We all expect the Justice League to have a certain level of… prestige, to its roster. When people think Justice League, they tend to think of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman… even Aquaman or Martian Manhunter. Whether it’s learned from the cartoons we grew up with as children or the impression we get from the comics, the Justice League is supposed to be made up of the World’s Greatest Heroes. But the reality is, that’s not always the case. Sometimes Wonder Woman gets suckered into another test to become champion of Themyscira and loses. Sometimes Batman’s busy dealing with an earthquake that’s wrecked Gotham and turned it into some kind of strange… no man’s land. Sometimes Superman isn’t even alive. And then sometimes it’s none of those things, and Aquaman just gets fed up with the other heroes having their own ongoings with adventures happening in them and he disbands the league and reforms it with a bunch of people you’ve never heard of at the center of the team.
Whatever the reason, the Justice League simply isn’t always the “Big Seven” we’ve grown accustomed to. When that happens, a lot of characters can fall through the cracks — they join and quit the team in less than a year, or wind up getting written off with barely anyone remembering they were ever even a part of the team. For this list, we’re looking at some of the most forgettable members of the Justice League — guys and girls you have to dig through the back issues, or the recesses of Wikipedia, to even remember, let alone care about.
20. TOMORROW WOMAN
Tomorrow Woman was a Justice League member for all of a single issue. In Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s JLA vol. 1 #5, “Woman of Tomorrow”, she was the first member to join the team that wasn’t a member of the Big Seven.
The plot twist was it turned out she was an android made by long-time League villains Professor Ivo and Professor T.O. Morrow, and she was meant to turn on our heroes at the last second and explode, ending them all. But because she was made by a pair of mad scientists, she was actually built a little too well, and instead used the bomb inside of her to sacrifice herself to save the world instead.
19. WONDER TWINS
Though these two characters had long been apart of the “Superfriends” thanks to an incessant need to make sure every cartoon always had some kid characters, it actually wasn’t until 1995 that they were introduced to the DCU proper, in Extreme Justice #9. In that timeline we would learn they were a pair of escaped slaves from an alien ruler who managed to find their way to Earth.
They would go on to join Captain Atom’s Extreme Justice team by issue #16, but unfortunately the book was canceled only three issues later so DC could start the “Big Seven” Era of the team. After that the two were relegated to random cameo appearances and haven’t been relevant since.
No, your eyes don’t deceive you, this is absolutely Despero on a list about Justice League members. In the late 80’s the League would welcome a robot named L-Ron to their team, who’d wind up doing much of the behind-the-scenes work for the group. But when the supervillain Despero starts causing havoc, Kilowog transfers L-Ron’s mind into the body of the villain in order to stop him from destroying everything in sight.
Surprisingly, it works out rather well for a time, and L-Ron becomes a member of the Justice League Task Force. Eventually both L-Ron and his time inside DC’s purple Hulk is forgotten, particularly after L-Ron’s longtime buddy Max Lord is revealed as a scheming megalomaniac.
If you could ask most of the charter members of the Justice League, they would probably pretend G’nort wasn’t on any version of their team, real or imagined. G’nort was something of a cosmic joke of the Green Lantern Corps, a character who was only inducted in because his relative was once an important member.
The Guardians assigned him an empty sector of the universe to patrol, and likewise was invited to become a member of the “Justice League of Antarctica” by Max Lord just to keep him out of the way. The team got one issue to themselves in Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Mike McKone’s Justice League America Vol. 1 Annual #4, and by the end saw their team disbanded. Ouch.
16. CRIMSON FOX
Crimson Fox is actually two different characters — Vivian and Constance D’Aramis, a pair of twins who ran a perfume company, the two of them alternated between running the company and their crime fighting activities, pretending to be one person. They joined in Keith Giffen and Bart Sears’ Justice League Europe #6, at the height of the League’s massive expansion period, so she got lost in the shuffle.
It also probably doesn’t help that Crimson Fox wears an outfit that looks absolutely nothing like a Fox. Both members were eventually offed in the ’90s and replaced with a new incarnation, but even that version is nowhere to be found in a post-Rebirth world.
15. BLACK CONDOR
With one of the most obvious ’90s designs since Booster Gold put on a suit of armor, Ryan Kendall was actually the second Black Condor, the first being a member of the Golden Age Freedom Fighters. Kendall got his powers as a result of some experiments by his own grandfather, who was trying to genetically engineer a human being capable of flight for his group, the Society of the Golden Wing.
Though Ryan was a success, he quickly escaped and spent much of his time on the run, insisting he wasn’t a superhero. But you can only have powers and a weird pseudo-costume for so long before being inducted into a superteam, so Kendall joined up with the Justice League in Justice League America #71.
14. ROCKET RED
Rocket Red was one of the earliest members of the Justice League International, joining the team officially in Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire’s Justice League International Vol. 1 #7. Normally a member of Russia’s Rocket Red Brigade, when the League was attempting to go more global with their membership, one of the brigade was chosen as a Russian delegate.
The man under the armor, Dmitri, actually served for quite some time as a member of the League, until the team was disbanded and they moved back towards only having the “major” heroes. Since then no Rocket Red has ever managed to be a member of the League for longer than a few issues or a mini-series.
Long before Carlos Valdes turned Cisco Ramon into a lovable super scientist-slash-hero with a penchant for naming all The Flash’s greatest villains, Vibe was a member of the infamous Justice League Detroit. This version of the team was formed after Aquaman disbanded the original League and decided the next version of the League should only consist of members who could devote themselves full time.
Turns out, when your requirements are that strict you wind up with characters like the original Vibe, whose powers only involved creating shockwave vibrations. The team would eventually disband, but Vibe was still offed by an android made by Professor Ivo, having the dubious honor of being one of the first Justice Leaguers to fall in battle.
The Gypsy everyone is used to these days comes courtesy of the CW’s Flash. Played by Jessica Camacho, that version of the character is a hard-nosed bounty hunter from a parallel dimension who’s successfully knocked The Flash on his butt more than once with a more honed version of Cisco’s vibrational abilities.
But the original Gypsy wasn’t nearly as threatening, and was a member of the Justice League Detroit for a brief period of time before the team disbands after the loss of both Steel and Vibe. Unlike the CW version, her powers were instead the ability to cast illusions, precognition, and invisibility, which seems particularly useful since when it comes to Justice League members she might as well not be there.
11. DR. LIGHT
When you’ve got the creepy villain version of Doctor Light roaming about, its hard to remember there’s another version of the character that’s actually a superhero. Still, Doctor Kimiyo Hoshi is every bit as powerful as Arthur Light, though she rarely gets the opportunity to prove it. Introduced during Crisis on Infinite Earths #4 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Dr. Light gained her powers after being exposed to energy from the Vega star.
She became one of the Monitor’s chosen against the Anti-Monitor, and fought valiantly alongside the other heroes to take the Anti-Monitor down. After that however she decided to only work with the Justice League in emergencies, aside from a brief stint with the Justice League of Europe.
Mystek almost seems like she exists to be forgotten. Originally a creation of comics writing mastermind Christopher Priest, Jennifer Barclay/Mystek was meant to be a creator-owned character that was placed onto Justice League Task Force to drum up some excitement for her standalone mini-series.
When DC eventually decided they didn’t want the character, Priest offed her in the most comical of ways: while the team was on their way to an alien planet to stand by one of their members being put on trial, a claustrophobic Mystek snapped and destroyed her space pod, exposing herself to the dangerous conditions of space. And just like that, the Task Force was down another member.
To be honest, you’d think the fact that a giant, talking gorilla was on the Justice League would be more memorable. Congorilla started out as as a Scottish adventurer named William “Congo Bill” Glenmorgan. While deep in the heart of the Congo, he found a magic ring which allowed him to switch his mind with that of a golden gorilla, granting him incredible abilities beyond that of any gorilla.
After being around for several decades, he finally joined the League after helping take down Prometheus. Congorilla’s biggest problem is he joined the team during James Robinson’s run right before the New 52 began, which not only diminished the team’s importance to DCU history, but forced Robinson to truncate his run in time for the reboot.
8. AGENT LIBERTY
Benjamin Lockwood started out as a CIA member who got fed up with how shady the world could be. From there, he was convinced to join a group known as the Sons of Liberty, an extremist group who wanted to overthrow everything. The group provided Ben with the Agent Liberty costume, which has the ability to reflect bullets through a force shield, along with a jetpack for flight and retracting blades in his gauntlets.
So… basically this is bootleg Captain America crossed with Wolverine. The character joined the Justice League ever so briefly in Justice League America #71, and in a year’s time no one will remember that and we’ll all recognize him as one of Supergirl’s major arc villains.
7. AMBUSH BUG
Originally intended to be a parody character, Ambush Bug was created by Keith Giffen to be a brief thorn in the side of the Man of Steel, utilizing the robot bugs in his antennae to teleport. But when he realizes he’d prefer to be Superman’s friend instead, he decides to become a superhero.
Another fourth-wall shattering character in the vein of Deadpool, Ambush Bug is another member of the “blink and you’ll miss it” Justice League team that was formed during the Missing Year of the Trinity, which is probably another reason why that team couldn’t even last a full year.
6. CAPTAIN COLD
What is it with the League and letting former bad guys on the team? Leonard Snart found his way onto the team in the aftermath of “Forever Evil”, where the Justice League was teleported off world and it was up to the villains to save us from an evil version of the Justice League.
Snart helped to put down the Crime Syndicate by freezing Johnny Quick’s leg and shattering it to pieces… but honestly that’s about all he did. He was a member of the team for about eight issues before disappearing, eventually becoming a thorn in the Flash’s side once again.
5. SUPER CHIEF
From a fan standpoint, Jon Standing Bear just might be the most forgettable Justice League member of all. Introduced in 52 #22 by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, and Eddy Barrows, Jon was a former veteran and ex-con who was granted the powers of Saganowhaha by his ailing grandfather.
With those powers, courtesy of an irradiated necklace, Super-Chief has super strength, speed, and flight. Not long after gaining his powers, Jon joins a version of the Justice League assembled by Firestorm, in the absence of the Big Three who had taken a year off after the events of Infinite Crisis. Jon doesn’t even survive the weekly series, as he gets offed by an evil version of Skeets in the team’s first mission.
4. COMMANDER STEEL
Another member of the ill-fated Detroit League, Hank Heywood was a perfectly normal dude until his grandfather decided to implant a number of mechanized components into his body. And well, once you’ve been given absurdly enhanced super strength there’s nothing else to do aside from join a superhero team.
He fit Aquaman’s desire to have heroes completely devoted to the team, and worked alongside them until being downed by an android made by Professor Ivo. As if that weren’t bad enough though, his body was eventually found and desecrated by alien rage machine, Despero. At least his cousin would eventually become a vital member of the Justice Society.
You’d think the Justice League would have a bit higher standards than this. Maxima was a Superman villain from the late ’90s who came to Earth in search of a mate to propagate her royal lineage as the Princess of Almerac. When Superman turned her down, she would prove to be a pain in his side, even briefly joining up with Brainiac before having a change of heart and becoming a member of the Justice League.
That didn’t last long at all, even though she joined two different incarnations of the League. This character’s so forgettable the New 52 replaced her with a completely younger, different version and there weren’t even any angry fan outcries to return the original to continuity.
2. SNAPPER CARR
A hold over from the era when everyone had to have a kid sidekick, Snapper Carr has quite the lengthy history with the League for a character that only the most hardcore fans even remember. An editorial mandate, Snapper Carr was an honorary member of the original Justice League team.
Meant to be a way to relate to teens, he was the team mascot for years, until writer Denny O’Neil took over, writing him as someone jealous that no one seemed to care about him outside of his ties to the Justice League. This led to him teaming up with a disguised Joker and betraying the League’s secret headquarters accidentally. Though the League defeats the Joker, Snapper’s relationship with them was never the same.
Triumph is a hero who was literally forgotten. William McIntyre was introduced in Justice League of America #92 by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Howard Porter in a massive retcon explaining that Triumph was actually both a founder and original leader of the Justice League. But after their first mission as a team, he wound up getting transported to another dimension and being completely forgotten by everyone.
Of course, that might have been for the best, as DC fans never seemed to like him much and he was a member of the Justice League Task Force for a few years before the team disbanded, eventually appearing as a villain before being turned into ice, courtesy of the Spectre. The superhero world is a cold business.
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