The Justice League is as iconic as any team in comic books. It’s DC’s staple team title and has been since its inception in March of 1960. It paved the way for future teams like the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Teen Titans, and X-Men all the while proving that uniting a group of superheroes under one title can be very lucrative.
The Justice League has gone through numerous lineup changes since its debut. Of those lineup changes, one thing never changes…the original lineup. The original lineup is comprised of the most iconic heroes under the DC Banner. Let’s see who they are as we rank them in order of importance.
Perception of the original Justice League members is that Aquaman is the least useful. After all, most of his existence has been unfairly spent at the butt-end of jokes.
What many people don’t understand/realize is that Aquaman is A) the ruler of Atlantis B) the ruler of the seven seas and C) can do practically anything he wants to with water. This means that he controls 70% of the Earth’s surface and everything in it. Anybody who controls 70% of the planet is probably a better ally than an enemy. Aquaman is powerful beyond measure and if he’s around water, his power is amplified.
As one of the original Justice League members, he has been through more battles, heartache, victories, and trials than most. His inclusion is invaluable and for any who still believe he isn’t deserving of being on the team, remember, he also controls all animal life underwater. Never was this power more impressive than when he summoned a shark to destroy his enemies (Justice League vol. 2, issue 4).
6. Martian Manhunter
Martian Manhunter first appeared in DC Comics back in 1955. His first story explains that he was inadvertently caught and teleported to Earth by Dr. Erdel. Once on Earth, he explained that he was from Mars, was a scientist on his home planet, and went by the name of J’onn J’onnz.
Martian Manhunter’s list of powers is long. Of them, some of his more notable are shapeshifting, invisibility, phasing, superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability. He also possesses regenerative powers, flight, telepathy, and enhanced senses. Martian Manhunter is so overpowered that when enemies face off against him and Superman, they often focus their attention on him.
Martian Manhunter is arguably the team’s most powerful member. I’d even be willing to say that should he and Superman (spoiler alert) decide to fight to the death, it would be Martian Manhunter who’d walk away the victor. It’s no wonder that DC decided to make him one of the original Justice League members.
5. Green Lantern
Since his debut, Green Lantern has gone on to become one of the greatest superheroes ever created. Not only is he one of the founding and original Justice League members, but he’s also responsible for keeping the peace across the entire galaxy.
As a member of the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan is charged with protecting Sector 2814, or Earth. He took over this responsibility after its former protector, Abin Sur, was killed and his ring sought out a new wearer. Once in Hal’s possession, he was brought in front of the Guardians of the Universe and trained by Sinestro. He cemented his legacy as a Green Lantern after discovering that Sinestro kept peace in his Sector through fear and violence.
Hal is well respected (for the most part) by the Green Lantern Corps. Because of this, he’s often the first to be called should another Sector require assistance. A place in the Justice League is his for as long as he chooses to keep it.
4. The Flash
The only reason that The Flash isn’t higher on this list is because of the competition he faces at the top.
The Flash is one of the oldest superheroes in existence. He (Barry Allen) first debuted in Showcase #4 in October of 1956. As the most famous of all the Speedsters in DC Comics, Barry Allen has assembled a following of fans that rivals that of the yet-to-be-named original Justice League members. Remarkably, Barry’s popularity remained extremely high even after he died during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
As The Flash, Barry is capable of doing anything faster than anyone around him. This means that he heals and moves quicker than most. Because he moves so quickly, he can become intangible through vibration, manipulate time, travel through time, cause lightning and energy to release from his body, and read and understand the world around him better than most.Barry is one of the most important members of the Justice League…no matter which version of the team he’s on.
“And I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals.”Batman has found a way into the hearts of readers that no other hero has. How?
Batman is the average man’s hero. He is proof that any person with the will, can change the world around them. Batman, through all of his adversity, has endured because he needs to. He is as important to New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Winnipeg as he is to Gotham.
He is relatable. Batman is without powers or mutations and isn’t an alien from another world. He is a man who, with enough training, does what we all wish we could do…rid the world of scum.
Although Batman has severe trust issues, his importance to the team cannot be understated. He’s there to solve the toughest crimes. He’s there to be calm when there isn’t one. And he’s there to handle business in a way that only he can… with fear and violence. All of these made him a perfect choice to be one of the original Justice League members.
Is there anything that I could tell you about Superman that you probably don’t already know? I’d be willing to bet that there isn’t but I’ll try anyway.
Superman is one of the most instantly recognizable superheroes in the world. His name has inspired adults to do better, children to want more, and everyone in between to treat those around them as they’d want to be treated.
Superman is one of the original Justice League members and almost single handily laid the foundation of what it meant to be one for future members. He is the light in the dark, the hope when there is none, and the reason that superhero comics survived when nobody was interested in them. The team was built around him and will always be built around him because, well, he epitomizes what it stands for.
1. Wonder Woman
There isn’t a superhero on this list who has endured more than Wonder Woman. Not only did she survive in an era where masculinity ruled superhero comics, but she has also survived overly sexualized situations, survived a fan vote to get onto the Justice Society, thrived in the equality and feminist movements, and helped create a platform where women superheroes were rightfully as capable as male superheroes.
Wonder Woman is the reason that female superheroes have come as far as they have and the world is better for it. She is independent, strong, a voice for the voiceless, smart, and is unafraid to do what’s right. These are but a few of the reasons that so many comic book fans of both sexes grow up idolizing her.
As one of the original Justice League members, Wonder Woman paved the way for every female who has and will ever join the team. Of the original six, none have done more for comic books than she has.