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Top Five Members of the JLU Who Should Also Be Members of the “Real” JLA

Top Five Month ((check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at the Justice League Unlimited. A number of characters were on the JLU that were never members of the “real” Justice League. I’m not counting the classic members of the Justice Society (like Alan Scott, Rex Tyler, Johnny Thunder, etc.) because that seems to be cheating a bit, but otherwise, here are the top five characters who were JLU members (but never JLA members) that I think should be on the JLA (on top of the “Big 7,” of course)…

Enjoy!

5. Nemesis

Maybe he wouldn’t fit, but dammit, I think Nemesis is so awesome. The League hasn’t had a master of disguise in…well…have they EVER had a master of disguise?

4. Vigilante

Lots of good opportunities for interesting interactions when you’re dealing with a cowboy in the 21st Century!

3. B’Wana Beast

We came SO close to him being on the League during Cry for Justice! He would fit right in, and he has a strong power level, too!

2. Stargirl

I mean, come on, she’s not even ON the Justice Society anymore! She’s on the “All-Stars!” And once you say, “I no longer need training,” then you might as well just be on the main DCU hero team!! Plus, Stargirl is great, so she would fit well. She and Supergirl could be a good combo!

1. Shining Knight

Either the JLU Shining Knight or Morrison’s Shining Knight (although since I doubt anyone else could write Morrison’s Shining Knight without messing it up, I guess we’re better off with the JLU Shining Knight). He’s such a neat character and he’s not exactly a slouch in the abilities department (watch him deflect bullets with his sword above!). And he has a flying horse!! Flying horses RULE! The Seven Soldiers of Victory have the best heroes who have never been on the Justice League.

Well, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

49 Comments

“have they EVER had a master of disguise?”

J’onn?
Batman?

J’onn counts, but come on, Batman is a master of EVERYthing!

I can’t see Vigilante and Batman getting along well.

Wasn’t the (Vic Sage) Question in the JLU? He’d have made an interesting addition to the JLA.

Is Shining Knight the oldest DC hero to have never been on the Justice League? One assumes that eventually every hero will be a part of the major teams, but its not to be. Daredevil has still never been an Avenger and it doesn’t look to occur anytime soon.

I should have put Vic as an honorable mention. I love Vic, but I don’t know if I see him fitting in in the JLA. The JLU Vic is just different enough for it to work. Although I suppose the “real” Vic could just have his personality changed to BE more like the JLU Vic!

The Crimson Avenger is older, Kevin.

But the JLA seems to treat the Crimson Avenger like an “honorary” member of the team, so that’s why I didn’t mention him. If we DO count Crimson Avenger as a member, then I guess the oldest hero is…Spectre, maybe? The Al Pratt Atom?

@Kevin Hellions
And I don’t think becoming a crime boss has helped his application procedure :)

bwana beast fits more perfectuly with griffins jla or jl detroit. and nemis would work as if nothing else the jl resident master of disquise and maybe go between with some agency. shinning knight think the original is dead and grant only he could proably do his version right if he was writing jl again. spectre would be interesting fill the jl little hole of dealing with mystic threats but so would doctor fate or phantom stranger

Mr. Terrific hasn’t been in the League right? He would be great. I thought for sure he would be No. 1. I also would rather see the Prince Starman over Stargirl. If she is suddenly an adult, doesn’t that also age Superboy, Wonder Girl, Red Robin and the rest? And maybe Waverider would be cool too. But probably not.

Can’t we just ditch the current JLA in favour of the JLU (with a few exceptions)?

@KevinHellions. Actually Daredevil was accepted into the Avengers a long time ago for a brief period because of his relationship with Natasha Romanoff. At the same time Hawkeye was trying to get back in and they picked Daredevil over him. There’s an Incredible Hulk issue, where Hulk is taking on Zaxx and Hawkeye guest stars and there is a flashback to the DD/Avengers story.

Mr. Terrific hasn’t been in the League right? He would be great. I thought for sure he would be No. 1

Like I said, I was leaving JSA people in the JSA, or else yeah, he’d clearly be on the list (probably #1). Stargirl I put on because she’s not really ON the JSA anymore.

Love, love, LOVE the Shining Knight from JLU. The whole Seven Soldiers episode was phenomenal.

I’m thinking Anthro is the oldest DC hero never to be in the Justice League. ;-)

“Mr. Terrific hasn’t been in the League right?”

Yeah, but if memory serves, he was one of the four JSA members to be formally in the JLU series with speaking parts though most of the JSA appeared in the background (Atom Smasher, Stargirl and Wildcat being the others; Captain Marvel never formally joined due to trust issues with Superman, and Dr. Fate was always around but never a member, usually hanging out with Aquaman and Hawkgirl).

“Wasn’t the (Vic Sage) Question in the JLU?”
“I should have put Vic as an honorable mention. I love Vic, but I don’t know if I see him fitting in in the JLA. ”

The way they handled him was brilliant, I thought. The introduction of him when Batman says he has the Question looking in on Cadmus and the rest of the Big 7 groans while complaining about the conspiracy nut was nicely done. That he got as many appearances as he did (and a romance with Huntress) on the show makes me think he could work.

Were Hawk and Dove ever league members, though? They were petitioned in JLA #42 (Giffen) but I don’t think they’ve ever joined the league formally in any incarnation.

Yeah..Doctor Fate was busy being a Defender during the series.

Atom Smasher didn’t have a speaking part, if I recall.

He did have a really cool fight scene against the Annihilator, but he doesn’t speak during it.

I’m not allowed to snark about how Vixen has basically never been on a real Justice League, am I? (I guess Metzler put her on a big 7+extras league which should count as a real one, but that one lasted only a year or two.)

I wished Waverider had more time on JLU and had been a member of the JLA. He always seemed like a power player with an awesome costume.

Stargirl would be my pick of the bunch, totally under-used character.

A few weeks ago, there was a piece online about a “street level avengers”
What you’ve got right here is an almost perfet Street Level JLA.
Mostly low level or no super powers, and nearly all of them have some sort of pathos for a uniting thread.

Would would be the writer + artist for this?
I’d read it.
Heck, I’d read FanFic about it if it was well done.

I remember one episode where they had Zauriel and Etrigan together.

What about the Question?

Oh, right.

CURSE YOU RUCKA!

I really liked Supergirl in JLU but the problem is that I liked THAT Supergirl. I hate the current comic one.

Yeah, all things considered, I think the initial list highlights the best candidates for people who would work in BOTH universes. (And Nemesis is an inspired pick. I probably would have gone the easy route and used Terrific or Wildcat to round out the top five.)

I always thought that Zeta, from the Beyond spinoff would be a good member of the future JLU.

The timing for the death of Vic Sage was particularly bad considering he was a real break out character in JLU and that was probably his most exposure ever.

Yeah.
I agree with JRC about the “street level” thing. I think a story where these heroes end up having to rescue the current JLA could be cool. Maybe the villain(s?) could also be chosen from a NEW LIST of ‘underused characters’ as well. Hmmmm… Mr. Cronin?

Wasn’t the (Vic Sage) Question in the JLU? He’d have made an interesting addition to the JLA.

It just wouldn’t be the same without Jeffrey Combs doing the dialogue.

Out of Brian’s top five, Shining Knight is my pick for the best choice, as well.

The problem with the list isn’t that these aren’t great characters, but that the comics version of each of them have been so dramatically altered from their origins that their JLU counterparts are based on, that they might as well not be the same characters.

For street level JLA, they actually did an episode called “Patriot Act” where the league for the episode were entirely street members, and non-big 7 as well. I believe the initial group was Green Arrow, Vigilante, Star Girl, Stripe, and Shining Knight with the Crimson Avenger and Speedy being called in for back-up (which gave us, IMHO, one of Green Arrow’s best lines of the series).

The villain was the General/Shaggy Man (whichever you prefer), it made for a nice one-off episode explaining why the street level JLA characters were needed in the league and why they did what they did. A lot of good voice acting as well, but then I was always happy that they got a lot of the cast from Buffy/Firefly/Angel to fill speaking roles on the show as a whole. Worth checking out on youtube.

Part of the genius of Giffen’s JLI concept was that all of these characters (and more) could fit in without stretching the core membership beyond reason. Just have, say, Batman drop in on an embassy and have anyone you like greet him.

@Smokescreen: Those characters also comprise the original Seven Soldiers of Victory (with Stargirl replacing the Star-Spangled Kid). That’s why that particular group of heroes was chosen for the episode. That doesn’t negate any of the points you made; it’s just an additional nod to comic fans.

“Wasn’t the (Vic Sage) Question in the JLU? He’d have made an interesting addition to the JLA.”

D’oh! I completely forgot about my beloved Vic.

“I should have put Vic as an honorable mention. I love Vic, but I don’t know if I see him fitting in in the JLA. The JLU Vic is just different enough for it to work. Although I suppose the “real” Vic could just have his personality changed to BE more like the JLU Vic!”

I bet if I remembered him this morning when you asked me about JLU characters, that I would have constructed an impassioned argument for his inclusion. And you would have certainly agreed with me. :-)

Instead…I failed.

Vigilante was killed off by the God of All Comics.

My Street-Level JLA:

Green Arrow
Black Canary
The Question
Wildcat
Batwoman
Hitman
Oracle

@Omar Karindu

Wasn’t Vigilante revealed still alive by the end of Bulleteer? Or did Morrison kill him again?

He turned up as a ghost of sorts, killing the Iron Hand in a dream and talking to undead I, Spyder and Bulleteer herself. But it doesn’t appear he was back to physical life, no.

How about Static? He was a member of the future League.

Great topic, Brian. Though I was another wondering where Vic Sage was while reading your piece.

Good candidates in Shining Knight and Vigilante. I liked how the cartoon often had them hanging out together and fighting side by side. For example, Vig has his motorbike shot out from beneath him and jumps on the back of Winged Victory. Six-guns and swords; I enjoyed the anachronism of the two of them among the futuristic spandex and energy beams.

As for the street level JLA, I’d say that was the Detroit-era Justice League. Look at street kids Gypsy and Vibe. Thok, don’t you consider that a real incarnation of the Justice League? It included Vixen.

Thok, don’t you consider that a real incarnation of the Justice League?

I think it’s obvious that I’d make a joke that I don’t.

@ Thok:

C’mon, Justice League has had some HORRIBLE runs and some truly misbegotten members. The JL-Detroit was hardly the nadir of the title. It debuted with two of the Big 7, two other members with unimpeachable credentials and the four newcomers were all better than Red Tornado, General Glory and some of the other D-listers that have consumed major panel time over the years.

I agree Dean, I think it’s become popular to dogpile on the Detroit run but there have definitely been some worse runs.

“Vigilante was killed off by the God of All Comics.”

Osamu Tezuka?? ;)

As for the membership suggestions, well, they don’t impress me much, but as I believe the League should include EVERY active hero (in tiers by usefulness and availability) I wouldn’t mind them either. Besides with the right writing you can make ANYONE interesting- look at what Batman: The Brave and the Bold did with B’wana! (why did they have to (spoilered)? Sniff!)

I was hoping my second comment made it clear that I was joking about Detroit not being a real JLA.

In any case, my argument is more that Vixen’s involvement with the Detroit League and with Metzler/McDuffie’s leagues shouldn’t prevent her from getting another chance with the JLA.

I really can’t see myself caring about B’wanna Beast being in the League when Animal Man already had a good run in the team.

The Seven Soldiers of Victory have the best heroes who have never been on the Justice League.

Ummmm….Green Arrow?

In the old days (70’s, 80’s) there was a pretty logical explanation as why Daredevil would never be an Avenger, and why he refused the invitation.

The nature of his powers would make it hard for him to fight in a group (although this never prevented him to team-up with other heroes more than once).

I don’t remember if that reason was brought back when Cap and Iron Man invited him to the New Avengers.

@Bryan L.

Thanks for the info. I’d never made the connection between the characters in “7 Soldiers” and “Patriot Act”, but that makes sense (and also works for the writers trying to work everything DCU into the show).

Yes! Vigilante and Shining Knight were my favorite on that show. They’re so entertaining together. If they were both on the Justice League, I’d start buying Justice League comics.

@sackett [quote]The Seven Soldiers of Victory have the best heroes who have never been on the Justice League.

Ummmm….Green Arrow? [/quote]

What’s your point? Green Arrow has been in the JLA a LOT. Did you happen to miss him? Or are you making an illogical assumption that the fact that ONE member of the SSoV has been a Leaguer makes the person you’re quoting incorrect in naming the SSoV as the team with the best heroes who have yet to show up in a JLA membership?

The only sensible response in trying to argue with that notion is to name a team that has better characters in it who haven’t been in the JLA, not point out a member of that group that HAS. (Sorry – I make a living by pointing out terrible arguments and I can’t always turn it off).

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