Posted December 13, 2017 by Drew Bagay in Comics

10 Facts You Should Know About the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

Welcome to another edition of 10 Facts, where we give you a rundown of the ten essential things (and some obscure facts) that you should know about a character.

The Justice League is arguably the biggest and most popular superhero team in comics. They even successfully broken into a wider audience with a critically-acclaimed animated TV show. With the recent release of the Justice League movie, we give you a rundown of the ten things you need to know about DC’s premiere superhero team.

1. The Justice League first appeared in 1960.


Created by Gardner Fox, the Justice League first appeared in DC’s The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960). The original members are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. After its success, the group finally received its own comic book Justice League of America in November 1960.

This debut marked a reboot for a few of DC’s established heroes like the Flash and Green Lantern, who were both successfully reimagined from their Golden Age identities.

2. They are not DC’s first superhero team.


The Justice League may be DC’s most popular superhero team, but they were certainly not the first ensemble team-up for the publisher. Also conceived by Gardner Fox, the Justice Society of America were the first superhero team during the Golden Age of comic books, and first appeared in All-Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940). The original members included Doctor Fate, Hawkman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Sandman, Spectre, the Atom and Hourman.

As the popularity of superhero comics faded around the ‘50s, the JSA’s adventures were cancelled. The team was absent from comics for a decade until getting reintroduced in the Silver Age. With the Justice League already existing, the JSA was established to be from a parallel Earth called Earth-2.

3. The name Justice League was inspired by Major League Baseball.


After being absent for so long, DC wanted to reintroduce the Justice Society of America back into their comics in the late 1950s. However, due to the popularity of Major League Baseball’s National League and American League at the time, editor Julius Schwartz and writer Gardner Fox changed the name of the team from Justice Society to Justice League.

4. The first villain the team faced was a giant starfish named Starro.


In The Brave and the Bold #28, the Justice League face an intergalactic alien resembling a giant starfish named Starro the Conqueror. Starro is an intelligent entity, and can withstand and absorb huge amounts of energy (it absorbed an atomic bomb explosion in its first appearance). It also has the power to release parasites that attach to a host’s face, and subsequently taking control over them.

Starro invaded Earth and took over the people of Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman teamed up to defeat Starro, and saved the citizens of Happy Harbor (which would become the location of the JLA’s headquarters later on).

5. The Fantastic Four was created because of the Justice League.


Justice League was a huge success for DC, as fans loved seeing multiple superheroes in a single comic book. Martin Goodman, an editor for another comic book company (pre-Marvel), took notice and tasked writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby to create a similar superhero dream team. And thus, the Fantastic Four was born.

The success of the Fantastic Four would then lead to the creations Marvel’s other Silver Age heroes such as Iron Man, Hulk and Thor – who subsequently formed The Avengers.

6. The team had a mascot named Lucas “Snapper” Carr.


The Justice League had a teenaged mascot and supporting character named Snapper Carr, who tagged along in the group’s adventures. DC executive editor Whitney Ellsworth insisted that a hip civilian teenager be included in the book, inspired by the emerging youth culture at the time.

Carr appeared in the Justice League comics from its first appearance until Justice League of America #77 (1969), where he resigned after being tricked into betraying the team’s headquarters location to a disguised Joker.

7. The team’s roster grew and rotated over the years.


Like any other superhero team, the Justice League’s roster changes from time to time, from its original seven to even reaching twenty members at one point. The first few additions to the team happened over the next four years after its debut in the early ‘60s. DC’s other rebooted heroes from the Golden Age – Green Arrow, the Atom and Hawkman (the latter two were founding members of the Justice Society of America) – were added to the roster.

The Justice League saw further lineup changes after creator Gardner Fox left the book. Dennis O’Neil, Fox’s replacement, removed Wonder Woman from the team in Justice League of America #69 and Martian Manhunter in issue #71. Black Canary also joined the Justice League shortly.

8. The JLA operated in a secret cave first, before moving on to the famous Justice League Watchtower.


The Justice League held its headquarters in the Secret Sanctuary, a secret cave in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. After Snapper Carr was tricked into revealing the Secret Sanctuary’s location to the Joker, the team was forced to abandon the cave, and subsequently moved to a new location. The Secret Sanctuary was given to the teenage group Young Justice eventually, with Red Tornado serving as guardian.

In Justice League of America #78 (February 1970), the team moves its base of operations to a satellite orbiting 20,000 miles above Earth, known as The Watchtower. The satellite has been the League’s home for a long time, and each member takes turns watching over the base. If needed, the members are able to teleport easily back to Earth.

9. There have been many villainous counterparts to the Justice League.


The heroes are only as good as their villains, as the saying goes. Throughout the Justice League’s existence, the heroes’ enemies have formed groups of their own to kill the Justice League. The most popular of which are the Legion of Doom and the Injustice League. Both teams essentially share the same members, with Lex Luthor serving as the leader.

10. The Justice League did a crossover with the Avengers.


There’s no doubt that the Justice League and the Avengers are two of the biggest superhero teams in comics. But did you know that they already met in a crossover? Although DC and Marvel have done crossovers before, the four-issue limited series JLA/Avengers is the first time the two groups are featured in a single book.

The series was already in the works as early as the ’80s, with writer Gerry Conway and artist George Perez attached to the project. But editorial disputes pushed the publication to September 2003, and the writer getting changed to Kurt Busiek.

Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.