The Justice League is DC Comics’ most iconic superhero team, but even with their elite pantheon, they’ve still made some grave mistakes. Given the calls for conflict to keep the genre interesting and the stakes they face in-universe, they’re bound to fail every so often.
At times, severe external forces prove more than the League can handle, however, they’ve also been no stranger to infighting. Whether it’s Batman’s paranoia or a disillusioned Superman, several decisions made by the Justice League weigh heavy on their minds.
10 Mind Wiping Fellow Leaguers
One of the more divisive Justice League story arcs, Identity Crisis, by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales, turned heroes against each other. Aside from the distasteful shock value of the series, the story sees a heinous murder convince the Justice League to use mind-wiping abilities.
The issue, however, is that this is far too much power for anyone to wield freely. League members used these extreme methods on comrades in addition to more villains, which especially disturbed Batman. This led to Leaguers pinning the Dark Knight down and forcibly wiping his memory, paving the way for another disaster.
9 Batman’s OMAC Project
The OMAC Project
The first of Identity Crisis‘ fallout, Greg Rucka and Jesus Saiz’s The OMAC Project sees Batman’s metahuman distrust grow. After Zatanna and co. wiped Batman’s memory against his will, he managed to piece things back together and creates an A.I. surveillance system.
The titular project sees a master A.I. Brother Eye monitor metahuman activity if any hero goes rogue, but it falls into the hands of iconic Wonder Woman villain Maxwell Lord. The corporate antagonist reprograms the A.I. to have the OMACs target heroes and villains alike.
8 Superman Becoming A Tyrannical Overlord
It’s one of the most prominent alternate timelines in the DC multiverse, as Tom Taylor and co.’s Injustice took a bleak spin on the Justice League. After the Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane, the Man of Steel breaks, murders the villain, and establishes a fascistic regime with himself as its head.
It’s undoubtedly one of the worst things Superman has done across continuities, with much of the league failing to quell the hero-turned-villain before it was too late. This fractured the world’s heroes between serving under Superman’s iron fist or fighting alongside Batman’s freedom-fighting insurgency.
7 Wonder Woman Killing Maxwell Lord
The OMAC Project
Batman’s increasing distrust of the Justice League wasn’t the only mistake in The OMAC Project. Wonder Woman also inadvertently falls into Maxwell Lord’s trap just as she thinks she’s won. She catches and executes Lord, thinking that it would put an end to the corrupted OMACs.
However, all it did was turn Lord into a martyr, as Brother Eye was reprogrammed to override every TV to broadcast Wonder Woman publicly executing him without context. What ensues is deepening distrust of heroes in the public eye and severe backlash against the Amazons for Wonder Woman’s brutal actions.
6 Batman’s Contingency Plans
Tower Of Babel
Even before The OMAC Project, the Caped Crusader’s paranoia was boiling in Mark Waid, Howard Porter, and Steve Scott’s Tower of Babel. As a response to his distrust of superhumans, Batman kept a series of secret contingency plans detailing the League’s weaknesses in case they were used for evil.
This paranoia comes back to haunt Batman and the rest of the team, as Ra’s al Ghul steals the plans and systematically neutralizes the team. The Justice League was able to quell the threat in the end, but the majority could no longer trust the brooding hero.
5 Superman Abandoning The Justice League
One of the most iconic DC Elseworlds comics, Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come depicted a wildly different Justice League. DC’s heroes largely benefit from civilians appreciating what they do, but this universe sees a populace hostile toward them.
They no longer trust the Justice League to protect them, leading a disillusioned Superman to abandon heroics. It paves the way for a darker, morally ambiguous version replacing them that isn’t much different from the villains they claim to fight. Thankfully, Wonder Woman persuaded him to return, reform the League, and undo the damage caused by the rogue newcomers.
4 The Flash Altering The Timeline
Though not from a Justice League story arc specifically, Flashpoint involved and affected the entire DC universe. Barry Allen goes back in time to save his mother’s life, but he causes drastic timeline alterations that change the status quo.
This momentous arc is what paved the way for the New 52 reboot. The events of Flashpoint warped into a twisted timeline where Thomas Wayne is a Punisher-like Batman; Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war while conquering Europe; and what remains of the heroes in the U.S. can’t find a solution to its impending doom.
3 The Catalysts Of The Original Crisis
The various disasters that began in Identity Crisis and became catalysts for The OMAC Project eventually fed into Infinite Crisis. Geoff Johns and several artists’ crossover see the world in total disarray with its greatest heroes nearly helpless to stop it.
Going back further, Infinite Crisis even has roots in the original Crisis, with the alternate-universe versions of Superman, Superboy, and Alexander Luthor Jr. imposing themselves on the main world. This leads to Superboy-Prime wreaking havoc on the main League’s world, partly because the latter failed to take control of the prior conflicts.
2 The Invasion Of Bialya
Many superhero teams spawned smaller-scale successors. In the 90s, Dan Vado and Marc Campos’ Extreme Justice featured a spin-off team created by Captain Atom that formed after the latter disagreed with Wonder Woman.
But this lineup proved to be too brutal to be worthy of the Justice League title. Using harsh methods, they invaded Bialya to annihilate its ruler’s attempts to reestablish the robotic Extremists. However, they weren’t robots – they were living cyborgs made from the queen’s subjects. The atrocities that Extreme Justice commit forced all forms of the League to later disband.
1 Green Lantern Corrupted
Zero Hour: Crisis In Time
Even the follow-up to Crisis on Infinite Earths created reverberating effects on the DC timeline with Zero Hour: Crisis in Time. Created by Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway, this arc revolved around a radicalized Green Lantern looking to destroy and remake the universe in his image.
It’s a devastating ambition born of grief, as Hal Jordan broke down after his home city was leveled during the Reign of the Supermen arc. To stop his regretful conquest, the timeline needed to be rebooted yet again, though, the changes this time were less drastic continuity-wise.
NEXT: 10 Best DC Comics Runs Of The 2020s (So Far)
#Justice #Leagues #Worst #Regrettable #Decisions #Comics