No matter what kind of threat the world is up against, the Justice League always seems to be the greatest line of defense against it. For years, this team of DC heroes has had one of the biggest overall influences on the universe, all while fighting for a better tomorrow.
However, while there have been several different versions of the team over the years, not everyone is familiar with exactly how the team came to be in the first place. Looking at some of the stronger examples from DC history, here is our list of the 10 best Justice League origin stories.
10 Justice League of America (Rebirth)
Unfortunately, the overall series proved to be a bit unspectacular, but the way the Rebirth version of the Justice League of America came together was actually a bit more unique. Following Justice League vs The Suicide Squad, Batman set out to put together a new type of Justice League that actually had a pretty diverse range of heroes and abilities.
Including the likes of Lobo, Killer Frost, Vixen, and the Atom, this JLA definitely had an interesting lineup with a lot of great personalities. Likewise, with each main character getting their own one-shot issue to help set up the series, this was definitely a more unique way to bring the Justice League together.
9 Justice League Dark
While many consider the team in Swamp Thing #50 to be the Justice League Dark’s first full appearance, they didn’t officially appear until many years later in issue #1 of their solo series. As part of the New 52, this magic-based version of the League brought a very interesting dynamic to superheroing in general.
Featuring characters like Constantine, Zatanna, and Deadman, the Justice League Dark quickly became one of the more popular superhero teams within the universe, especially with their more morally questionable actions. Given how the team came together under shady terms to begin with, it will certainly be interesting to see how the characters fare in their own live-action series.
8 Justice League Beyond: Konstriction
Though there are still some mysteries as to the complete formation of this iteration of the team, readers have still gotten glimpses of several moments featuring the team’s formation. Throughout several different series, certain moments will focus on how one character in particular would come to hold a role in the futuristic League, with the main emphasis on Terry McGinnis’ Batman.
However, during the team’s solo online miniseries, readers really got to see them come into the version of the group that so many know and love. Centered around Terry’s early adventures with his teammates, this story still showcases a great “coming together” type story, even if it isn’t entirely an origin story.
7 Justice League: Year One
When this 12-issue series originally came out, it definitely reimagined a lot of different things about the classic team of superheroes. Though most of the original members remained the same, characters like Wonder Woman were taken out altogether while Batman and Superman only played minor roles.
However, even without the presence of the Trinity, this series is still one of the stronger takes on the origin of the League. With a lot of heart and some pretty humorous moments, it is easy to see why this story lands a bit higher than others on this list.
6 A Midsummer’s Nightmare
Following Grant Morrison’s acclaimed run on JLA, “A Midsummer’s Nightmare” is actually centered on how this version of the team came to be. Written by Mark Waid, this story sees the team come together thanks to the evil efforts of Doctor Destiny while also serving as a simply great story.
As another limited run, this series gives audiences a very satisfying setup to everything Grant Morrison established when he helped launch the series. Featuring one of the most popular Justice League lineups ever as well, it is easy to see why this story is held in high regard.
5 The Tornado’s Path
After Infinite Crisis led to some massive shakeups within the DC universe, it was once again up to characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman to reassemble the distinguished team of heroes. Mystery novelist Brad Meltzer helped usher the team into a new era, pulling in some smaller-scale characters while also building a larger narrative.
With a great mix of characters and some really personal stories at hand, “The Tornado’s Path” is definitely one of the better, more modernized takes on the League’s formation. While there have still been some stronger stories out there, this one is definitely a good jumping-on point for anyone interested in these DC heroes.
With Crisis On Infinite Earths serving as a massive overhaul of the entire DC universe, it makes sense that a newer version of the Justice League would follow suit. Within the Legends title, this new version of the League would be established, eventually paving the way for the Justice League International.
Though characters like Superman and Wonder Woman would remain absent from the team, the JLI still features a strong lineup of some pretty popular characters. With plenty of memorable moments following this team’s formation, it is easy to see why this is one of their better origin stories.
Of course, the original formation of the Justice League has to be on this list, as it is the very first time that the group would come together. Though other superteams had formed in the past, the Justice League’s first appearance definitely marks a massive change in the comics and universe going forward.
Likewise, with a great lineup of some of the best Silver Age heroes, it is easy to see why the Justice League became so popular. Having inspired almost every other team on this list, it is easy to see why this origin story ranks so high.
2 New 52
Despite the fast-paced nature of this story and the other critiques from the New 52 in general, the first arc of the New 52 Justice League title is still a strong origin story for the team. With high stakes, a great cast, and the ultimate villain at the helm, this story is both welcoming to new readers while also providing a lot of great things for general DC fans.
Beyond its approachable nature and lineup of heroes, this team has the added bonus of being a much more interesting way for the team to form. Though this arc may have its flaws, it is still one of the better origins stories for the Justice League around.
1 New Frontier
The New Frontier isn’t exactly an origin story for the Justice League as much as its an overall celebration of the DC universe. However, the story still depicts its version of the team’s classic formation, still qualifying it as an origin story for the team.
Though it isn’t an origin story in the traditional sense, The New Frontier is widely considered to be one of the best DC stories ever told. With so many characters involved and such a strong narrative overall, The New Frontier is an absolute must-read for any DC or Justice League fan.
Each iteration of the Justice League in the DC universe has had its own unique origin story, and today we're ranking the ten best.