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Justice League

The Justice League AKA The Justice League of America AKA The JLA is a team made up of typically the greatest superheroes in the DC Comics universe.

The original line-up, to which the league has often returned, was Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman[?], and the Martian Manhunter[?]. Other members have included Hawkman[?], the Atom[?], Green Arrow, Black Canary[?], Plastic Man[?], Big Barda and Orion (of the New Gods[?]), Steel, Huntress, and Oracle.

The team first appeared in The Brave and The Bold (#28, 1960) and soon gained its own title. Its origin (according to Justice League of America #9) began when Earth was infiltrated by various competing alien warriors sent to the planet to see who could conquer it first. While most of the invaders were defeated by the superheroes individually, most of them were enslaved by one competitor and only by working together did they manage to defeat him. The group decided that they should form a permanent organization to confront menaces that require similar poolings of resources and dubbed it the Justice League of America.

This team has served for years fighting menaces, often working with their precursors, The Justice Society of America.

This comic was among the most popular of DC Comics, but eventually became overshadowed by Marvel Comics' equivalent, The Avengers, in sales and quality. Various writers tried to include more complex characterization into the JLA comic, but it proved to be an uneasy fit. Eventually, in an attempt to emulate the success of DC's most successful comic, The Teen Titans[?], most of regular members left the team to be replaced by young unknowns. This move was highly unpopular with readers and DC had the team disbanded and rebuilt in the 1986 company wide crossover mini series, Legends.

The new series soon developed a quirky sense of tongue in cheek humour to the stories, while avoiding the obvious camp silliness of the 1960s Batman TV series. Eventually, by the mid 1990s, the Justice League regulars had fully returned in a more serious variant of what the team was before. Grant Morrison[?] was instrumental in returning the JLA to much of its former glory, writing the monthly comic, as well as orchestrating the JLApe 1999 Annual Crossover event.

The comic has been adopted for television numerous times. The first was as a segment in The Superman/Aquaman Adventure Hour. The longest running version was a heavily toned down version called Super Friends[?] which ran in various incarnations from 1972 to 1985. There was also a live action television series pilot in the mid 1990s which failed to the sell - possibly because of multiple copyright problems with having the 'Big Three' of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in the same series, so the live action series opted instead for the lesser known characters, and even then most of these were quite contrary to the characters as written in the comics. The current version is Justice League which is produced by the same producers of Batman: The Animated Series.

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