In the universe of DC Comics, there are several super-hero teams and groups of heroes, each trying to make the world a better place. One of the most famous and popular teams is certainly the Justice League, which first appeared in Justice League of America #1 (cover dated September 1940). The group is made up of a variety of iconic DC heroes, including Batman, the Flash, and Superman. Although the exact membership of the League is unknown, it is believed to be comprised mostly of Earth’s greatest heroes. The team received its nickname, the “League of Justice,” because it was originally composed of the greatest heroes who called themselves “Justice” (hence the name).
The Justice League has been around for nearly 80 years and currently comprises six members. It was originally inspired by the adventures of the Fantastic Four, which were first published in 1939. Those earliest incarnations of the team made their debut in a comic book entitled, appropriately, the Justice League of America. This publication inspired the creation of an entire league, made up of the greatest heroes of the day.
Since the 1950s, the team has maintained a steady membership, with only occasional members leaving the group. The team’s first female member was revealed to be Holly Robinson, with Barbara Gordon being the first African-American superhero to graduate from college and join the group.
While the Justice League has been going strong since its inception, it has not been without its share of controversy. For example, there have been many arguments as to whether or not the team should continue operating as a whole, since not all of its members are content with remaining a part of the organization. The question of whether or not to disband the Justice League has been debated many times over the years, with many people believing it to be a great disservice to the team’s legacy and reputation if they were to break up.
Below, you will find a list of the top five contenders for the title of greatest American hero, as ranked by the Internet Movie Database.
5) Ironman: The Incredible Hulk was created by the legendary Jack Kirby and Ted Sliwa, but it was Tony Stark who first donned the iron suit and went on to become the Ironman. Stark made his debut in Tales to Astonish #13 and went on to become one of the most recognizable characters in comic books. His invention helped redefine what it meant to be a superhero, as he was the first to use science to his advantage and improve upon his physical strengths. The character, in turn, helped make Marvel a household name.
4) Batman: The Caped Crusader, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, debuted in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, the Batman, each have their own stories and accolades, but it is quite clear that Batman is the greatest DC Comics superhero of all time. The character has gone through many evolutions and received much praise over the years, with some calling him “the greatest vigilante of all time.” The Dark Knight has stood for truth, justice, and the American way for seven decades now.
3) Superman: The Man of Steel, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, debuted in Action Comics #1 (June 1938). With a rich history of his own, it is no surprise that Superman consistently ranks among the greatest superheroes. While many characters have come and gone over the years, none of them have dethroned Superman as the greatest of the greats.
2) The Fantastic Four: First published in 1939, the Fantastic Four are a comic book team whose stories often feature the four superpowered individuals known as the Fabulous Four: Johnny Storm (humanity’s surrogate son), Reed Richards (scientific genius), Sue Storm (inventor), and Ben Grimm (strongman). When not in combat, the quartet enjoy spending their time traveling the world and exploring far-flung places. Their first home base is the Galactus, a robotic cosmic entity who feeds off of other life forms, especially the Earth’s sun. Galactus was first introduced to readers in Fantastic Four #1, which also featured his four-part tale, “The Quest of the Ultimate Human.””
1) Captain America: Although he wasn’t the first Captain America, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s iconic creation debuted in a comic book entitled, appropriately, Captain America #1 (March 1941). Steve Rogers was drafted into the military and, upon his return, decided to use his army training and his new red, white, and blue costume to fight for the right of Americans to be proud of their country again. The character went on to become one of the most popular and recognizable symbols of the Second World War.
Which of these superheroes is the greatest of all time? Is there a tie for first place? We discussed the issue at length and came up with a definitive answer (in our opinion, of course). While some have questioned whether or not the title of “greatest superhero” should even be handed out to a mortal being, we think it’s pretty clear that, at least among the greats of the DC Comics universe, Batman is the king of all he surveys.