Within a comic book universe, characters are bound to participate in plenty of teams and organizations that showcase different aspects and elements that define these people as characters. DC comics are well known for having such a wide variety of acclaimed teams, in addition to obvious ones like the Justice League. One such team, known as Young Justice, is featured in a critically acclaimed TV show of the same name. With the second half of the third season set to air on DC Universe July 2nd, let’s take a look at some of DCs greatest teams, organizations, and groups set within that Universe.
The Justice League
Plain and simple, it’s the seven who started it all. The first major team-up in the DC Universe to stand the test of time, the Justice League. First appearing in The Brave and the Bold #28 in 1960, the original and founding members of the Justice League has varied across the years, and from continuity to continuity. Currently the team boasts an original roster consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Barry Allens Flash, and Hal Jordans Green Lantern. This team sets the template for a lot of other teams in the DC Universe, that being the fact that there is usually a combination superhuman characters, strategists, speedsters, flyers, tech geniuses, and usually a member of the Bat-Family. They survey the world from the atmospheric satellite, The Justice League Watchtower. Other times they coordinate from the Hall of Justice on Earth. Gods among men, these heroes protect the world from any threat that has the courage to tempt justice.
The Suicide Squad
Predating even the Justice League during The Brave and The Bold in 1959, is the Suicide Squad; Amanda Wallers expendable team of criminals doing seeming impossible and likely deadly good deeds, for the reward of less jail time. Typically pulled from the highly secure Belle Reve prison, this team has a rotating roster of villains that can be different almost any time you read the comic. Generally speaking however, returning members include Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and Killer Croc. Other villains to sometimes join the crew are Deathstroke, Captain Cold, Cheetah, or Black Manta. The team is directed by Amanda Waller, and lead by military man Rick Flag. All the prisoners are outfitted with bombs in their head, just in case they decide to go rogue. The Suicide Squad is a long running team and is a favorite to many comic book readers the world over. If only the the public in the DC Universe cared for them as much.
Birds Of Prey
First appearing in Black Canary/Oracle: Bird’s Of Prey in 1996, the Birds of Prey are a group of women based out of the clock tower in Gotham City. Originally started by The Oracle (formerly Batgirl) and Black Canary, it has expanded to include numerous heroines across the DC Universe, and sports the likes of femme fatales such as The Black Canary, The Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, Vixen, Katana, Catwoman, Big Bardha, and The Oracle (now Batgirl again). Often dealing covertly and in the shadows, the team focuses on stealth, precision, and martial arts in order to do good in the world. They truly have each-other’s backs and are a tight, close-nit group of the most mighty people in the DC Universe.
The Outsiders are a team created by Batman in order to go where the Justice League politically could not. The Outsider’s are not concerned with their public appearance. Usually they cross sovereign borders and operate covertly, without seeking the authority of any governing nation or organization to act. They first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #200, when a team was needed in Markov. In the Rebirth Continuity, it was formed by Batman in order to investigate the Dark Multiverse coming out of the Dark Nights: Metal. Members have included Batman, Black Lightning, The Signal, Katana, Red Robin, and Martian Manhunter. If you need someone to act quickly, decisively, and without a care for protocol, the Outsiders are your team.
The Teen Titans
The Teen Titans first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #54 in 1964. It was formed by the original sidekicks of many main members of the Justice League, which included Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), Aqualad (Garth), and Speedy (Roy Harper). They pretty much operated as the Justice League did, yet they often fought teen foes and the likes of Deathstroke. Members of the team have varied from year to year but currently the members of the Teen Titans can include Robin (Damian Wayne), Kid Flash (Wallace West), Red Arrow (Emiko Queen), StarFire, Djinn, Raven, Roundhouse, Aqualad, and Crush. They are the youth of the DC Universe, and they run a tight ship amidst all the teen angst that is sure to follow.
Justice League Dark
Justice League Dark is the team of do-gooders that deal specifically with magic, occultism, and the dark arts of any kind. They were first showcased in Justice League Dark #1, and were formed to investigate, combat, and quell any dark magical threats to the world. The founding members of the team were Deadman, Zatanna, Madame Xanadu, Shade the Changing Man, and John Constantine. The members have shifted over the years but it has most recently settled on Wonder Woman, Detective Chimp, Man-Bat, Swamp Thing, and Zatanna. They are the team willing to plunge themselves into the dark void that is the demonic and magical multiverse.
The Doom Patrol
The Doom Patrol are similar to the X-Men in that an eccentric man in a wheelchair cobbled together a team full of mutants and “freaks”. However, the Doom Patrol predates the X-Men, debuting in My Greatest Adventure #80 in 1963. Niles Caulder, also known as The Chief, orchestrated accidents to happen to very successful people in order to create a team of superheroes. What became of his efforts is known as the offbeat superhero team, The Doom Patrol. Like most teams, members have come and go but initially the team consisted regularly of Elasti-Girl, Robotman, and Negative-Man. In the New 52 and onward they have kept a more static team roster with included those three as well as the addition of heroes like Danny The Street, Beast Boy, Element Woman, and Flex Mentallo. The team is weird and crazy and bizarre, but that’s what we love about them.
The original Teen Titans have grown to become known as The Titans. Now that they have come into their own as heroes rather than sidekicks, they work as a well organized team and are bound together by the friendship that has stood time, dimensions, and the many terrors of the villains routinely trying to drive a wedge between them. The members of the team are Nightwing, Arsenal, The Flash (Wally West), Donna Troy, Omen, and Tempest. After the events of No Justice, the team was shuffled a bit and now includes the likes of Steel, Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Miss Martian, Beast Boy, and Raven. The Titans answer to the Justice League but also often become entangled in world threatening problems. The team is fun to read due to how character driven it is and the bonds that hold them together as Titans is inspiring.
The Justice Society of America
The Justice Society of America has existed longer than any of these teams, appearing in All Star Comics #3 in 1940. This is the team that many original members of the DC comics canon were in. They exist to save the world like the Justice League does, but in recent years strive to educate and help younger heroes just learning their powers. The Society is ever expanding but the founding members and generally accepted team roster consists of Green Lantern (Alan Scott), The Flash (Jay Garrick), Power Girl, Sandman, Stargirl, Liberty Belle, Atom Smasher, Hourman, Hawkman, Wildcat, Dr. Midnight, and Mister Terrific (to name a few). They are a massive group that envelops a lot of circles in the DC Universe. They are a nostalgic and inspiring team meant to remind the world of the beginnings of super heroes.
Finally we arrive at Young Justice. It was started by Robin, Superboy, and Impulse who started a sort of club for a lot of the younger members of the Justice League or their sidekicks (sometimes they are known as the Junior JLA). If the Justice Society grabs members of a LOT of other teams, Young Justice does the same for a LOT of the other teen teams. Recently rebooted by Brian Michael Bendis in the comics, the team now includes young heroes such as the original three, Teen Lantern, Jinny Hex, Amethyst, and Wonder Girl. They are usually supervised by a member of the Justice League, be it Batman, The Red Tornado, or Shazam. The team gained a lot of popularity from the underrated animated series known as Young Justice, which was cancelled, but brought back due to public demand. They appeal to a large audience, and genuinely inspire a lot of the people in and outside of the DC Universe.