With the recent shift from Hal Jordan to Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz as the JLA’s Emerald Gladiators, I’ve been thinking about what it is that defines the Justice League for me.  Interestingly, though I’m a fan of the Bwah-Ha-Ha JLI and of the Detroit League, it just doesn’t feel authentic without one Justice Leaguer: A Flash.  (I’m not particular about which.  Just a fast person in red with faucets on his or her head is fine.)  Most members of the League have analogous characters in other teams, but there’s just no substitute for the Scarlet Speedster in my mind, which leads us to today’s requisite query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) has a similar theory regarding the presence of Ant-Man and/or The Wasp in the Avengers, asking: Which individual Justice Leaguer is absolutely necessary for the team to really be the Justice League for you?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Assuming we’re talking THE Justice League, the big three all have to be there with Supes leading the way. With that out of the way, after the holy triad, my nod would go to Martian Manhunter. While not a founding member I think he serves a unique role as a balance between super power and detective skills. And if you have to dragoon other members into splinter Justice Leagues there’s a handful of Martians (mainly white) that can be drafted for the purpose.

  2. I’d second the vote for J’onn J’onzz, with the caveat that you don’t even need the Big Three with him in it. He’s an alien powerhouse, a detective and at times he’s held a female form.

  3. Martian Manhunter. He was around in the early days, the good and bad (Detroit). Heck, he was even around in the Giffen/DeMatteis days.

  4. The lack of Martian Manhunter as a mainstay in the Justice League is part of the reason none of the lineups have clicked with me since Infinite Crisis.

  5. Without having a specific person, I always like to have a Green Lantern and a Flash.
    I started my JLeducation with Super Friends and started reading with the 2nd Super Powers series.
    The Detroit League was the first real JLA I read followed by the JLI. Until Grant Morrison, I didn’t have a steady Big 3 presence.
    They can come and go, I always enjor the Hawkmans. Flashes, Green Lanterns and other supers more.

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