If Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did nothing else, at least it gave us a strong jumping off point for the upcoming Justice League double parter.
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Seeing the Justice League Trinity — Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — standing together on the big screen for the first time was perhaps the highlight of Batman v Superman, and the Justice League movie has been a long time coming.
The movie concluded [SPOILER ALERT] with Batman and Wonder Woman discussing setting up a team of metahumans to combat the forces of as yet unseen bad guy Darkseid following the death of Superman, and left the DCEU in a good place for Justice League Part One to pick up.
But with Captain America: Civil War smashing the box office and critical reception as it released across Europe, landing in America this week, can the DCEU catch up to the trail blazed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
The Avengers and the Justice League are the flagship Marvel/DC superhero teams of the comics, but do you know where they came from, and what their history is with each other?
The Justice League
Which came first, the Justice League or the Avengers? Well the Justice League scrape this win, first appearing in The Brave and the Bold back in March of 1960, three years prior to the Avengers.
The founding members of the team initially comprised of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter; but Manhunter's founding member status was rescinded and he was replaced by Cyborg for the New 52 reboot.
The original origin of the Justice League happened when the seven heroes banded together to create 'a league against evil' following each member engaging in combat with the alien Appellaxians, who had come to Earth to determine the fate of the planet. The seven superheroes won, of course, and the JLA was formed.
The New 52, post-Flashpoint origin of the Justice League is explored in — surprise surprise — Justice League: Origin, and it involves a lot more Parademons and group tensions. Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, and Flash are investigating the sudden appearances of Parademons on Earth, and are joined by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and later the newly "born" Cyborg.
Together the seven realize that the Parademons are kidnapping humans and — as will happen when Parademons are about — Darkseid shows up to battle the superheroes. They fight fractured at first, to no avail, until Batman convinces them to start working together as a team — cause that's what Batman does.
Superman gets captured, but Batman rescues him from torture on Darkseid's planet Apokolips, and together they manage to chuck the super-villain back where he came from. The seven achieve widespread praise for their actions, and are thanked by the president for saving the world. Clearly they thought that this was pretty sweet gig, because they make the decision to stay together as a team — the Super Seven!
Nah, just kidding. They are instead deemed the Justice League of America, and go on to be cemented in DC legend.
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Inspired by DC's well selling Justice League of America title, the Avengers first graced the pages of Marvel comics in September of 1963, in The Avengers. Like the Justice League, the member roster has changed over the years, and the Avengers have had a huge turnover in members comparatively, and many spin-off titles such as the New Avengers and the Secret Avengers.
The original Avengers were Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the Wasp, and they were brought together by Hulk's sidekick Rick Jones to combat the machinations of Loki (it's always Loki, isn't it?).
Loki is out to get revenge on Thor (as usual), so he attempts to corrupt the Hulk to use as a pawn against his adopted brother. By affecting communication between the five and casting illusions, he tried to pit them against each other, but his manipulations were discovered and he was defeated.
It was Ant-Man who suggested that they continued to band together as a team, called: "Something colorful and dramatic, like...the Avengers."
The founding roster didn't last long though. Ant-Man became Giant-Man in the following issue, and Hulk ran away to join the circus as he felt that the other Avengers members didn't trust him and his unstable powers.
A newly thawed out Captain America — who is commonly held as the de-facto leader of the group — didn't actually come into it until a couple issues later, and Thor straight up tried to murder him, cause that's what he does.
When Cap joined up he was given founding status in place of Hulk, and the Avengers as we know them were born.
Avengers vs. Justice League
Who would win in a fight, the Justice League or the Avengers? Long has this question been lauded throughout comic book history as Marvel fans, DC fans, and everyone in between goes head to head on the topic, filling message boards with carefully thought out arguments and calculations.
In terms of sheer cosmic strength the Justice League typically outnumber the Avengers (unless the House of M-era Scarlet Witch is there, and just decides to make them all not exist) but we've long known that strength isn't the only way to win a battle. The question has been raised in the DC/Marvel comics too, and more than once have the two teams gone head to head with each other.
DC vs. Marvel
1996's DC vs. Marvel was a limited crossover series which saw the Brothers (two cosmic entities representing the Marvel and DC universes) set up duels between various superheroes from the two comic book universes to determine who was superior, with whichever universe lost the battle ceasing to exist. The outcome of some of the main battles were determined by readers voting though, so it's a tricky one to call.
Individually, Marvel won the most battles, but there were many external circumstances affecting them and some, like the fight between Batman and Captain America, could be counted as a draw. In the end, no one universe was destroyed, as the Living Tribunal (Marvel) and the Spectre (DC) teamed up to combine and then separate the two again, putting everything back to normal.
The JLA/Avengers event of the early 2000s is perhaps the biggest DC/Marvel crossover event yet, as it involved every superhero who had ever been a member of either the Avengers of the Justice League.
When the powerful DC alien Krona starts destroying universes in a search for knowledge of their creation, he's challenged by Marvel's Grandmaster to a contest to save the Marvel universe. Grandmaster says he'll give Krona the knowledge he's looking for if he can defeat him in a game — the game being a battle between the Justice League and the Avengers in a 'capture the flag' type race.
The heroes from each teams are tricked into participating, both believing the other to be in the wrong — the Avengers think the JLA are fascists, while the JLA believe the Avengers to be incompetent rulers. The aim of the game is to find twelve powerful items from each universe which have been hidden around their worlds; but the twist is that — unbeknownst to them — if the Avengers win, their universe will be the one to be destroyed.
Following a pretty epic Batman and Captain America battle and team-up, they realize the twist and fix it so the game ends in favor of the Justice League. But Krona isn't happy about losing the game, and ends up creating a new multiverse in which all the superheroes coexist.
Eventually, both the Avengers and the JLA team up to defeat Krona, and when all is said and done the two universes are returned to normal, and the Avengers and the Justice League kiss and make up. Nothing like a happy ending, right?
Also, this happens during JLA/Avengers. You're welcome.
Which team do you think would win in a fair fight? Tell us in the comments below!