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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – Who is Your 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!



Brian, your attempts to disprove your Marvel bias will not work!

But, I’m voting for Batman anyway.


While I was about to post the results for the “Least Favorite” poll, it occurred to me that it might be neat to see if the results for FAVORITE Justice Leaguer would be much different than simply an inverse of the other poll.

So I held off on posting that poll’s results until we see this one’s results.

Superman for the win!

hard choice to pick since that is my favoirte version of the team and i like them all but aquaman. so i picked martian manhunter since he has been with every version since the beginining. and super man and batman were not around for the first few stories.

Well, you know, Batman, but, in context of the League as a group, totally J’onn. And then Aquaman, because Arthur needs the love.

It’s J’onn. He is the soul of the team. See what happens to the League when he is not around (aham.. Meltzer?).

I would have voted Wally West if I could, but since that is the original JLA…

Wonder Woman.

What some people see as contradictions that ruin the character, I see as contradictions that enrich her. The peaceful warrior, the innocent that is nonetheless wise, the princess that knows how to be humble. I have enjoyed her stories since George Perez. She is one of those characters that is essential and iconic, but not so big that she has to star in so many awful events like “Death of…” or “Fall of…” And I think Perez did wonderful things to revitalize her rogue’s gallery.

As for the others…

Batman has had the greatest number of memorable stories, the new movies are excellent, and the 1990s animated series was wonderful, but for some reason I never really warmed to Batman. He is this obsessive one-track-mind dude that is good at everything. It’s ironic that I have an easier time identifying with aliens and amazons that with him, that is technically human.

I like Superman better, but his stories in the comics have been often mediocre. Perhaps he is just too iconic for a writer to take chances with him. But I have to admit that I haven’t read his comics with any regularity after the mid-1990s, when I mostly left comics for the first time.

I have no interest in Barry Allen except as a figure of inspiration to Wally.

Undersea stories bore me for some reason I can’t quite explain, so that must be why I was never a big Aquaman fan. Or maybe it’s just that Marvel has an undersea King of Atlantis that is much more interesting.

I sorta like the Martian Manhunter, the way his aloof act hides a sensitive soul. He would be my third choice.

Hal Jordan is my second choice. Some people think he is uninteresting, but he always seemed to me like a Marvel sort of character. A normal guy at heart, even though he is fearless and noble. You can picture Hal Jordan having a few beers, sitting with his pals in some bar. I have a hard time picturing any of the other original leaguers doing the same. That is why I have a soft spot for him.

Wonder Woman.


Favorite character? Either Superman or Batman, depending on when you ask me. Favorite character as a member of the team? Martian Manhunter, who is really the heart of the JLA

Or maybe it’s just that Marvel has an undersea King of Atlantis that is much more interesting.

They do? What’s his name?

I voted for the only non-super powered member in the team. One of only two humans.
The only one with dossiers on each member of the whole DCU, never mind the Justice League. Complete with methods on how to brutally take them down with frightening precision. Each and every single one of them.
Yeah, i voted for The Bat.
His relevance can be shown in Morrison’s run on the Justice League, as he took down the Hyperclan/White Martians and a number of other villains.
Usually it’s like this:
– Villains show up
– Villains subsequently clobber the most powerful of Leaguers, such as Superman, Manhunter, Flash.
– Villains almost ignore Batman
– Batman comes up with devious plan to take down powerful villains.
– Superman and the rest recover for clean up.
Repeat formula.

Since this isn’t a who-do-I-associate-most-with-the-JLA poll but actual favorite, I had to go with Hal.
He was my favorite hero, period, when I was a kid.

But honestly, I like them all. Heckuva team they’ve got there. But really, I liked everyone on that team until Vibe.

I voted for Batman. Reason: because he’s Batman

What, do I have to draw you a diagram or something?

The Manhunter from Mars, dudes.

*thumps chest twice, does that weird peace-sign thing, stares off into the distance with intense melodrama*

I think this should have been one of those “except for Batman, obviously” polls.

I had to pick Batman, but I’d probably have gone for Hal otherwise…

Going with the Fox/Sekowsky era alone, my favorite Leaguer is Green Lantern.

Next, in order of preference: Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Snapper Carr FTW! Um, what do you mean, he’s not nominated. Isn’t he an original member?

Eric L. Sofer, the Silver Age Fogey

October 28, 2009 at 4:26 am

No love for Snapper? He wasn’t involved in the VERY first case, true – but we didn’t even KNOW about that until JLA #9!

Oh, well, I guess I’ll have to deal with the others. I have to assume you mean “in Justice League of America”, so that lets Superman and Batman out for a while. I guess it’s J’onn, just because it was his best series in which to be seen…

Although this “heart of the JLA” stuff bugs me. He became the heart of the JLA when they moved to Detroit, a couple hundred issues later… so that claim may be a little bit specious, I think.

I remain,
Eric L. Sofer
The Silver Age Fogey

One of the few DC heroes I ever actually got into at all… largely thanks to Mandrake and Ostrander, but still. :)

Does this question ask who our favorite original Justice Leaguer is strictly within the context of the way they were in the actual original Fox/Sekowsky run or which of the 7 is our favorite member when taking into consideration all the personality retcons and tweaking that’s happened to them in the rest of the Silver Age, Bronze Age and post-Crisis? Because when considering the original Fox/Sekowsky Justice League in a vacuum I’d go with the Flash, but when considering how all the characters have been evolved and retconned since then my current fave of the original seven is Martian Manhunter.

Judging from my memories of the early JLA stories -which I read in reprints- I have to go with The Flash. While everybody got his or her chance to shine, I think Flash got the best moments (the Despero cover above is a great example.) The fact Flash creator Gardner Fox was writing the series probably had something to do with it.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 28, 2009 at 7:09 am

The Flash, Barry Allen, by far my favorite of DC’s Silver Age heroes in any iteration. Sad that Flash: Rebirth may finally kill my love of the character, but there you are….


October 28, 2009 at 7:10 am

The Flash.

Possibly should have voted for Bats, but he’ll get plenty of votes anyway.

Glad to see Wonder Woman getting some votes.

Since its favorite member and not character gonna give it to J’onn.

Hal used to be my favorite DC character, before Emerald Twilight and all the crap that followed (here INCLUDING his return at the hands of Geoff Johns, who seems to have an unhealthy worship for the character that only makes me dislike it more). But it is still my fave of the original leaguers, a bunch of characters I never cared for much (yes, I’m one of the rare guys who doesn’t care for either Superman OR Batman), so I vote for him.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Even though I prefer Wally and think Barry was better off as a martyr, I voted Flash. Of all the original JLAers, I have the most vivid childhood memories of the Flash. I clearly remember being four years old, running up and down my hallway convinced no one could see me because I was moving as fast as the Flash. Even though I love Green Lantern and Batman, I don’t have any childhood memories that early of shooting green beams or throwing batarangs.

Original incarnation of the original team: the Flash. Out of the original 7 that are still around: Superman, though Barry could take back the crown depending on what happens with/after Rebirth.

Green Lantern. I’ve been a Marvel fan all my life and I’ve always been jealous DC has Green Lantern – not just Hal but the whole operation.

Easy runners up are Batman, and the Martian Manhunter.

.) The fact Flash creator Gardner Fox was writing the series probably had something to do with it.

Fox created Golden Age Flash, not Barry Allen Flash.

Hey Brian — fun twist here, to see if, indeed, the two polls have exactly inverse results. (I strongly suspect they will not.) Still, I wish we’d been given the option to vote for any member of the Satellite League, which includes such great characters as Green Arrow, Black Canary, the Atom and Zatanna.

Superman, because he’s Superman. This ain’t rocket science.

But Marvel has Dr. Spectrum and the Nova Corps, Stefan. Surely they’re just as good!

(says the guy wearing a Green Lantern shirt right now)

So Aquaman is clearly running away with this right….right…..right?

I’ve NEVER understood this “Martian Manhunter is the soul of the JLA” meme. I grew up reading the JLA’s Satellite-Era and J’onn was a rarely-mentioned footnote for YEARS. Later, some JLA writers began putting in their stories this misguided notion that he was always the “heart” of the team, which has never convinced me. In my opinion the Manhunter is the JLA’s appendix: completely unnecessary.

As for this poll… I voted for the hero who was always the BRAINS of the JLA; the guy without powers who still commands respect from all the others through sheer competence and badassery.

The JLA without Batman is like Hal Jordan: powerful but brainless.

Hal Jordan. My favorite character period. So of course he’s my favorite League member.

Batman is my favorite character who just happens to be in the original JLA but Martian Manhunter is my favorite character within the actual dynamic of the team.

I just noticed that the Aquaman chess piece on that cover has no pants on.

Flash lost them in his first move.

GL for me, just because when I was young it was the only way to read about DC heroes other than Superman and Batman. Also, I loved the whole sci-fi basis for GL, especially the GLC.

I still haven’t found any of the results where would they be located?

Another… Flash vote here.

Go Phillies!

Actually Quasar is closer to Green Lantern Corps in powers and general concept (except they only have one at a time) though the Nova Corps are pretty good too.

To keep with the reverse can we do a “favorite original member of NEW TEEN TITANS”?

or most hated Avenger? My top votes would be Deathcry, Rage, Gilgamash, and the Sentry.

Joey, new results are posted Tuesday’s. With previous questions and results at link at top of page.

I went with Aquaman. I loved him in the Detroit team.

I have always loved J’onn because he was an outsider and the only important person of color at DC at the time. Granted the color was green but to me, it was nice to see. Thank god we have seen this aspect of comics get a lil headway…..and it also why whenever someone says ‘O I love the Golden / Silver Age’ above all else” I cringe…

The JLA without Batman is like Hal Jordan: powerful but brainless.

Okay, ONE out of continuity story by Frank Miller, ASBAR, does not suddenly make Hal Jordan’s default status quo “powerful but brainless.”

T, I considered Jordan an idiot loooong before I read that ASBAR story. I’m referring to how I’ve always seen Jordan, for decades. This is the dumbass who has the most powerful weapon in the universe and uses it to make giant boxing gloves, and who frequently got knocked out by inanimate objects. And I honestly don’t see why that’s a problem; after all not everyone is particularly smart, and Hal is a legitimate representative of dumb people. Since I was a kid I saw Hal as evidence that not all heroes have to be smart; some of them are just powerful enough to get by DESPITE being dumb as bricks.

The fact that Frank Miller agrees with this perception of Jordan doesn’t mean that he influenced my opinion. It just means that I wasn’t the only one who noticed that Jordan is an idiot.

I suppose, but I don’t think it’s a fair standard because if underachieving and underutilizing your available resources makes a hero a dumbass, then every hero in the original Justice League outside of Aquaman is a dumbass. Batman has all that money and tech and knowledge and his whole approach to cleaning up Gotham is to go out every night in his car and singlehandedly punch every crook he can night after night until its gone? He could put together and train the best vigilante army on earth or revolutionize the police force using both his knowledge base in fighting and detective work along with his social connections and prestige along with his billions. But no, he just goes for a drive and waits to stumble on a crime scene or someone to punch. Flash can run near light speed but chooses to fight people without powers and to be sporting whenever he faces them he suddenly chooses to run just slow enough so they can see him and react or even shoot him with a cold gun or heat gun. Superman could singlehandedly police a whole planet with his pre-Crisis power levels or subdue whole genocidal regimes or build whole third world villages and do a ton of relief work to notably improve half the world. Instead for most decades he used his planet moving strength and light speed to fight a mad scientist without powers and occasionally rescue his girlfriend from gangsters and occasionally fight a superpowered foe who was blatantly nowhere near a match for him.

Using your standards, DC heroes are all underachieving dumbasses, it’s just one of those things you accept when reading a DC comic, especially Silver Age.

T, when I was a child I arrived at the conclusion that having a Green Lantern ring and using it to make big green boxing gloves was something only an idiot would do. I had no particular beef with Jordan besides the fact that he seemed to be always using his AMAZING power in a terribly dumb way.

I understand your arguments, but I’m just explaining how I always saw Hal Jordan, since childhood. “Fair standards” weren’t my priority when I was 7; I’m talking about a kid’s spontaneous reaction to what he read in his comics.

Back then I did wonder why the Flash took so much time with opponents who weren’t superfast, but it probably had something to do with all the time Barry spent explaining science to the readers. When I was a kid I understood that Barry was like a science teacher who happened to work for the police, so he wasn’t dumb at all, just really focused on explaining science (and Barry’s lectures actually helped me in science class once or twice, as I was familiar with concepts like friction and centrifugal forces before most of my non-comics-reading contemporaries).

About the notion that Superman could do relief work or topple genocidal regimes – well, so could Green Lantern and the Flash. However they all decided not to, so Superman not doing these things just meant that he followed the same arbitrary rules that his peers followed, something that even a kid could understand.

But having a magic wish-fulfillment ring, Most Powerful Weapon in the Universe, and using it to make boxing gloves? Yeah, that was just stupid. So I concluded that Hal Jordan was dumb, because he was the hero who made the dumbest use of his superpowers. And as I said, I honestly believed that this was intentional characterization, and that Hal was the legitimate representative of dumb people. And I never thought there was anything wrong with that; Hal proved that dumb people can be heroic too.

The thing about the DC Heroes in the Silver Age is that most of them were all-powerful, while the threats they faced weren’t that spectacular. Naturally, none of them made full use of their powers. I don’t think Hal is a dumb person, though he likely isn’t a genius either. The boxing glove thing is just part of the general silliness that was the Silver Age.

The opposite happened at Marvel, by the way. The heroes routinelly faced enemies that were as powerfu as they were (or more powerful). Though even there you had stuff you just had to accept on good faith. Like Reed Richards never using his brilliant brain for anything really world-changing.

Wonder Woman. She’s a cowgirl/ fighter pilot /super-athlete/ magic princess who damn well went out and MADE herself into a superhero instead of gettin’ lucky or reacting to childhood trauma.

“(…) every hero in the original Justice League outside of Aquaman is a dumbass.”

“(…) DC heroes are all underachieving dumbasses, it’s just one of those things you accept when reading a DC comic, especially Silver Age.”

Having first met DC heroes on the Superfriends cartoon and then on late silver age/early bronze age comics, that’s EXACTLY what I thought. That’s why this particular poll was so difficult to me.

With very rare exceptions I still can’t take most of the original Justice League members seriously. Most DC comics I do read are with newer characters untainted by the double whammy of silver age and Superfriends.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Martian Manhunter. In the late 50’s, J’onn sort of got lost in the shuffle and the JLA provided him a showcase and allowed him to be a productive member of a great team. His weakness around fire was kind of lame, but his invisibility and shape shifting allowed him to come through in the clutch.

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