Senior Staff Writer
With DC now taking the steps to carefully align characters in the upcoming Man of Steel: Dawn of Justice; it has become prominently known that this will in fact lead into an eagerly anticipated film adaptation of one of the most iconic superhero teams of all time: The Justice League.
As of now, we know that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg will appear in some capacity for the upcoming Zack Snyder film. With the overwhelming level of excitement we’ve been experiencing, it seemed appropriate to name our top 10 favorite members of the Justice League over its 54 year comic book run.
Arthur Curry (Aquaman) earned his spot as one of best, reigning king of Atlantis, and one of the original members of the group. Aquaman is known for operating best in the water and exudes speed while submerged, super strength, and telepathy which he uses to communicate with aquatic life. Aquaman is torn between his world and the human race above sea which adds intrigue to his character. While being in power of so much may seem advantageous, the hero has gone through many rough experiences like losing his young son, and his ongoing passionate yet dangerous relationship with his wife Mera (who was originally intended to in fact kill him), gave his character even more depth. No pun intended.
Mari Jiwe McCabe (Vixen) was born in an African village where she was raised with tales of the powerful Tantu Totem that would give one the abilities of any living animal as they willed it. After her mother and father’s death over possessing the powerful item, Vixen wound up getting revenge on the culprit, while also joining the Justice League; and though she was never an essential member to most, she was the only person able to stop the Trickster God Anansi who had managed to alter time to disband the League. Vixen is definitely and underused and underrated character of the series who took initiative to keep the league together whether or not it included originals.
8. The Martian Manhunter
J’onn J’onzz is an extraterrestrial being from Mars, who is labeled as a blend of both Superman for his strength and alien affiliation, along with Batman’s investigative methods. Martian Manhunter was also a core member of the League, brought to earth by accident after an alien holocaust killed his family and most of his people. J’onzz was nearly insane on Mars because of the near extinction of his race, yet found solace and a chance at a fresh start on Earth. The Martian Manhunter’s abilities include phasing, enhanced strength, shape shifting, telepathy and much more. During his introduction to the DC universe, he felt as if he needed to hide his true form from people until finding his place in the Justice League where J’onn found comrades and took on a humanoid version of his true alien form, finally finding acceptance.
7. Green Arrow
Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) started out as a rich playboy who was assumed dead for a period of time, when in fact he was living on an island helping a group of island natives which sparked his taste for justice. The Green Arrow went on to invest in numerous arrows including electric, explosives, net traps, and many more along with his martial arts expertise. Unlike many of the members of the Justice League, Ollie isn’t afraid to go against laws to do what he perceives as best for the good of the world. He wasn’t always keen on surrounding himself with others, but does maintain close relationships with JL members like Hal Jordan, who has many opposite qualities, and love interest Black Canary.
6. Black Canary
Dinah Lance (The Black Canary) is known as one of the best fighters in the DC universe, and that’s without her memorable “Canary Cry” which is a supersonic scream that can incapacitate foes and shatter objects. She has had multiple team affiliations including Justice League, Justice Society, and Birds of Prey; but her individuality and ability to mesh with many DC characters has earned her a spot in the top JL picks. Besides her deadly abilities, Dinah Lance helped hero Roy Harper kick a heroin addiction and helped his life get back on track. Dinah doesn’t often waiver on her morals, even if it comes in between her relationships (RIP to the relationship of Green Arrow and Black Canary). Black Canary’s stint in the reformation of Justice League left us wanting more from the blonde bombshell who always knows how to take care of herself.
5. Green Lantern – Kyle Rayner
Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern) is one of many given the Green Lantern title, but his struggle with right and wrong, quest for love, devotion to comics and anime, and compassionate heart that believes in equality earned him his place as my favorite Green Lantern. Kyle was just a hopeless romantic, who always brought comedic entertainment to his stories despite experiencing extreme loss of people he loves. Unlike many heroes who fall into roles, Kyle knew as a child he wanted to be a Green Lantern and ensured his future as a hero. At one point Rayner also served as a God-like entity known as Ion that allowed him to alter time and space, while his fears and anxieties over the course of his life actually manifested into a cosmic entity/villain known as Oblivion. Rayner managed to become deemed as an important member of the DC universe and has recently become known as the White Lantern after mastering the “seven powers of the emotional spectrum.” Kyle Rayner certainly deserves to be utilized in future Justice League rosters; he even managed to befriend Batman, which isn’t exactly the easiest task.
4. The Flash – Wally West
Living up to the Flash name, Wally West has access to the speed force which allows him to move at extremely fast speeds leaving him unseen to the human eye. Wally West appeared to take The Flash mantle after the death of Barry Allen, joining the Justice League at the same time as Kyle Rayner, whom at first had a rocky relationship, but managed to become extremely close friends and made a fun dynamic to read. Wally seemingly enjoys the fame and attention that comes with the job, and his outgoing personality definitely makes him a good spokesperson for the Justice League. Wally was wholeheartedly viewed as the comic relief and occasionally lack of maturity made it enjoyable to delve into the characters life. He may not have been the first flash but he is the most enjoyable.
Superman is usually looked at as the leader of the Justice League, with good reason. The Kryptonian alien was raised on Earth by humans that instilled thoughts on morality, family, and standing up for what’s right. When those traits are mixed with his speed; strength, ability to fly, and many other powers, creates the idealistic American hero (who isn’t even from earth let alone America!). While he has the world in his hands, he’s oddly human taking on a job at the Daily Planet and for sometime watched his crush Lois Lane from afar. No matter how powerful he was, he never seems to view himself above others and finds it important to live his life by human rules showing extreme self control. Though her later was revived, his death was widely recognized as one of the saddest moments in comic books history as readers realized how much they loved and cherished the influential hero who inspired people to be the best they could be.
2. Wonder Woman
Dianna (Wonder Woman) was one of the original Justice League founders, and has maintained a strong team affiliation over the course of the Justice League titles spawned over the years. She is princess of the amazons, a race of women that live on Themyscria with a no-boys-allowed rule. Dianna decided to venture into man’s world to see for herself and developed deep emotional connections with fellow heroes. Wonder Woman is probably one of the strongest female in the DC universe and also has a nifty lasso of truth (good luck getting a lie past her gentlemen!) While she exhibits warrior traits, she’s also a compassionate person who cares deeply enough for those close to her, for example killing Maxwell Lord in order to save Superman’s life. Diana isn’t afraid to speak her mind and would never back down from a challenge. At the time she was created for comics, she was a counter balance to proves that females are just as dangerous and strong if not more so than men which has been maintained to this day.
The one and only Bruce Wayne (Batman) comes out on top as the most important character to the Justice League. Batman’s quest for justice is solely based on witnessing the death of his parents. The tragedy brought out a dark vengeful side to him which he remains carrying to keep him going. Batman doesn’t have any super powers, but his fighting abilities, high tech gadgetry and keen detective skills make him a force to reckon with. Bruce manages to keep people at a distance, and isolates himself from even those close to him, but does manage to sincerely care for his fellow crime fighters. Though Batman doesn’t usually play well with others, he mentors multiple young heroes with various life troubles and becomes a father figure to many different Robin personas along with a few Batgirl’s as well. People have grown to love his dark brooding personality, gritty struggles in the grim Gotham City, and his rivalry with the Joker that’s one of the most key hero vs. villain storylines for the DC universe. Batman’s human attributes, but lack of interest in humanity itself helps ensure that the caped crusader will forever be known as the most essential character to the Justice League.
Do you agree with my ranking? Answer the poll questions below to cast your vote for best Justice League member!