The Justice League are the greatest protection the DC Multiverse has. As with all things DC, Batman has proven himself to be supremely important to the team, his tactical knowledge and strategic planning often saving the day. It’s what Batman is good at, after all; he figures out a way to win, regardless of the circumstances, proving that sometimes all someone needs is intelligence and billions of dollars.
While Batman has been integral to the team’s success, there have been many times that the Dark Knight didn’t save the day. While he’s always a part of the team’s battles, he wasn’t always the most important member in every fight.
10 JLA: The Nail Saw The Justice League Outmaneuvered By An Unlikely Foe
JLA: The Nail, by Alan Davis, is an Elseworlds classic. Taking place on an Earth where the Kents got a nail in their tire and never found baby Kal-El, it sets up a subtly different world from the main DCU. In the sotry, the Justice League is beaten by a mysterious foe, taking each member of the team out in different ways. Eventually, it was revealed that Jimmy Olsen, his DNA bonded with Kryptonian DNA, was behind it all.
While Batman did put all the clues together and got the rest of the League back in the game, Olsen destroyed them. The only thing that saved the day was the fight spilling onto an Amish farm, where Kal-El had been raised after being found by the residents. He saved the day and was inducted into the League as Superman.
9 Tomorrow Woman Saved The Day When The Justice League Faced Down IF
Tomorrow Woman’s history with the JLA was short but sweet. Created by TO Morrow and Professor Ivo to infiltrate and destroy the League, the camaraderie of the team, and Morrow’s penchant to create androids that had free will, made her break her programming. The team was battling an artificial being known as IF, and Tomorrow Woman realized the only way to stop it was to detonate the bomb inside her.
taking place in JLA #5, by writer Grant Morrison and artist Howard Porter, Tomorrow Woman sacrificed her life to save the people she was supposed to kill. Batman played just about no part in the battle, and Tomorrow Woman was buried with full Justice League honors.
8 Batman Was No Help Against Perpetua
Scott Snyder’s run writing Justice League pit the team against Perpetua, the most dangerous villain the team ever faced. Perpetua and the Legion of Doom were always one step ahead of the team, either beating them outright or getting what they needed to keep their scheme going. JusticeLeague #39, by Snyder and artists Jorge Jimenez and Daniel Sampere, saw the team try to stop the Legion and Perpetua one last time.
While the League was able to defeat the Legion by working together, Perpetua was too much for them. Fans never got to see the whole battle, but death-metal would reveal that not only did the team lose, but Batman was actually killed in the fight.
7 Batman Helped Against Alexander Luthor, But It’s The Two Supermen Who Saved The Universe In Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis is a highlight of mid-2000s AD. Written by Geoff Johns with art by Phil Jimenez, George Pèrez, Ivan Reis, and Jerry Ordway, the heroes of the DC Universe were pitted against Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime. The disposition of the League was very important to the story, with the Trinity making some big moves.
The endgame of the book saw Superman, Superman of Earth-2, and other flying heroes chase down Superboy-Prime, who was going to destroy the entire universe by flying through Oa at light speed, while Batman stayed on Earth to hunt down Alexander Luthor . Batman succeeded, but Luthor was able to escape, while the two Supermen actually saved the day.
6 The Victory In JLA/JSA: Virtue And Vice Was A Definite Team Effort
JLA/JSA: Virtue And Vice, by writers Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer and artist Carlos Pacheco, saw the two teams unite for the first time in years, battling against Johnny Sorrow and Despero disguised as Lex Luthor. The Justice Society was at its most powerful, but it definitely took both teams in order to defeat the two villains.
Batman was certainly there, but he mostly helped Mister Terrific plan out the battle, while the other members of both teams did the heavy lifting. Even with the two most powerful teams on Earth, it was a harrowing battle, and they were only able to pull it off with teamwork.
5 Red Tornado Saved The Day In Justice League Of America: The Tornado’s Path
Justice League of America: The Tornado’s Path, by writer Brad Meltzer and artist Ed Benes, is an amazing story. Bringing together a whole new Justice League, the gist of the story is a reborn Solomon Grundy, this time as smart as he is strong, tricking Red Tornado out of his powerful android body so he could take it over as the new League does their best to stop him.
Grundy handles the team, even tearing off the now human Red Tornado’s arm. Passing out from the pain and blood loss, Reddy blasts Grundy with the most powerful tornado he can muster, killing the undead villain.
4 Batman Left The League In The JLI Years And The Team Still Won All The Time
The Justice League International was a powerful League roster and one of the most beloved of all time. Batman was a member of the team at first, but left the team not long after it was brought together. While this incarnation of the League is more known for being funny, they were also very powerful, with members like Doctor Fate, Shazam, Power Girl, and Martian Manhunter anchoring the team.
There are a lot of stories from this version of the League to pick from where Batman didn’t save the day, but one of the most fun was 2003’s Formerly Known As The Justice League, by original series creators writers JM DeMatteis and Keith Giffen and artist Kevin Maguire, where Manga Khan attacks the team, and they’re able to save the day without Batman.
3 Batman Wounds Darkseid But Doesn’t Save The Multiverse In Final Crisis
Final Crisis is the smartest of DC’s Crisis events. Written by Grant Morrison with art by JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, and Doug Mahnke, Batman was captured in the early stages of Darkseid’s invasion but is able to escape. He shot Darkseid with a Radion bullet, wounding the God of Evil, but ends up falling to the Omega Sanction.
With Batman out of the picture, Superman dispatched Darkseid’s soul and eventually helped the Supermen of the Multiverse and the Green Lantern Corps defeat the vampire Monitor Mandrakk, saving the Multiverse without Batman’s assistance.
two The Justice League Brought In Major Help To Defeat Mageddon
JLA: World War III was the end of writer Grant Morrison’s run on the book, paying off plots they had set up in the years prior. Joined by artist Howard Porter, Morrison’s final story pit the Justice League against Mageddon, the Anti-God. Mageddon basically had the League dead to rights, possessing villains and heroes alike and overpowering everyone who stood against it.
The League came up with an ingenious idea to deal with Mageddon. Using the Purple Ray, they gave everyone on Earth superpowers and made them members of the League. Together, they were able to save all creation from the power of Mageddon.
1 Flash, Green Lantern, And Aquaman Save The Day In JLA: Rock Of Ages
Grant Morrison’s DC work is the best of the best, and their finest JLA story is “Rock Of Ages”, with artist Howard Porter. Lex Luthor, armed with the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Injustice Gang battle the League as Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman hunt Wonderworld for a way to nullify the Stone. The three heroes are thrown into a future ruled by Darkseid, all caused by Superman destroying the Stone in the present.
During the final battle with the Injustice Gang in the present, the League beat their foes. Superman is about to destroy the Stone when Martian Manhunter, warned by a telepathic message from Aquaman, stops him, saving the future.
NEXT: 8 Fastest Justice League Members, Ranked