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The Justice League of America
The Justice League of America or JLA is a fictional superhero team that as well as striking fear into villains around the world saved the DC name from falling into obscurity.
The genesis of the Justice League comic books can be traced back to the 1940's when the team of superheroes first appeared in the All-Star comic books.
At the time the DC franchise was testing the waters with the The Justice League of America crew and only featured them using the All Star series. The justice League name had not been formulated EITHER, so the team of supers went by the name Justice Society of America.
The pioneer team comprised of Gotham's hero Batman, the man of steel Superman, the amazing Wonder Woman and Flash with his lighting speed, Aqua man, Green Lantern and Martin Hunter, who together they teamed up to fight hardcore villains like the Injustice Society.
Later, in the 50's, the luster for the Justice Society ebbed away and some of the characters were even dropped due to reduced popularity.
DC comics had to act fast to retain its fan base, especially when sister productions like The Fantastic Four was gaining so much popularity with the kids. As a result DC production formulated a new plan and with the help of talented writer Gardener Fox and the efficient pencil work of Mile Sekowsky and the comic book was revived and the new super hero crew got a cool new name, Justice League of America.
Gardener managed to get the superheroes back in action in a comic book called the Brave and the Bold which became a masterpiece in the 1960's.
The Justice League of America crew also had new members in the form of the Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Black Canary, Red Tornado, Firestorm and Zattana.
Wonder Woman, who had faded away, also came back in the 1960 edition to help the team get read of the Martian heist. Some additional makeovers were made on Flash and the Green Lantern.
Together, as a huge team, they wiped out villains from their hideout cave in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. Some of the conquered villains were the Three Eyed Despero who faced the The Justice League of America wrath in 'World of No Return'.
Their first villain was Starro the Conqueror, who couldn't match up to the team despite of his amazing visual acuity. Gardner had an amazing way of throwing the team into bone chilling situations only to bring them out and toss them into yet another labyrinth of disaster.
The Justice League had to fight the unusual behaviors of gravity in 'When Gravity Went Wild' in issue , then from the cruelty of gravity they get tossed into a bad luck spin in the 'Wheels of Misfortune' in issue 6.
Or maybe we can laugh at how the supers had some 'fun' in the 'Cosmic Fu-House' when their physical forms got ugly distortions exactly like their reflections in fun-mirrors. Of course they got their original forms back only to start figuring how they would defeat the 'Fantastic Finger of Felix Faust'.
The Superheroes were also sent on a wild goose chase for relics and monuments hidden all over the world. Here we got introduced to the likes of Dr Light, who as well as setting them on these wild chases, also got them stuck on several alien planets.
After this issue we get treated to an even more action packed adventure when the supers have to defeat their robotic replicas in 'The Riddle of the Robot Justice League'. The good thing about Gardner Fox is his unmatched skill of dividing the Justice League heroes into groups to fight various villains. Then his prowess on merging them together for the grand battle to save the planet just made the comics a must read.
DC Comics managed to turn a fading project to a goldmine that multiplied their net worth to astronomical figures. Through the years replicas of the comic were even produced to continue the Justice League Craze.
The Justice League Europe was one of the replicas that shifted the focus from America to a European backdrop. It later advanced to Justice League International while other versions like Justice League Task Force.
Some of the characters were also changed to put in place others that were more 'commercial' looking than their predecessors. But the love for Batman and Superman couldn't have these two mainstream characters drop out of the team.
Just before people thought the Justice League of America legacy was about to die down, DC comics revived the fire with a comeback cartoon series which was an adaptation of the comic books.
Through the Cartoon Network station, kids went crazy by their loved superheroes being brought to life but they didn't have the oomph the comics had.
The Justice League cartoon series was later to be changed into the Justice League Unlimited. The production of this one seems to be killing the thrill brought by the comic books. The new The Justice League of America shows are said to be full of superheroes it is difficult to keep up with all of them. Kids are even finding it hard to select their favorite character to have as an action figure collectible.
Nevertheless what couldn't be achieved on television was sure achieved from the comic books. Maybe the movie set to premier in 2011 will make the media run out of ink like the 60's.
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Colin Dorman 2008 mcfarlanes-figures.com