How Did the Justice League Form and Get their Powers?

author img
BY July 12, 2019

The Justice League is a long time staple of DC comics. In terms of superhero teams, they are one of the best. With such iconic characters at the helm of their franchises, the partnership is iconic in its use of heroes and favorite villains as well. We’re going to break down each member of the Justice League, how they got their powers, and the origins behind the name of the group. To start, we begin with a mighty leader in the group. 

How did the Justice League Get Their Powers?

We’re going to base our discussion on the original lineup. The Justice League first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960) as the Justice League of America. Where else would we start other than with the most mighty Justice League member?

Superman and the Justice League

Superman is born on an alien planet full of power struggles between mighty families. His parents, Jor-el and Lara, send him away to Earth in a spaceship as a baby when Krypton is set to explode. All people from his planet die, and he is the remaining survivor. He is adopted by the Kent family on Earth, and as he grows up, he discovers a slew of superpowers he has. 

The main superpower Superman has is strength. He is superhuman in terms of strength, lifting cars with ease. Likewise, he can break steel easily and shift the orbits of planets. He also crushes coal in his hands to make diamonds. He is durable to all things on Earth, only finding a weakness to kryptonite. Superman is said to be too strong even for clothes, which is why his costume is made out of exotic materials. Superman can fly as well, at speeds exceeding the sound barrier. He is known to fly to save people in an instant. LIkewise, he has x-rays in his eyes. This allows him to project beams as a weapon, as well as melt things that stand in his way. His powers came to him at birth, as a prophecy foretold on Krypton. 

Batman

Batman is the opposite of Superman, in terms of powers. Superman is born with all of his powers from day one. Batman, on the other hand, is born with and possess no inherent powers. Rather, his powers are all from knowledge and training. When his parents are killed, he begins wanting to solve and fight crimes all over Gotham. He is incredibly wealthy, which means he has access to technologies that only the military could dream of. His detective skills are unmatched as well, as he knows how to find the guilty parties at hand. He is described as a genius, and his training makes him a skilled fighter. In fact, he is one of the greatest martial artists in all of the DC Universe.

Batman is also well conditioned, which allows him to take on many foes at once. Superman has called him both the most dangerous man on Earth, as well as the smartest. His discipline allows him to function under pain and resistance. He is multilingual, and great at working as a spy. His feats make him superhuman, but none are from inherent superpowers. Our next Justice League member, however, is superhuman from birth just like Superman. 

Wonder Woman

Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

We first see Diana Prince in All Star Comics #8. Diana is a member of the Amazon tribe. The Amazons live on Paradise Island, a protected island in the middle of the ocean. Nobody is meant to find the island ever, until Steve Trevor, a WWI pilot , crashes into the waters. Because of her want to help, she competes to see who on the island will return Steve to the Man’s World. She wins, and takes him back to his home. Her abilities get her this honor, as she is incredibly skilled at nearly everything. Between being a fighter, athlete, strategist, and smart hero, she is the total threat for all villains. 

She’s semi-immortal, and nearly invulnerable to all damage. She has superhuman strength, speed, and healing. This allows her to take damage and rebound from any attack. She also has bracelets that she uses to stop bullets. She also has a golden lasso with which she can strike enemies. Batman goes so far to call her the best melee fighter in the world. She trains so much as a young girl that, from childhood, she is a warrior. Thanks to the training from Ares, the God of War, she is up for any fight. 

The Flash

Barry Allen is a chemist who works for the police. He works as a forensic chemist, but always chooses his job over personal life. He runs late, works slowly, and falls behind all the time due to work. His fiancee grows incredibly tired of his absent mindedness, and asks him to stop working so much.  One night, while working late, a lightning bolt strikes a case of chemicals that spill all over Barry. He can now suddenly run extremely fast and has lightning quick reflexes. Because of his love for fighting crime, he does it full time. He is Central City’s crimefighter now, and takes on all the responsibility. 

A few of his powers come from tech built by Ira West. One of which is a ring that helps him in a jiffy. If he is in civilian clothes, he can use the ring to spring his costume on. If he needs to go back to civilian clothing, he can use the ring to take it back as well. Barry Allen also invents the cosmic treadmill. This allows him to travel through time, and is used in many stories. He truly just wants to do what is right and fight the bad guys. Batman even goes so far to say he wishes he was like Barry. Unfortunately, Barry is very optimistic and often finds himself in trouble for it. 

His iconic red suit with a lightning bolt is a favorite among DC heroes. 

Green Lantern

Hal Jordan is a fighter pilot who works for an intergalactic police force. Known as the Green Lantern Corps, he fights evil using a powerful ring. His ring allows him become somewhat invulnerable, project hard light constructions, and fly. He can basically make any power with the ring he can think of. His willpower is especially strong as well. Unfortunately, that power can turn dark as well. Hal spends some time as a villain known as Parallax, but in most storylines is good and works as Green Lantern. His powers and knowledge of space allow him to fight crime all over the universe. 

He is a protector of Sector 2814, which is the area of space that Earth exists in. Despite space threats like vacuums and black holes, Green Lantern can still travel through them. He dons a secret identity on Earth to stay nearby so he can fight crime. On Earth, he dives into some crime fighting, but galactic threats are his specialty. His inherent talent for taking on anything that comes his way makes him a great help to the Justice League. 

Aquaman

Aquaman’s father was an underwater explorer. When his mother died, his father turned to exploring the ocean. This involved looking into secrets that were seen as untouchable. Under the sea, he finds an ancient city much like Atlantis. He made himself a home, and then went on to raise his son there. Aquaman thrives under water. He can breathe underwater, control fish and other creatures for up to 60 seconds, and runs the ocean. Aquaman can speak to fish telepathically, in what he calls their own language. He has gone all around the world using the water to help his efforts. 

During WWII, he helped the Allies fight the Axis villains. He also has to deal with sea based criminals, including pirates and a ton of aquatic life that have poor desires. He often quarrels with sailors as well, who use the ocean improperly. While not standing as a strict environmental reminder, he does embody care for the ocean and seas. 

Cyborg

Victor Stone is a test subject to a ton of experiments done by his parents. The treatments make him a genius, but he also becomes a bit of a technological monster. He is controlled heavily by his parents, whom he later turns against. He does not wish to be a test subject, and wants free will. As he starts off his own life, he dives into some crime and trouble with the law. He sees that evil is all around, and eventually, an inter-dimensional accident kills his mother. This leads his father to take Victor once more and give him artificial limbs and implants to fight the monsters that killed his mom. 

His limbs are weapons, used to attack any and every threat to him. His limbs give him superhuman strength, speed, and other abilities. Cyborg’s body is made of a metallic substance that is very durable. He also has an electronic eye that utilizes a computer system. This gives him good intel abilities. He also can use a ton of tools with his limbs, like grappling hooks and lasers. Lastly, his most popular weapon is a sonic cannon that stuns foes with blasts of sound that can shake the Earth itself. 

How did the Justice League Form?

The Justice League is meant to showcase the best DC heroes around. Because of their influence, Marvel began using the idea of teams in comics as well. In Brave and the Bold #28 (1960), the original Justice League is seen as already operating, as if they had been around forever. We see in their origin later down the line how they came to be. 

When the Appellaxians came to Earth to destroy mankind, the solo heroes all began battling separately. As they fight off the threat to Earth, they see they all worked well together in taking on a large threat. They decide to form a group together. At the time, they call themselves the Justice League of America. This is later changed, of course, but at the time was very popular. It was meant to mirror the Major League Baseball and the constant naming of things as American. 

Who Leads the Justice League?

There are a lot of people who see either Superman or Batman as the leader of the Justice League. In many storylines, they are the ones taking the helm. Early on, however, they were sent to the background so other heroes could shine. In the first run of the Justice League, Batman and Superman are seen as secondary characters. Later on, they would take more leadership based roles. 

Conclusion

There are few superhero collectives that rival the Justice League. In fact, memorable groups like the Fantastic Four and Avengers only came from the Justice League’s model. While the Justice League movie may have fallen short, the comics live on as amazing storylines. Don’t let the Marvel films trick you into thinking DC does not make in impact, even today. The Justice League and its younger collective, the Teen Titans, are still as popular as ever. With a hit show and a movie that was released last year, Teen Titans is the latest way that the Justice League is being utilized. 

In terms of film use, the Justice League members are still going strong. Wonder Woman 1984 is coming next year. Also, a new Batman trilogy starring Robert Pattionson is looming. Could we see a new Justice League movie in the future? Maybe so. For now, the comic iterations of the Justice League live on. Now that you know their origins, go out and read some of the great runs these memorable characters have. 

COMICSDC

Leave a comment

Related

COMICS
The Journey of the Most Valuable Bronze Age Comics

Neal Adams © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons The Journey of the Most Valuable Bronze Age Comics The Bronze Age comic books refer to the genre of American superhero comics produced during the period between 1970 and 1985. This genre follows the Silver age comics and is followed by the modern age ones. The traditional […]

BY Randy Brooks March 14, 2019
COMICSDCTV Shows
Swamp Thing Series Premiere Shows Promise

The Swamp Thing series premiere is not a traditional pilot, because the powers-that-be approved a 13-episode season based on the script alone. Whereas most pilots, especially for genre properties, must show-and-prove the whole concept in that first episode, Swamp Thing can take its time. If it’s not immediately evident by the character choice, this is […]

BY Joshua M. Patton June 1, 2019
COMICSDCTV Shows
Lucifer On Netflix Has Deep Roots in Comics

Fans are excited to see Lucifer on Netflix for a fourth season, but there is a long history for the character that goes back to comics.

BY Joshua M. Patton May 8, 2019
History of the Wii U – A Console Gone Wrong

A lot of our history posts on gaming have been about a series like Gears of War or Halo. As a huge Nintendo fan, however, I think we need to take a look at a recent console. It’s tough to say exactly what sort of impact the Wii U had on gaming at the time […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 14, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure is the Latest Fitness Game for Nintendo Switch

When Wii Fit came out, people wondered who would actually use it. As it turned out, a lot of people enjoyed playing games while they did mild exercise. The game’s sequel even made its way to the Wii U. The appeal of a game like Wii Fit is the ability to engage with the workout. […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 13, 2019
Apple’s Gaming Service Gets Price and Launch Date

There are a lot of ideas from Apple that sound crazy at first. Nobody imagined you could carry 30,000 songs in your pocket. Everyone wondered if an expensive tablet could replace their desktop computer. We’ve been in this position before. Apple’s gaming service, Arcade, is one of those ideas that seems like a potential miss. […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 11, 2019
New Pokémon Anime ‘Pocket Monsters’ Has Some Fans Worried

With the Pokemon universe growing after a hit live-action movie & a popular mobile game, some fans are worried about a new Anime series.

BY Shah Shahid September 10, 2019

Trending

Alternate Iron Man Post-Credits Scene Shows Nick Fury Talking About an Even Bigger MCU

At the end of the first Iron Man film, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark met Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, and superhero movies changed forever. The big advantage Marvel Studios had over other franchises was its deep roster of characters and stories. A new, never-before-seen alternate Iron Man post-credits scene presents fans with a much […]

BY Joshua M. Patton September 14, 2019
Epic Comic Book Events: How Did the Big Crossovers Start (And Why do We Keep Buying Them?!)

Every year, Marvel and DC Comics have some kind of major Comic Book Events that, at least temporarily, shakes up the status quo if their heroes. It used to be “this year’s event”—now we see two or three a year. At Marvel, in 2019, the X-Men had an apparently universe-changing event with Age of X-Man […]

BY Roman Colombo September 14, 2019
History of the Wii U – A Console Gone Wrong

A lot of our history posts on gaming have been about a series like Gears of War or Halo. As a huge Nintendo fan, however, I think we need to take a look at a recent console. It’s tough to say exactly what sort of impact the Wii U had on gaming at the time […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 14, 2019
TIFF Honey Boy Review – An Authentic Script & Phenomenal Performances

Amongst all of the sequels, franchises, and terror-filled films, Honey Boy stands out like a breath of fresh air at TIFF. In fact, a lot of Shia LaBeouf’s post-Transformers films seem to do so. Borg vs McEnroe, American Honey, and more recently, The Peanut Butter Falcon aren’t the kinds of films you’d ever have expected from the Hollywood Bad Boy […]

BY Meghan Hale September 14, 2019