From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivial detail of some form of geekery, and we put it in a list. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: Leagues.
Keeping with Outright Geekery’s beginning and our focus on cooperation it makes perfect sense for the first Top o’ the Lot to bring attention to some of the greatest teams in comic book history. Although comic book teams have become as prevalent as Madrox in a mosh pit, with their fantastically, avenging, legion of <insert “X-adjective” here>, there remains one key word that continues to signify the solidity and cooperation of a team of superheroes: League. As we begin our adventure in building a league of our own, Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot runs down the best comic book Leagues.
Honorable Mention: Justice League Unlimited
Created by legendary animator Bruce Timm, Justice League Unlimited was an animated series that premiered in 2004 that ran for 3 seasons. While it followed the same recipe as Timm’s earlier DC comics animated endeavors, like Batman: The Animated Series, and Superman: The Animated Series, JLU simply took the equation to a factor of 10. Everything was bigger! The stories, the villains and, especially, the number of Justice Leaguers seen in the series took the entire DC animated universe to new heights, setting the stage for later shows like Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice.
5. Justice League of America
Sure, we could highlight the totality of DC’s comic book Justice Leagues in each and every iteration they have had since the early Silver Age, but, for the sake of its me writing this thing up, we’re going to focus on the Leagues that exist currently. Even with that, it still gets pretty confusing.
While not an initial launch title in DC’s New 52 companywide re-launch, the Justice League of America has quickly become an integral and intriguing team in the DC universe. Although the team was assembled by hard-lined bureaucrat Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S., the government agency in charge of super-human affairs, as a check against the less obedient Justice League proper, the JLA, with members like the unconventional Green Arrow, villain Catwoman, homicidal maniac Hawkman, and outcast Green Lantern Simon Baz, among others, seems distant from being the compliant team of supers they are meant to be.
4. The League of Shadows
Also known as the League of Assassins, The League of Shadows is the penultimate thorn in Batman’s side, a nemesis second only to The Joker. Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, The Cains, Bane, Damian Wayne; The list of League of Assassin associates include some of the most important characters in the history of The Caped Crusader. Whether it’s the comic book version of Ra’s al Ghul’s criminal empire or Nolan’s version of a syndicate seeking out their own twisted form of societal justice, The League of Shadows is an interesting and evil addition to our list, setting it firmly in the Top o’ the Lot.
3. Justice League Dark
By far the most curious of DC’s various Leagues, the JLD took the New 52 by storm with its supernatural occult take to the team dynamic. Bringing together the DC Universe’s most able and brilliant mystical characters, Justice League Dark sees the likes of magician Zatanna Zatara, fortune-teller Madame Zanadu, the ghost Deadman, and, Hellblazer himself, John Constantine teaming up to handle the situations deemed to unfit for the “regular” Justice League. The individual personae on this team make for a slew of different dynamics, while the occult factor offers numerous opportunities for stories that simply cannot be told with other teams.
2. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
While the movie may have been a letdown, there is no denying the excellence of Alan Moore’s classic portrayal of classy heroes from classical literature in his 1999 comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Not only does the bringing together of such literary royalty like Allan Quatermain, Dracula’s Mina Murray, The Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, make for an amazing team of adventurers, but stories involving Wells’ War of the Worlds and the famous villain Professor Moriarty also makes this League the easiest of all the Leagues for any geek, DC fanboy or not, to get into.
1. Justice League
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern. These are the names of the most outstanding members of the most famous of the numerous Leagues in this Top o’ the Lot. While the New 52 version of this timeless team includes former Teen Titans mainstay Cyborg, and Hal Jordan has since left the team in his capacity as Green Lantern, the Justice League continues to be DC Comics headlining superhero team. And why the hell shouldn’t it be? Few characters in all of popular culture are as well-known and beloved as members of this iteration of the Justice League. Predating teams like the X-Men, The Avengers, and all the other teams on this list puts the Justice League at the Top o’ the Lot.
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