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Written by 7:11 am DC, Comics

Who are the founding members of the Justice League in DC Comics?

founding members of the Justice League in DC Comics

Justice League in DC Comics

The Justice League is one of the most iconic superhero teams in comic book history. First appearing in 1960’s The Brave and the Bold #28, the Justice League has included many of DC Comics’ biggest names over the years. But who were the heroes that made up the original founding lineup? What brought these heroes together in the first place?

When Was the Justice League First Formed?

The Justice League came together for the first time in response to an alien invasion by the planet Appellax. Fearing that no single hero could defeat the Appellaxians, Batman and Superman decided to band together and recruit other heroes to face the threat as a team.

This first assembly of heroes took place in the pages of 1960’s The Brave and the Bold #28, though within DC continuity, this event occurred a few years earlier in the 1950s. After defeating the alien invasion through teamwork and coordination, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter decided to remain together as a team called the Justice League of America, establishing a headquarters in a secured bunker in Happy Harbor.

This early gathering set the precedent for how the Justice League would function for decades, as a group of fellow heroes united by friendship and common ideals.

The Big Three: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman

Superman: The Man of Steel. With his super strength, speed, flight and heat vision, Superman was an essential powerhouse founder of the Justice League. As an alien immigrant raised in Kansas, Superman also brought an idealistic belief in truth and justice to the new super team. His moral compass and optimism served as an inspiration to other members.

Batman: The Dark Knight. As the only non-powered hero among the founders, Batman joined the JLA bringing his detective skills, strategic brilliance and advanced technology developed through his family’s company, Wayne Enterprises. Despite his dark demeanor, Batman’s strong moral code made him a respected leader within the early Justice League, and his resources greatly aided the establishment of a permanent HQ.
Wonder Woman: An Amazon warrior born on the hidden island paradise of Themyscira, Wonder Woman brought her super strength, combat training, magic weapons and Lasso of Truth to the League. Though new to the outside world, Wonder Woman’s compassion and belief in redemption made her the heart and soul of the team early on, helping to smooth tensions and uphold the group’s highest ideals.
Founding Member Super Powers Key Attributes
Superman Super strength, speed, flight, heat vision Idealism, moral leadership
Batman Martial arts expertise, strategic genius, advanced technology Strategic planning, resources and facilities
Wonder Woman Super strength, combat training, Lasso of Truth Compassion, focus on redemption

The Speedster: Flash

The Flash became a member using his super speed to quickly arrive at emergencies when needed. A scientist named Barry Allen, The Flash could move at near light speeds and never worried about being late for a Justice League mission.

Along with his speed, The Flash brought a light-hearted optimism to the sometimes gloomy early Justice League. His humor and energy worked to lift the mood and morale on long missions.

The Space Cop: Green Lantern

Test pilot Hal Jordan joined the Justice League as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. His power ring allowed him to create solid constructs of green energy through his willpower and imagination. Green Lantern used his ring to fly, make force fields and even travel through space in a glow of emerald energy.

Along with his creativity, Green Lantern’s self-confidence never wavered in the face of galactic threats. His experience with interstellar travel and battles proved invaluable as more cosmic-level dangers emerged.

The King of the Seven Seas: Aquaman

Aquaman sometimes gets mocked for his ability to “talk to fish” but his telepathic control of all sea life makes him a formidable hero on or below the waves. As king of the lost city of Atlantis, Aquaman brings an authority and regal bearing to the Justice League when danger threatens the oceans.

Never underestimate this founding member – Aquaman’s super strength and toughness allow him to withstand the crushing pressure of the deepest sea trenches, making him essential for underwater missions.

The Martian Shapeshifter: Martian Manhunter

The last founding member of the Justice League was J’onn J’onzz, a green-skinned alien accidentally brought to Earth from the planet Mars. As a Martian, J’onzz had shape-shifting abilities, telepathy, flight and energy projection.

Adopting the human identity of detective John Jones, the Martian Manhunter used his otherworldly powers and detective skills to protect his new homeworld as a founding peer of the Justice League. His perspective as an alien gave him empathy for outsiders.

Why Was the Justice League Formed?

The Justice League did not exist as an institution but was originally formed in response to a specific threat. However, Superman and Batman decided the group was too effective to disband and proposed they remain together as an ongoing team.What made these seven heroes the right candidates to form an enduring supergroup?

They collectively possessed a wide range of super abilities needed for any crisis. But more importantly, these heroes shared common ideals about justice, duty and cooperation to overcome threats posed to humanity. As the Justice League’s longest serving leader, Batman once summarized the key ingredient needed to keep the League together:

“We’ve always been at our best when we function as a team. When we work together as friends.”

So the Justice League was founded not just as a weapon against evil, but as a fellowship of heroes united by common beliefs. Six decades later, that bond of friendship and trust in one another remains the foundation that supports the Justice League today. New members have come and gone, but the heart of the team still beats with the values of those original seven heroes who started it all.