The Justice League was created in 1960 to deliver a tightly knit group of elite superheroes within the DC family. For the most part, DC has delivered just that. Unlike The Avengers, who first appeared in 1963, the League has generally fought with singular purpose. Whether being deployed by the League’s strategist J’onn J’onzz, taking queues from Batman, or rallied by the inspiration of fighting next to Superman, the League has consistently displayed a level of teamwork seldom seen in comic books. That teamwork dynamic can be especially seen in DC’s holy trinity: Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman.
Still, even the closest families have disagreements on occasion. Many League members have butted heads, expressed differences of opinion and even fought on opposite sides. As such, we have often glimpsed our favorite superheroes going toe-to-toe in semi-reserved fashion. But we seldom get to see them battle in no-holds-barred, all-out brawls to the death.
Perhaps this is one of the biggest reasons both DC and Marvel decided to create alternative titles to cover “What If” and “Elseworlds” scenarios. In these alternative story arcs, we are able to watch DC’s greatest heroes fight to the death without tarnishing a character’s moral compass in their regular titles.
To that end, here are 15 Times Justice League Members Killed Each Other.
15. Batman Pummels Superman To Death
It is hard to imagine Batman fighting Superman without envisioning the epic battle in Batman v Superman. To that end, Batman’s tactics in BvS are almost identical to the techniques he used to kill Supes in Superman Annual 3 (1991). This story is part of the Armageddon 2001 arc wherein Mathew Ryder is imbued with temporal powers to determine which timestream resulted in a superhero becoming Monarch. One potential timestream resulted in Superman turning evil after a nuclear explosion.
Two years later, the President of the United States looks to Batman as the world’s last hope and issued a kill order. Equipped with battle armor and a kryptonite ring, the Batman reluctantly complied. While the comic book shows Batman pummeling Superman, kryptonite radiation obviously makes the difference. In his last breath, Superman asks Batman to take care of Jonathon and Martha Kent.
14. Wonder Woman Kills The Huntress
In an age where video games influence comic books, we have seen exceptional alternative storylines in the Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 story arcs. In Gods Among Us, Wonder Woman and Superman team up against Batman’s crew. While fighting The Huntress, Wonder Woman forgets her own strength and snaps The Huntress’s neck, pulling her lasso too tightly.
As a refined princess and demigod, we often forget that Diana is also a passionate warrior, with a warrior’s heart. Gal Gadot’s ability to convey that passion to audiences when fighting Doomsday is part of the reason for her scene-stealing sequences in BVS. She truly captures Diana’s essence both in and out of the bracelets. With that kind of passion, it isn’t hard to see how a Woman with the strength of a demigod could inadvertently overexert herself in battle with a mere mortal.
13. Green Lantern Kills Green Lantern
Earth’s Green Lanterns have generally been core members of the League. This includes the hotheaded Guy Gardner, who was never much of an asset to the group. With a self-serving smile, big chin, and asinine attitude, Guy has more than his share of haters. But year two of the Injustice series actually takes the time to turn Gardner into a likable guy, so it is a real disappointment to see Hal kill him.
The story arc, again revolving around the League going rogue, shows Gardner laugh in the face of the Guardians when they tell him Superman is trying to take over Earth. Later, when Hal Jordan starts working with the Sinestro Corps, Guy refuses to believe it.
12. Superman Strangles Wonder Woman With Her Own Lasso
In the Absolute Power story arc, Superman and Batman team up as a different version of the World’s Finest heroes. Raised by supervillains, the Knight and the Man of Tomorrow rule the world with a tyrannical grip. A resistance force rises up in Superman/Batman #15 as Wonder Woman and the Freedom Fighters go toe-to-toe with the duo in climactic battle. The Dark Knight rips through the Freedom Fighters with ease, simply to die at Wonder Woman’s hand while Superman is momentarily distracted.
After dispatching the last of their other enemies, the Man of Steel looks over Batman’s crumpled body, too late to save him. In a rage, he beats her before wrapping her lasso own around her neck and killing her.
11. Wonder Woman Impales The Bat
Just prior to dying at the hands of Superman, Wonder Woman stabbed the Batman with her fabled sword. It is a much less dynamic death; quick and unexpected. After having easily fought his way through the Freedom Fighters, Batman turns toward Diana and is immediately impaled. The quick and clean nature of his death is likely why most fans focus on Superman’s retaliation, beating Diana before ending her life. Plus, no one likes a sucker punch.
When all is said and done, the ease with which Diana disposes of Batman is replicated by the ease with which Superman dispatches Diana. Of all the infighting between DC’s holy trinity, and there has been a lot, this sequence of frames likely represents their respective power levels most accurately.
10. Superman Batters Green Arrow
If the Injustice story arc could be described in two words, they would be “Superman’s rage”. This series explores the concept of absolute power, corrupting absolutely. And we see this very clearly in the fight between Superman and Green Arrow – if you can call it a fight. In this story, Oliver Queen learns the location of Superman’s fortress and raids it in hopes of acquiring a “super pill” to make him as powerful as Superman.
The Man of Steel confronts Oliver, who shoots him with an arrow. The arrow bounces off of Superman and clips Jonathan Kent’s shoulder. In response, Superman massacres the Arrow in yet another rage attack. He beats Oliver to death, so focused on his anger, he is unable to hear Martha Kent pleading for him to stop.
9. Wonder Woman Snaps Maxwell Lord’s Neck
While Max Lord was not an official member of the League, he funded and created the Justice League International in an attempt to manipulate the world’s greatest heroes. He pulled their strings for years before Blue Beetle was able to uncover his nefarious motives. Unfortunately, Beetle confronted Max alone and was killed for his efforts.
Shortly afterward, Max took control of Superman’s mind, pitting him against Wonder Woman and Batman. Under the threat of Superman being forced to commit unspeakable atrocities, Wonder Woman used her Lasso of Truth to break Max’s hold on Superman. Unfortunately, Max disclosed the fact that nothing short of his death could break the mental link between them.
8. Superman Vaporizes The Martian Manhunter
The Injustice series is, without doubt, one of the most gruesome and darkest storylines in DC Comics. Not only did heroes mow each other down, but they did so with brutality. In yet another installment of the series, J’onn J’onzz uses his shapeshifting ability to wrap himself around Wonder Woman, gaining access to her internal organs. She is powerless against this kind of assault and calls out to Kal-El for help.
After a moment of uncertainty, and with Diana screaming for her life, Superman uses his heat vision to burn the Martian Manhunter alive. In a semi-liquefied state, the Martian is especially susceptible to fire and gets completely incinerated within seconds. There is nothing left of him after the smoke clears.
7. Superman Incinerates Shazam’s Brain
While we are on the subject of heat vision, fans are always wondering who would win a fight between Superman and Captain Marvel. Under the monicker Shazam as he is written in the Injustice series, we learn at least one way Superman could kill Batson’s older form. Both the Injustice: Gods Among Us game and comic book show Superman facing Shazam mano-a-mano in a not-so-epic showdown.
The emphasis here is mano-a-mano because when Flash steps up to stand beside Billy Batson, Hal Jordan cautiously holds him back. Hal already knows not stand against Superman and The Flash quickly learns the same. Within seconds of Shazam vocalizing objections to Superman’s plan, he is dead.
Many fans will remember previous clashes between the two where Shazam used lightning to stun Kal-el. Perhaps that is why Superman grabs Billy with lightning speed and uses his freeze breath to seal Batson’s mouth shut before burning laser point holes through his brain.
6. Wonder Woman Executes Aquaman
In a popular animated adaptation of The Flashpoint Paradox, an alternate timeline existed where Atlantis and Themyscira fought side by side until Mera, Aquaman’s wife, discovered he was having an affair with Diana. Mera confronted Wonder Woman, a fight broke out, and Mera died at Diana’s hand. Regardless of the affair, Arthur truly loved Mera and declared war against Diana and her Amazonian nation.
In a final, highly climactic scene, Wonder Woman stands behind Aquaman’s kneeling body after a prolonged and bloody fight. She raises her sword overhead. She tells him she is acting for the good of everyone and drives the sword into the back of his neck, but not before he activates a detonator, unleashing the Atlantean doomsday weapon. The world-shattering explosion which ensues destroys everything in its path, including Wonder Woman.
5. Batman And Superman Unwrap Green Arrow
During the Superman/Batman series, Green Arrow labeled them the “Hitler Twins” due to the Nazi-ish, tyrannical grip they held over the planet. So when Bats finally tracked him down in an alley, bringing Superman along for the fight, Oliver was prepared. He managed to knock Superman into space so he could fight Batman alone. Batman proceeded to beat Oliver down, but before he could finish the fight, Superman showed up and delivered the killing shot.
We could simply call it Superman’s kill, except for a simple fact. In one of the most telling displays of the duo’s evil nature, Batman actually hunted down Oliver as a surprise present for Superman’s birthday. Right before the fight, Batman points out the Arrow and says “Happy Birthday Superman. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to wrap it.” Green Arrow was never going leave that alley.
4. Wonder Woman Guts Billy Batson
Another brutal murder in the animated feature The Flashpoint Paradox occurs within moments of Aquaman’s death. Wonder Woman finds herself battling Captain Marvel to a stalemate as her weapons shatter against his body. Knowing there is a child underneath his unbreakable form, Diana wraps her Lasso of Truth around his body and compels him to tell her how to break his enchantment.
Unable to resist the Lasso’s magic, he tells her and she compels him to speak the word and change back to his natural form. The resultant lightning bolt stuns her, knocking her several feet away, but she recovers quickly and charges Billy. While the scenes don’t show the gruesome slaughter which follows, we can hear the sounds of her shattered sword gutting Billy Batson. She literally murders a child under the guise of a righteously waged war.
3. Superman Kills Hawkman
Another knuckle-level brawl in the Injustice series arms Hawkman with a weapon that evens the playing field. After Superman humiliates Hawkman in front of Shayera, Batman sends Katar to retrieve Kryptonite. Batman’s plan is to use Kryptonite to capture Superman, but Katar Hol has his own ideas.
Katar lines his already powerful Nth Metal Mace with the Kryptonite and batters Superman, knocking him to the ground. Before he can deliver a full force blow to Superman’s head, Hawkgirl stops him, giving Superman a momentary reprieve to catch his breath.
Superman tells everyone else to stay out of the fight. Even in a weakened state, it only takes a few bone-shattering blows for Superman to beat Hawkman to death. Every punch echoes with a crackling sound, until a final blow snaps Katar’s neck.
2. Wonder Woman Kills Captain Atom
Captain Atom is notoriously hard to kill. At his core, he is energy and intelligence contained in armor. How does one kill energy? During Gods Among Us, Superman and Diana engage in a heated battle with Captain Atom. As a man who puts nation and military before anything else, Captain Atom has often found himself on the wrong side of the League. It just so happens that in this case, he was on the right side of humanity. But that didn’t save him.
He gets in a lot of great blows against Superman and holds his own until Wonder Woman slits his neck. Or more accurately, slices a hole in his armor, allowing Atom’s energy to leak. Captain Atom then faces a choice to let himself explode on the ground, killing untold numbers of people along with Wonder Woman, or flying into space. He chooses to fly into space before his body explodes.
1. Batman Slaughters The Entire League
In an inspired and highly anticipated dark mirror series, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo bring us DC’s Dark Multiverse. One if its flagship issues, aptly entitled Batman: The Murder Machine, explores 7 alternate versions of Batman invading the Earth. And all of them are Batman hybrids, answering the question: what would happen if Batman had super-powers? Except the writers peppered these Batmen with more than a dash of evil.
In The Murder Machine, Batman marks Cyborg off his kill list. But this isn’t just your average-everyday killing; it is a slaughter performed by a hybrid Batman/Green Lantern, Batman/Flash, and a really scary Batman/Doomsday. Needless to say, these guys didn’t come to play nice.
The series – and Batman’s kill list – continues in Batman: The Dawnbreaker and then onto other titles. It has been hailed as one of the most intriguing storylines in modern comics. We often see stories depicting what would happen if Superman went too far. These books show us that if the Batman truly sought power, nothing could get in his way.
Did we miss any times when the Justice League turned against each other? Let us know in the comments!
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