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How Did Early Justice League Stories Deal With Superman?

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #8

Once again, Fox takes the easy way out and just has Superman absent for the mission. This, though, is actually dealing far straighter than Fox does with some future missions where Superman is listed on the roll call despite not really being involved in the story.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #9

The origin of the Justice League is a perfect example of how the League handled Batman and Superman in the early days of the League. So, seven different alien creatures end up on Earth. We see the main five members of the League fight against them by working together. Meanwhile, Batman and Superman are off on their own fighting their two aliens separately from the rest of the League. Plus, of course, there is Kryptonite to prevent Superman from just taking out everyone's alien by himself. By the way, as an aside, Fox noted that this story took place three years before the Justice League's first shown mission. That, of course, did not make sense since Hal Jordan was not around three years before Brave and the Bold #28. Years later, Steve Englehart will come up with a story to explain the incongruity of the statement.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #10

In the next issue, the League takes on Felix Faust, who, of course, uses magic, which is one of Superman's only weaknesses.

Things get even worse for Superman later in the story, when he runs afoul of a magical horn.

I prefer these types of stories to the ones where Superman just doesn't show up. However, they obviously take more work.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #11

In the following issue, the Faust stuff was followed up by the League having trouble with the Demons Three. They, of course, use magic, which is a problem for Superman.

Later, Superman gets written out of the story even more dramatically.

Very cool depiction of the events by Sekowksy, by the way.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #12

The following issue of the series introduced Doctor Light and he fights the League by first transporting the members of the League to different planets, with each planet designed to hurt the League in some specific fashion. For instance, Superman ends up on a red son planet.

Later, Doctor Light takes Superman out with Kryptonite light...

Man, Doctor Light was a lot more badass in his first appearance than he ever would be after this issue.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #13

This is probably the first issue where Superman actually WASN'T technically written out of the adventure, as the concept of the issue is that the League fight against robots with their same powers, which gave Fox an easy way to keep Superman around without having to make up a reason to get him out of the story. It is worth noting, though, that in the end, Superman is too much for his robot, as all robots wear down eventually, but Superman never does (which is why it is so tough to write stories about him as part of a team).

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #14

This is by far the biggest cop out of all of the issues listed so far. Superman is listed as being part of the roll call, but he just swoops in at the end of the issue, to say, "Hey guys, what did I miss while I was in the Phantom Zone?" I bet Superman was checking stuff out from the Phantom Zone and just waited until the adventure was over so that he could avoid having to help.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #15

This one was another instance where Superman mostly was able to hang out with the rest of the League, as Fox just came up with a foe that was powerful enough to tackle the Man of Steel, as well.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #16

This is a weird one. First off, Superman is forced to dance, despite it not being involved with magic or kryptonite.

Then, he was actually tired out by the dancing!!

However, the Atom realized that it was not music that was making them dance, but some sort of telepathic signal. Anyhow, the bad guy then seems to be able to counter Superman with some handy dandy kryptonite...

But in reality, since the Atom has warned everyone ahead of time, Superman has been painted with lead (huh?) and thus is able to keep going despite the presence of the kryptonite.

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