The DC Universe's greatest cooperative of superheroes, the Justice League, is dead.
On April 26 in the pages of Justice League #75, nine of the ten core members of the Justice League including Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman were gathered in deep space to battle a conglomeration of the most vicious villains in the universe known as the Dark Army and were during the fight - with only one member returning alive.
And so, the comics world is mourning the sudden, sad deaths of the Metropolis's Man of Steel, Gotham City's Caped Crusader, and the Warrior Princess of Themyscira along with Aquaman, Zatanna, John Stewart (Green Lantern), Green Arrow, Black Canary, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter. And in a larger sense, the world also mourns the loss of the preeminent superhero organization the Justice League itself, which will remain dormant for the foreseeable future according to a spokesperson for the organization, DC writer Joshua Williamson.
The Justice League was founded in 1960 when the alien conqueror Starro first attempted to conquer Earth, with Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter joining forces to defeat the psychic starfish, along with an assist from Superman and Batman, a tale told in the immortal The Brave & The Bold #28.
Shortly after, the team was officially codified with Superman and Batman joining up during an attack by another alien despot, Despero, who attempted to use his mind-control abilities to commandeer the League.
This burgeoning era is chronicled starting in Justice League of America #1 (also in 1960), which began the League's original heyday. In these years, they expanded their membership quickly, bringing in heroes such as Zatanna, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and many more - forming a core membership roster that has lasted off-and-on as the heart of the Justice League until their deaths on April 26.
Through the decades, the League has protected the Earth from threats greater than most of us could even imagine, from the existential destruction of reality itself to countless alien invasions, and the innumerable plots of those who would use their own superpowers for evil instead of good.
The world may never see the likes of the Justice League again - let alone the individual heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
And though there are still those with the power to step into the shoes of Earth's greatest protectors, most of us will be left with a sentiment perhaps best expressed by Superman himself in his eulogy for Martian Manhunter's first funeral during the Final Crisis event: "We'll all miss [them], and pray for a resurrection."
The Justice League is survived by the Titans and the Teen Titans.
Check out more Newsarama coverage of the 'Death of the Justice League'
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- DC just killed Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Justice League - here's how they did it
- Are Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Justice League really dead? Yes ... and no
- What the hell is a Godstorm? That Justice League #75 moment explained
- This DC superhero has an 'Endgame' moment in Justice League #75