Over time people have always been very fascinated by the individuals who have extraordinary or superhuman powers, who we call –Superheroes.
Mainly targeted at children, the Superhero genre became one of the most common genres of comics and movies.
This genre gained popularity in the 1930s and rose to its peak in the 1940s. Since then not only children but adults enjoy it equally.
Striking the iron while it’s hot, DC released its first comic in 1934 and introduced its first-ever superhero, Superman, in Action Comics #1 in 1938.
Just releasing its first costumed superhero, DC captured the attention of many. Later in the 1960s, DC gave its fan a gift of a lifetime, the Justice League.
After the first appearance of the Justice League in The Brave and the Bold #28, superheroes like Superman and Batman were the talk of the town.
To this day, fans love the Justice League as much as they loved it back then, when it was first released. However, there has always been a topic that the fans constantly get into a discussion about.
Not only among the fans but the whole community, who are into comics and DC, are always curious about who is the leader of the Justice League.
I mean, it is only natural to be curious about it as other groups such as the Avengers, X-Men, and even Teen Titans have a leader whereas the leader of the Justice League is still not declared.
Well, This doesn’t mean we are not going to answer your questions. Rest assured as you are certainly going to get all your queries and curiosity resolved after you finish this article.
So, before diving right into the topic, let us know a little about the Justice League.
The Justice League was a team of superheroes, who appeared in the American comic books published by DC comics. They first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #28.
Over the year, many new members were added to the team. Now, with over a hundred members, there were originally seven heroes- Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
Together they battled Starro the Conqueror, a giant alien starfish, who was set on world domination in the League’s debut story.
Although The Justice League was a team, its members were individuals, who operated independently and only occasionally teamed up to tackle especially formidable villains.
The team was conceived by writer Gardener Fox as a revival of the Justice Society of America, which was a similar team from DC comics from the 1940s, which had been pulled out of print due to a decline in sales.
Who is the leader of the Justice League?
Unlike other groups of superheroes like X-men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and so on, The Justice League never had one permanent leader.
From its first appearance, it had several different leaders at several different points. However, during its early release periods, Barry Allen aka the Flash served as the official Chair or the leader of the Justice League and he certainly was an effective one.
Till now, it has not been officially declared who is the actual leader of the team but the fans aren’t the ones to remain silent about it. They came up with their theories and assumptions and declared their leaders.
The most prevalent ones among the fans were Superman and Batman. Being one of the strongest and most popular superheroes among the DC universe’s superheroes, it was no surprise for them to be labeled as leaders.
Here we are going to discuss why Superman and Batman are fans’ choices for the leadership position and who are other heroes from the DC universe, who are equally capable of taking up the lead.
Superman as the leader
Many believe that Superman is the true leader of the Justice League. The Man of Steels has proved time and again that just like others he too is capable of being the Justice League’s best leader.
Not only he is the first ever superhero of the DC universe, but he is also the public face and moral compass of the Justice League.
Not the best tactician or strategist, Superman does have the ability to gather people’s trust and motivate them to fight, which is a very crucial trait of a leader.
Throughout time, he has made some questionable decisions because of his naive and innocent nature. However, he still has undeniable leadership skills. No matter the kind of battle, he never backs down and always does the right thing.
We can’t even ignore the fact that he is one of the most powerful beings in the world, who would go to end lengths to stand up for the weak. These qualities are what would make him a great leader and fans couldn’t agree more.
Batman as the leader
While Superman was more of a heart person, Batman was more of a brainiac. When looking at the great leaders in Justice League history, Batman surely comes to the top.
Flawed? Yes! But Batman is what you call a born leader when it comes to the battlefield. With his great ability to come up with plans and strategies, Batman is considered a master strategist and the smartest core member of the League.
One of the most prominent qualities of a great leader is being an exceptional tactician. It is just what Batman is. With such abilities, he can come up with plans to beat any villains.
When asked to lead the team, he has never backed down and has done his duty as the leader effectively along with respecting his teammates.
More of an introvert, Batman is certainly a natural leader as even his teammates depend on him to provide an unruffled, practical, and logical view on problems.
Batman makes a great leader as he is able to take the lead in wartime because he is the best qualified for such times in making planning and tactics.
Now, if you think he is a leader only because of his tactician skills, we suggest you think again as this hero has an unbelievable IQ of 192, which is even greater than that of famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, whose estimated IQ was between 160 and 180.
If this doesn’t make you a leader, we don’t know what will.
These two certainly are the most prominent heroes that people constantly argue about being the true leader of the Justice League. However, there are other superheroes as well, who are equally deserving of the leader title.
Here, we have ranked the heroes who possess that leadership quality and are on top of their games.
Superheroes who could become great leaders
1. Black Canary
After Superman and Batman, Black Canary has to be the best candidate for the position of Leader.
During her time as the leader of the Justice League, the team became more effective as she combined her intelligence and fearless personality with her great bond with the member of the League.
Many fans were shocked when Black Canary was chosen as one of the greatest leaders in Justice League history. Since she was always working on self-improvement, she had a brilliant strategic mind and was able to deal with oppressive personalities as well.
With such abilities, she proved time and again that she was born to lead the team. She served as the leader of several teams, including the Justice League, Birds of Prey, and even the Justice Society of America.
Even Superman called her the perfect choice when giving his vote of confidence to her leading the team. John Stewart also called her the best leader the Justice League ever had.
2. Wonder Woman
When it came to excellent leadership qualities in the Justice League, Wonder Woman was always a top choice.
Just like Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman led the team on many occasions, showing how influential of a leader she was.
Superman was somewhat of an idealist and compassionate one and Batman was more of a cynical and logical viewer, and Wonder Woman often acted as a mediator between these two, which generally kept the balance of the team.
An international diplomat, she had great strategist skills. With such exceptional skills, she was also among the best fighters in the Justice League. Along with these qualities, she had a strong moral talent, which made her stand up for people in need.
Furthermore, she understood the dynamics of the team and was able to maintain team bonds if anyone ever went astray. This also proved that she was a natural-born leader.
These all traits and qualities certainly made her a great leader and the fans couldn’t agree more.
TMI: She’s the battle commander of the Justice League.
3. Martian Manhunter
Among the various members of the Justice League, Martian Manhunter certainly held the top spot as a candidate for leadership.
Many fans agreed with the fact that he had the qualities that would have made him a leader. He had all the features to become a great leader.
He was highly respected among his junior as he trained many of them. Also, he was equally respected among the veteran members of the team as well.
On the battlefield, he used his skills and abilities to come up with plans and strategies which helped the team to get their hands on victory.
Not only was he a great warrior, but he was also strong, wise, and a sly character. Along with these traits he was able to use his telepathic powers to call out to his teammates inwardly.
Fans were quite disappointed with the fact that he always took on a lesser role and only took the role of leader when necessary. Many suggested that if he was to be more involved, he could have become one of the best leaders.
As surprising as it may seem, Cyborg was also a member of the great Justice League. His journey to becoming a Justice League member was rather an interesting one.
Before joining the Justice League, he was a member of the Teen Titans and was even their leader for a certain period. However, New 52 completely changed his origin and he became a founding member of the Justice League.
Cyborg rose to the position of leader when Batman had to step down from his role as the leader. He supported the idea of Cyborg becoming the leader.
Although not as strong as Superman or Batman, he made a great leader. Not only was he super knowledgeable about computers and tech but he also had superhuman strength and stamina, which helped him on the battlefields.
The New 52 is a 2011 revamp and relaunch by DC Comics of its entire line of ongoing monthly superhero comic books.
The King of Atlantis, Aquaman was undoubtedly the one, who fans believed was born for the role of the leader.
Aquaman had that leadership quality, as he was able to lead people to follow him into battles. He was also highly respected as a leader when he took control.
With the powers bestowed upon him by Poseidon himself, he had the powers of lightning, earth, water, and ice, and also had a trident.
His period as a leader wasn’t much enjoyed by the fans, which is very much understandable because he often had to split his time between Atlantis and the League.
This made him lose the role of the leader of the Justice League within a short period.
As an original member of the Justice League, Flash was one of the most underrated leaders in the history of DC one has ever seen.
The second incarnation of Flash, Barry Allen was a forensic scientist by the day and a superhero on the side, who saved the world with his super speed. He had immense respect from the other members of the Justice League.
Having superhuman speed, he was also a strong warrior and used his powers to help humanity in times of need.
After he died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, young Wally West took over and was still considered top leadership material.
Even after his death, his popularity never left its peak. No matter what incarnation of the Justice League he was on, he was still one of the most significant members of the team.
7. Maxwell Lord
If we were talking about leaders of the Justice League, Maxwell Lord would not be at the top of the list as many fans would consider it to be odd.
However, during his time as the Justice League International leader, he turned it into one of the best versions of the Justice League.
With his ability to persuade people, he was considered leader material before he turned evil. Not to mention, he even used both his money and intellect to come up with great strategies and tactics.
He was also able to turn his team, Justice League, into one of the strongest groups by securing UN sponsorship for his team.
After the New 52, his great leadership skills were proved once again with Checkmate.
8. Green Lantern
Fans considered Green Lantern to be a born leader. Along with being a former airforce pilot and a member of the Green Lantern Corps, he was also a fearless member of the Justice League.
As he received intensive military training on Earth and with the Corps, he was able to use his excellent tactical and strategical skills on the battlefield. This proved to be very fruitful for the team.
Nevertheless, many believed that because he gave more priority to the Corps, he wasn’t much active on his part as a member of the Justice League.
Now after all these, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that for now, Superman is indeed the Leader of the Justice League. Often a leader at times of peace, Superman might not be a good tactician like Batman or Wonder Woman, but he certainly possesses all the qualities of a true leader.
So, it is not that big of a deal as with or without a leader, Justice League was, is, and will always remain one of the best and strongest groups of superheroes the world has ever seen and the fans will love them endlessly.
TMI: Batman was the leader in 2010. In late 2015, Captain Atom became the leader, until July 4, 2016, when Black Canary took over. By 2018, the leaders were Kaldur’ahm, the second Aquaman, and Wonder Woman, acting as co-chairs and representatives for the League on Earth and in space, respectively.