Before The Avengers, The Justice League were saving the planet from the clutches of intergalactic conquerers. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and many others became staples in the DC Universe both as stand alone heroes and as members of this super team.
Here are 41 super facts you might not have known about the The Justice League of America.
There were seven original members of the Justice League: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter.
Batman is known today for his stance on no killing, however he was originally a gun wielding vigilante who wouldn’t only shoot his enemies but was also found throwing them in tubs of acid, breaking their necks with a swift kick and hanging them from his Batplane.
Though he’s known as “The Man of Steel”, Superman was actually killed in a 1993 comic by the villain “Doomsday”. He was later brought back to life through means of the sun’s solar energy.
When Wonder Woman first hit the comic book stands in All-Star Comics #8 (1941) she immediately took the world by storm. Everyone loved Wonder Woman and she became one of the first superheroes to get her own book in 1942.
Believe it or not, The Flash is actually faster than Superman! The reason is because though Superman is enhanced and powered by the yellow Sun, he still has to follow the laws of physics including friction. The Flash however is powered by the near magical “speed force” which allows him to go into speeds that others could never dream of. “Fastest man alive” is a cool title and a lot more catchy than “faster than faster than a speeding bullet”.
Aquaman is the king of the seas. He breathes underwater, swims at high speed and can communicate with sea life telepathically. Since he is able to withstand the pressure of the ocean depths, while on land he is has superhuman strength, heightened senses, and nigh-impenetrable skin.
In 2011, the DC universe had a reboot called The New 52 where Alan Scott’s Green Lantern was reimagined as being gay to bring more diversity to the DC universe.
The Martian Manhunter is a shapeshifter. He can transform into any human, extraterrestrial, or tetrapod you want. He can be anyone you want him to be; your crush, his crush, Mrs. Doubtfire (maybe those are all the same thing!).
The Justice League’s very first comic book was called “Justice League of America” and was released in 1960.
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The Justice League was not the first superhero team in DC Comics history. The title of “first group” belongs to the Justice Society of America. DC just can’t get enough justice.
Over the first four years of The Justice League’s establishment, three other DC heroes were added including “Green Arrow”, “The Atom” and “Hawkman”.
The Justice League was immediately successful because fans loved seeing so many of their favourite heroes together. This caught Martin Goodman's attention and he demanded his creator, Stan Lee, to create a super-team as well. Lee developed The Fantastic Four.
The first major enemy that the Justice League teamed up against was “Starro” in “Brace and the Bold #28”. Starro was as cool as his name as it was a giant starfish.
Typically DC used the Justice League as a way to face off against intergalactic super villains like Darkseid and Brainiac and other aliens. Though they never went up against the evil cat eating monster “Alf”.
Lex Luthor, the arch nemesis of Superman, began a group of super villains to kill the members of The Justice League. He hired the likes of Cheetah, The Shade, Solomon Grundy, Star Sapphire, Copperhead, and Ultra-Humanite. He sadly did not recruit Starro.
Though The Joker wouldn’t join, he did volunteer his time to help Lex capture Batman.
The Justice League had a few secret bases, one of which was a secret cave outside of the small town “Happy Harbor”, Rhode Island.
At one point the JLA had a mascot, a teen named Lucas “Snapper” Carr, who would tag along on missions. Snapper is known as the Jar Jar Binks of comic books.
Snapper Carr was tricked by the Joker into revealing the location of the JLA’s base, leading him to have to give up his JLA membership. DC decided to bring the character back after many years as a more mature character that could teleport with his snaps. Snapper even became a member of the spy agency “Checkmate”.
The first story was of the original seven members coming together to prevent and defeat an alien invasion, only after which they formed the League. DC however revised the history after Crisis on Infinite Earth, changing it so that Wonder Woman arrived years after the first wave of heroes. This means that Black Canary has taken her place in the League history.
At one point, Wonder Woman left the team only to come back again. To prove her worthiness to rejoin, Wonder Woman voluntarily performed twelve trials comparable to the labours of Hercules. Each trial was monitored secretly by a member of the Justice League. After the trials were over in Wonder Woman #222, she returned to the JLA in a two part story that took place in Justice League of America #128-129 in 1976.
After the majority of the original team were unable to protect against a Martian invasion, Aquaman disbanded the Justice League. From then on, Aquaman only allowed heroes into the JLA who devoted all of their time to the league.
The new team was made up of Aquaman, Zatanna, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, the Vixen, and a trio of teenage heroes Gypsy, Steel, and Vibe. A year later Aquaman left this new team in order to resolves marital issues. After he left Martian Manhunter assumed the role of leader.
At the end of the second series of The Justice League, Hawkgirl left because of her involvement in the Thanagarian invasion on Earth. Hawkgirl eventually rejoined the team under a new name, Shayera.
There were plenty of romances in The Justice League. Green Arrow and Black Canary were married, and later Hawkgirl and the Green Lantern fell in love.
After the Thanagarian invasion, Hawkirl left to go live with Dr. Fate. Upon her return, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl had a son they named War Hawk.
Wildcat is particularly loved by Black Canary. She explained that it’s because he trained her and most of the other newer members of the JLA. She explains that she sees him not only as a mentor but also as a father figure.
The enemy “Chronos" was just a normal guy with an obsession for collecting. Oh, he also has a time machine that he invented. At one point he tried to use his time machine to steal Batman’s utility belt. In order to keep a linear timeline, Wonder Woman, Batman and Green Lantern followed Chronos through the time hole he opened.
In October 2007, George Miller decided to make a Justice League movie that he had fully cast. He had D.J. Corona as Superman, Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Common as the Green Lantern, Adam Brody as the Flash, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, and Hugh Keays-Byrneas the Martian Manhunter. The film came to a halt however when Miller was unable to begin filming right away, and the Justice League that never happened went on to work on other projects.
During the Justice League movie trailer, we are able to see an episode of “Rick and Morty” playing behind Bruce Wayne at Barry Allen’s place, giving us a closer insight to the kind of existential comedy The Flash prefers.
Originally Ben Affleck was considered to be the director of The Justice League movie.
The 2017 movie will mark the second time that J.K. Simmons and Willem Dafoe both appear in the same comic book movie franchise, the first being Sam Raimie’s Spider-Man films.
The upcoming movie was originally going to be split into two parts with one continuing story line. However, the idea of stretching a story over two parts was not well received and now they are attempting to make two Justice League movies with linked but separate plot lines.
Zack Snyder played an April Fool’s joke on the cast and production team by saying he was leaving the project and George Miller was going to take over the duties as director. The joke backfired however as the feedback was quite positive.
Snyder did eventually step down from finishing the film along side his wife (and producer), Deborah Snyder, after their daughter committed suicide in March of 2017. They tried to continue working on the film to help get through the difficult time but decided to step away and spend more time with family. Joss Whedon, who has signed on to direct Batgirl, took over as the director to finish a few scenes to be included in the final cut of the film.
Although the JLA has yet to have success with a live action film, the team has been featured in a number of successful animated movies and tv shows. The League has starred in two TV series and 9 animated films.
The team has a pet called “Wonder Dog”.
The upcoming Justice League film is largely inspired by the DC Comics relaunch “The New 52”. Not only have costumes (particularly Superman) been based on the comic reboot, it has also influenced the dark and somber tone of the films. It goes so far in The New 52 direction that the movies are taking plot points right from the comics. One of the most notable similarities is the addition of Cyborg who has never a big part of the JLA before The New 52.
The Justice League fought alongside The Avengers in the 2003 DC/Marvel crossover event. Back in the early 80’s the two companies had talked about making a crossover event with their best squads, but the project was shelved due to editorial conflicts and disputes. The storyline of the crossover was to defeat the time traveling super villain from the DC universe “Krona” who had transported himself into the Marvel Universe to find the truth of creation.
The Justice League released an animated series with its name changed to “Super Friends” because of the Vietnam War. In 1973, DC wanted a kid-friendly version of the JLA and hired Hanna-Barbera to create a Saturday morning cartoon based on the characters. Though some may think the title was “Super Friends” to be more accessible to younger audiences, but it was actually because Hanna-Barbera feared that “The Justice League of America” was too aggressively patriotic considering the Vietnam war.
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