“Justice League” premieres Friday. Here are 20 fun facts about DC Comics’ premier super-team:
1. The Justice League of America was created in 1960, but was based on the Justice Society of America. The JSA, which ran in “All-Star Comics” from 1940 to 1951, was the first superhero team in comic books.
2. The members of the JLA in its debut were Aquaman, Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman.
3. The Justice League has had three origins. The 1962 origin brought the team together to battle an invasion from the planet Appelax. The 1977 origin brought the team together to battle an invasion from Mars. The 2011 origin brought the team together to battle an invasion from Apokolips. (The second was adapted for the “Justice League” animated TV show; the third is being adapted in the movie.)
4. The first Justice League story depicted the team battling Starro, a giant starfish from outer space.
5. “Justice League of America” may have created Marvel Comics. A much repeated story, possibly apocryphal, recounts Jack Liebowitz, who published “Justice League of America,” bragging in 1961 about its sales to Martin Goodman, publisher of Timely Comics, over a game of golf. That inspired Goodman to order his editor, Stan Lee, to come up with a comparable book. Lee and Jack Kirby invented “Fantastic Four,” beginning the deluge of new characters such as Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, X-Men and Hulk for what would soon be called Marvel Comics.
6. Joss Whedon (“Avengers”) was brought on to finish “Justice League” after director Zack Snyder resigned to deal with a family emergency.
7. Despite having been intermittently in print since 1941, Green Arrow was omitted from the first six Justice League stories. Editor Julie Schwartz said it was an oversight. (Some speculate it was on purpose, because Schwartz didn’t get along with Green Arrow editor and co-creator Mort Weisinger.)
8. In 2003, the Justice League met Marvel’s Avengers in a crossover that involved the Grandmaster, who appeared in “Thor: Ragnarok,” played by Jeff Goldblum.
9. The late writer/editor Darwyn Cooke wrote a non-canon, 1950s-style origin for the Justice League that involved the Blackhawks, the Challengers of the Unknown and a flying island that sweated dinosaurs. His art style made “Justice League: The New Frontier” so popular it was adapted into an animated movie.
10. A 1988 story established Black Canary as a founding member of the Justice League in place of Wonder Woman. (This idea was quickly dropped.)
11. Cyborg first appeared in 1980 as a member of the Teen Titans. His history was rewritten in 2011, erasing his Titans tenure in favor of being a founding member of the Justice League, instead of Martian Manhunter.
12. When Wonder Woman lost her powers in the ’70s, she resigned from the Justice League. When her powers were restored, she demanded the League monitor her during 12 labors, like Hercules, to ascertain her worthiness.
13. In the mid-1980s, the League was headquartered in Michigan. “Justice League Detroit” consisted of Aquaman, Elongated Man, Martian Manhunter, Vixen and Zatanna, plus new characters Gypsy, Steel and Vibe.
14. The Vibe of “Justice League” comics and the Vibe of the “Flash” TV show are both named Francisco Ramone, although one goes by Paco and the other by Cisco.
15. The JLA met in the “Secret Sanctuary” in the 1960s, a cave in a mountain near Happy Harbor, R.I. They graduated to a geosynchronous satellite headquarters in 1970, which is how they are usually depicted.
16. Black Canary was created in 1947, so by 1983 DC was having trouble explaining why she still looked to be in her early 20s. So “Justice League of America” No. 220 revealed that the then-current Black Canary was the daughter of the original, kept in unconscious stasis due to her uncontrollable sonic scream while she grew up, and with her dead mother’s memories downloaded into her blank brain.
17. A late 1960s crackdown on Saturday morning violence had virtually eliminated superhero cartoons by 1970. The first “Super Friends” (beginning 1973) is what you get when you try to adapt Justice League to a media where they can’t hit anybody.
18. Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, El Dorado and Samurai were created for the “Super Friends” cartoon, and did not pre-exist in DC Comics. Ditto for Wendy, Marvin, Wonder Dog, Jan, Zayna and Gleek.
19. The Justice League in comics now consists of Batman, Cyborg, the Flash, two Green Lanterns, Mera (Aquaman’s fiancé), Superman and Wonder Woman.
20. In 1994, a character named Triumph was revealed to have been a founding member of the Justice League, but on his first mission was teleported into a dimensional limbo that also affected the timestream, erasing all memory of him.