The Justice League of America have had many different line-ups, but the original members have always been the most popular with fans.
The Beginning of the Justice League of America
One of the world’s most famous fictional supergroups is DC Comic’s Justice League of America. First introduced in the in 1960, the comic book loving public already knew all of the founding members: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Martian Manhounter. Over the years the Justice League has been reinvented time and time again. New members have come and gone, original members have quit and returned, even died and been resurrected, but the group only seems to soar in popularity if it has it’s original line-up. After so many line-up changes, why do these original five capture the interest of so many fans?
Heroes of the Justice League
When DC comics decided they wanted to create a super group, instead of creating a league of all new super-heroes, they decided to team the companies most popular heroes. The hope was to peek the interest of each hero’s fans, and it did just that. Besides that, it was easier to create a team dynamic around characters who were already developed individually. This was done simply by taking the attributes of each hero and ensuring that those skills would be needed through-out the story. Batman and Martian Manhunter provided the scientific understanding and insight while Superman and Wonder Woman supplied the team with a superior amount of brawn. The Flash was the one member that couldn’t really provide a specific desired attribute to the group. To compensate for this The Flash provided much the comic relief but even more importantly he had the wisdom to piece together the individual members skills into a plan. This essentially made The Flash the leader.
JLA Overhauls and Spin-offs
Over the years many members would come and go creating spin-off comics like Justice League international. DC writers also tried adding heroes who exhibited similar traits as those of heroes in the original line-up, like Nightwing taking over for the Batman. Still the same dynamic was never able to be created. Nor was the same amount of popularity was attained. It didn’t take long before all the spin-off series were cancelled and the original lineup was back in action.
In the 1980’s, the Justice League of America received an overhaul but instead of creating another new lineup, which had been typical for the League in the past, the lineup returned once again to the original five. This return to the it’s founding members brought the Justice League of America to the height of the team’s popularity. This was also a time where DC created a whole line of spin-off series, none of which enjoyed a long life. The popularity of this era of the Justice League ended before the end of the decade but it did help usher in an animated series in the early 2000’s which ran under two names from 2001 until 2006. The animated series almost had all the leagues founding members, with only Aquaman missing from the lineup, replaced by Hawkgirl.