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Where is DC's Justice League?

It's been two years since the World's Greatest Super-Heroes were part of the DC line-up, but why?

Justice League
Image credit: DC/Popverse

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As of this month as I am writing these words, DC will have been without a Justice League for two full years. The group that was once described as “The World’s Greatest Super-Heroes” — hyperbole that feels somewhat fitting when you consider that it includes Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman; we’ll overlook the line-ups that have included Nuklon or Vibe for now — has been absent from DC across media since Justice League #75, published April 26, 2022, featuring a story called “Death of the Justice League,” somewhat appropriately.

While the individual heroes soon returned — they weren’t actually dead, but shunted into other dimensions as part of the lead up to 2022’s Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline — the Justice League has remained curiously absent from DC ever since. That not just the case in the comic book DCU, which has seen the former New Teen Titans step up in the League’s absence, but elsewhere, as well; it’s worth noting that there’s no Justice League project in the initial DC Studios slate, and the group has been absent on TV and movies since the relative flop of the 2017 Justice League movie.

Did that movie’s fate — and its subsequent subsumation into culture wars, via the “Zack Snyder Cut” furore that followed — scare everyone off using the Justice League name for awhile? If so, that’s a shame: the Justice League is a concept that deserves better than to be so casually discarded — it was only the second “all-star” grouping in superhero comic history — after DC’s own Justice Society, which is essentially the 1940s version of the League — and inspired the creation of both Marvel’s Fantastic Four and the Avengers, after all.

As a comic book, it’s relatively consistently set the tone for DC’s superhero line as a whole, with any number of beloved and well-remembered runs throughout its 64-year history. Speaking selfishly for a second, the Justice League in its many incarnations is one of my favorite comics — worryingly, I think I’m maybe 20 or so issues away from having read all of the mainline JL titles published, which is perhaps concerning considering there’s more than six decades’ worth of comics on that list. I can’t help it, though; I love the Justice League. Who doesn’t understand the appeal of all of your favorite superheroes hanging out together, when it comes down to it?

Of course, it’s possible that the various elements of DC are purposefully staying away from reviving the Justice League in order to allow fan hearts to grow fonder, and build up a groundswell of demand for the team once again — a demand that arguably had lessened in recent years, with multiple JL titles and the movie’s underperformance. We’ve speculated about a potential return as part of this summer’s Absolute Power storyline, but it’s equally possible that DC is holding the group back for their 65th anniversary next year.

Whenever they return — and it’s guaranteed the group will return, because everything comes back in comics eventually — it’s certain to be a big deal not only for Justice League fans like myself, but DC fans in general because, if nothing else, there’s almost no way the return of the group after two years is going to be an understated affair… I mean, what could be so big to make them come back together now, after all this time…?

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