Justice (DC Comics)
Justice #1 (2005), Cover by Alex Ross
|Publication date||August 2005 – June 2007|
|Number of issues||12|
|Main character(s)||Justice League of America, Legion of Doom|
|Creator(s)||Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, Doug Braithwaite|
|Volume 1||ISBN 1-4012-0969-6|
|Volume 2||ISBN 1401212069|
|Volume 3||ISBN 1401214673|
Justice is a twelve-issue American comic book limited series published bimonthly by DC Comics from August 2005 through June 2007, written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, with art also by Ross and Doug Braithwaite. Its story involves the superhero team known as the Justice League of America confronting the supervillain team the Legion of Doom, after every supervillain is motivated by a shared dream that seems to be a vision of the planet's destruction which they intend to avoid.
Coming off their previous project, Earth X from Marvel Comics, Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithwaite started on Justice, a 12-issue bi-monthly series. Ross described the series as a full-on superhero war, the Super Friends versus the Legion of Doom, to the death. In many ways, Justice is a follow-up to Ross' and Paul Dini's The World's Greatest Super-Heroes.
Ross had stated that, following Kingdom Come, he wanted to break away from the 1990s fixation with superhuman wars, and focused on The World's Greatest Super-Heroes. It was only following that that he could return to the war stories he is known for, like Kingdom Come.
Several supervillains start having recurring nightmares where Earth is destroyed by a nuclear Armageddon that the Justice League of America fails to prevent. Believing that the team's overconfidence in their own abilities and the exaggerated faith humanity has in them will be their ruin, they decide to band together to destroy the Justice League and save the world as they see fit.
While some of them, like Toyman, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and Captain Cold, help solve the world's greatest problems, like hunger and physical disabilities, turning public opinion against the Justice League, who have never done that, Lex Luthor and Black Manta lure Aquaman into a trap, capture him and take him to an alien city located within a black sphere at the bottom of the sea, where he is left under the care of Brainiac.
The Justice League starts searching for Aquaman. The Martian Manhunter eventually locates him, as Aquaman telepathically instructs the oceanic wildlife to form large lines visible from space to point to his location. The Manhunter is ambushed by Gorilla Grodd, who incapacitates him with a psychic attack. Meanwhile, Batman captures The Riddler, who had stolen secret files about the Justice League's members' weaknesses from the Bat-Computer, and imprisons him in Arkham Asylum, but he is rescued by Luthor. In the process, the Joker finds out that he hasn't been invited to Luthor's secret society of supervillains and becomes furious.
Red Tornado eventually finds clues that might lead to Aquaman's location, but is surprised by a traitor among the Justice League's ranks, who destroys him and gives Grodd access to the Watchtower's computers and its members' secret identities.
Superman is attacked by Metallo, Parasite, Bizarro and Solomon Grundy. He emits a call for help that the Flash tries to answer, only to find out he has been poisoned by Captain Cold and is being forced to run non-stop until he dies from exhaustion.
Wonder Woman is attacked by Cheetah, who poisons her with the Blood of a Centaur, which killed Hercules, and starts to revert her back to the clay from which she was born. The Green Lantern is ambushed by Sinestro and teleported to the end of the Universe, from where he cannot escape and where he is forced to be transformed into pure energy and stored inside his power ring so he won't die when the ring runs out of energy.
Luthor, the Riddler, Poison Ivy and Black Manta invite everyone who wishes to join them to live in alien cities contained within black spheres, secretly provided by Brainiac, who lobotomizes Aquaman.
Superman's call for help is answered by Captain Marvel. It is Marvel who singlehandedly defeats Metallo, Parasite, Bizarro and Solomon Grundy. Marvel then takes Superman to the Batcave, where they discover that both Superman and Batman have been infected with mechanical worms and that Batman has been mind-controlled into destroying Red Tornado. They overpower Batman and Captain Marvel then throws Superman into the Sun, destroying the worms and giving Superman his strength back. They then head to the Watchtower to get some answers, but the entire ship explodes before they can board it. After which, both Captain Marvel and Superman work out a plan to save the Flash. This was done by Captain Marvel using the speed of Mercury to catch up to the Flash and knocking him off balance with his magic lightning bolt. This plan nearly kills both Captain Marvel and the Flash, but Superman is fast enough to save them both.
The Martian Manhunter regains control of his body and calls Zatanna to help him save Aquaman and Red Tornado. They retrieve Aquaman's body from Brainiac's city and take it to Dr. Niles Caulder, leader of the Doom Patrol, who saves him and returns him to life. They then recover Red Tornado's remains from the destroyed Watchtower and have them fixed by Doc Magnus, leader of the Metal Men.
From there, they warn Hawkman and Hawkwoman, who had defeated Toyman, that his hideout is located in Midway City, where they find out that he is building robotic bodies for Brainiac, and have the Phantom Stranger rescue Green Lantern. Green Arrow, Black Canary and the Atom are called, as well as Plastic Man, Elongated Man, Metamorpho, the Metal Men and the Doom Patrol, to head for Superman's Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic.
Batman is found by Wonder Woman, who is able to return him back to sanity with her magic lasso. They all encounter and quickly capture Captain Cold, who reveals them the truth: The dream was fabricated by Luthor, Brainiac and Grodd to create a Legion of Doom and use them to destroy the Justice League. The mechanical worms were stolen designs from Dr. Sivana, based on Mr. Mind's powers, and Brainiac lobotomized Aquaman to find out if his brain could be used to control Grodd. It couldn't, but his baby son's can, and Black Manta kidnaps him. Black Adam also joins Luthor's cabal.
The heroes' sidekicks are mind-controlled by the worms and their loved ones are abducted. They discover that the worms are actually turning humans into robots as part of Brainiac's plan to mechanize the Universe, and attack Luthor's city to stop their plans, using armors that protect them from the worms.
After a big battle, most of the villains are defeated, but Brainiac, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Cheetah and Black Manta escape. John Stewart is given Jordan's ring and uses it to erase everyone's minds of the heroes' secret identities and destroys the worms, freeing the sidekicks. He then returns to ring to Hal and they set to capture the remaining villains and stop Brainiac, who takes control of Earth's nuclear arsenals in order to bring forth the nuclear Armaggedon from the nightmare.
Meanwhile, the Joker infiltrates the cities and sabotages them by destroying Luthor's city and taking down the Scarecrow. Aquaman, Wonder Woman and the Atom quickly take down Black Manta, Cheetah and Poison Ivy, leaving only Brainiac behind.
After a drawn-out battle, Superman, Red Tornado and Zatanna defeat the villain while the Green Lantern Corps prevents the nuclear Armaggedon. Luthor, Brainiac and the others are imprisoned and Wonder Woman is taken to Themyscira, the Paradise-Island, where her mother, Queen Hippolyta, restores her with the help of the Gods.
All goes back to normal, but Batman starts wondering if the Justice League will, one day, really accomplish world peace. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, Superman is observed by the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 31st century, a Utopian future, proving that they will succeed.
Justice takes place outside of the regular DC Universe continuity, with most of the characters featured in the story being modern day incarnations of their Silver Age of comic books counterparts. The series heavily draws upon the 1970s Super Friends animated series, most notably the Challenge of the Super Friends incarnation, which featured the Legion of Doom as regular characters.
In an interview, Alex Ross jokingly compared the series to the All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder and All-Star Superman, two comics which like Justice take place outside the existing DC Universe. All three titles launched within the same time period as part of a wave of continuity-free incarnations of popular DC Universe properties, though Justice did not feature the "All-Star" labeling.
Despite being a Justice League type of storyline, it features several characters that make up the DC Universe.
Justice League of America
Those who make up the JLA in the story are mostly based on the incarnation of the team seen in the 1970s, commonly referred to as the Justice League Satellite era.
- Wonder Woman
- The Flash
- Green Lantern
- Martian Manhunter
- Green Arrow
- Black Canary
- Captain Marvel
- Elongated Man
- Phantom Stranger
- Plastic Man
- Red Tornado
- Doom Patrol
- Doc Magnus
- John Stewart
- Metal Men
- Teen Titans (featuring their Silver Age incarnation)
- Captain Marvel, Jr.
- Mary Marvel
- Legion of Super-Heroes
Legion of Doom roster
The supervillain team isn't based on any one from the comics, but instead based on the villain group from the Super Friends metaseries. While the original lineup is used, others were added for the series.
- Black Adam
- Black Manta
- Captain Cold
- Gorilla Grodd
- Lex Luthor
- Poison Ivy
- The Riddler
- Solomon Grundy
The series has been collected into three hardcover volumes, followed by an Absolute DC edition:
- Volume 1 (collects #1-4, hardcover, 160 page, ISBN 1-4012-0969-6, DC Comics)
- Volume 2 (collects #5-8, hardcover, 160 page, ISBN 1-4012-1206-9, DC Comics)
- Volume 3 (collects #9-12, hardcover, 160 page, ISBN 1-4012-1467-3, October 2007, DC Comics)
- Absolute Edition, (collects #1-12, 496 page, ISBN 978-1-4012-2415-8, September 2009, DC Comics)
DC Direct released a line of action figures based on the mini-series, which include figures of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hal Jordan, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Red Tornado, Plastic Man, Hawkman, John Stewart, Supergirl, Batgirl, Captain Marvel, Black Canary, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Cheetah, Black Manta, Bizarro, Poison Ivy, The Joker, Captain Cold, Toyman, Solomn Grundy, Scarecrow, Parasite, Sinestro, Gorilla Grodd, Zatanna and Black Adam.
||This section includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2009)|
- On Justice: Alex Ross Talks Justice I, Newsarama, part one.
- On Justice: Alex Ross Talks Justice II, Newsarama, part two.
- "Incoming: Alex Ross’ Justice" On the latest series of figures based on the series (Superman and Aquaman in their attack suits, as well as Gorilla Grodd and Green Lantern John Stewart).
- Justice (Volumes 1-3) by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, Doug Braithwaite, The Times, December 21, 2007