Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I’ve done over the years.
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we saw the origin of the DC Cinematic Universe version of the Justice League. I thought it would be fun, then, to look at the top five origins of the main Justice League team in the DC Universe (Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis and New 52). So no spin-off teams, just the main team.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (WELL, “MENTIONS,” AT LEAST – A FEW OF THESE WERE PRETTY TERRIBLE)
The 52 Justice League (52 #4)
This one was pretty much a joke, but since there were no other Justice Leagues during this point in time, I guess they kind of sort of/sort of kind of count as the “main” Justice League team. That’s really just a technicality, so feel free to ignore this one. It was just a joke by the 52 writers, really.
The Detroit Justice League (Justice League of America Annual #2)
I don’t know if you count this as the formation of a “new” League. For instance, I don’t think Donna Troy and Hal Jordan rebuilding the League post-Blackest Night counts as a new League. This one, though, had Aquaman disbanding the League officially, so I think it counts. So here is Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton and Dave Hunt with the formation of the new League, which would add younger members Vixen, Steel, Vibe and Gypsy to their ranks by the end of the issue…
Justice League Spectacular #1
This was such a weird time for the Justice League. Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis left the book, which was still one of DC’s most popular titles, so DC naturally didn’t want to just jettison this version of the League, but the guy taking over the main book, Dan Jurgens, clearly was not a fan of the humorous book that the title had become (to clarify by “not a fan,” I mean in terms of that was not the approach he wanted to do with the book – I have no idea what Jurgens thought about the book in general), so you had this weird thing where Jurgens’ more serious approach was being applied to the humorous characters of Giffen/DeMatteis’ run, with unsurprisingly poor results (Jurgens did this one arc that seemed to be more in line with his vision of the book, involving an alternate reality Justice League, and it was really good – so it was more a case of him being stuck into an awkward situation than anything). So anyhow, in a one-shot that was split between Jurgens and Rick Burchett and Gerard Jones, Ron Randall and Randy Elliott (the upcoming creative team of Justice League Europe), we see the new League formed, as a hostage situation occurs when Elongated Man is on holiday. Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are arguing when Fire and Ice run into them, and they all decide to help out their friend Elongated Man…
Then we see Superman head off to deal with the emergency, with Batman posing him a challenge…
While Ted, Booster, Fire and Ice head to help their friend, we learn that Ice called some of their OTHER friends to help…
Once there, Ice calls Hal Jordan for MORE help, and Hal travels to Earth and collects more heroes, including Crimson Fox for some reason. I don’t believe the two had ever met at this point in time…
So the heroes win and they decide to form a new Justice League…
That last page was a perfect encapsulation of what was wrong with this new League. If you liked more serious heroes, you were still stuck with the same cast as the previous League. If you liked the previous League, you had these other heroes coming in to say how bad the previous League was. It was just a ill-considered editorial decision (although one I totally understand – it was a very tough call to make. How DO you follow up something as unique as the Giffen/DeMatteis League?).
Post-Zero Hour Justice League (Justice League of America #0)
An even MORE ill-considered new League came after the various Leagues disbanded following the events of the Overmaster saga, which ended up with Ice dead and Booster Gold nearly dead.
Gerard Jones, Chuck Wotjkiewicz and Bob Dvorak did a new League that was, in effect, just a big hangout space for whoever felt like hanging out….
Again, clearly they were working under some very strict editorial guidelines, in effect “None of the major heroes outside of Wonder Woman and Flash are available to you, so….GO!” It was a tough situation for Jones to be in. I certainly don’t begrudge him for taking it and then saying, “Let’s try something COMPLETELY different than your typical superhero book.” I feel for him. It was still not a good comic book.
Post-Infinite Crisis Justice League of America (Justice League of America #1)
Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman vote on heroes to be in the Justice League in this Brad Meltzer, Ed Benes and Sandra Hope comic.
It’s not awful, but it’s still kind of weird to see a comic of just the Trinity voting in their peers.
Go to the next page for the start of the top five!
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