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Justice is a 12-issue limited series published by DC Comics from 2005-2007, created by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Doug Braithwaite. It's a departure from normal continuity, but not quite an Elseworld story. It takes the concepts of the DC Comics characters as they were in the Silver and Bronze Ages and writes a new story using them. The plot concerns the villains reforming and using their abilities to help mankind. Naturally, it's not all as it seems, as the entire plot to "help" humanity requires the use of Brainiac's Mind Control worms. It's up to the assorted superhero teams (Justice League, Doom Patrol, Teen Titans, Metal Men) to save the day.

Notable for being very idealistic on the sliding scale, while not veering into Lighter and Softer or Camp territory. It's almost a higher-quality Superfriends.


Not to be confused with The New Universe comic of the same name. Or the French electronic band. Or the DC game/comic series Injustice.

Justice provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: In the original Super Friends cartoon, the Legion of Doom had 13 members; in addition to the original members, this comic adds Poison Ivy, Metallo, Parasite, Black Adam, and Clayface to the roster.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: In Justice #12, Superman does this with Brainiac's head. Subverted because he isn't sorry at all, and he crushes the metal head angrily.
  • And I Must Scream: In the beginning, Hal Jordan is shot by Sinestro into nowhere. Since his ring is unable to determine where Hal is and how he can get back, Hal transfers himself into the ring to survive - a process that can only be undone from outside. To make things worse, Hal becomes absorbed by the world and memories he sees inside the ring.
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  • Anti-Interference Lock Up: The bad guys have to get very creative in locking away the Green Lantern because his ring is pretty much the only effective countermeasure against Brainiac's Mind Control bugs. As they cannot just kill him (because then his ring would just pass on to the next GL candidate), they instead teleport him outside the confines of the known universe — so far that even his ring wouldn't have the energy to bring him back or even to contact other Green Lanterns.
  • Author Appeal: If you couldn't tell by the character roster, Alex Ross is a really big fan of Super Friends.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Batgirl does this in issue 8.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Riddler wears one of these instead of his usual suits.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A very clever tactic on the Justice League's part; when several of the heroes attacked the villains while wearing Power Armor composed from the shape-shifting Metal Men, Parasite saw one Flying Brick wearing armor made from Lead and featuring Superman's distinctive S-shield and tried to take him down with Kryptonite. Turns out he was really attacking Captain Marvel, who impersonated Superman to draw out any Kryptonite users. Superman himself was wearing Gold.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Played with, in that Captain Marvel is able to talk in space because, well, magic, while Superman cannot talk. Supes manages to communicate without speaking anyway.
  • Batman Gambit: So much of the Justice League's final plan to stop the villains is composed of this. Though a crucial portion of it requires not Flaw Exploitation but Virtue Exploitation, as they counted on John Stewart to know exactly what he had to do as soon as he got the ring, without being told. See Exactly What I Aimed At and Identity Impersonator below for more.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: While Wonder Woman is horrifically disfigured into a charred unrecognizable form, by the very end of the story she is ultimately restored to her original beauty.
  • Big Bad: Brainiac.
  • Big Damn Hero: Captain Marvel's rescue of Superman is almost a Trope Codifier.
  • Blessed with Suck: While being forced to run, Flash lament how before he always dreams of traveling to far away places, which he can get there in no time, and wishes to slow down just to have Iris in his arms right now.
  • Body Horror: Giganta's growth powers are rendered rather disturbingly. As is Clayface, who has a disturbingly human looking face in the middle of his blobbish form.
    • The result of Cheetah's poisoning of Wonder Woman by the end.
    • Not quite shown, but Zatanna's reaction to finding Aquaman with most of his encephalitic cavity exposed and his brain missing speaks volumes. Turns out the merman is still alive even after that.
    • Not to mention what happened to Martian Manhunter in the nightmare.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
  • Call-Forward: Hal recreates his hometown inside the ring, becoming progressively more unconcerned about coming back. But the Phantom Stranger takes his ring away from him, while Hal rants about how he's in charge of this world. Stranger's dialogue is loaded with Mythology Gaggery, ranging from saying Hal would become like the very monsters he fights if he allowed him to stay and that he should not try to remake the universe in his own image.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: The Riddler's habit of leaving clues is a compulsion caused by his father beating him for lying as a kid.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Black Manta's retort to Aquaman's "The Reason You Suck" Speech? Essentially, "You're right, I'm a bastard and I really don't give a shit."
  • Cardboard Prison: Arkham Asylum, as usual. Lampshaded by the Joker. Captain Marvel expresses incredulity it's been able to hold Doctor Sivana, for very good reasons. For starters, Sivana can walk through walls. Had he been lucid, it's likely he would have been out before breakfast.
  • The Cavalry: Captain Marvel has a great rescue for Superman in one chapter and The Green Lantern Corps lends some very timely assistance at the climax.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Joker. He makes a few cameo appearances expressing his outrage over not being part of the Legion of Doom, but never really does anything important... until Scarecrow is about to make his getaway...
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Brainiac is modeled after Grant Morrison.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Flash snatches Captain Cold's freeze gun away at super speed, only to find out it's a fake, allowing Captain Cold to whip out his real one.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Supergirl vs Poison Ivy. The former is super-strong, invulnerable and has literally burning eyes. The latter controls plants. No contest.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The supposed motive for the fake villain reforms. They assert that the superheroes never actually make the world any better, they just maintain the status quo. Such technological marvels as Captain Cold creating oases in the desert and Scarecrow using his medical knowledge to cure the blind would be genuine examples of this trope if they were sincere.
  • Darker and Edgier: While having the reputation of being Lighter and Softer, the straightforward story is still fairly chilling, and some aspects of the story are heavy duty Nightmare Fuel.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • All the hostages (dozens) and all the victims of the mindcontrol worms (also dozens).
    • Hal Jordan being thrown out to the edge of the universe and trapped inside his own ring.
    • Superman weakened by kryptonite in the presence of superstrong foes.
    • Flash unable to stop his superspeed.
    • Aquaman captured by the enemy.
    • The Atom in hospital after a gun wound, and enemies coming after him there.
  • Deus ex Machina: Green Lantern, sent into the darkness beyond the universe, converts himself into energy and stores himself within an illusion in his ring, but almost immediately realizes everything needs his direct input to do anything. He very nearly goes insane with Cabin Fever... and then a helpful fellow in a fedora drags him out of the illusion, and gives him his lantern and a way home.
  • Downer Beginning: The story begins with a dream about the world exploding from nuclear explosions, with Superman being the only survivor. On their selfish plan to avert that, the villains steal Batman's data on the heroes' identities, putting so many of them out of commission that backup members of the Justice League become needed to save the day.
  • The Dragon: Lex Luthor
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Black Manta's mooks flat-out refuse to obey his order to kill Aquaman's son.
    • This was the reason Brainiac hit Dr. Sivana with the mind-control worms. Sivana found out about Brainiac's real plan and objected to it, so Brainiac injected him with the worms to keep him from alerting the Justice League.
  • Evil Is Petty: The Joker, as always: when Brainiac doesn't recruit him for his Legion of Doom, not seeing how getting him would be in any way useful, the Joker's response is to escape Arkham Asylum, sneak into the Legion's compound, and blow a significant chunk of it to smithereens in revenge, adding insult to injury during the climactic battle. And kill Scarecrow because it's the one member of the Legion he meets as they wander through the compound's corridors.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: When the mind-controlled Supergirl is holding several heroes hostage, Green Arrow fires a glowing green arrow at her, which Black Canary says is kryptonite. Supergirl easily sidesteps the shot, then mocks them for telegraphing what they're doing out loud. Arrow retorts, "Superhearing that my arrow was tipped with kryptonite doesn't mean it is." Cue John Stewart retrieving his power ring from the arrow and then freeing the controlled heroes.
  • Falsely Reformed Villain: The entire Legion of Doom pretends to reform in order to discredit the superheroes.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: In Justice #12, Superman does this to Lex Luthor when they manage to catch him.
  • Foreshadowing: Dr. Sivana is first seen in Arkham looking distressed and sweaty. One might assume he had the same nightmare as some of the villains. But it's actually due to experimenting with the mind-controlling worms.
  • Garden of Evil: Poison Ivy turns the Batcave into one when she attacks and brainwashes Batman.
  • Genre Throwback: To Challenge of the Superfriends.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When Superman finds Toyman and sees what he has done, his eyes glow as he quietly states "You have no idea what losing your world is like." It's incredibly scary.
  • God Is Good: Queen Hippolyta prays to Aphrodite and Athena for Diana's life. And they grant her request.
  • Gonk: Dr. Sivana was always fairly ugly, but here he looks the hideous love child of Ross Perot and a goat.
  • Guile Hero: The entire League are forced into unconventional ways of defeating the Legion of Doom.
  • Half-Truth: While Riddler and his goons broke into a building owned by Wayne Enterprises, they saw a security camera pick up Bruce Wayne's heat signature.
    Riddler: Good evening, Mr. Wayne.
    Batman: No... Not Wayne. Not even close.
  • Heroic Bystander: The patrons at The Batcave.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dr. Sivana, who invented the mind-control probes, is driven insane by them.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: Captain Marvel throws Superman into the sun to burn out the mind control probes that were infecting him. At the end, the Green Lantern Corps also get rid of every nuclear bomb in this way.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Black Manta attempts to excuse his actions away by claiming that he's taking revenge for the slavery and suffering black people have suffered throughout history, and yet he effectively mind-controls and enslaves his mooks, all of whom are black. Aquaman calls him out on it.
    • Similarly, Lex Luthor believes that humanity is growing too complacent and dependent on the godlike alien Superman. So he sells them out to a different godlike alien, Brainiac.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The Ring will not allow Hal Jordan to commit suicide. Go mad from isolation, yes, but suicide is not allowed.
  • Identity Impersonator: In the final battle sequence, Parasite tries to use Kryptonite against the superhero wearing a metal suit with a giant S symbol on it. Turns out the superhero inside is Captain Marvel.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Clayface assumes Dinah Lance is a natural blonde when he takes her form, unaware she actually wears a wig when she's Black Canary. Oliver does notice, but thinks Dinah was being kinky and so puts earplugs in. It ends up protecting him from the real Dinah's Canary Cry.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Batman does this to Captain Cold. What's more, because he's wearing Wonder Woman's lasso, he has to be serious about following through with his threats in order to make them.
  • Karma Houdini: Horribly subverted with Scarecrow, who gets killed by Joker just as he's about to make his escape.
  • Kryptonite Ring: Mind-controlled Batman attempts to use his on Superman.
  • Last-Second Chance: Wonder Woman tried to reach out to Cheetah several times, but when they fight in issue 12, Diana makes very clear that she has run out of patience and Cheetah has no shots at redemption left.
  • Legion of Doom: Deconstructed. The Legion's leaders have to resort to mind control to get it's members to work together. Otherwise, they're just too selfish and/or insane to stay focused on a single unified goal and would inevitably turn on one another or pursue their own personal vendettas.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Features not only the Justice League, but the Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Metal Men, and the Marvel family.
  • Only in It for the Money: Captain Cold's reason for joining up with the Legion.
  • Man on Fire: Martian Manhunter suffers this, at least in his mind.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Gorilla Grodd.
  • Mind Control: Brainiac's microscopic worms infect several of the heroes over the course of the story. Turns out Luthor stole them from Sivana. The worms are used on the villains as well, not because they're incapable of following through with the plan, but rather, so that the manipulation focuses them in a single line instead of wreaking havoc like they always do.
  • Mind Rape: Gorilla Grodd is able to make Martian Manhunter think that he's on fire through psychic manipulation, all the while when J'onn is actually at the bottom of the ocean.
  • More Than Mind Control: Scarecrow himself states that the parasites never forced him to do anything he would not have done anyways.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Poison Ivy fulfills fanservice duty as usual, but it’s exaggerated here because she’s COMPLETELY NAKED except for a few strategically-placed leaves and vines.
  • Mythology Gag: Lots:
    • The Joker's outrage over not being included with the Legion of Doom. In the original animated series, the Joker was supposed to be a part of the Legion of Doom, but thanks to Executive Meddling, it never happened.
    • Dr. Sivana's sidelining may be a similar in-joke; the initial pitch for the Legion of Doom had him as leader - probably to celebrate DC's recent acquisition of the rights to Shazam! — instead of Luthor. Dr. Sivana's role also possibly references the unseen scientist Dr. Natas in the episode "Superfriends: Rest in Peace".
    • References to Lois Lane's interview with Superman in the first Superman movie.
    • Toyman (Winslow Schott) builds a giant robot resembling the Jack Nimball version.
    • One of Brainiac's experiments, a white monkey with a computer brain attached to its head, resembles Koko, Brainiac's pet "space monkey" from the pre-Crisis Superman comics.
    • Ray Palmer wears a suit of armor that's identical to the Silver Age Atomic Knight (Gardner Grayle).
    • Hawkman and Hawkwoman's armor suits resemble the Thanagarian deities from Legend of the Hawkman.
    • You can see the original Batman costume in the Batcave. The one from before Bill Finger.
    • In addition, Batman's armored suit resembles the Batmobile's design from the 60's Batman show.
    • As is noted in the story, the mind-control drones are based off of Mister Mind. Luthor stealing them form Sivana and using them for Mind Control was done before in Kingdom Come, which also had Ross in the creative team.
    • Supergirl wears her classic Silver Age "hot pants" costume.
    • Priscilla Rich performs a ritual in order to become the Cheetah again, similar to the Barbara Ann Minerva version.
    • Zatanna's suit of armor resembles a silver-colored version of her Bronze Age costume.
    • Once again, The Phantom Stranger briefly being an official JLA member comes back to save the team, as it did in JLA/Avengers.
    • Black Canary is widowed before she joins the Justice League and fell in love with Green Arrow in this story, similar to pre-Crisis continuity. It's unclear if her husband was Larry Lance or Craig Windrow.
    • Wonder Woman's armored suit resembles her biker suit from the 1975 TV series.
    • Riddler's Freudian Excuse comes from his appearance in the 1980s The Question series, which never really caught on, continuity moving back towards his classic origin.
  • Naked on Revival: Wonder Woman dies at the end, but is resurrected when Hippolyta prays for the gods to bring her back to life. Wonder Woman is nude when she is reborn in a new body.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The Joker complains that he wants to see the nightmares the villains were suffering from at the beginning.
  • Noodle Implements: Oliver seems to hint that he and Black Canary get a little kinky sometimes.
  • No-Sell: Neither Wonder Woman nor Supergirl care for Poison Ivy's tactics. The former is super-strong, the second is super-strong, poison-resistant and has heat vision.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Batman has an epiphany that Superman's methods are somewhat compatible with his "Fight Evil Through Fear" philosophy. The crime rate in Metropolis dropped dramatically ever since Superman revealed his powers, most importantly X-Ray vision and super hearing, in an interview. Batman concludes that this news has left the criminals too scared to try anything, since Supes would immediately find them. He then congratulates Supes on using Fear to its fullest potential, but his reasoning only leaves Superman confused.
    • Subverted with Black Manta. Aquaman calls him out on his claims that his motive is revenge for the black people's slavery and discrimination by pointing out that Manta is using mind-control to enslave his minions (all black) into serving him. Manta comments on the irony, then says he doesn't care and keeps attacking.
  • Older Alter Ego: Several times in the story, it's apparent that Captain Marvel is really a 10-year-old boy.
  • Panty Shot: Elasti-Girl in issue #11.
  • Papa Wolf: Aquaman, when Brainiac kidnaps his son.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: In Justice #12 Kara does this to Poison Ivy after knocking her out with a blast of heat vision.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: The Joker's influence in the plot is as follows: he is not taken by Brainiac when he springs all other bad guys from the Asylum, calling him irrelevant as an excuse, the Joker gets out of the Asylum by himself and sneaks into Brainiac's compound and blows a significant chunk of it to kingdom come in revenge, and kills Scarecrow when he's trying to escape. That is it. And the "blowing up Brainiac's stuff" part is just adding insult to injury because at that exact same moment the Legion of Doom is getting its ass kicked by the Justice League.
  • Powered Armor: Various heroes wear the Metal Men as armor.
  • Power Glows:
    • Superman and Supergirl’s whole bodies glow red when they use their eye beams.
    • A green aura surrounds Hal Jordan when he uses his ring.
  • Reconstruction: Of the Silver and Bronze Ages.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Superman's eyes glow red when he is facing his enemies.
    • Supergirl's eyes glow red when she is about to blast Green Arrow and Black Canary, and when she burns Poison Ivy's plants and blasts her.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Legion of Doom brainwashed the younger heroes -Supergirl, Batgirl, the Teen Titans, and the Marvel family- and kidnapped the relatives and friends of the Leaguers. Superman put it best: they were never frightened of dying while doing what is right... but can they risk their families and friends's lives for the sake of a mass of strangers?
  • Sell-Out: Plastic Man, he appears on a billboard endorsing his own credit card in issue 2.
    Life is Plastic!
  • Ship Tease: Captain Marvel/Wonder Woman and Superman/Zatanna.
  • Shooting Superman: Deconstructed by Superman himself when he says that being bulletproof means nothing because the bullets don't stop after bouncing off him and they can hurt someone else. Receives a Call-Back mixed with Batman Can Breath In Space when Superman is teleported out of the atmosphere with Badass Normal Zatanna.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Very much on the idealist side.
  • Space Is Noisy: Played with. Captain Marvel talks to Superman while in space, but the latter cannot respond. Why? Cap is using magic to talk in space.
  • Spanner in the Works: Captain Marvel, The Phantom Stranger, The Metal Men, and John Stewart were all threats the Legion failed to take into account.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Some fans have speculated that the miniseries was either Alex Ross doing a Take That or at least a "measured response" to the Identity Crisis miniseries.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series is jokingly described by Alex Ross as "All Star Justice League" due to being similar to the All Star books in terms of discontinuity and Adaptation Distillation. Somewhat subverted in the "successor" department since Justice was being made around the same time period when the All Star line was still alive.
  • Superhero Speciation: The old Elongated Man/Plastic Man feud about who should be the "stretchy guy" on the team. Plastic Man responds that since Captain Marvel and Superman are both flying bricks, and there's room for both of them, there can be two stretchy guys on the League.
  • Superpower Meltdown: At the beginning of the story, Flash is stuck running around the world at light-speed, and can't slow down. He's running so fast, he's racing himself.
  • Team Member in the Adaptation: The story's interpretation of the Legion of Doom swaps out Jack Nimball for Winslow Schott as the Toyman present and added Parasite, Metallo, Poison Ivy, Clayface, and Black Adam as members.
  • Teleportation Rescue: Happens to Hal Jordan: after he is teleported by the villains so far outside the known universe that no Green Lantern ring, including his own, would help him get back, a magic-using ally eventually locates and teleports him back to Earth, because magic.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • Brainiac discusses and subverts this trope when operating on Aquaman by explaining that, though Aquaman’s powers are sometimes under-appreciated, he believes his telepathic powers are among the most impressive in the JLA. Considering Brainiac is talking to and about Aquaman himself, this may be an attempt to discredit this trope.
    • The trope is played more straight—though while still demonstrating Brainiac's point—when Aquaman is able to contact the sea creatures to make a gigantic X pointing to his location large enough to be seen from the Justice League satellite. Good thing Aquaman was being held underwater.
  • Token Minority:
    • John Stewart for the good guys.
    • Black Manta looks like this at first, but racism ends up being a major theme of his arc.
  • Tranquil Fury: Superman is absolutely furious when he faces Toyman, Brainiac and Lex Luthor, but he talks and acts calmly.
  • Tron Lines: Green Lantern's armor.
  • Use Your Head: How Wonder Woman takes down Cheetah.
  • Victory by Endurance: In the final battle, Hal Jordan faces Sinestro. Eventually, Hal reveals that he's not using his own ring, but Sinestro's spare ring, with a chunk of blue kryptonite on it to make it look green (yellow + blue= green). Hal could either defeat Sinestro normally, or wait until both rings were depleted (they drew on the same power battery). Option 2 happens, and Hal defeats Sinestro with his fists. The blue kryptonite, meanwhile, was used to great effect against Bizarro.
  • Villain Has a Point: In issue #4, Luthor, Riddler, Ivy, and Manta deliver their mission statement to audiences worldwide, condemning the JLA for doing to little to improve the world's status quo.
  • What Does She See in Him?: In Justice #7, a mind-controlled Supergirl tells Lois Lane that she doesn't know what her cousin sees in her in Justice #8:
    Supergirl: I don't know what Superman sees in you, Miss Lane. And don't tell me "X-Ray Vision". I have, too. And I don't see anything.
  • Wild Card: Invoked. The Joker is never recruited into the villains' plan because he's way too unpredictable and chaotic to follow said plan. As such, and in vengeance, The Joker does that very thing.
  • Wolverine Publicity: On the cover for the second trade paperback of the series, the Joker is featured prominently standing among the Legion of Doom members. He is far from the main villain, is never considered to be a member of the Legion, and really only makes cameo appearances in the story itself.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: At one point, Green Arrow observes that the heroes' plan is expecting things to go wrong, unlike Brainaic's.


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