Eras in Publishing and Continuity
The original Justice League was engineered by editor Julius Schwartz and Golden Age writer Gardner Fox. Schwartz had recently envisioned the new Green Lantern and Flash, and this “Silver Age” of heroes were brought together in the same spirit as their Golden Age counterparts, the Justice Society of America. In 196?, the JLA would meet the JSA. They resided on Earths-One and -Two, respectively. In this era, the team added members only sporadically. Key creators: Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, Dick Dillin, Denny O’Neil, Gerry Conway, George Pérez.
- Justice League of America v.1, 261 issues (1960–87)
Post-Crisis/New Earth (1986–1996)
With the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC's "infinite Earths" were collapsed into one, and the histories for DC's "Big Three"—Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman—was significantly rewritten. Although Superman and Batman were still around at the time of the JLA’s formation, they were no longer founding members. For years, writers struggled to explain these circumstances. Eventually, Batman and Superman were reinserted into continuity (as sort of reserve members). Wonder Woman's post-Crisis history began many years after the formation of the JLA. The post-Crisis boom in popularity led to a broadening of Justice League family to include Justice League Europe and Task Force, and the corresponding swell in membership. Key creators: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire, Bart Sears, Adam Hughes, Dan Jurgens, Gerard Jones, Chuck Wojtkiewicz.
- Justice League/Justice League International v.1/Justice League America, 113 issues (1987–96)
- Justice League Europe/Justice League International v.2, 68 issues (1989–94)
- Justice League Quarterly, 17 issues (1990–94)
- Justice League Task Force, 37 issues (1993–96)
- Extreme Justice, 18 issues (1995–96)
The Big Seven (1997–2006)
Many years after the post-Crisis formula began to fail, DC greenlit a fundamental revival of the team based on the original seven members, by Grant Morrison. This was not a reboot, but a re-assembling of the original seven members (two of them now successors to the roles). It was a runaway success and spawned endless mini-series and specials, though no other ongoing series. With each new creative team, new first-time members joined. During this time, the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons aired, and there were animated-style comics to go with them. With some controversy, the cartoon's founding members were altered to represent better diversity: John Stewart was Green Lantern, and Hawkgirl replaced Aquaman. Key creators: Grant Morrison, Howard Porter, Bryan Hitch, Mark Waid, Joe Kelly, Dough Mahnke.
- JLA, 125 issues (1997–2006)
- Justice League Adventures, 34 issues (2002–04). Based on the animated series.
- Justice League Unlimited, 46 issues (2004–08). Based on the animated series.
Post-Infinite Crisis (2006-2011)
This era rather completed a sort of “mirrored history” of the Justice League. As with Morrison's revival, it was not a total reboot but this Crisis altered the DCU timeline again and restored Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as founding members. The rebuilt team featured a roster that harkened somewhat back to the 1970s. This concept quickly devolved as DC editors once again mandated that the main three heroes could not appear in JLA due to the circumstances in their solo titles. Regardless, some great storytelling ensued, involving some novel membership rosters.
Key creators: Brad Meltzer, Ed Benes, Dwayne McDuffie, James Robinson, Mark Bagley.
- Justice League of America v.2, 60 issues (2006–11)
In late 2011, the Justice League was chosen to anchor "New 52" reboot of the entire DC Universe. Creators Geoff Johns and Jim Lee introduced a roster designed to maximize attention on certain characters in the DCU, most notably Aquaman, whom Johns revived to much fanfare. The addition of Cyborg instead of the Martian Manhunter is an example of DC's continuing efforts to include heroes of color across its line. Key creators: Geoff Johns, Jim Lee.
- Justice League v.2, current (2011–)
- Justice League International v.2, 12 issues (2011–12)
- Justice League Dark, current (2011–)
- Justice League United, current (2014–)