Justice #1 (2005), Cover by Alex Ross
|Publication date||August 2005 – June 2007|
|Number of issues||12|
|Main character(s)||Justice League of America, Legion of Doom|
|Creator(s)||Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, Doug Braithwaite|
|Volume 1||ISBN 1401209696|
|Volume 2||ISBN 1401212069|
|Volume 3||ISBN 1401214673|
Justice was a twelve-issue American comic book limited series published bimonthly by DC Comics from August 2005 through June 2007, written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, with art also by Ross and Doug Braithwaite. Its story involves the superhero team known as the Justice League of America confronting the supervillain team the Legion of Doom, after every supervillain is motivated by a shared dream that seems to be a vision of the planet's destruction which they intend to avoid.
Coming off their previous project, Earth X from Marvel Comics, Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithwaite started on Justice, a 12-issue bi-monthly series. Ross described the series as a full-on superhero war, the Super Friends versus the Legion of Doom, to the death. In many ways, Justice is a follow-up to Ross' and Paul Dini's The World's Greatest Super-Heroes.
Ross had stated that, following Kingdom Come, he wanted to break away from the 90s fixation with superhuman wars, and focused on The World's Greatest Super-Heroes. It was only following that that he could return to the war stories he is known for, like Kingdom Come.
Bombs descend towards the ground in cities across the world. And despite their power; Superman, The Flash, J'onn J'onzz, and every other member of the Justice League of America fails to save anyone. As Superman looks down upon the world as it explodes...the villains wake up. It's only a dream, but one every villain has been having. Aquaman senses something wrong deep in the sea and heads off to find a black sphere, where he is then attacked and captured by Black Manta. Within the sphere, Lex Luthor welcomes him. In Gotham City, The Riddler and his henchmen hack into Batman's network inside Wayne Tower when Batman arrives. From the Tower, to a Batmobile chase, to a nightclub fight, and finally the cemetery, Riddler is defeated and sent to Arkham Asylum. As Red Tornado and Superman look for Aquaman, Flash learns that Captain Cold gave people in the desert their own sea, and Poison Ivy distributed food in a hungry city. Later, Brainiac uses the captured Aquaman for his experiments. Just as J'onn tracks Aquaman, he is attacked mentally by Gorilla Grodd. Luthor frees Riddler, and ignores The Joker. Just as Toyman creates prosthetic limbs for people in need, the news reports on the villains helping and solving the world's problems. The Justice League Satellite is infiltrated, and Red Tornado is destroyed, as all of JLA member's secrets are now revealed. Luthor, Black Manta, the Riddler, and Poison Ivy make their statement to the world: they are helping the world in many ways that the League didn't, while the League did nothing. As this is happening; Bizarro attacks Clark Kent, Sinestro sends Hal Jordan away into darkness, Green Arrow and Black Canary are ambushed by Clayface and Scarecrow, Cheetah attacks Wonder Woman, and many others face similar attacks by their nemeses. As Solomon Grundy, Metallo, and Parasite join the fight; Superman screams for help.
Elongated Man realizes something is wrong, as Luthor is informed of Brainiac's black spheres. Superman is saved by Captain Marvel. Wonder Woman defeats Cheetah, but is badly scarred. Other heroes are also saved, except for Green Lantern and Batman. Superman and Marvel realize Batman and Alfred Pennyworth are being mind controlled by worms. Helping Superman; Marvel throws him into the sun as it is the only way to get rid of them, and succeeds. Luthor sees the black spheres grow from the seas into huge cities. Giganta tries and fails to attack Ray Palmer, the Atom, in a hospital. Luthor orders Grodd to send the apocalyptic dream to Black Adam as many people migrate to the new sphere cities, among them a disguised Joker. Wonder Woman heads inside the Batcave and defeats Poison Ivy to save Batman, just as the Metal Men, Doom Patrol, and Zatanna all find Red Tornado, and learn Aquaman's location. The villains go ahead and attack the superheroes' sidekicks and loved ones. Hawkman and Hawkwoman find and destroy Toyman's warehouse which was being used to create Brainiac robots, just as Captain Marvel and Superman save The Flash. All the heroes head into the Fortress of Solitude. Black Manta kidnaps someone else to advance Brainiac's plan: Aquaman's son. Capturing Captain Cold, Batman informs the League of the dream. Wonder Woman tells Captain Marvel that Cheetah's claws were poisoned and she is reverting back into clay. Green Lantern is saved by Phantom Stranger, just as he makes it to the Fortress with a returned Aquaman.
Captain Marvel and a strike force attack Grodd's lair and then Black Adam. In Gotham, Bruce Wayne takes Clark Kent to Leslie Thompkins to learn the villains' supposedly virtuous acts are actually making humans into organic machines. With the heroes back, the Metal Men form anti-worm battle armors and they take off to the climactic fight. The JLA fight the Legion in two fights: the major heroes fight above while some heroes fight below to save their loved ones. As the civilians and sidekicks are freed, and most of the Legion are defeated, Brainiac takes control of nuclear weapons around the world as Aquaman chases him down. Superman defeats Toyman, Batman and Martian Manhunter defeat Luthor and Grodd, the Green Lantern Corps stop all the missiles and Aquaman finally finds Black Manta and defeats him, saving his son. Zatanna's spell to help find Brainiac's true location takes them into outer space. Superman takes care of it before hurrying down to Earth to save Zatanna from the vacuum of space. The fight is finally over. Just as on Themyscira, Diana's mother prays to the gods and her daughter is restored, Batman reflects on the changes they've made to the world, and feels that someday the world really will be made into a better place. As Superman turns into Clark Kent, he is watched by the Legion of Super-Heroes of the 31st century.
"Justice" takes place outside of the regular DC Universe continuity, with most of the characters featured in the story being modern day incarnations of their Silver Age of comic books. The series heavily draws upon the 1970s "Super Friends" cartoon series, most notably "The Challenge of the Super Friends" incarnation, which featured the Legion of Doom.
In an interview, Alex Ross jokingly compared the series to the "All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder" and "All-Star Superman", two comics which like "Justice" take place outside the existing DC Universe. All three titles launched within the same time period as part of a wave of continuity-free incarnations of popular DC Universe properties, though Justice did not feature the "All-Star" labelling.
Despite being a Justice League type of storyline, it features several characters that make up the DC Universe.
The supervillain team isn't based on any one from the comics, but instead based on the villain group from the Super Friends metaseries. While the original lineup is used, others were added for the series.
The series has been collected into three hardcover volumes, followed by an Absolute DC edition:
DC Direct released a line of action figures based on the mini-series. Figures include:
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hal Jordan, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Red Tornado, Plastic Man, John Stewart, Supergirl, Batgirl, Captain Marvel, Black Canary, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Cheetah, Black Manta, Bizarro, Poison Ivy, The Joker, Captain Cold, Toyman, Scarecrow, Parasite, Gorilla Grodd, and Black Adam.