The next couple of years promises to be full of comic book superheroes no matter where your allegiance falls in the DC/Marvel divide.
Following in The Avengers’ big screen footsteps, the Justice League of America (JLA) is finally getting its own live-action movie, even though the Justice League came along way before The Avengers were even born. A quick stroll down comic book lane reveals how the JLA got its start and unintentionally lead to some of Marvel’s most successful superhero teams.
The first team of superheroes in the history of comics was the Justice Society of America (JSA) who appeared in DC Comics All Star Comics #3 in 1940.
The original team included Doctor Fate, Hour-Man, the Spectre, the Sandman, the Atom, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman. DC Comics had a rule that whenever a JSA member received his own comic book title the character would leave All Star Comics and would become an “honorary member” of the JSA. This is why already independent Batman and Superman didn’t appear in the series, being automatic honorary members even though they weren’t present for the founding of the JSA. The comic had a good run, but after WWII there was a decline in the popularity of superheroes. It seems the golden age of the superhero ended when DC opted to stop publishing more JSA adventures and rebranded the title All-Star Westerns (which didn't include a single superhero).
It wasn’t until 1979 that any explanation for the team’s disappearance after the early 1950s was provided when it was revealed in The Defeat of the Justice Society! (Adventure Comics #466) that the JSA chose to disband and retire rather than present themselves unmasked in front of the Joint Un-American Activities Committee as demanded.
The death of the JSA lead to the birth of the Justice League of America (JLA) when in the late 1950s DC Comics’ editor Julius Schwartz asked writer Gardner Fox to reinvent the JSA. Schwartz, due to the popularity of Major League Baseball’s National and American Leagues, asked Fox to change the team’s name to the Justice “League.” The JLA made its debut with a whole new team in March 1960 in The Brave and the Bold #28 and quickly gained popularity, leading to their own series which became one of DC Comics’ best-selling titles.
During a round of golf, DC publisher Jack Liebowitz bragged to Marvel owner Martin Goodman about how well the new Justice League series was selling which prompted Goodman, knowing himself how popular the JLA was becoming, to ask his editor Stan Lee to create a superhero team for Marvel. The result was the Fantastic Four. The next Marvel team to follow prompted by the Justice League’s success was The Avengers. You can thank DC comics for spawning the dawn of the superhero team — but, ironically, in Marvel Comics!
Casting rumors continue to swirl as Warner Brother’s The Justice League movie moves closer and closer to production, but no need to wait until the movie’s release in 2017 to see your fave Justice Leaguers in the flesh. Thanks to these DeviantArt superheroes you can see the full league in all their live-action glory. These cosplayers join their collective superpowers to bring you a superheroic extravaganza!
The real test of honor isn’t how you die, it’s how you live.”
In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night, No Evil shall escape My Sight. Let those who worship Evil’s Might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s Light!”
[Hovering above the ground by spinning his arms] Hey ladies, check me out! I’m just like a helicopter! [Loses balance and crashes to the ground] I’m sorta like a helicopter…”
Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.”
It’s faith, Hawkgirl. You’re not supposed to understand it. You just have it.”
I’m used to being thanked when I save someone.”
I am Diana, Princess of the Amazons! I won’t be denied!”
- Who is you favorite The Justice League character and why?
- What would you like to see in future editions of Cosplay Friday?