The JLA’s newest member is …

Dimensional transport, magic spell gone awry, or simple editorial fiat, I don’t care how it happens, let’s just imagine it does happen:

{democracy:173}

Looking at this list I can hear you asking incredulously, “Where’s Spider-Man?! Where’s WOLVERINE?!?!!1!” They’re not on the list for one simple reason — they’d win. And that would be no fun. So I made the challenge a bit tougher for you.

Discussion to follow!


I like interesting stories. So I tried to come up with characters who would really interact with the zeitgeist of the JLA in an different way with big storytelling upside. So with one-sentence summaries, here’s how I see it.

  • Ben Grimm: The DCU is so full of hope and bright primary colors and heroes flying high over the gleaming cities, and Ben would crap all over that like a pigeon at a statue convention.
  • Captain America: It would be fun who could out-patriot who, Cap or Superman.
  • Hellboy: Like Ben Grimm, but with a brimstone flair, Hellboy would help pop the super-inflated, self-congratulatory air of the JLA with his blue-collar cynicism and no-nonsense attitude.
  • The Hulk: The same dynamic that occasionally makes Hulk interesting in the Avengers would work here, with the main heroes trying to figure out if he’s a bad guy or a good guy.
  • Invincible: Having seem glimpses of Invincible in alternate universes before (notably a great one-panel riff on how ridiculous Batman is if you stop and think about the concept for too long), I actually think he’d fit right in to the team without missing a beat.
  • Iron Man: Worth the cover price just to see Tony Stark’s reaction when told there are neither bars nor hookers on the JLA satellite.
  • Jack Staff: I am not sure the character actually works here, but I would LOVE to see creator Paul Grist’s approach to drawing this massive super-team book.
  • Ms. Marvel: It would be nice to see a tough, no-nonsense, A-list female show Wonder Woman how they rock it in the Marvel Universe.
  • Silver Surfer: The Surfer would bring a melancholy “Hamlet” like presence to the group, more woebegotten than Batman’s grim ruthlessness.
  • Spawn: Let’s face it, the JLA needs some cajones, and Spawn’s got them — crispy-fried, yes, but bona fide as well.
  • Thor: What super-team wouldn’t want a living god?!

For my money, I have to say I think the best story would be Ben Grimm. I mean, there are so many massively distorted freaks in the DCU, and people are so darn friendly about it, I think it’d be a real baby-blue eye-opener for The Thing to see how normally he can be treated in a universe not run by sadists. The rest are mostly interesting for how the JLA would adjust to the character, but in this one the real story is how the character would be changed by the JLA.

How about you, what would you pick?

20 Responses to The JLA’s newest member is …

  1. I’m gonna have to go with Hellboy. I could see him maybe teaming up with Dr. Fate, or fighting Grundy, or some other supernatural themed thing. Plus, as Jeff said, he’s such a cynical bastard, it’d be intersting just to see how he’d get along in not-at-all gritty DC universe…

  2. I was leaning towards hellboy but you make a good point Jeff with Ben Grimm. I wouldn’t mind seeing hellboys reaction to superman (or the other way around) Also I would like to be taking bets on how many DC women Tony “goes through” in a single issue (his one true super power) But ultimately it goes back to your goal in story writing. Do you want to show the comedy/drama of a character that doesn’t fit into the league is treated by its senior members or do you want to see a character changed by the experiences he has with a different team. And let’s face it Ole Blue Eyes could use a break from the FF send Batman to take his place while he’s gone, now that would be entertaining

  3. Iron Man is the perfect foil to Batman’s sobriety and Superman’s teetotaling. No doubt that he would use Stark Industries to take on Wayne Corporation in a friendly game of one-up-manship. Though Wonder Woman would have to “explain” some workplace etiquette before he could join the team.

  4. In fact just a suggestion for another poll. Since one of the FF just died I’d like to vote on which character would replace him as the forth FF member. Just brainstorming ;-)

  5. Gotta support my girl, Carol Danvers. Ms. Marvel it is. Besides, it’s fun to see her get broken by second guessing herself, and I usually don’t see enough of that in JLA.
    Having just started reading Invincible, I have him as a close second.

  6. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43

    Hey, isn’t Hawkeye a JLA member?

  7. Nick Hentschel

    There’s a lot to be said for Cap, but I decided to go with the Hulk… for HIS sake. It might do Banner well to get a fresh start, in a new world, without the baggage from the old one. I think the JLA are a generally more understanding bunch, and if he tells them everything up front, they’ll do their best to help him fit in, and maybe even conquer his demons. Meanwhile, he’d probably prove to be the best scientist on the team (indeed, the JLA’s ONLY full-time scientist), and be vitally useful in a support role, even if he’s not stomping people as the Hulk.

    Cap would be my second choice, if one were allowed: he could demonstrate how to earn Superman’s level of trust without the powers, and Batman’s level of formidability without the gadgets. But I’m not sure what he’d get out of it, personally.

  8. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43

    Seriously, am I wrong? I thought during Almagam comics run at the end Hawkeye was made a memeber for some reason or another…

  9. Watson Bradshaw

    gotta go with Hellboy on this,
    Big Red would laugh his ass off at this group of heroes with their underoos over their tights. he would get drunk with Aquaman (an Abe substitute) and hit on Zatanna and Wonder Woman. Then while taking down Starro with the rest of the league he would punch a hole through the conqueror, call it a day, and grab another brew.

    Problem with most of the list is they are used to the “Hero Team” dynamic and how to deal with super-criminals. Hellboy just sees it as taking out the trash.

    Spawn would just mope in the corner of watchtower and have a twelve page inner monologue on how he misses Wanda!

  10. Wolverine needs to die. Screw that guy. He has claws. Whoop-de-shit. Kill him already. Oh wait I heard they did in the new X-men. Cool.

    I went SIlver Surfer. He’s blend right in with the League and his abilities would make for some great assistance for the team.

  11. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43

    I agree with Clouser about Wolverine. To many people like him, for virtually NO reason at all. Silver Surfer or Ben gets my vote.

  12. I voted Spawn, for the culture shock. On both sides.

  13. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43

    I ended up voting for Spawn and Silver Surfer.
    ‘Cause we all know Spawn is jus’ that epic.

  14. I voted Ms. Marvel for pretty much the reasons listed in the original post.

  15. I voted for Silver Surfer. Let’s see how well Darkseid can stand up to the power cosmic!

  16. A few thoughts:
    1. I understand why the “add an answer” option was not open for this poll, especially after you come right out and say no Spider-Man or Wolverine. But a few weird options did fly through my mind during the evening:

    a. Atomic Robo: I’m getting perhaps a little obscure here, but Atomic Robo is my favorite indie series, and really, it would be fun to see a wise-cracking, nearly indestructible robot with the scientific knowledge to make Batman look like a dummy on this team. Especially if (when) there came a time when Batman and Superman were in disagreement over the best course of action given their unique brands of moral absolutism, only to have Robo tell them they’re both wrong, and he’d love to explain why, but both of them are probably too stupid to understand the math.

    b. No Youngbloods? Okay, seriously, I don’t know which of the many reasons available to Jeff that ended up leaving any of the members of the Youngbloods team off this list (forgettable; Liefeld briefly robbed our love of comics from us, and we can’t forgive him; the 90s are a period best left unmentioned, frankly it’s enough that Spawn made the list; the Youngbloods were, quite frankly, not actually heroic), but if Wolverine or Spider-Man couldn’t be on the list because they’d win by such a large margin, then the likes of Shaft, Badrock, and Chapel should be off the list for being the Anti-Spider-Man (i.e. sure to get the least amount of votes). Still, it would be interesting to see certain JLAers beat the living snot out of their new member displaced from a certain ’90s Image Comics team.

    2. Favorite quotes thus far:
    Watson Bradshaw:

    Spawn would just mope in the corner of watchtower and have a twelve page inner monologue on how he misses Wanda!

    B.Clouser:

    Wolverine needs to die. Screw that guy.

    You know that Wolvie’s not going to be permanently dead, right? I mean, Marvel’s not going to permanently kill off one of their top two most popular characters, no matter how overrated he’s become.

    Not such a favorite of mine:
    Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43

    ‘Cause we all know Spawn is jus’ that epic.

    No, he really isn’t.

    Thanks, all!

  17. I had to vote for Hellboy. I really enjoy his blue collar work ethic and approach to the job, and I’d really like to see the JLA reaction to him.
    On the other hand, Nick has a point with giving the Hulk a fresh start.
    Ah, who are we kidding? we’d get about ten issues of a new Yellow Hulk trashing the JLA and killing a few Teen Titans (really, how many of them are there that DC can kill off so many, and still have a main lineup I’d never even heard of?) only to reveal he’s been possessed by a giant yellow space bug, so it’s Not His Fault.

  18. Personally I’d really like to add Deadpool to the roster, but that’s just me. I’d love to see him test Batman’s patience (which already wafer-thin), make fun of the various color schemes, point out how ridiculously stupid it is for Aquaman to have even been remotely considered a part of the team and constantly refer to the Super Friends cartoon and narrate . . . “Meanwhile at the Legion of Doom . . . “. It would also be interesting to see him hit on women that could snap him like a toothpick, and somehow come out on top (or bottom . . . lady’s choice.

  19. Slight misconception you have on Ben Grimm. In modern continuity, he’s a celebrity who’s actually okay with his monstorous appearance (Though certain writers seem to forget about this entirely…).

    Anyway, I’d say Thor. Powerful like Superman, but without the weakness’, and with a few 100 years of experience under his belt. Plus, he has his own kingdom, which is always a plus.

  20. Zorbas the Awesome

    Silver Surfer: his level of power would be a relief from watching Supes clean up the mess all the time. and he’d make a great friend to the Martian Man-Hunter as they both experience loss far away from the JLA. He’d fit right in with the DCU.

    …or…

    Iron Man: I think it would be fun to see Tony’s natural rich-playboy personality would collide well with the repressed rich-playboy in Bruce Wayne. The guys would all compare gadgets and some how Bats would install some jets in his boots.