Who Run The World? Girls: Nine Unbeatable All-Lady Justice League Line-Ups
If you spend as much time thinking about comics as I do, you probably find yourself creating hypothetical-based thought experiments about super-team line-ups and such. Usually I only share them with Chris Sims, who then goes on to turn them into an Ask Chris and get paid for my idea. [cough]
But a few weeks ago, I took to Twitter to ask people who they would recruit for an all-female, seven-member Justice League. The response at the time was great, with lots of interesting variation in potential team rosters, but then the idea got a bump again when artists started posting drawings of their ideal Justice Ladies teams on Twitter and Tumblr.
I've collected nine such line-ups, including my own, which kicked everything off, but you can check my Twitter feed to see all the responses I received.
Line-up: Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Mera, Black Canary, Vixen, Bumblebee, Urania “Element Girl” Blackwell
One thing I learned from people's responses to this thought experiment was that lots of people really want a book where Wonder Woman and Big Barda are best friends, so I hope DC is reading this.
Some people thought there would be too much overlap between the two, but I don't think there's any more power overlap than there is between Superman and Wonder Woman, or Superman and Martian Manhunter. And while the two women might both be warriors, Wonder Woman is diplomacy-first, and Barda is fist-first, so I think the contrast would be interesting.
While there might be a noticeable absence of Bat-family members in my squad, I feel like Black Canary's street smarts and fighting skills and Rainie Blackwell's experience as a secret agent from before Neil Gaiman made her do a suicide would fill in those gaps. Plus, I love having Mera on the team because she is an Aquaman and a Green Lantern at the same time.
Perhaps my one regret is that I wish I had included Marene Herald, the Atomic Knight, somewhere on the team. I don't know who I would drop to fit her in the classic seven-member line-up, but what team couldn't use a giant, irradiated dalmatian in its ranks?
Line-up: Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Mera, Mary Marvel, Platinum, Katma Tui
The first artist that I'm aware of who illustrated his roster was Evan “Doc” Shaner, currently artist of Dynamite's Flash Gordon series. Those familiar with his work will know that this is a very “Doc” lineup, showing his influences from classic comics, including most notably the Marvel Family and Black Canary, a favorite of Alex Toth, one of Shaner's primary influences.
While I'm jealous of his choice to include Platinum, who would add a refreshing touch of naivete to a team of warriors and queens, I don't regret not having included Mary Marvel on my roster: she's on my fantasy Teen Titans team, you see.
Line-up: Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Zatanna, Vixen, Hawkgirl, Supergirl
Another notable artist to have illustrated his roster is Kris Anka, currently drawing Uncanny X-Men at Marvel. He refers to his lineup as a “blitz” team, but when I look at this, all I see is the punchingest team that ever lived. Just hell of punches everywhere as the solution to every problem. Which works out well when your main problems are parademons and injustice gangs.
Presumably in this incarnation of the team, Vixen only channels the powers of the mantis shrimp, and Zatanna's most common spell is “hcnup laer drah.”
Line-up: Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman, Oracle, Starfire, Black Canary, Zatanna, Supergirl
Next up is a contribution by Wilfredo Torres, artist of Dynamite's The Shadow: Year One and more recently DC's Batman '66. Torres hits a lot of the same notes as others before him but adds the new contribution of Starfire to the line-up. Teen Titans, moving on up.
Line-up: Power Girl, Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Zatanna, Bulleteer, Fire, Beautia Sivana, Anima, Sparx, Razorsharp, Steel (Natasha Irons), Spoiler
Cartooning superstar and gentleman hobo Calamity Jon Morris was so on the ball with this assignment, he actually completed it ten months before I came up with the idea! Wow, hahahah, amazing, good job. [cough] Okay, so obviously this was not in response to my prompt, but a reaction to the all-woman line-up starring in the current volume of X-Men. It is for this reason that this roster doesn't follow the classic seven-member format, but rather Morris's general template for fantasy team casting, which includes vets, a core team, and new recruits for a total of twelve members.
I am totally jealous of Morris's inclusion of Beautia, which is not surprising considering his noted love of classic Marvel Family comics, and the Bulleteer, a character who's been mostly overlooked since her debut in Seven Soldiers. I am also completely amazed at the bozack necessary to pitch a team featuring three members that debuted during the Bloodlines event. But if Calamity Jon Morris is known for two things, those things are his clean lines and the size of his bozack.
Line-up: Big Barda, Isis, The Bride, Professor Light, Liberty Belle, Lady Luck, Lori Lemaris
Joel Priddy, a cartoonist either nominated for or winning basically every industry award for books such as Pulpatoon Pilgrimage and Gift of the Magi, decided to buck the trends with his basically kind of amazing line-up. Other than Barda (who, let's face it, is objectively the best character), he has no repeats from any of the previous teams.
Priddy has an established love of Liberty Belle, and given his kind of wistfully nostalgic aesthetic, it's not surprising to see a number of characters whose acmes were in the '40s and '50s, plus a character who is a tribute to 1930s Universal horror flicks. Also, his inclusion of Isis basically nails down his age range the same way Starfire does Torres's. You should definitely read Priddy's write-up on why he included the characters that he did.
I am completely jealous of his inclusion of the Bride and Lori Lemaris (let the record show that I am totally in the bag for Lori Lemaris; I am a committed Clori shipper. I keep pitching my fan fiction to Andy, but he won't let me run it). My only regret is that he didn't find a place for his truly killer version of Ma Hunkel, another contender for Greatest Character of All Time.
Line-up: Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Oracle, Black Canary, Vixen, Manhunter, Black Bat
ComicsAlliance senior writer Chris Sims, like me, used a lot of characters who have already been members of the Justice League, with his two newbies being Manhunter and Black Bat. He admits to including Wonder Woman and Vixen somewhat reluctantly, but I suppose he thought their notable tenures on the team made them shoo-ins.
But I have to wonder what level of restraint he used to not make his team Oracle, Black Bat, Batwoman, Knight (Beryl Hutchinson), Flamebird (Bette Kane), Kathy Kane of Spyral as team organizer, and... hmm, dang, too bad there wasn't some other Batgirl who could round out the team.
Line-up: Jesse Quick, Black Bat, Infectious Lass, Steel (Natasha Irons), Elasti-Girl, Traci 13, Thunder, Grace Choi
Travis Ellisor is not, as far as I'm aware, a pro comics artist. He is, however, basically the Maecenas of comics art, a super-patron and collector, and basically the one man keeping the memory of Batsman alive. He also, apparently, didn't want to see another line-up that looked like his, so he swung for the fences.
Despite including Black Bat like Sims and Steel like Calamity Jon, Ellisor hits some deep cuts I don't think I saw among even the various replies on Twitter. Given his great affection for the Legion of Super-Heroes, it's not a huge surprise to see Infectious Lass, grossest of the Subs, as well as her co-star from the under-rated Dr. 13 mini-series by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, Traci 13. But are there a lot of Grace super-fans out there that I don't know about? I'm sure the comments will let me know.
Line-up: Mockingbird, Moondragon, Photon, M, Snowbird, Black Panther (Shuri), Miss America
Andrew Wheeler, I... I don't know what to say, man. I've
readskimmed like, I dunno, two or three of your articles and apparently you are a pretty smart dude, but this is the worst Justice League line-up I've ever seen. I don't think DC even has the rights to most of these characters. It's back to the drawing board, I'd say.
If you, the reader, have a cool idea of seven ladies who should team up and punch evil in the throat or have seen one elsewhere on the web, that would be a fun or acceptable thing to put in the comments. Ideas about why there shouldn't be a team of all ladies and how this article is somehow oppressive to men is a cool or acceptable thing to shout in vain as you sink slowly to the bottom of a river.