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Comic Book / Justice League (2011)

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They're the world's greatest superheroes.
Flash: You can call us...the Super Seven!
Green Lantern: The Super Seven?
Flash: Ehhhh, maybe I'll come up with something better.

Justice League is a 2011 ongoing comic book series published by DC Comics as part of the New 52 initiative. The series is written by Geoff Johns, with art by Jim Lee.

Thanks to the events of Flashpoint, the DC Universe was radically changed, with most superheroes only having been a recent thing and initally greeted with hostility from the general populace. That all changes when an invasion by the planet Apokolips happens, leading to the formation of the Justice League. However, not all are happy with this, as the League learns as their adventures continue.

The run served as the early basis for the DC Animated Movie Universe.

Storylines in this run that have their own pages:

Justice League (2011) provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The "Amazo Virus" arc ends with the eponymous villain vowing to escape and infect Luthor. Additionally, Amos Fortune is set up as the villain from an upcoming arc, as he is seen among the people who are granted superpowers by the titular virus. Neither plotline is resolved by the time Johns leaves the book.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The Justice League's formation, Cyborg's transformation, and Earth's first encounter with Darkseid are all now the same incident.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • In the DC Universe prior, Vic Stone only became Cyborg years after the League already formed. Here, the events that made him Cyborg also led to him being a founding member of the League.
    • Likewise, most incarnations of Darkseid emerge years after the League forms. Here, he's the reason the League exists as he's the first villain they ever face.
  • Adaptational Slimness: Etta Candy is made to be skinnier than her original depiction, in which she was a Big Beautiful Woman.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Darkseid, while still plenty powerful and fearsome, accomplishes none of his goals and is defeated with relative ease whenever he shows up. The newly formed Justice League, whose members all lack the years of experience they had prior to the reboot, is able to repel him and his invasion force in a surprisingly short amount of time in "Origins". He is grievously injured by Wonder Woman and Aquaman, who stab both of his eyes, and the injuries are so critical he is forced to go into hibernation to heal. He wouldn't make a comeback until a later arc of Tomasi's Batman and Robin, when Batman reawakens him, tricks him into infusing the Chaos Crystal with the Omega Sanction, and escapes unscathed. His final appearance is in Darkseid War, when he returns to Earth to wage war against the Anti-Monitor and is killed after the latter turns the Black Racer against him. If that wasn't enough, his half-Amazon daughter Grail uses the Anti-Life Equation, the very weapon he's always sought, to bond his spirit into Superwoman's newborn baby, resurrecting him as a mindless monster under her control. After his final defeat, he is reduced to a helpless baby and looked after by a remorseful Grail.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: As the start of the New 52, it introduced the more arrogant and jerkier versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, the Hal Jordan Green Lantern, and Shazam seen in the New 52 era.
  • Age Lift: Sort of. Thanks to the aforementioned Adaptational Early Appearance, Cyborg is now a teenager when the League is first formed instead of becoming a teenaged hero years afterward.
  • Alien Invasion: Like usual, how the League forms, only in this case, it's Darkseid.
  • All According to Plan: In issue 10 and 11, the team fights the Cheetah. At the end, when she's placed in Belle Reeve, it turns out she wanted to be captured, as part of the Legion of Doom's plans.
  • Anti-Villain: Discussed during the Amazo Virus arc, when Wonder Woman says she never expected to fight alongside a villain like Captain Cold. He takes offense at the term and quickly corrects her, saying that he will gladly offer his aid if it means protecting the future of mankind, even mentioning how he helped save the world during the events of Forever Evil (2013).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Captain Cold of all people comes to the rescue of two Justice League members during the Amazo Virus arc. First, he creates a protective ice shield around Luthor's head when the latter is about to be executed by Bullet. Later, he saves Wonder Woman by freezing the infected Flash when he is pummeling her.
  • Body Horror:
    • Victor Stone's body is horrifically burned after he is caught in a Mother Box explosion. He becomes Cyborg after being granted cybernetic implants through experimental nanite technology. In Trinity War, those implants are hijacked by a computer virus and gruesomely separate from the rest of his body.
    • During the Forever War tie-in, Owlman kicks a gangster named O'Brien into a vat of chemicals. Poor Eel starts turning into goop... but he'll get better eventually.
    • This is in full force with the Amazo Virus, with Armen Ikarus sporting bulging veins, a messed-up mouth, losing most of his hair, and even what looks to be patches of exposed muscle tissue at one point. And that's without getting into the depowering effects of it; giving superpowers to people in horrific ways; or that fact that when he has it, Batman is leaking blood and blind.
  • Book Ends: The series begins and ends with invasions by Darkseid. Both times, ironically enough, he suffers Curb Stomp Battles.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In keeping with a lot of Johns's work and being the start of the New 52, there's more violence here.
  • Cardboard Prison: While most prisons on Earth are ill-equipped to deal with meta-humans, Arkham Asylum is described as the absolute worst of the bunch. According to Lex Luthor, most superpowered criminals who are sent there manage to escape within a month.
  • Character Development: Wonder Woman is introduced as an immature Blood Knight who blindly rushes into battle and expresses annoyance whenever Steve reminds her she is supposed to act like a diplomat. She gradually becomes more level-headed as the series goes on, eventually becoming The Heart of the team as she mediates the growing tensions between Lex Luthor and Superman.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In issue 6:
    • It's established Darkseid is looking for his daughter. She eventually turns up in Darkseid War as the Big Bad.
    • A man and his family are given focus as they run from the Parademons. A few issues later, that turns out to be important, with the man becoming the main antagonist of the "villain's Journey" arc,
  • The Chew Toy: Poor Steve Trevor. Dumped, humiliated, belittled, tortured, forced to put up with Green Arrow...
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Firestorm joins the Justice League in the aftermath of Throne of Atlantis, but vanishes without explanation after the events of Forever Evil (2013). He only gets a brief mention as one of heroes who were infected by Amazo Virus in a later arc, implying that he has been acting independently from the other heroes since then.
    • Aquaman is inexplicably absent from Darkseid War.
  • Conflict Ball: Thanks to Graves and the team's general hot-blooded nature, they start fighting in issue 10.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In "Forever Heroes", Grid summons the Fearsome Five, Hector Hammond and Doctor Psycho to fight the Metal Men. Considering that half of the villains are telepaths (and therefore worthless in a battle against a group of brainless robots), it's unsurprising that the Metal Men win without any difficulty. Platinum even says she almost feels sorry for beating them up so easily.
  • Darker and Edgier: Both as it was the start of the New 52 and because the first title merely called Justice League was the start of the original Justice League International era.
  • Depending on the Writer: A cross-title one. The concurrently running Justice League International has Batman working with that team with no problem. Here, Batman describes them behind their back as a joke and threatens to shut them down.
  • Evil All Along: Diana believed that the Cheetah spirit had corrupted Barbara Minerva, but it's actually the other way around. The spirit used to be the benevolent protector of an African tribe, until Minerva seized it and took advantage of her new powers to commit numerous crimes.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The "Origins" arc is about how the Justice League formed and Vic Stone became Cyborg in the New 52 universe.
  • Eye Scream: During the "Origins" arc that kicks the series off, Wonder Woman and Aquaman respectively stab a sword and trident into Darkseid's eyes.
  • Fantastic Racism: Batman reveals his identity to Hal Jordan because, as far as he can determine, he and Hal are the only humans on the team, implying that none of the others are trustworthy simply by dint of not being entirely human. Good ol' Batman.
  • The First Superheroes: Their first arc, "Origins", is situated early in the 5-year-timeline of "The New 52". Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash band together for the first time, though under a lot of personal friction. The same arc reimagines Cyborg (Vic Stone) as a founding member of the League in this new continuity.
  • Flanderization: While Wonder Woman going from reluctant but willing to using lethal force to more often than not going for the kill is a problem the New 52-era has, issue #22 includes one of the more famous instances: Diana boasting to Superman that she doesn't have as much of a rogues gallery like him, Batman, or the Flash because of her willingness to kill.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Darkseid, of all villains, is reduced to this in the opening arc, "Origins", mostly being used as a means for the New 52 version of the League to form and little of his established personality being on display through the arc.
  • Giver of Lame Names: After the Amazo Virus is unleashed, Batman has to rely on his "Haz-Bat Suit" to protect himself from the infection. When an incredulous Superman pokes fun at the gadget's name, Batman sheepishly replies that it was Robin's idea to call it that.
  • Inner Monologue: Wonder Woman is given a leading role in the final two story arcs, which gets reflected in her inner monologues recapping the events of previous chapters, as well as offering her philosophical take on the ongoing conflicts amidst the action sequences.
  • Left Hanging: After the Crime Syndicate is taken out, the heroes are brought back from the Firestorm Matrix... except Element Woman and Vibe. Although the former briefly returns as a member of the Doom Patrol during the Injustice League arc, the latter's fate is never addressed.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Issue 2. Batman and Green Lantern are following a parademon, finding it smashing up a Lexcorp facility. They run into Superman, and predictably get into a fight.
  • Loophole Abuse: Karma's superpower is a defensive telepathic pulse that disrupts his opponent's nervous system, causing all attacks directed at him to miss. Keyword being "directed", so Johnny Quick manages to work his way around Karma's defenses and kill him by surrounding him with bombs.
  • The Mole: The Atom/Atomica joins both the Justice League and the JLA, but her true allegiance is to the Crime Syndicate. Her manipulations cause both teams to fight each other, weakening Earth's defenses and allowing her friends to easily take over the planet.
  • Mortality Grey Area: In issue #11, The League travels to Mount Sumeru where an entrance to the valley of souls exists. Cyborg is the only member of the League who is able to see the entrance, something that is only possible for those walking the line between life and death according to a book written by the villain David Graves.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The cover to the book-within-a-book "Justice League: Gods Among Men" shows the League fighting Starro the Conqueror, much like the cover to the team's debut in The Brave and the Bold #28.
    • Power Ring's origin story is drawn by Ivan Reis, who also drew Green Lantern: Secret Origin (because PR is Hal's evil counterpart, see?)
  • Noodle Incident: Green Lantern mentions the Justice League does not accept new members due to a disastrous incident involving the Martian Manhunter. Though the reader is shown a panel depicting the battle between said alien and the rest of the team, the circumstances that led to his defection are not elaborated upon.
  • Official Couple: This run is when the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing became canon to the new DC Universe.
  • Origins Episode:
    • Much like Action Comics (2011), the "Origins" arc takes place five years before the rest of the New 52 universe (and the rest of the series).
    • Meanwhile, the Forever Evil tie-ins have Grid analysing the origins of the Crime Syndicate (except for Superwoman).
  • Patient Zero: Dr. Armen Ikarus is one for the titular virus of the "Amazo Virus" arc, becoming an organic version of the classic JLA enemy of the same name.
  • Personality Powers: Batman speculates that the powers bestowed by the Amazo Virus are a reflection of the host's personality and subconscious desires. After he is infected, he gains sound-based powers such as echolocation, which perfectly fit his bat motif.
  • Put on a Bus: Hal Jordan leaves the Justice League after the second story arc. He comes back just in time for the Darkseid War.
  • Revolving Door Casting: The Justice League's founding members are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern and Cyborg. Lantern leaves the team at the end of the second arc, but the Atom, Firestorm and Element Woman join the main cast in the aftermath of Throne of Atlantis. The three new heroes are written out of the series after Forever Evil (2013) and replaced by Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, Shazam and Jessica Cruz. Finally, Darkseid War has Captain Cold and Aquaman being Demoted to Extra as Mister Miracle and Green Lantern take the center stage.
  • Tears of Blood: One of the symptoms Batman has when he contracts the Amazo Virus is ocular hemorrhage, which costs him his eyesight for the rest of the arc.
  • Team Member in the Adaptation: While Cyborg joined the League during James Robinson's run, here, he's a founding member of the League. Also, inverted as Cyborg is replacing the Martian Manhunter.
  • Token Evil Teammate:
    • Lex Luthor requests to join the Justice League after the events of "Forever Evil", with the heroes agreeing after Batman points out that this would make for the perfect opportunity to gather evidence of his crimes. The following arc shows Lex is still engaging on dubious activities, such as forging an alliance with Owlman and refusing to disclose information on the Amazo Virus with the rest of the League.
    • Captain Cold joins the League alongside Luthor, though it's clear he doesn't care at all about the heroes' well-being. When he finds out the Flash is dying from the Amazo Virus, his reaction is to smirk and utter "Too bad".
  • Variant Power Copying: Dr. Armen Ikarus, Patient Zero of the titular "Amazo Virus" arc, does this, including mutating his eyes to use heat vision and growing wings for flight.
  • Villainous Crush: Played with. Captain Cold, a former supervillain, is granted a spot in the Justice League due to contributing in the battle against the Crime Syndicate, even though there is nothing particularly heroic about him. He later teams up with Wonder Woman, whom he appears to develop a schoolgirl crush on.
  • The Virus:
    • Cheetah bites Superman, turning him into a super-cheetahman. It's mentioned that usually, people Cheetah bites just die.
    • The Amazo Virus is a sentient infectious agent that turns regular people into metahumans. All who are infected by it are taken over by its Hive Mind and controlled by the patient zero.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Wonder Woman believed that Barbara was her friend before becoming the Cheetah and was determined to save her. However, Barbara is revealed to be a criminal who was only using Diana to access A.R.G.U.S.' containment facilities.

Alternative Title(s): Geoff Johns Justice League, Justice League Geoff Johns, Justice League New 52