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You Decide ’09 – Who is Your Least Favorite Member of the Original Justice League?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!

Enjoy!

87 Comments

Batman is not JLA material. JLI maybe.

Manhunter

It’s probably Wonder Woman. Does this make me sexist? After that it’s probably Superman…

…or Triumph.

Aquaman! No doubt about it.

Talking to fish…f-ing lame really.

The Flash, if only because I find the Flash’s powers to be among the most boring imaginable in superhero comics.

Aquaman is kind of lame and Hal Jordan is a character I actively hate, but the actual concepts of their powers are pretty cool and lend themselves to some creative implementations.

Wonder Woman, sadly…

Then Supes.

where’s Snapper Carr?? Always, always hated him.

The Martian Manhunter. He is ridiculously over-powered, even on a team with Superman, his origin needs serious retooling and the lone alien on Earth slot has already been filled. Aquaman at least brings Atlantis and it’s problems to the JLA, MM doesn’t have a niche that isn’t already taken. Unless it’s ‘guy who doesn’t have his own book’, that he’s got covered.

” The Martian Manhunter. He is ridiculously over-powered, even on a team with Superman, his origin needs serious retooling and the lone alien on Earth slot has already been filled. Aquaman at least brings Atlantis and it’s problems to the JLA, MM doesn’t have a niche that isn’t already taken. Unless it’s ‘guy who doesn’t have his own book’, that he’s got covered. ”

Not really, because Clark has gone ” native ” thanks to being raised on Earth since infancy, while J’Onn comes as an adult who witnessed his people, including his wife and child, taken in a genocide. I have to actually force myself to remember that Clark’s not an alien in most cases.

Also, fire is much easier to acquire than kryptonite.

Some of these comments make me cry the tear of a Native American who just witnessed someone littering.

Batman. He is simply not well-suited to the high superheroics genre.

Wonder Woman is a close second, because she is such a walking contradiction.

Although I guess I wouldn’t be too fond of the writing of MM back in those days…

Batman. I’ve never liked him as a member of the league

I don’t dislike any of them, but I went with Wonder Woman.

Don’t hate any of them, but least favorite? Aquaman

I refuse to vote because you listed 7 of the greatest characters in pop culture history…what’s wrong with these people making comments?

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

October 24, 2009 at 11:43 am

Despite all the various characters mentioned so far in the comments, I have a sneaking suspicion that the ‘silent majority’ out in cyberspace is gonna say Aquaman and make me cry.

Me? I said Superman. Although it never really feels like the JLA w/o him, y’know?

There are no bad characters, only badly written characters.*

*Please note the one exception is Hal Jordan.

Well, Superman shouldn’t ever really need a team to help him, should he? Especially back in the era when the team formed.

It’s impressive that I think Wonder Woman is one of the worst characters in comics yet there is no way I see Aquaman losing that one. Aquaman for the win!

(To be fair, the only Justice League I EVER liked was JLI – and it wasn’t because of Batman or Martian Manhunter…)

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

This is tough. I love all of them all, but I guess it comes down to Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

Hal.

I find Barry pretty bland.

I never liked Wonder Woman’s “preach peace but practice war” hypocrisy.

Aquaman has spent most of his existence as a guy that could be cool but isn’t.

But I HATE Hal Jordan.

What is the deal with all the negative DC polls and positive Marvel polls?

We have had who is your LEAST favorite Teen Titan and now your LEAST favorite member of the JLA. At the same time, we have had polls for the second most awesome Spidey bad guy and Avenger. What are you Fox News?

What is the deal with all the negative DC polls and positive Marvel polls?

We have had who is your LEAST favorite Teen Titan and now your LEAST favorite member of the JLA. At the same time, we have had polls for the second most awesome Spidey bad guy and Avenger. What are you Fox News?

You got me, Dean!

How could I have expected to sneak it by your clever mind!

I feel so ashamed.

I say Aquaman, not because of the aquatic telepathy, but because he’s stuck in the water. That’s never been used to his advantage. He was always in a minority of one because the other six were damn, dirty surface dwellers. Nobody ever wanted to rule the DCU from under the sea. Written right, he could have been and could yet be one of the most powerful memebrs of the team. Next to Triumph.

You got me, Dean!

How could I have expected to sneak it by your clever mind!

I feel so ashamed.

I knew IT!

I fully expect a “What is your favorite Stan Lee expressions” poll next with the choices: Make Mine Marvel!, Make Mine Marvel, Make Mine Marvel and “Nuff Said!

even though my favorite version of the team is the big guns. have to go with aqua man mostly that he really did not do much in the early adventures . not to mention the orginal look of him is kind of too stupid looking.

I voted for GL because we’re dealing with the original incarnation of the team and of these characters; also, I lose a lot of respect for a guy whose weakness is the color yellow. Then it would have to be Aquaman, as he becomes quite useless without water or fish around. Although, I did enjoy the classic issue where the two of them square off against The Surly Fisherman!

No… I’m pretty sure that happened…

Sorry… Aquaman. But I still don’t hate you, just like you more on your lonesome.

Snapper Carr.

I like ‘em all, but Barry was pretty dull. Great rogues’ gallery, great stories in his own book, but just dull. And of course most of the time he didn’t really seem faster than anyone else in terms of reaction time or anything like that.

With a speedster in a team book it’s hard to justify why they didn’t take care of things before their teammates even got there, and as must as I love those old JLA stories they didn’t do the greatest job of suspending my disbelief about that.

Wonder Woman, followed closely by Hal Jordan’s boring ass and Barry Allen’s equally boring ass.

“I fully expect a “What is your favorite Stan Lee expressions” poll next with the choices: Make Mine Marvel!, Make Mine Marvel, Make Mine Marvel and “Nuff Said!

Excelsior!

Face front, true believer!

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Aquaman; he’s so uncool that every attempt to make him cool has failed simply by the inertia of his uncoolitude ( is that a word ), regardless of how talented the creators were.

Nobody I really dislike on that team, but if I have to choose it’s Aquaman, easy.

@Nitz the Bloody:

I voted for Aquaman, but I’d argue that the Peter David run was enjoyable.

” I voted for Aquaman, but I’d argue that the Peter David run was enjoyable. ”

I would not dispute that, nor would I dispute the adapted version on the Justice League cartoon, or even Kurt Busiek’s reboot. However, the extremely pathetic pop cultural reputation Aquaman has makes any attempt to do something dramatic and interesting with him sound ridiculous, regardless of how it’s actually pulled off; ” so you’re making Aquaman into a borderline psychopath with a hook for a hand? Aquaman? The guy who talks to the fishies? ”

The only version that works without reservation for me is the Brave and the Bold cartoon version, because that show is already so audacious, and their portrayal of Aquaman as a boisterous braggart in the vein of Hercules fits right in.

Martian Manhunter without a doubt. Ridiculously overpowered, the lamest visual of the whole bunch, and redundant on every level: Batman’s a better detective, Superman was the original “last survivor of his race”, Green Lantern is a way more interesting space hero because of the GLCorps (even when the GL in question is hopeless-dumbass Jordan), and Wonder Woman looks MUCH better in ridiculously-skimpy clothing.

And don’t get me started on that nonsensical myth that J’onn is “the heart of the JLA”. I grew up reading JLA comics where J’onnz was nowhere to be seen, and he was never missed.

The only time J’onn J’onzz was ever entertaining was in the JLI, where he played “straight man” to the others and his Oreos addiction was revealed.

Yeah, Brian Cronin, what are you, Fox News?

But anyway, like Bill Reed I retroactively voted for Triumph.

Have a good day.
John Cage

I am a bit surprised by the general disdain of Wonder Woman.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I voted Wonder Woman, but that was more because of how terribly written she was — even by comparison to the other characters — in the Pre-Crisis JLA. Every other member got to bring elements of their mythos into the title, whether it was the Joker exposing the Secret Sanctuary, every early villain being required to have Kryptonite, or even Aquaman getting to do underwater stuff.

But Wonder Woman? Her own title was busily contradicting itself and ignoring everything Moulton built up in the 40s, using all the Wesingeresque gimmicks without the wit and charm, and generally sucking. So it’s no wonder she didn’t do much of interest in Gardner Fox’s JLA.

” Martian Manhunter without a doubt. Ridiculously overpowered, the lamest visual of the whole bunch, and redundant on every level: Batman’s a better detective, Superman was the original “last survivor of his race”, Green Lantern is a way more interesting space hero because of the GLCorps (even when the GL in question is hopeless-dumbass Jordan), and Wonder Woman looks MUCH better in ridiculously-skimpy clothing. ”

Seem my comment above; Clark isn’t emotionally a survivor because he associates himself much more with Earth. J’Onn is a bereaved parent; the gulf of difference between the two states rivals the Grand Canyon.

Also, Superman looks like a typical Caucasian adult male human, while J’Onn’s natural form is profoundly alien. His superhero look is a compromise he made with his shapeshifting power.

I don’t hate any of the characters and it’s kind of a tossup between WW and Aquaman for me. I should have flipped a coin first, but I voted Aquaman.

Aquaman. Of the characters listed he is my least favorite. I would say Wonder Woman next because she is a gigantic mess of a character. Neither a true super-hero OR greek myth but instead a clumsy mish-mash of traits and powers. Still… better than Aquaman.

Oh, and we can only truly accuse Brian of making a Fox News poll if Aquaman gets 95% or more of the vote. The polls that run always have crazy results.

Oh, and we can only truly accuse Brian of making a Fox News poll if Aquaman gets 95% or more of the vote. The polls that run always have crazy results.

Brian is Fox News only if he’s a little biased. If his results end up biased to the degree you describe then he’s even worse, I’m talking NY Times or CNN level super-biased! And no way could Brian ever be THAT biased.

Brian is Fox News only if he’s a little biased. If his results end up biased to the degree you describe then he’s even worse, I’m talking NY Times or CNN level super-biased! And no way could Brian ever be THAT biased.

@ T

You are clearly the Bill O around here.

Gotta say Aquaman. He’s a nice guy and everything but just kind of lame… Sorry Aqs! When you’ve got villains who prefer land and perhaps space, what are you going to do with a dolphin army?

Hal Jordan. He was bland beyond blandness, even though all of the characters felt the same back then anyway.

Nobody ever wanted to rule the DCU from under the sea.

Which is silly, really. The ocean covers most of the Earth, and it’s got, what, one superhero and a few of his sidekicks? Whereas there’s hundreds of superheroes on land and in the air? Exactly.

Also, everyone who voted for Aquaman is banned. Congratulations! You discovered the nefarious secret of the poll!

Aquaman is pretty lame, but at least he occupies a niche. I voted for Martian Manhunter for the reasons Beta Ray Steve gave. Basically, MM is a derivative mess of traits. In fact, “MM” could stand for mishmash. In 50 years he’s had only a few halfway decent runs of writing and characterization.

I think the robot plane is the main thing that makes Wonder Woman seem lame. Without it, her origin and powers present a coherent picture. As George Perez proved in his excellent take on her.

Incidentally, every “least favorite” poll is also a “most favorite” poll. Just reverse the results and you’ll see who’s the most popular member of the JLA, the Titans, et al.

P.S. How about “Who is the lamest sidekick?”

This was a tough one, but I had to go Martian Manhunter. Wonder Woman and Flash were in the conversation though. (The conversation in my head I mean).

Snapper Carr by far!

I like the original psychic detective bit, but I’m not seeing much you can do with the Martian Manhunter that you can’t do (and usually better) with Superman or Batman.

There’s lots of potential there, but I think J’onn needs a total retooling to be really workable.

D’oh. Misread the poll question…

Wow checked out Triumph, what a stupid character, terrible flamboyant design too…

Wonder Woman.

Other than as a symbol of bondage and sadomasochism, she’s useless.

Brian: If I’m so banned then HOW AM I WRITING THIS, BEEYOTCH?!!?

Voted Aquaman but the character that I am the most sick of right now is Batman. He is DC comics wolverine and punisher from the 90’s. Stick ihim everywhere and people eat it up. I like the character itself I am just sick of the overexposure. But Aquaman is just hard to come uo with long effective arcs for considering his limitations and the alien environment he comes from.

None of the above. Sorry, i like all of them.

Flash, I guess, but really, I love them all.

I’ve never been a huge Wonder Woman fan. Nothing personal, but I like Donna Troy a whole lot better.

I guess I should say Wonder Woman. Man, if my wife ever found out she’d be so pissed.

I went with Superman. I feel so ashamed now.
I have tremendous respect for him and all, but I’ve just never really warmed up to him.

Give me the Flash, Green Lantern or Aquaman any day.

LouReedRichards

October 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm

That last comment was me. I don’t how that happened.
I think my computer was trying to protect me.

I liked them all, so my saying Batman was my “least favorite” isn’t saying much. He just didn’t impress me much when we compare his gizmos to the other’s powers- yes, even Aquaman’s. Of course his real asset to the team was his mind.

Btw, the original version of Martian Manhunter DID look like a green human, it wasn’t a disguise. Nor where his people dead, he just lost contact with them (and eventually found them, on Cygnus.) Those facts are from his post-Crisis origin.

[quote Author=Rob Schmidt]Basically, MM is a derivative mess of traits. In fact, “MM” could stand for mishmash. In 50 years he’s had only a few halfway decent runs of writing and characterization.

I think the robot plane is the main thing that makes Wonder Woman seem lame. Without it, her origin and powers present a coherent picture. As George Perez proved in his excellent take on her.[/quote]

I find Perez’s WW over-rated, myself. Considering how much DC has insisted on publishing the character no matter what, I feel that she deserves the criticism of only having a few halfway decent runs MUCH more than Martian Manhunter does.

The trouble with WW is that the character is inherently weak, robot plane or no robot plane. She dresses like a male chauvinist fantasy in an attempt to show that women deserve equal consideration; she is a princess but rarely acts like one; she is supposedly godlike in power yet her main enemy is the Cheetah; she is in a mission for peace and attempts to fulfill it by punching her way into pretty much every situation she meets.

Once one actually changes/updates her to address so many concerns, she is no longer recognizable.

So, should we read the question as “which is your least favorite member of the original JL as they were written in the 60s?” Ou should that be “which is your least favorite member of the original JL overall?”

I decided to read it as the later, because I just didn’t read much 1960s DC.

I don’t get all the WW hate, and hope it’s just the usual “vocal minority.” Wonder Woman has had some excellent writers since I’ve started reading her stories, with George Perez, Greg Rucka, and Phil Jimenez.

I like all the others too, except for Barry Allen. Well, it’s not like I really dislike him or anything, it’s just that Barry seems to be a bit like Jean Grey. He is great when he is dead, alternately casting a shadow over Wally and inspiring him.

I’m a real unusual fan, in that it’s very rare that I will dislike a character. I reserve my disdain for writers who mishandle characters.

Crap, it’s least favorite JLAer?! UNDO! UNDO! UNDO!

Jesus, people actually named J’onn? He’s the one guy I think of whenever I think Justice League.

If it’s “least favorite as written in the ’60s,” then my vote is “all of the above.” Characterization was not Gardner Fox’s strong suit.

My actual vote, though, was for Aquaman. I actually like all of them just fine, but he’s the one I’m least enthusiastic about.

This seems way more balanced than I expected. I thought it would be Aquaman by a landslide.

I’m also suprised by the Wonder Woman hate, I understand that many people don’t like her, but I’m suprised that so many actively dislike her. I guess that’s influenced by the nature of the question.

I can understand many of the criticisms of Wonder Woman here, although I don’t necessarily agree with them. What I don’t see is that “preach peace but practice war” as a problem. To me, that contradiction at the heart of her character is what makes the character so interesting. Declaring war to create peace is something that happens all the time, almost every war has at least one side who are fighting for peace. I doesn’t make sense with an absolutist world-view, but Wonder Woman is a consequentialist, and so it’s just the ends justifying the means. With so much absolutism in the DCU, Wonder Woman provides an interesting counterbalance. (In theory, in practice it depends on the writer).

Under Perez and Jimenez, Wonder Woman DID act like a princess, Luis. Wonder Woman vs. Cheetah is as plausible as Spider-Man vs. Wolverine. (Spider-Man should win, but it won’t be easy.) Or Spider-Man vs. the Vulture, the Scorpion, the Lizard, the Kingpin, the Shocker–i.e., any villain whom he seems to outclass. You must’ve hated the vast majority of Spidey stories that pitted him against inferior foes.

Not to mention Superman vs. Lex Luthor, the Prankster, the Toyman–heck, anybody this side of Darkseid, Mongul, or Doomsday. Wonder Woman is a lot closer to Cheetah in power than Superman is to most of his foes. Ergo, you must hate Superman even more than you do WW.

Oh, and I think the best Wonder Woman runs established that Ares and Circe are her major villains, not Cheetah. Which leads me to wonder how much WW you’ve read. Cheetah is more of an annoyance to her, like the Toyman is to Superman.

You really think it’s a CHARACTER weakness that DC retains a costume that it has licensed for 10,000 or so products? I believe Amazons traditionally fought bare-breasted, so WW is actually less naked than she should be. Moreover, Perez gave her costume a plausible origin. I’m sure she’ll get a permanent new outfit right after Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man do.

Meanwhile, the Martian Manhunter is wearing a 1920s bathing suit and Aquaman is wearing a gaudy orange shirt. Power Girl, Supergirl, Black Canary, Zatanna, the Huntress, et al. have similarly sexist outfits. I’m guessing Big Barda is your favorite DC heroine because she’s about the only one not showing skin.

As for Wonder Woman the warrior ambassador of peace, Ted said, “That contradiction at the heart of her character is what makes the character so interesting.” Exactly. The best WW writers addressed this contradiction explicitly. If you think they ignored it, left it open as a festering flaw, you must not have read their runs.

Flash is an arsehole.

Personally, love all the members of the original JLA, and am really looking forward to a revival, but I have to say I like Wonder Woman the least, as I much prefer Black Canary. Also, the fact that Wonder Woman’s characterization is a mess, her villains are worse than anyone but J’Onn’s(and it has nothing to do with their power level), and the constant wailing about how pivotal she is to DC, especially when Flash and Green Lantern both have just as rich and compelling mythologies.

All kidding aside, I voted for J’onn J’onzz.

Superman is probably my favorite fictional character, ever. Batman is easily in my top five.

I think Wonder Woman is an awkward fit with the modern comic book fan, but she is a great character in her own right. The concept is really rich and interesting. It is a shame that she is not currently appearing as a solo character in another medium.

Neither Barry Allen, nor Hal Jordan, are great characters. However, both the Flash and Green Lantern are amazing premises. Also, both were great in NEW FRONTIER, which was one of my favorite comics of all time. On balance, I would say the potential outweighs their limitations and they bring interesting stuff to the team.

Aquaman is tough. There is really nothing intrinsically wrong with him. His weakness on the SUPER FRIENDS made him a Gen X punch-line, but you could make variations of the Aquaman joke using most superheroes. I mean “Spider-Man spins webs, right? What is the deal with that? The Green Goblin should try defeating him with a BROOM. Da-Da-DUM!”

It is weird to object to a character solely on that basis.

That leaves the Martian Manhunter. J’onn has a weird grab bag of powers. The stuff that he brings to the team that are unique are his telepathy and shape shifting, but they get buried under the barrage of his other abilities.

That said, I loved J’onn during the Giffen-DeMatties era and during the Morrison run. On the whole, this was like choosing my least favorite between chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cupcakes.

Brian: If I’m so banned then HOW AM I WRITING THIS, BEEYOTCH?!!?

¿Que?

Hal Jordan: how can a space cop with a magic wishing ring be so boring?

Guh, what is the point of including Batman and Superman when those are clearly the most popular characters and did not even appear in the original issues of Justice League of America? Seems to me the poll would be much more interesting without them.

Can’t vote Superman. Or Batman. Or Flash (I love Flash.)

Wonder Woman is a cute girl, so one can’t vote for her. But Wonder Woman sucks. I agree with whoever said her character is a mess, a hot mess.

Aquaman I always kind of liked.

Manhunter. He’s a mess of a character as well. The origin’s all screwy, his weakness is fire and I’ll repeat that FIRE.

Tell you I WON’T for and that’s Hal Fucking Jordan, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. I don’t understand hate for Green Lantern. Wonder Woman hate, I understand. I love her but she sucks, especially in the Justice League. She was the freaking secretary of the Justice Society. Green Lantern is awesome.

Reluctantly Manhunter.

When you have Green Lanterns like Mogo and Kilowog and Rot Lop Fan and Ch’p and Leezle Pon, some guy who likes flying planes doesn’t seem that interesting.

Martian Manhunter

Waaaaay overated.

I loved every panel of his death during Final Crisis.

Bring him back so we can see him killed off again.

abstaining cuz i love this JLA lineup (well, these dudes plus Plas anyway).

I’ve just never been able to care about Batman…

Everybody knows the only good DC characters are Superman and Batman.

Michael Nedderman

October 26, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I guess I’m the only one who voted Superman. I’ve always liked him the least out of the Big Seven. His annoying power levels ranging from god-like to God-like to God, the ridiculous amount of Kryptonite that has managed to make its way to Earth, and his combination of arrogance and naivete.

On the flip side, I’m loving the current run of Superman books, so good stories can trump any dislike.

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