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Off My Mind: What Was the Best Justice League of America Roster?

With DC's "The New 52" relaunch, how does the new team compare to past versions?

With the relaunch of the DC Universe in "The New 52," it's fitting that it all kicks off with the Justice League. If you have a bunch of heroes and the supervillain threats are getting out of hand, the world's greatest heroes would logically band together.

They made their original appearance in Brave and the Bold #28 in 1960. Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Martian Manhunter worked together to fight Starro's plan to conquer Earth. This wasn't actually their first meeting. We later found out in Justice League of America #9 how exactly they first got together. A group of aliens from the planet Appellax began attacking and the heroes (along with Superman and Batman) joined forces to defeat them.

They became known (to readers) as the Justice League of America's "Big Seven." This was DC's biggest heroes together. Green Arrow joined shortly after and over the years, there have been numerous members and different incarnations of the team. With the release of Justice League #1, we have a chance for a new original team. While the cover appears to show us the team, obviously things can change. The question is, what would be the best roster for the Justice League?

== TEASER ==

Again, you cannot deny that the Big Seven is the premiere team. Adding Green Arrow served to give the team another street level hero (and of course to cause friction in the team). Former mascot, Snapper Carr betrayed the team during the time when the team was joined by Black Canary and Atom while Wonder Woman and Aquaman took some time off. Eventually others like Elongated Man, Zatanna and Firestorm joined.

The mixture we had here brought in some interesting changes. Each new member had something to add to the team, whether it was super-human abilities or a different way of approaching the team. Batman wasn't always around as part of the team, having his own responsibilities. Elongated Man is a detective in his own right, just not on the same level as Batman. Zatanna gave the team access to magic and a way be prepared for any mystical opponents.

The team went through...big changes in the 80s, mainly when they relocated to Detroit. Vibe along with Vixen, Gypsy and Steel tried to carry on the team with Zatanna and Aquaman. This would be an example of what didn't work in a Justice League roster. Aquaman was the only Big Gun they had. This team was even responsible for the cancellation of the long running series. The team's roster needs the big heroes.

In the mid-eighties we saw a return to a more traditional Justice League. And then later the Justice League International and Justice League Europe. Batman had returned. Along with new member, Captain Marvel as well as Martian Manhunter, things were looking up for the team.

Of course having a Green Lantern, even if it was Guy Gardner, also helped to increase the status of the team. With Black Canary back and Dr. Light, Mr. Miracle, Blue Beetle and Doctor Fate, the team was back to a powerful roster.

Unfortunately this team's origin also involved Maxwell Lord, who would lead to some dark times in the DC Universe years later.

Batman didn't stick around long but the team did add Booster Gold, Captain Atom and Fire and Ice. The roster had potential but whether it was the book's humorous tone, it didn't quite feel as if it quite made it to being considered a truly powerful roster. When you have Guy being Guy and Booster and Beetle joking around, it was hard to take them seriously (even if the series was entertaining.

Later we saw the Justice League Task Force and the Extreme Justice Team but what did it really come down to? Grant Morrison and Howard Porter brought the return of the Big Seven...sort of.

Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter along with the current Flash (Wally West) and Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner). Other characters were added such as Plastic Man, Huntress, Oracle and Steel.

In other words, the Big Seven are the heart and soul of the team. They're the glue that keeps it together. They're the ones that can carry the team. Adding in the others and just having the majority of the originals makes for a strong roster.

There are others in the team's history worth mentioning. 2006's team consisted of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Black Canary, Roy Harper, Vixen, Black Lightning, Hawkgirl and Red Tornado. The Cry For Justice team of Hal Jordan, Green Arrow, Supergirl, Captain Marvel Jr., Congorilla, Starman wanted to be a more proactive team. But we know that didn't end well when faced against Prometheus. The last team was also brilliant with former side-kicks and b-list heroes graduating to the Justice League. The team included Dick Grayson as Batman, Donna Troy, Supergirl, Jesse Quick-Chambers, Jade, Starman and Congorilla.

And now we're going to see the team for the first time once again.

From the looks of things, we can't be completely sure who will be on the final roster. The promotional image above shows other characters on the side besides the strange new addition of Cyborg. The cover to issue #1 also shows the main seven characters. We do have the original team except Martian Manhunter has been replaced (and will be seen in the pages of Stormwatch). If anything, at least we're off to a strong start. We'll have to see how this new team interacts with each other and if they even get along.

Who I would like to see on the team?

  • Batman
  • Hal Jordan
  • Barry Allen
  • Wonder Woman
  • Captain Marvel
  • Zatanna
  • Plastic Man

Batman of course to lead and strategize. Hal Jordan for cosmic problems. Barry, even though I love Wally, for his speed, experience and maturity. Wonder Woman for her nobility, strength and leadership. Captain Marvel for his strength and some magic. Zatanna for even more magical abilities and past experience. And Plastic Man because if you're read his Justice League appearances, you know some of the things he's capable of. I'd like to get Black Canary in there but we're going to limit it to seven.

What does the rest of Comic Vine think?

I asked my fellow writers who would be on their dream team of the Justice League.

Sara Lima

  • Wonder Woman
  • Wally West
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Vixen
  • Hawkman
  • Hawkgirl
  • John Stewart

(It's only supposed to be SEVEN, Sara!)

OR her 'all girl dream team'

Mat Elfring

Explanation: As much as I love the original line-up, I'd like to see more of the successors of each original character come together and work as a team. Mainly Nightwing, John Steward, and Donna Troy. As for Dr Light and Mr Terrific, I just really like those characters.

Matt Demers

  • Batman (Grayson) - Leader, tactician, hand-to-hand, youth-to-adult transition
  • Captain Marvel (Batson) - Big gun, magic, speed, knowledge,
  • Green Arrow - Liberal, marksman, voice of reason
  • Black Canary - Hand to hand, tactician, martial arts
  • Blue Beetle (Reyes) - Tech, "the youth", reader analogue
  • Flash (West) - Speed, scouting, second-in-command
  • Green Lantern (Gardner) - Wildcard, mouthy, big gun

Corey Schroeder

  • Superman
  • Wonder Woman
  • Steel (daughter, not the original and as more of a Tony Stark Inventor-type than a Superman analog)
  • Kyle Rayner
  • Deathstroke (having a sort of redemptive arc. And as a stand-in for Batman since I never really felt like he fit on the team)
  • Big Barda (shamelessly stolen from Sara, but also because I needed someone cosmic)
  • Frankenstein's Monster

What do you think would be the best roster?

174 Comments Refresh
Posted by dragorith

Batman, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl/woman
The DCAU got it perfectly right.

Posted by CanucksXVX

Wonder Woman 
Flash- barry allen 
Green Lantern- hal jordan 
Martian Manhunter
Posted by noj

You cant beat the original seven

Posted by JonesDeini
@dragorith said:
Batman, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl/woman  The DCAU got it perfectly right.
Yup, yup
Posted by kennybaese

Batman (Wayne)


Wonder Woman

Martian Manhunter

Flash (West or Allen)

Green Lantern (Jordan or Raynor)

What can I say? I love the Morrison JLA run a bunch.

Posted by ips
@dragorith: amen. DCAU roster is perfect.
Posted by humanfly26

I think Grant morrison's line-up of 12-14 members was my favorite (around the time Zauriel and Plas joined the team)
As for the latest roster, I completely agree that Mr. Terrific should be on the team. I like the classic JLA characters, but here's a random team with none of the "big 7" on it:
Mr. Terrific - leadership, tactics
Power Girl - brute strength
Firestorm - raw power
Zatanna - magic
Captain Comet - telepath, space
Hardware - tech
Plastic Man - comic relief, stretchiness

Posted by danhimself

I liked the idea of the JLU....everyone is a member of the Justice League and called on when their powers are needed

Posted by slick23

Hal Jordan

Posted by Bat_Mite51
@walkingcarpet: This.
Posted by pikahyper

I always preferred the JLE/JLI to any of the JLA's.

Moderator Online
Posted by elayem98

Wonder Woman 
Green Arrow 
Martian Manhunter 
Its unoriginal and its 8 not 7 but its what i want

Edited by EdgerJoker

All Black JLA  
Black Lightning 
Mr Terrific  
Green lantern (John Stewart) 
Firestorm (Jason Rusch) 
*****Back-Up members******
*Aqualad (Jackson Hyde)
*Static Shock

Posted by Darkmount1
Love that lineup, I like the DCAU even better than the regular DCU. 
On my latest Comicvine blog entry, I envisioned something akin to Marvel's Heroes Reborn, where while the big guns were on that pocket Earth, the rest of the superhuman community pitched in to fill in the void. I did something similar and made up a separate event where the heroes who were going to be benched use a large tuning fork, similar to the ones in COIE, to split the Earth into two separate ones: one where Flashpoint didn't happen and it's like how we knew it till now, and one where DCnU occurs. On the unchanged Earth, the League reforms with a new approach in the form of a rotating roster for each 'shift'. The first five teams I came up with were the following: 
*The Justice League reforms with a new approach, taking the new name of the Justice League Unlimited and having a global presence (a la the TV show). Bases are the Watchtower, the Hall of Justice, and the retro-fitted cave in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island (each location bearing statues of the former League members currently in the DCnU, with the founding seven in the cave). Squads are divided into the following groupings: 
 -Team A is Power Girl (doubling in the JSA as well), Donna Troy, Azrael, Jade, Jesse Quick, Congorilla, Mikaal Tomas, and Connor Hawke as Green Arrow. 
 -Team B is Steel (John Henry Irons), Artemis (the Amazon), Batgirl (Stephanie Brown), Plastic Man, Gypsy, Red Tornado, Wally West as the Flash, and Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi). 
 -Team C is the Guardian, the Question (Renee Montoya), Grace Choi, Sebastian Faust, Jemm, Metamorpho, Onyx, and Maya. 
 -Team D is Gangbuster, the Creeper, Faith, Firehawk, Bulleteer, Adam Strange, Halo, and Freight Train.
 -Team E is Captain Comet, Manhunter (Kate Spencer), Richard Dragon, Blue Devil, Red Torpedo, Nemesis (Tom Tresser), an upgraded and now AI-fitted GI Robot, Acrata, and Icon.
Other teams to be determined, but a few fan-favorites, among others, are on different League teams.
See this for more info:
Posted by SleepyDrug

Why seven?  The JLA had 12 at one point.   
But if I need to stay with seven then.... 
Martian Manhunter -- leadership, raw power, detective skills, psychic  
Power Girl - raw power
Green Lantern (Kyle) - raw power, willpower, galactic lore 
Flash (Wally) -- speed, recon  
Zatanna - magic
Metamorpho - raw power, adaptability
Batman (Bruce) - martial arts, stealth, tech support, research 
J'onn is the heart and soul of the JLA.  He is also powerful, and very underrated.  Power Girl has tons of raw power, and really needs a place she fits in.  Kyle is the ultimate GL.  I know Hal has a large fan base....but Kyle exceeded Hal (in my opinion) when he resisted Parallax.  Wally is a is really all he does, and the team needs a Flash on it.  Zatanna is the best mystic available given that Fate never seemed JLA material.  I'd love to explore her friendship with Bruce and J'onn.  Metamorpho brings raw power and tons of odd skills as a treasure hunter.  He also has a lot of versatility.  Batman is the tech supplier and team ninja; although i'd probably cast Blue Beetle in this role if Ted was still alive. 
I'd love another 5 to 7 as reservists, members, or regular guest stars.  I thought the 12 person JLA roster made the team feel epic.  These would be Elongated Man, Firestorm, Black Canary, Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain Atom, and Vixen.
Posted by DDevil2887

Batman (Grayson) for his tech, tactical ability and compassion. 
Captain Marvel- big guns 
Dr. Fate- strongest magical source in the DC universe 
Green Lantern- Kyle Raynor because he is powerful and not a  mavericks like Hal Jordan for team cohesiveness. 
Green Arrow- keeping the team grounded 
Martian Manhunter- for his  alienness. 
Flash- Barry allen- always need a speedster on the team.

Posted by lorex

Wonder Woman
Wally West the "True Flash" (Death to Barry Allen)
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Martian Manhunter
Never really cared for Aquaman, plus Zatanna adds that magical aspect which always seems to bite a conventional team in the ass.

Posted by SuperXAsh

so hard to pick. With a good writer, even the seemingly silliest of line-ups can be handled superbly.

Posted by the_fallen11

batman . superman. wonder woman. green lantern (hal). flash (wally). element woman. aquaman.

Posted by katanalauncher

I really wish they would exclude Batman(not that it will never happen), and let him dwell in his own little world.

Superman alone could handle the leadership and help out cyborg with tech.

Posted by RScottH08


Wonder Woman 
Flash - Wally West 
Green Lantern - Kyle Rayner 
Captain Marvel 
Martian Manhunter

Posted by GraveSp

Superman - just because 
Batman - lets go with Grayson, Bruce can have the Outsiders or Inc 
Green Arrow - Ollie, just because he seems to work  
Flash - Wally, Gives the team some humor 
Martian Manhunter-  he is green and psychic what more do you need?
Wonder Woman- for some Estrogen 
Jason Blood/Etrigan- Give the team some magic 

Posted by jubilee042

wonder woman 
green lantern 
plus as a substitute i want hawkwoman or hawkgirl

Posted by Nightw BR

Wonder woman 
Shayera Hol 
Flash (Wally West) Guest charcters would be Tim Drake, Green Lantern (Kyle Raynor/ Hal/ John Stewat), Zatanna, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Supergirl ,Powergirl, Huntress.
Posted by GraveSp
@EdgerJoker: I would read that book, although i would like to have Static as the main member rather then Steel.
Posted by dondasch

May as well.
Batman (Bruce Wayne, not Dick Grayson wannabe)
Wonder Woman (Because you just cannot leave her out, sorry.)
Green Lantern (John Stewart.  Best one in my opinion)
Flash (Wally West.  Grew up with him on JL.  Same as John Stewart)
Martian Manhunter (Cohesive link for the team)
Aquaman or Hawkgirl.  Im happy with either one.

Posted by Jekylhyde14

Superman- As close to the Silver Age version as possible. He's Earth's mightiest champion, after all. 
Batman- The grim, uncompromising vigilante who always has a plan. 
Wonder Woman- I enjoy her the most when she's steeped in Greek mythology. 
Zauriel- That way the league would be pulled into adventures involving Judeo-Christian lore.  
Vixen- I've always had a thing for Mari (especially in her Animal Man cameo). Her animal powers give her a spiritual link to nature. 
Plastic Man- Because he's just great. Comedic relief, stretch powers, and he'e referred to a number of times in Gravity's Rainbow. 
Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)- I have good memories of Kyle. His development as a hero was one of the best parts of the 90's. 
That's the way I'd want my league for tonight at least. Maybe I'll feel different tomorrow. 

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

My favorite so far has been:

I loved the odd grouping, the fun, and the family they became.  Plus the art was awesome.
 My own team that I put together myself???
 How about this
JLA Powerhouses:
1. Superman 
2. Wonder Woman
3. Captain Marvel
4. Martian Manhunter
5. Big Barda
6. Green Lantern
7. Powergirl
I'll think of more later.
Posted by Dark_Phoenix00x
@dragorith said:
Batman, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl/woman  The DCAU got it perfectly right.
This is my choice too
Posted by TheBuck

I know I'm in the few here when I say that the latest (pre new 52) was a really good team and quite possibly my fav.
I would love to the following on a team:
Batman (Dick)
Liberty Belle 
GL (Guy)
Blue Beetle
Booster Gold

Posted by Henrypm

Wonder Woman 
Hal Jordan 
Barry Allen 
Captain Marvel  2 man of steel is better than 1
or replacement  

Posted by EdgerJoker
@GraveSp: Steel came to mind before Static...
Posted by ImperiousRix

I like the Justice League animated series line-up (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (John Stewart), Hawk Girl, and Martian Manhunter), but I guess if I had to make a team of seven for myself, it'd look something like this...  

Power Girl (Kryptonian, financial backing, comic relief) 
Barry Allen (Super speed, detective skills) 
Black Canary (Supersonic scream, hand-to-hand combat specialist) 
John Stewart (Energy projection, military/tactical expert) 
Green Arrow (Stealth, financial backing, volatile) 
Robotman (Technological, bruiser, comic relief) 
Bane (Super strength, intellect, tactical expert, volatile)
Yes, I'd put Robotman on the team.  I think the Doom Patrol deserves a larger platform to play on!  I also wanted a "villain" on the team, and feel like Bane'd be one that'd fit while also being plausible.  I know, an odd team, but that's why I don't make the decisions at DC...

Posted by ssejllenrad

I'm a traditionalist so...
Wonder Woman
Flash (here's an exception, I pick wally)
Green Lantern (Hal or Kyle)
Martian Manhunter
or something like Titans of Tomorrow but not entirely like it
Superman (Conner)
Batman ( Tim Drake)
Wonder Woman (Cass)
Flash (Bart)
Green Lantern (Yat)
Aquaman (Arthur Joseph Curry)
Green Arrow (Connor)

Posted by CanucksXVX

oops forgot aquaman
Posted by Master_Of_Evil

this already proves there is no continuity here because Hal Jordan was fired and his ring taken away from him 

Posted by Bestostero

I can never decide on a dream team especially when there's a limit number of characters...but my favorite incarnation would have to be...

Posted by Tolliver_Trask

I'm partial to this incarnation, lol: 

Posted by JonesDeini

Maybe it's just my childhood nostalgia but I've always been fond of Morrison's original 97 team.

Posted by MrFantastic

Captain America - Leadership
Iron Man  - Tech & Money
Thor - Raw Power
Hawkeye  - Stealth
Giant Man - Science
Wasp  - Eye Candy
Scarlet Witch - What can't she do?
JLA - Justice League Avengers

Posted by Bobcat14

Hey G-man I would like to encourage you to make similar post detailing other line ups. For example TEEN TITANS, LEGION OF DOOM,  THE G.L.C. HONOR GUARD, JSA and more.
Posted by CrimsonTempest

What would I think would be the best JL roster?
Batman (Wayne) Obvious financial support, world's greatest detective, tactician, leader
Superman (Silver Age) inspiration to heroes, motivator, all-around powerhouse
Wonder Woman (Diana) Experience, compliments Superman in roughhousing tactics
Green Lantern (Stewart) He's killed two planets. Also, good choice for cosmic threats.
Flash (West) speed, heart of the team, jokester
Aquagirl (Lorena) a little twist of having an Aqua-themed character, great asset in fighting underwater
Red Arrow (Harper) rising from tragedy, overcoming his addictions, all-around marksman, voice of youth

Edited by Zuckuss_02

My dream team consists of... 
1. Superman 
2. Batman 
3. Wonder Woman 
4. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) 
5. Flash (Wally West) 
6. Aquaman 
7. Martian Manhunter 
8. Hawkman 
9. Green Arrow 
10. Black Canary 
11. Zatanna

Posted by WizardShazam
  • Batman (Bruce)
  • Captain Marvel (Billy)
  • Green Lantern (Kyle)
  • The Flash (Barry, I like Wally but Barry has the maturity and experience)
  • Plastic Man (Eel)
  • Zatanna
  • Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)/Booster Gold (they pretty much count as one, right?)
  • Firestorm (Jason/Ronnie) (if Beetle/Booster won't work)

Batman for leadership, tech, money, general smarts. Captain Marvel for the heavy hitter without the lame weakness and Billy gives some innocence and a different perspective (being a kid and all). Green Lantern for space crime (and Kyle because I am sick of Hal and he seems to best fit). Flash because you need a speedster. Plastic Man for comedic relief and an under-appreciated power set. Zatanna for magic, and because Dr. Fate is a JSA guy. Blue Beetle/Booster Gold for the duo dynamic and for time travel business, plus Beetle has some tech/smarts and Booster has some leadership experience. Firestorm for matter manipulation and because he is apparently a god-tier hero now, at least according to Brightest Day.

Posted by Bestostero

Also... hurray for Mat Elfring for picking Dr. Light! :)

Posted by Burnstar1230

I would have it with the original seven branching out to instruct the lesser known heroes to take care of the big baddies in case they were gone. For example:
Wonder Woman (One of the original seven) 
Blue Beetle
Doctor Fate
Red Arrow
Kind of balance between the powerhouses like Wonder Woman, the martial arts and weapon skills like Red Arrow, a 'brain' like Atom, someone experienced in magic like Fate, Someone with alien knowledge like Blue Beetle, Fire for her long-range powers and a young hero that could be like their 'hero-in-training', making them take on high-quality missions with the older, more experienced members, hence Static.

Posted by KRYPTON

I think this is the longest Off my mind yet

Posted by Eyz

If you ask me...well you probably guessed it already a'right!
Ol' buddy, ol' pal!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Personally for me, any Justice League is worthy as long as the Trinity is present, because other wise for me its just a poser-team or substitutes.  So as long as Clark, Bruce, and Diana are on the team that works just fine for me.  But yes, I do have to admit I'm a little partial to the JL's first "magnificent seven" incarnation when they first came together in the 1960s. Anyone who comes after that is welcome, but what I like to term "the magnificent seven" are who the heart and soul of the JLA are.  Period.

Edited by Avenging-X-Bolt

screw the rules. if there was ever a time to overachieve in my life, this is it and i'm going Grant Morrison on yo asses
Wonder Woman-Hera 
Green Lantern-Apollo 
Martian Manhunter-Chiron 
Elongated Man-Dionysus 
Bulleteer- Hestia 
Aztek- Asclepius 
Booster Gold-Eros 
Captain Marvel-Hercules 
Black Orchid-Persephone 
Sandman- Hypnos 
The Creeper-Momus