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YMMV / Justice League of America

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     The comics 
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: While Detroit-era Vibe wasn't exactly popular, his death is so graphic and brutal most people tend to sympathize with him.
  • Angst? What Angst?: The current version of Johnny Quick apparently had a pretty horrific past that he is very keen not to talk about. His psychological scarring comes out in his willingness to kill people and laugh about it.
  • Ass Pull: The Justice League of America once went up against Despero (an alien with vast mental powers, at the time recently powered-up to be almost as strong and invulnerable as Superman) with a mostly C-List team. How to beat him? With an innate Martian power that the Martian Manhunter had never before mentioned that he had, because using it was so stressful that any given Martian can only do it once in their life. Despite that, it was still a fairly well-received story. Another weird power of his was the ability to see through the flow of time. This somehow resulted in him being immune to the powers of an opponent who completely rewrote reality. Pulling never before seen powers out of his ass is the Martian Manhunter's shtick. And then getting lit on fire the next time said power would have been useful.
  • Audience-Alienating Era: The most famous of the fallow periods is probably the time of the informally-named "Justice League Detroit." An attempt to Follow the Leader of the success of books like West Coast Avengers, the book had the classic lineup disbanding after the satellite was put out of commission, and reforming as a new team that operated out of Detroit, including introducing a new batch of characters. The intention was to scale back the team's traditional high powerscale and heavy use of A-listers in favor of character drama with a more obscure and malleable cast, but common appraisal was that the book's more low-key storylines made it a poor replacement for the classic League, and the new characters (particularly poor Vibe) weren't interesting or likeable enough to sell the book as soap opera. That said, its last arc, involving the return of Despero, is still the character's most iconic storyline, and helped transition into the better-received JLI era.
  • Author's Saving Throw: For a few years, Prometheus was portrayed as much less competent than in his first appearance and spent most of his time as a hired goon for other villains. This was Retconned into being Prometheus' wayward apprentice, who had stolen the real Prometheus' gear while he was locked up physically and mentally.
    • Considering that in said first appearance (written by his own creator) Prometheus' biggest triumph was murdering Retro (who wasn't an actual super-hero, just a JLA fan who entered a contest) before failing to complete his takeover of the League Moon Base and getting whipped in the groin (literally) by Catwoman....well, his own competence is more touted than verified.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Red Tornado is the biggest case among the 60s Leaguers. His big character struggle can be summed up rather quickly as "robot who wants to be human", and most of his appearances deal with that plot and his feelings about it, even going back to the Silver Age. Because of this, the fandom can be divided pretty neatly into finding his struggle a tragic Tear Jerker who provides his appearances with an emotional core uncommon for Justice League stories of their time, and finding him to be an irritating ball of Wangst who does little but cry and lose fights.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tomorrow Woman of Grant Morrison's run on JLA. Originally debuting and making a Heroic Sacrifice in the same issue, she was so popular she reappeared in a special one-shot dedicated to her, was briefly brought back in Hourman #2 by the main character, and then was brought back in Trinity, where she was permanently revived as a human woman with superpowers after the series ended. She even received a DC Direct action figure in the early years of the toyline (even before big name Leaguers such as Aquaman and Flash).
    • Silver Sorceress is often remembered as just a short-lived Captain Ersatz of Scarlet Witch, but many fans were impressed by how she constantly averts Angst? What Angst? about the destruction of her home world but has some When She Smiles moments and has a memorable final battle with Dreamslayer. She has a fair amount of fan art despite not being an overtly fanservice-y hero.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Red Arrow first agreed to join the Justice League, he was told he'd never regret his decision. Given that his tenure with the team ultimately ended with Roy losing his girlfriend Hawkgirl in Blackest Night and then his right arm and daughter in Cry for Justice, it's safe to say his life would've been far better off had he never joined the League.
  • Memetic Molester: Aside from all the Ho Yay going on between him and Booster, in Justice League: Generation Lost #9, Max Lord gives Magog a very creepy wink while talking about his 'cojones'.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • For Max Lord, it's killing Ted Kord. He crossed it again by forcing Magog to kill himself. After playing with his head enough to get him to attack the heroes. It's implied he was influencing Magog from Justice League: Generation Lost #4 up.
  • Narm: The circumstances causing John Stewart to join the League as Hal's replacement: Hal was unable to attend a summons because he slipped on a bar of soap in the shower.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Vibe, a member during its "Detroit" era, was widely hated for being a "hip", slang-spouting caricature of Puerto Rican youth whose power was basically super-breakdancing. Though few of the "Detroit" Leaguers were popular, with Vixen being the only standout, Vibe ended up being the headliner of the book's issues. His inevitable death, though, is one of the saddest moments in the League's history. Ironically enough, in the New 52 continuity, he was given a big push by the company and ended up being considerably more well-liked, though it proved short-lived.
    • Fans and editorial alike loathed Triumph. According to creator Christopher Priest, they missed the point that he was supposed to be a jerk.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Vibe and Steel from the reviled Justice League Detroit were killed off several years after they were created due to negative fan reaction. Decades after their deaths, the characters are almost never mentioned in-universe unless in a negative manner. This itself got lampshaded when Black Lantern versions confronted the surviving Detroit Leaguers and basically asked why they were remembered as jokes while their teammates, Gypsy and Vixen, got to join the "real" League.
    • Triumph, in almost any appearance not written by Priest.
  • Technology Marches On: Fire's cellphone in JLA: Classified #6 was from Verizon.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:

     The Made-For-TV Movie