- "I mean, this guy's probably fought hundreds of thousands of other super-beings on the other planets he's destroyed, right? And we have to assume that he's won."
"I don't care how many demons he's fought in how many hells. He's never fought us. Not us united."
- ―The Flash and the Batman[src]
The Justice League is a strike force comprised of the world's greatest superheroes. They serve as the stalwart protectors of life, dedicated to protecting the world as the first line of defense against terrestrial, extraterrestrial, inter-dimensional and supernatural threats.
Founded by Batman and Wonder Woman following the death of Superman by the hands of the Kryptonian monstrosity Doomsday, the Justice League was formed when the New God known as Steppenwolf invaded Earth with his army of Parademons.
Having lost the world's greatest protector a year prior, Batman and Diana set off to round up a team of powerful metahumans and other superpowered beings, including Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg to confront the invaders and save Earth, in which they emerged victorious with the aid of a resurrected Superman.
The Justice League later reunited - Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Aquaman - after being called in by Amanda Waller to aid the 11th Street Kids during their final assault on the invading extraterrestrial Butterflies at Coverdale Ranch, but arrived in the immediate aftermath of the battle too late to provide any assistance, and the quartet of heroes were promptly scolded and insulted by Peacemaker for their delayed arrival.
The Trinity Unites
After their standoff in Gotham City, Batman witnessed the birth of Doomsday in Metropolis as he flew overhead. Realizing the danger, Batman decided to lure the monster back to Gotham Port, where he'd left a Kryptonite spear during his fight with Superman. Within his personalized combat jet, Batman provided a distraction for the creature, gaining its attention as it leaped after him in pursuit. However, when the creature disabled his aircraft, Batman was left defenseless as it prepared to attack. As the creature released a powerful blast of heat vision on him, a woman dropped in between the two, blocking the attack.
With her Bracelets of Submission, Wonder Woman released a shockwave to drive the creature back. When asked why he brought Doomsday back to the city, Batman explained that the port was abandoned, so there wouldn't be any casualties and that the only weapon that could kill it was somewhere nearby. At that moment, Superman, having recovered from the creature's assault, arrived to send the monster flying into a nearby silo. Superman asked if Batman had found the spear, to which he remarked that he'd been busy distracting the deformed Kryptonian.
When Wonder Woman noticed the monster fed on the energy of their attacks, Superman stated that it was a creature from his world. When Diana dryly remarked that she'd killed creatures from other worlds in her life, Clark asked if she was a friend of Bruce's, to which Bruce, confused, said he assumed she was with Superman.
As Doomsday prepared another attack, Superman flew directly at it, attempting to subdue it with his heat vision, but was overpowered by the behemoth's forceful energy. As Wonder Woman managed to best it in combat, the creature swatted her away, turning to face Batman. As the creature charged him, Bruce managed to fire a grapple line moments before, quickly evading the pursuit, but injuring himself on the side of a building. Attempting to attack again, Clark heard the struggling Lois Lane nearby. Abandoning the battle, Clark dug through the rubble of a building to get to Lois, who discovered the Kryptonite spear at the bottom of a pool. Diving after it, Clark, weakened by the xenomineral, struggled to compose himself as he prepared to make his final assault.
Flying back to the battle, Superman managed to impale the monster with the spear after Wonder Woman bound him in her lasso, followed by Batman firing the last round of his Kryptonite smoke grenades into the creature's face, weakening its powers. However, as it died, Doomsday impaled Superman with a partially regenerated bone. With his last effort, Clark pierced the creature's heart, killing it moments before succumbing to his wound.
- "The others like me, why did you say they'll have to fight?"
"Just a feeling."
- ―Diana and Bruce Wayne[src]
After Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince set out to find various metahumans from the LexCorp files in hopes to combat Steppenwolf and his army. When asked by Prince about his reasons, Wayne merely commented, "Just a feeling", (in reality, he was heeding the words of the time traveler in his vision, as well as Lex Luthor's cryptic warning).
Assistance from Amanda Waller
- "That's the difference between us, Mr. Wayne - you believe in friendship, I believe in leverage."
- ―Amanda Waller to Batman[src]
After the events in Midway City were successfully foiled by her Task Force X, Amanda Waller met up with Bruce Wayne to request that he protect her from rumors regarding the Midway City attack, which Wayne complied to in exchange for the metahuman files Waller was reported to have collected, with the files of Arthur Curry, Victor Stone, and Barry Allen among them. He then told her to shut down the Task Force X program, stating that he and his 'friends' would handle any future problems, before using the files to track down the metahumans he needed.
Forming the Justice League
- "I believe there is a stranger. Come to this village from the sea. He comes in the winter when the people are hungry. He brings fish. He comes on the king tide. That was last night."
- ―Bruce Wayne, to Arthur Curry and the Icelandic villagers[src]
Wayne would travel to a remote fishing village in Iceland, where he's traced reports of a man who comes in during the winter to bring fish to the hungry, said to arrive during the King tide. He speaks to the village's counsel, where he deduces the stranger is among them, later revealed to be Arthur Curry.
However, when Wayne states of the impending threat and offers Curry a place on the team, Curry initially wants nothing to do with them. Advising Bruce to give up on his recruitment, Arthur reacts with hostility when Wayne continued to refuse to leave, lifting and slamming him against a wall before releasing him once Wayne further explains himself. Calmed down, the two engaged in a conversation about the impending danger, though Curry still ultimately refused to join.
Locating the Flash
- "Hey. Anything on that kid from the liquor store?"
"' '"Possibly?" If I had a dollar for every "possibly"..."
"Yeah, It would make you even more insufferable. Facial scan might have got a hit on him, our disappearing man. One Mr. Barry Allen from Central City." "
- ―Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth[src]
Bruce Wayne also tracks down Barry Allen to his home in Central City, were he breaks into and waits in Allen's "second favorite chair" until he gets home. He introduces himself to a dismayed and confused Allen (whom Wayne recognizes as the past version of the scarlet time-traveler that appeared in his "dream"), promptly handing him a printout of the security camera footage he found on the LexCorp files. Barry instantly recognizes himself in the photo and tries, unsuccessfully, to dismiss the person as someone who merely looks like him, is Jewish, and points out that the person drinks milk, claiming that he himself does not do so. Wayne ignores Barry's failed attempts at deflecting, surveying his apartment, where he noticed the speedster's scarlet suit, and informed Allen that he already knows the latter has abilities, but just needs to know what they are.
As Allen nervously rambles about his personal skills, including competitive ice dancing, Wayne suddenly hurls a batarang at him as hard as possible, but Allen uses his speed to effortlessly dodge and catch it. Recognizing it, an awed Barry deduces that Wayne is the Batman. Wayne, in turn, responds by stating that Barry is 'fast', to which Barry calls an oversimplification. Wayne then begins to tells Barry about the "team" he is putting together to face a possible threat he believes to be headed to Earth, but before he finishes, Barry accepts, stating his answer for "needing friends". Wayne, momentarily confused, accepts his decision. Allen, who up until this point had been admiring the batarang, then asks Wayne if he can keep it.
As the two are preparing to leave in Bruce's car, Barry asks what Bruce's superpowers were, to which Bruce jokingly states that his power was his wealth.
With Bruce Wayne having taken charge of recruiting Barry Allen and Arthur Curry, Diana Prince took the lead on recruiting Victor Stone, with her approach being less direct and blunt than Bruce with the others, as Stone's recruitment was a delicate matter, likely due to the seeming loss of his humanity upon his transformation. Meeting with Victor in an abandoned alleyway, Diana attempted to convince Victor that the team needed him and that he in some way also needed them; however, Victor still not wanting to be a part of the group flew away.
During their investigation into the kidnappings of S.T.A.R. Labs scientists, the Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman meet with Commissioner James Gordon in Gotham, where they are soon joined by Victor, who has decided to join the team in order to rescue his father Silas Stone who was one of the many scientists recently kidnapped by the Parademons. Tracking them down to Gotham Harbor, the group arrives just in time to save the remaining scientist including Silas Stone. As the group battles Steppenwolf, he causes a flood in the tunnel of Gotham Harbor. However, before they can be drowned, Arthur comes to their aid and manages to hold the flood long enough to allow the others to get to higher ground.
Stone retrieves the last Mother Box, which he had hidden, for the group to analyze. Stone reveals that his father used the Mother Box to rebuild Stone's body after an accident almost cost him his life. Wayne decides to use the Mother Box to resurrect Superman, not only to help them fight off Steppenwolf's army, but also to restore hope to mankind. Prince and Curry are hesitant about the idea, but Wayne forms a secret contingency plan in the case Superman returns as a threat instead of an ally.
Clark's body is exhumed and the League places it in the incubation waters of the Kryptonian ship alongside the Mother Box, which in turn activates and successfully resurrects Superman. However, Superman's memories have not returned, and he attacks the group after Stone accidentally launches a projectile at him. On the verge of being killed by Superman, Batman enacts his contingency plan: Lois Lane. Superman calms down and leaves with Lois to his family home in Smallville, where he reflects and tries to recover his memories. With the final Mother Box unguarded, Steppenwolf retrieves it with ease.
Back at the Batcave, the team works out their next move without the assistance of Superman following his retreat with Lois Lane. Discovering that Steppenwolf plans on combining the Mother Boxes near a village located in Russia, the five heroes go to stop him.
Arriving, the Justice League fights their way through the Parademons to reach Steppenwolf, although they are unable to distract him enough for Cyborg to separate the boxes. Superman, fortunately, arrives and assists the League in battling Steppenwolf. Unfortunately, the arrival of Darkseid and his elite causes the destruction of the world, leaving the Flash to run back in time to save it, before Superman and Cyborg pull apart the Mother Boxes, and Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Superman together sending the defeated Steppenwolf back to Apokolips.
In the aftermath, the heroes watch in awe as life now returned to the decrepit landscape upon the retreat of alien threat.
Hailed as Heroes
Immediately following the heroes' victory, Lois Lane wrote an article detailing their efforts in stopping the forces of Apokolips from destroying the Earth. Her article title christened them by the name 'Justice League'. Later, various merchandise was created in their honor. The bedroom of Freddy Freeman contained a Superman hat, while Batman and Wonder Woman action figures were seen on display. Taped to the bedroom wall is a page from the newspaper heralding Superman's return, while another byline stated Batman and Wonder Woman helped combat the plans of Lex Luthor, which he showed to his new foster brother Billy Batson.
As the alien species known as Butterflies grew in numbers and prepared to attack Earth, Leota Adebayo suggested her mother that they should call in the Justice League due to most of her team being injured. In the aftermath of the 11th Street Kids successfully defeating the Butterflies, the Justice League arrived late at the Coverdale Ranch and the heroes were scolded by Peacemaker.
This article or section is about the Knightmare future. This is a potential future that may not necessarily follow the primary timeline.
In a dark possible future known as the Knightmare, Darkseid killed Lois Lane, leaving Superman in grief and easily susceptible to the Anti-Life Equation. As a result, Earth was turned into a primordial hellscape of an apocalyptic wasteland from both terraformation and years of conflict between the Insurgency led by Batman and the Regime led by Superman. As the war progressed, the Justice League was left in shambles, and Wonder Woman and Aquaman were killed during the conflict. The remaining members, along with Mera, Deathstroke, and even the Joker, joined the Insurgency. Unfortunately, Batman and the remaining members of the Insurgency were killed, marking the end of the war in Darkseid's favor. With the Insurgency destroyed and Darkseid's victory all but certain, Cyborg and the Flash initiated one final plan: to warn the past version of Batman about the events that would come.
- The Justice League in the DC Extended Universe is the third live-action incarnation of the Justice League as well as the first to appear in live-action film, after the versions seen in the failed 1997 TV pilot and Smallville.
- In Zack Snyder's Justice League, the team does indeed take the team name of "Justice League" for themselves, as evidenced by their destroyed headquarters shown in the Knightmare future. However, the theatrical version of the film never mentions the name, or any name for the team.
- The first known instance of the League being referred to as "Justice League" in-universe, is shown in the tie-in book Shazam!: Freddy's Guide to Super Hero-ing, which includes the newspaper article that showcases Lois Lane's final words from the film Justice League, bearing the article title: 'Justice League: Heroes Among Us'.
- The first live-action instance of the team being referred to as the "Justice League" is heard in the Peacemaker episode It's Cow or Never.
- Unlike most versions of the Justice League, this roster is only made up of six members.
- Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg are the only members of the Justice League known to have any surviving parents. The Flash only lost his mother, but his father has been imprisoned since his childhood, and Batman's parents were murdered when he was 9. Aquaman is a notable exception, as both his parents turn out to be alive and well despite one of them being presumed dead for some time. Superman is also an odd exception, as he's lost both his biological parents, though he was adopted by the Kents.
- This represents an ongoing trope with DC Comics, in that their character roster is largely comprised of orphaned heroes.
- The correct members of the Justice League can be counted as the modern version of the original unity that was formed to fight Darkseid in the Invasion of Earth: Diana represents both the Amazons and the Old Gods, Bruce, Barry and Victor represent the different tribes of men, Arthur represents the Atlanteans, and Clark represents the aid from other worlds.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Ayer, David (writer and director) (August 5, 2016). Suicide Squad.
- Terrio, Chris, Beall, Will (writers) & Snyder, Zack (writer and director) (March 18, 2021). Zack Snyder's Justice League.
- Shazam! Freddy's Guide to Super Hero-ing
- Gayden, Henry, Lemke, Darren (writer) & Sandberg, David F. (director) (April 5, 2019). Shazam!.
- Gunn, James (writer & director) (February 17, 2022). "It's Cow or Never". Peacemaker. Season 1. Episode 8. HBO Max.
|Members||Batman (leader) | Wonder Woman | Cyborg | Flash | Superman | Aquaman|