.” No, the Justice League has had some truly terrible members over the years.
Whether it’s D-Grade heroes that have no place on the world’s premier super team, or heroes that were woefully outclassed from the day they received their JLA membership card, the League has seen plenty of terrible, ridiculous, eye-rolling members throughout the decades. But with plenty of crappy roster additions to comb through, it can be a real challenge to determine who among them is the absolute worst of the worst. Fret not, though, for CBR has picked through the forgettable, the ridiculous, the out-of-place, and the just plain terrible to bring you a definitive list of the fifteen WORST Justice League members ever!
15. TASMANIAN DEVIL
The concept of a “monster hero” has always connected with comic book readers. The concept of the dichotomy between a savage beast and an intention to fight for good seems to appeal to fans, leading to long runs for fan favorite characters such as The Hulk and Wolfsbane. But this whole concept kind of hinges on the hero turning into something interesting. Which is why Justice League member Tasmanian Devil is too ridiculous for fans to care about.
Hugh Dawkins was born with the ability to change into a were-tasmanian devil, gaining enhanced strength, heightened reflexes, and the characteristics of the Australian marsupial. Also, he has a giant “T” emblazoned in the fur on his chest, obviously for Tasmanian Devil, lest people mistake him for a more interesting, less ridiculous creature. Taz would go on to enjoy a brief stint with the Justice League International, before dropping out of the team and resuming to his full time gig of being confused for a Looney Tunes character. A lame power, a lame character, and a lame League member.
Oh, the ’80s. Pants suits were the height of fashion, Phil Collins was topping the charts, and DC Comics thought it was a good idea to base a superhero on Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo .The street smart Vibe split his time between running the Detroit street gang Los Lobos and perfecting his breakdancing before joining the ill-fated Detroit-based Justice League. With his shades and ridiculous vest-with-lapel number, Vibe didn’t exactly scream “JLA material.” That makes sense, as Vibe was an awful Justice League member.
During his short tenure with the team, Vibe managed to drag the JLA into a gang war, offered little help in battles against the likes of Amazo and Cadre, and ultimately became the first League member to die in the line of duty. The Flash TV show has breathed new life into Cisco Ramon, but let’s never forget: Vibe was terrible, and he was definitely one of the worst Justice League members of all time.
The Justice League is about heroes coming together from all walks of life with the common goal of protecting the planet. The League stresses teamwork and cooperation. So when a character comes along that can handle practically any problem alone, thanks to a veritable grab bag of powers, it kind of makes the League, well, unnecessary. And it makes for one boring, uninteresting, eye-rolling character. Which brings us to Faith.
Introduced during the 2002 Obsidian Age storyline, Faith was brought onto the JLA to serve as a replacement for Batman after the League had been shunted into the distant past. With a past shrouded in mystery, Faith became the team’s defacto “deus ex machina;” whenever a threat would arise that the team couldn’t overcome, Faith would debut a new, hitherto unknown super power which, coincidentally, allowed the team to triumph. Less of a character and more of a living plot device, Faith is lame, and her quick departure from the team makes her one crappy Justice League member.
The Justice League is supposed to represent the best the world has to offer. The League is composed of the best and brightest, united to protect the world and all who inhabit it. The intergalactic mercenary Lobo is a murder-happy thug, and he definitely doesn’t fit the bill for “best” or “brightest.” But that didn’t stop Batman from adding the Main Man to the Justice League.
In DC Rebirth, Batman sets out to assemble a brand new Justice League, opting for heroes such as The Ray and Vixen to fill out his team. After encountering Lobo during a battle with Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad, Batman enlists Lobo to join his League, albeit after blowing up the mercenary’s head to free Lobo of Max Lord’s control. Lobo must actively work to not murder every threat the League comes across, but it’s only a matter of time until Lobo reverts to his old ways. Lobo is a great character, but he makes for one terrible Justice League member.
11. AGENT LIBERTY
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Over the years, the Big Two have taken plenty of playful jabs at each other, creating many characters that serve as analogues to characters found at the competition. While referencing characters can be fun for fans, they don’t always work. Such was the case with the bargain basement DC stand-in for Captain America, Agent Liberty.
With a costume remarkably similar to the duds of Marvel’s super soldier, Agent Liberty was not shy about flaunting his influences. Originally serving as a spy for the CIA, Liberty would leave in disgust over the missions he was being tasked to undertake. Liberty struck out on his own, using his weapon-equipped super suit to fight the good fight. He would briefly join the JLA to aid the team in battle against Brainiac, but being merely a guy with a jetpack and some guns, he wasn’t a huge help. Liberty would leave the team soon thereafter, eventually popping up again to be unceremoniously murdered by Superwoman and dumped in the Metropolis Bay. A fitting end for a garbage League member.
There is no quicker way to draw the ire of fanboys than to introduce a character and claim he had always been there. Marvel managed to make this controversial story telling approach work with The Sentry, but DC definitely did not when they introduced the hotheaded JLA “founder” known as Triumph.
Introduced in 1994, William MacIntyre, a.k.a. Triumph, was retconned into having been one of the founding members of the Justice League of America. Never mind the fact that fans had never seen him before; no, Triumph was totally one of the first members of the JLA, but no one remembered because he had been teleported into dimensional limbo on his first mission, causing the timeline to be altered, causing everyone to forget him. Compound this aggravating origin story with a brash, snotty, and altogether holier-than-thou personality, and fans immediately loathed Triumph. A terrible character, and a terrible Justice League member.
9. BLACK CONDOR
A legacy mantle can bring a certain sense of importance to a character. When a hero passes his title to the next generation, fans might expect big things from the latest hero to bear the mantle. When Ryan Kendall was awarded the name of Black Condor, fans were excited to see what this new hero would bring to the DC Universe; after all, the original Black Condor debuted all the way back in 1940, so this was quite the legacy that Kendall was taking on. Turns out, despite making it all the way to the Justice League, Kendall did a whole lot of nothing with the name.
With powers including regenerative healing, telekinesis, and flight with the wings attached to his arms, Black Condor seemed poised to be a real player in the DCU. Despite brief stints on Primal Force and the JLA, Black Condor proved utterly forgettable, eventually slinking into the background before being up and killed by a beam to the chest from Sinestro. Subsequent heroes bearing the Black Condor name proved more memorable, but this Black Condor is only remembered for being one crappy League member.
There are several things in this life that we know to be true: The sky is blue, water is wet, and the ’80s Detroit Justice League of America was terrible. Composed primarily of D-Grade characters rubbing shoulders with JLA luminaries such as Martian Manhunter and Batman, the team was a mess of boring, bland, forgettable characters, and, in the case of Gypsy, a combination of all three.
Cindy Reynolds fought crime under the borderline offensive mantle of “Gypsy,” despite having little to do with the Romani people, using her powers of illusion casting to protect the city of Detroit. After following the JLA into battle without their knowledge, Gypsy was offered a spot on the team, an offer which she eagerly accepted. Gypsy would aid the team in battles against the likes of Amazo and the Royal Flush Gang, but lacking any real offensive abilities, Gypsy was essentially a walking distraction. In a team filled to bursting with crappy League members, Gypsy managed to be the crappiest.
Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: Congorilla is a terrible name. For his ridiculous, face palm-inducing name alone, Congorilla shouldn’t have it onto the JLA. But Congorilla’s completely forgettable run on an already totally forgettable Justice League definitely earned him a place on our list.
William Glenmorgan, better known as (sigh) Congorilla is, well, a man who inhabited the Congo who was turned into a gorilla. Outside of being an ape, Glenmorgan possesses size-changing abilities and a powerful healing factor. Mostly serving as a background character during James Robinson’s reviled Justice League run, Congorilla barely contributed to the team, being overshadowed by team members like Supergirl and Jade, before slipping back into obscurity when DC relaunched in “New 52.” He could have been a major player for the JLA, but his forgettable run with the League made him a real second banana.
Take a female character with a power set that rivals Superman. Give her super strength, flight, telepathy, invulnerability, and even super-hypnosis. Now, take this character with a power set that would allow her to stand toe-to-toe with some of the strongest heroes DC has to offer, and make her premier character trait be that she really, really likes boys, and you have Maxima.
This fiery redhead from the planet Almerac developed an infatuation with Superman after determining that the Kryptonian was the perfect mate, but as Superman had no desire to be used as a glorified sperm donor, the Man Of Steel turned Maxima down. This lead to Maxima becoming a card carrying member of the Superman Revenge Squad, only to ultimately join the JLA in a convoluted scheme to seduce Superman. Maxima would subsequently become enamored with Captain Atom before moving onto Amazing-Man, only to die at the hands of Brainiac. Interestingly, she was reborn later in DC’s New 52 as, apparently, a pansexual tyrant. Truly, her amorous attentions know no bounds… unfortunately, that doesn’t make her any less forgettable.
5. BLUE JAY
Batman. Martian Manhunter. Green Lantern. The Justice League has had plenty of members with names that strike fear into the heart’s of men. Blue Jay is not among them. In addition to having one of the least intimidating superhero names ever, Blue Jay is basically a mishmash of cooler, more useful heroes. Looking like the unholy spawn of Hawkman and Wolverine’s cowl, Blue Jay has the Atom’s ability to shrink, with Hawkman’s ability to… have wings.
Sure, Blue Jay’s powers may suck, but at least he knows it; when Blue Jay was recruited to Justice League Europe, he found himself wracked with self-doubt over his ability to contribute to the team. Blue Jay is so crappy that he was promoted to the leader of JLE by the team’s military liaison, only to find out the promotion was done because the liaison was a mole for the villainous Queen Bee that wanted to sabotage the team. When a villain thinks you are crappy enough that your promotion will ruin your team, that’s when you know you are truly a crappy Justice League member.
Bloodwynd is the unfortunate recipient of quite possibly the worst superhero name of all time, while simultaneously having one of the best costumes in comics. Acclaimed comic writer Grant Morrison put it best in his book Supergods when he stated that Bloodwynd “does appear to have based his super identity on some alarming rectal trauma.”
In addition to a name that sounds like the after effects of eating too much Chipotle, Bloodwynd was saddled with a thoroughly confusing debut. Initially, he was actually the Martian Manhunter in disguise, who had stolen the hero’s identity after being mind controlled. The real Bloodwynd would eventually debut, but with his tendency for pacifism, mixed with his oddball backstory involving a a power set derived from a gem that was powered by the souls of the dead, Bloodwynd was destined to slip into obscurity. A truly awesome costume wasted on a truly crappy Justice League member.
Sometimes, a character might sound great on paper, but just ends up not translating when implemented. Such was the case with Brion Markov, better known by his superhero alter-ego Geo-Force. After all, a Prince of a European nation that can utilize the Earth’s gravitational field to affect the weight of an object sounds downright awesome in theory. But Geo-Force, and his sad stint as a member of the JLA, shows that this isn’t the case.
Perennial C-Grade hero Geo-Force managed to land himself a spot on a newly reformed League, only for it to be revealed that Markov has only made the team thanks to the manipulations of Deathstroke, who intended to use Geo-Force as a mole on the team. To his credit, Geo-Force was quick to turn on Deathstroke, and attempted to work as double agent. But when the JLA was captured by the Injustice League, Geo-Force was mercilessly tortured and eventually had to be benched to nurse his wounds, but not before being removed from the JLA and downgraded to Batman’s Outsiders. Talk about insult to injury.
2. MOON MAIDEN
Again with the Justice League retcon members! When done properly, the trope of “This character was always here, you just didn’t know it” can ultimately make for a fun character. Moon Maiden is a textbook example of how not to use this trope.
Introduced in JLA Giant Size Special #3 in 2000, Moon Maiden was, well, a maiden from the Moon. Designed by a secret sect of aliens on the Moon to protect the Earth, Moon Maiden was brought to Earth by an astronaut, where she promptly slapped on a cape and joined the JLA as an early member. But when Moon Maiden’s evil doppelgänger The Centurion created a gun capable of wiping people from history, Moon Maiden sacrificed herself to destroy the weapon, causing the world to forget her. Moon Maiden would return for one more adventure, but this time around it wasn’t a weapon that caused people to forget her; no, readers realized how boring Moon Maiden was, and this crappy Justice League member slipped into obscurity and was never seen again.
Panic can make a person do crazy things. But when panic sets in, it’s important to keep a level head and not overreact. Justice League member Mystek apparently did not get this memo, netting her our top spot for worst Justice League member of all time.
Starting her career as a D-Grade supervillain, Mystek was a Korean woman named Seong who opted to pose as a man for unexplained reasons. Martian Manhunter would later invite Mystek to join his Justice League Task Force, which Seong eagerly accepted. However, when a mission brought the JLTF into space, Mystek panicked, as the cramped space craft proved too much for the claustrophobic hero. Hysterical, Mystek blew a hole in the craft, causing her to be sucked into space to suffocate and die. One embarrassing end for one crappy Justice League member.
Who do you think was the worst Justice League member? Let us know in the comments!
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