Though the Avengers have taken the world by storm and literally broken box office records left and right, it doesn't mean they're the only superhero team comprised of powerful and interesting characters from all walks of life. The Justice League were the subject of a brilliantly popular animated series long before Iron Man took center stage in 2008. Despite the film outing for the Justice League being less than well received, the team and its stories still show some of the great highlights of comic book superhero teams.
The Justice League has had many members join and leave over the years, and for most people, there are only 10 or so characters they'd associate with the group despite the members list nearing the triple digits if not passing it. The 7 mainstays many people are familiar with are the cast of the 90s animated Justice League cartoon which featured Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter. Over the years the Justice League hasn't only seen its fair share of adult additions, but they even created a youth program featuring sidekicks of many of the main members. This team of young heroes was featured in the Young Justice animated show on Cartoon Network.
Let's now take a look at the 25 most powerful Justice League members, officially ranked. By officially we mean we wrote the list and published it on the internet. We all know by now that anything published on the internet is indeed a fact, despite evidence to the contrary.
25 Wonder Twins
Though this is technically cheating it just didn't feel right separating these two. They belong beside one another for their power to truly be showcased. Zan has the ability to transform into any form of water, which by itself is hilarious and could lead to some jokes at Zan's expense. Jayna, on the other hand, can transform into any animal. This power is a lot more practical and useful and on her own Jayna could make due. They're twins though so it's impossible to separate them. Though an unorthodox pairing, their twin-sibling connection makes them a duo to be reckoned with.
24 Mister Miracle
Mister Miracle is a character who's often overlooked, if not forgotten about entirely. Thankfully, Tom King recently wrote an amazing 12-issue series that explores Mister Miracle and showcases his tremendous strengths and heartbreakingly relatable weaknesses. Though Mister Miracle's ability to escape anything and everything, it requires him to first be trapped. His physical combat skills are above average and he's powerful in his own right, but on a team full of gods, beasts, and geniuses, it's hard to move him up any higher.
23 Blue Beetle/Booster Gold
This dynamic duo, just like the Wonder Twins, is so iconic as a pair that they had to team-up once again for a spot on this list. Jaime Reyes, though quite young, is arguably more powerful than Ted Kord, but not nearly as smart, so we'll be talking about Kord's Blue Beetle. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are essentially DC's version of Iron Man split into two. Booster Gold has the personality and charm with a reliance on tech, while Blue Beetle has the intelligence, and technology company he inherited from his father. They're the perfect buddy cop pairing, though Batman finds them a little grating.
Vixen has one of the most powerful powers that one can imagine. It is also likely the most common answer among kids of what superpower they would want if they could choose one to inherit. Vixen can inherit the power of any animal on Earth that's ever existed. She can run as fast as a cheetah, be as strong as a gorilla, or swim as fast as a dolphin. Vixen can even tap into the powers of dinosaurs or mythological creatures, like dragons. This also includes all of the imposing H.P. Lovecraft monsters Aquaman summons from the depths of the ocean.
Hawkgirl is easily the member of the Justice League who is taken the most for granted. On top of this many people don't understand just how powerful she is and often consider her a 2nd or 3rd tier member. In the most recent run of the Justice League comics run, Hawkgirl's powers and potential have really been a focus by the writers and team at DC. She's been instrumental in overcoming the Legion of Doom led by Lex Luthor. Fans of the 90s animated series understand her importance to the team, and so should many other DC fans around the globe.
The easiest way to describe Atom, aka Ray Palmer, is that he's DC's version of Ant-Man. Imagine telling someone in 1985 that more people would know who Ant-Man was than Atom. People knowing who Ant-Man is would be alarming in its own right. Unlike Scott Lang, Ray Palmer has a genius level intellect to go along with his size manipulation powers. Atom has been crucial in helping the Justice League overcome tremendous odds in various events and pitfalls. Hopefully, we'll get to see Ray Palmer as Atom on the big screen one day. Let's first work on getting that Flash movie made.
If your father is the embodiment of evil in the DC universe, and arguably the most powerful villain in existence, it's likely that you'll inherit a lot of that power regardless of your moral alignment. Well, Orion is indeed the son of Darkseid, and because of that is super powerful. Despite looking more like a human than many of the other New Gods, Orion is likely the most gifted of the entire bunch. The beauty of his existence is that because of a trade between New Genesis and Apokolips he was raised by Highfather and grew into his father's greatest threat.
How high should you be on the list if you're a living Mother Box? Well, Cyborg is indeed pretty powerful, but the sad part is that most of his weaknesses derive from his human side. He's replaced Martian Manhunter in the main Justice League lineup post-New 52 and many fans aren't happy. A generation of DC fans will always feel as though he fits best with the rest of the Teen Titans. Outside of his standard strength based superhero abilities, he can communicate and control technology. In a world so reliant and focused on technology, he has the planet in his very fingertips.
17 Red Tornado
If you've happened to tune into the first 2 seasons of Young Justice then you're pretty familiar with just how powerful Red Tornado is. He plays a huge part in that show and helps with the growth of the next-generation of Justice League members. His ability to phase, as well as create gigantic tornadoes is really impressive. Something that often gets overlooked is the effort and attention Red Tornado puts into trying to connect with humans. He's just a red robot who's looking for a soul. He may be #17 on this list, but he's #1 in our hearts.
Firestorm is a perfect example of an extremely overpowered character who's been given a characteristic that not only prevents him from reaching the pinnacle of his powers but gives him depth and an interesting character dynamic. Firestorm is comprised of two separate individuals who are bound together as one being. That means that in order to accomplish great feats they need to come together on a mental level in order to execute at a high level. His power-set is pretty astounding as he can manipulate nuclear radiation and rearrange elements, transmuting them on a subatomic level.
If Supergirl were as experienced and mature as Superman she'd likely be much higher on the list. Nothing about her is much different from her cousin, Clark Kent. The biggest thing that separates them has to do with what's going on between their ears. Superman has the experience, wisdom, and judgment on his side. Supergirl is a really powerful girl that can one day take Wonder Woman's place as the beacon of hope for not only women but people everywhere across the Earth. She just needs to grow a little more and truly come into her own.
For years many people considered Arthur Curry the punchline to a joke. Television shows like Family Guy also didn't do him any favors. Over the course of time, we've seen his power truly come to be respected and thought of as cool. The feature film Aquaman that released in 2018 also showed how powerful commanding the ocean's creatures can make you. People often consider great white sharks and whales as the best living weapons at his disposal, but it turns out our fears are true. The ocean is home is titanic Lovecraftian monsters that Aquaman can command to do his bidding.
13 Power Girl
The sad part about Power Girl is that in the age of the internet she's been boiled down to a symbol by lonely nerds around the world. Outside of being well-endowed up top, she's a very powerful character who's made great contributions to the Justice League. There's nothing wrong with a female superhero being considered attractive, but it's difficult when that becomes her defining characteristic to a large community of individuals. She's every bit as strong as Supergirl, who at times looked even more powerful than her cousin, Superman.
In the world of DC magic plays a pretty critical role in balancing the universe and the powers that be. Etrigan is one of those beings who help bring balance to the universe. He's an elder demon who gains his power from tapping into The Underworld itself. Etrigan, unfortunately, is one of the characters that received a huge nerf to his powers in the post-New 52 era. He's still strong in his own right, but he's nowhere near the levels of Shazam and Wonder Woman, who he could once stand toe-to-toe against. He also gets bonus points for resembling the gargoyles from the 90's cartoon of the same name.
11 Big Barda
Some may argue that Big Barda is the better half of Mister Miracle. Most of the time she serves as his guiding light, and it also doesn't hurt that she's a powerful and highly skilled warrior. Visually speaking she's one of the most intimidating women in all of comics let alone the Justice League. The great thing about Big Barda is that despite all of her strength and power, she's a loving mother and wife who understands the complexities of human nature. Here's hoping she makes a dazzling big screen debut and people fall in love with DC's Brienne of Tarth.
The first thing someone's going to say is "but Batman doesn't have any powers. He's just some rich dude." Yes, Bruce Wayne is indeed "a rich dude," but he's also much more than that. Not only is he an expert level fighter, but according to Brainiac Batman also has a level 8 intellect. His real power comes in his skills as a detective and as a planner. Batman has skills in logistics, planning, strategy, and tactics that are virtually unrivaled. It's believed that if you give Batman time to research and prepare for a single opponent he'd never lose. The trick is to not give him time to plan ahead.
Zatanna was simply once considered the daughter of the most powerful magician alive, Zatara. As she grew older and came into her own Zatanna quickly became an expert level magic-user and with her comfort in her own abilities, her capabilities with magic skyrocketed. The fact that she can utter complete sentences backward in an instant is a superpower all its own. Her father in many story-lines has passed on and more often than not she's turned to when magic is needed most. Young Justice is a great animated show that really highlights the best of what Zatanna has to offer.
8 Green Lantern
The Green Lantern is technically a mantle, but for the sake of this article, we'll specifically be listing Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan is often considered the most powerful being ever to wield the Green Lantern ring. The great thing with Hal is that if he ever lost the ring he's still an accomplished pilot that could make do with a conveniently placed unmanned aircraft. The Green Lantern's powers are fueled by their will, which means that if Hal Jordan is considered the strongest ever that means that he has a will that's unrivaled in strength. Here's to you, Hal!
Shazam, or as he was originally known Captain Marvel, can stand toe-to-toe with Superman on any given day. The big issue is that his power is coupled with the mind of an adolescent boy. Billy Batson is a young boy who is gifted the powers of Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas, and Mercury. So we're talking about the combined forces of 6 gods who were powerhouses in their own right all mashed into one. When you have that much power, and the maturity of a middle-school student, it's going to be hard to put it all together at once. Superman knows he'd have a true challenger otherwise.
6 Wonder Woman
Not only is Wonder Woman arguably the strongest woman to ever exist, but she also has a case as a top 5 member of the Justice League purely based on power. Her strength is only rivaled by her intelligence and will. She was born of the gods so it's no surprise that she walks among humans as a goddess herself. If we want to throw toughness into the mix there's a case to be made that she's won more fights with less armor than anyone outside of Superman. Whether she's defending her own on Themyscira or protecting the world from the evils that be, Wonder Woman is one powerful hero.
5 The Flash
Thanks in large part to the Speed Force you can easily move Flash as high as you want on this list. Given his incarnation, he has the ability to travel through time, between parallel universes, and at speeds incomprehensible to the human eye, or Martian Manhunter for that matter. If he were to ever injure his legs he would lose most of what makes him so unstoppable, well, that and his bad puns. For the sake of naming specific heroes, we'll say that Barry Allen lands at #5 on the most powerful Justice League members list.
4 Martian Manhunter
Martian Manhunter is a wise individual and just so happens to top the list as the most powerful non-human of the Justice League. Well, technically Doctor Fate isn't necessarily the human wearing the helmet, but you know what I mean. Martian Manhunter is essentially the combination of Professor X, Susan Storm, Wolverine, and Mystique. He has the ability to do many different things and has a bevy of powers, and his most important role is as the primary telepath for the Justice League. Here's hoping the real Mars is home to a being this brilliant.
3 Captain Atom
If you can tap into the Quantum Field and transmute physical matter, it goes without saying that you're a pretty powerful individual. Nathaniel Adam was an Air Force officer who was experimented on as punishment for a crime he didn't commit. The source and origin of his power didn't come without pain, but he came out the other side as one of the most imposing beings to ever exist. His only real weakness is that he can lose control of his physical form if he overexerts himself. Nathaniel Adam also has the luxury of becoming more powerful as he ages. What a treat.
2 Doctor Fate
This is the man you'll most likely find at the top of any list ranking DC characters based on power. The problem with Doctor Fate is that he can be corrupted and twisted given the right villainous individual. His power is almighty and he certainly isn't someone to trifle with, but labeling him as the most powerful member of a group he's rarely even associated with doesn't seem like the right move. Superman has been known to be susceptible to magic, so in a one, on one fight it's not like Doctor Fate's chances of victory are non-existent.
Now, there's a case to be made for Doctor Fate as the most powerful Justice League member, but it just doesn't feel right. Superman embodies true power in the DC Universe and is the face of the Justice League. His one major weakness, kryptonite, was simply a storytelling tool created to provide some balance to such a powerful individual. Outside of his physical strength and all of the powers at his disposal, he also brings the power of hope to every battle. He's a beacon of overcoming adversity and once reversed time by flying around the Earth. Superman deserves the #1 spot.