We were definitely all in that weekend sixteen years ago with the debut of “Justice League” on the Cartoon Network. The “Secret Origins” of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl were revealed on November 17, 2001. Coming together, they unite to become more than a team of SuperFriends. They unite to become a league dedicated to protecting the world from evil and corrupt forces such as the Injustice Gang, the immortal Vandal Savage, the Secret Society, the Legion of Doom, and so on.
Highlights of the series: Flash and Green Lantern becoming “The Brave and The Bold” in stopping Gorilla Grodd; the League meeting the “Legends” known as the Justice Guild of America; Wonder Woman trying to keep Paradise Island from being “Paradise Lost” as well as preventing an embittered Amazon from unleashing her “Fury” among the world of man; the League dealing with the “Hereafter” of Superman making the ultimate sacrifice in the never-ending battle; the Justice League setting out to make “A Better World” as the Justice Lords, while Hawkgirl becomes “Star-Crossed” over her loyalties to the League and the Thanagarians.
After two seasons, “Justice League” became “Justice League Unlimited” for three more with the “Initiation” of Green Arrow keeping the team honest alongside new members such as Supergirl, Mr. Terrific, Steel, Vigilante, Shining Knight, Stargirl, Booster Gold, and Vixen. “Justice League Unlimited” finds the team on the possibility of going from united to divided when they decided to “Question Authority” involving a government conspiracy against the League in the form of Amanda Waller and the Cadmus organization.
Still, the episode “Panic in the Sky” shows why Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl are indeed the magnificent seven of superheroes in the name of justice for all.
“They’re the best ever”, Steel tells Supergirl. “Not because they’re the most powerful – they aren’t. Not all of them. And it’s not just because they were the first. It’s because they’re special. They’ve proven it time and again. They make the hard choices, they set the example. They do what’s right, not what’s easiest. And they always come out on top.”
As Green Arrow say in “Divided We Fall”? The world needs the Justice League.
And as Batman (Ben Affleck) say in “Justice League”? The world needs and deserves Superman (Henry Cavill). But the world also needs and deserves Batman, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), the Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) … because the world needs and deserves the Justice League.