Robert Greenberger on 100 Greatest Moments: Justice League

Robert Greenberger

Robert Greenberger


by Robert Greenberger

100 Greatest Moments: Justice League

100 Greatest Moments: Justice League


Since its debut in 1960, the Justice League of America has appeared in their own title and throughout the DC Universe with great regularity. Depending on when you started reading their series, your list of greatest moments may differ from your friend’s or my own. How then, do I pick entries for this summer’s 100 Greatest Moments: Justice League? When Chartwell Books first asked me to tackle this assignment, I pondered that very question.

Chartwell previously released Batman: The War Years, Superman: The War Years, and Wonder Woman: The War Years , as compiled by Roy Thomas last year, so I knew I was in good hands.

To avoid working in a vacuum, I turned to my peers: Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Michael Eury, Brian Cunningham, J.M. DeMatteis, and John Wells. Each brought up moments they either read as kids or wrote as professionals. I pored over just about every issue of every series to feature the team and their significant guest appearances across the line.

The Brave and The Bold #28, the first appearance of the Justice League.

The Brave and The Bold #28, the first appearance of the Justice League.


Then there’s the little matter of continuity shifts and reboots, so which origin do I go with: the Appelaxian invasion from the first origin, the secret origin Steve Englehart wrote as a tribute to the 1950s, the expanded origin that formed the wonderful JLA Year One, or the Apokolips invasion from the Rebirth version?

What if I included them all? No matter what I chose, someone will argue there’s a missed moment or a villain I included is nowhere near as important as their favorite. Books like this are incredibly subjective, but if readers find this largely satisfying, it’s a win. If anything, it gives fans something new to argue over.

Justice League of America #30, the JLA and JSA take on the Crime Syndicate

Justice League of America #30, the JLA and JSA take on the Crime Syndicate


Once the moments were selected, I decided to organize them thematically, as opposed to a Top 100 list. We begin with the Membership, then look at the various Headquarters before moving on to the Aliens, Occult, Allies, and Enemies. The book closes out with an extended look at their Greatest Battles and here we may have the most agreement because Darkseid, the Anti-Monitor, the Crime Syndicate, and White Martians are pretty much universally accepted as the greatest fights.

Justice League of America #190 cover by Brian Bolland

Justice League of America #190 cover by Brian Bolland


With that settled, the time came to choose images. Thank goodness the vast majority of the JLA’s escapades are now available in mammoth omnibus editions, allowing me to plunder at will. Some stories have yet to be collected which posed a logistical challenge so we worked with the best material available to Chartwell and designer Maria Carbado, who I previously worked with at DC. Some overlooked images, such as George Pérez’s JLA postcards from the 1980s or Brian Bolland’s Starro covers, will be there while we honor the long-runs from Mike Sekowksy and Dick Dillin. There’ll be plenty of contemporary art, too, so the book is a visual treat across the team’s six decades.

JLA #2. The Justice League faces the White Martians

JLA #2. The Justice League faces the White Martians


I had forgotten how many times costumes changed for some or powers came and went for others. There were the great summer crossovers and the touching human interest stories. The epics are what immediately come to mind, but the smaller moments shouldn’t be overlooked either.

Justice League #5, an issue all fans from the '80s remember

Justice League #5, an issue all fans from the ’80s remember


And yes, “One Punch” is there. How could it not, since it was emblematic of a classic era that remains beloved?

This has been a rather rewarding project, letting me relive my childhood as well as my professional tenure at DC Comics. Of course, no sooner are we putting this book to bed, than work is underway on 100 Greatest Moments: DC Comics Super-Heroines, out in the fall, and 2019’s 100 Greatest Moments: DC Comics Super-Villains.

Justice League of America #195 cover by George Perez, a personal favorite of Westfield's Roger Ash so he decided to include it here.

Justice League of America #195 cover by George Perez, a personal favorite of Westfield’s Roger Ash so he decided to include it here.


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