JLA: Year One

Issue #1

Cover Date: January 1998
Subtitle: Justice League of America: Year One
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson
Storyline: Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman came together to defeat some strange creatures around the country.
Barry Allen (the Flash) pondered working with the other costumed heroes while at work the next day.
Black Canary talked things over with her mother, the first Black Canary. The younger was tired of her mother treating her like a child.
Aquaman came to the surface in attempt to meet and get along with "surfacedwellers." He wasn't successful.
Hal Jordan, refusing to wear his ring when he flew, crashed another plane in testing. He said they tried to fly it too early.
Detective John Jones stopped a gunfight single-handedly while pondering working with the other heroes.
The five met the next day at the site where they'd left one of the aliens they'd fought. Military was there, and so were intruders trying to take back their beast. The five worked very well together as a team, and after somewhat of a victory, agreed to continue on to see how things worked out. They were being watched by Locus - the same people they'd just defeated.

Issue #2

Cover Date: February 1998
Subtitle: Group Dynamic
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson
Storyline: Locus went to Vandal Savage asking for help with the new super heroes. Savage had been responsible for getting rid of the Justice Society of America years previous. He already had a plan in motion which included Eclipso, Thorn, Clayface, and Solomon Grundy.
The five heroes held a press conference and announced they'd formed a team: The Justice League of America. During the question and answer part, Savage's group attacked. With the world watching on TV, the JLA were victorious. Savage's group was teleported away. Alan Scott and Ted Grant (the JSA's Green Lantern and Wildcat) seemed impressed. Batman was not - he didn't care for them bringing trouble into his city (the press conference was held in Gotham City).
Green Arrow introduced the JLA to Simon Carr. He represented Ted Kord, who wished to help finance the group.

Issue #3

Cover Date: March 1998
Subtitle: Guess Who?
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson
Storyline: Locus showed Savage their experiments - life borne in a laboratory. Their latest failed.
In Chicago, the JLA (Canary, Flash, and GL) took down a costumed group calling themselves Killer Shark. They then met with Ted Kord, a college student working in his father's laboratory. He gave them a security system. Back at what would become their headquarters, Simon Carr introduced the team to his nephew, Snapper. The group exchanged backgrounds. Flash wanted to invite Superman to join the team. Some of the members struggled with getting to know the others.

Issue #4

Cover Date: April 1998
Subtitle: While you were Out...
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair
Storyline: After defeating Starro, the JLA went their separate ways to rejoin their other lives. Hal Jordan was suspended for frequent inexcused absences from Ferris Aircraft. Dinah attended a birthday party for one of her mother's old friends. Her mother and Ted Grant shared an uncomfortable moment.
The Brotherhood - Madam Rouge, The Brain, and Monsieur Mallah - introduced themselves to Locus, who'd captured the Blue Beetle and removed his arms.

Issue #5

Cover Date: May 1998
Subtitle: A League Divided
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair
Storyline: Green Arrow pitched in to help Aquaman and Green Lantern when a flash flood hit a trailer park. The Brotherhood of Evil attacked a town, stealing human parts. The JLA met the Doom Patrol there and began battling. They contained the innocents that the Brotherhood had attacked, and were attacked themselves. The Brain took Canary's voice, GL's arm, Flash's legs, and Manhunter's eyes.

Issue #6

Cover Date: June 1998
Subtitle: Sum of their Parts
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair, John Stokes
Storyline: The Doom Patrol fitted the JLA with mechanical parts to replace what had been taken. They all banded together and went after the Brotherhood. Aquaman and Robotman defeated Madam Rouge and began to break into the Brain's construct. J'onn, Canary, and Elastigirl took down Mallah. Negative Man, GL, and Flash defeated a giant robot and made way for the fortress. Brain's ring construct began to crumble - he could not master the ring. Locus began attacking to get their devices back. Aquaman was able to take the ring over from the Brain and use it against the rest of the bunch. Canary got the genegrafter gun from them and the Doom Patrol put the JLA back together.

Issue #7

Cover Date: July 1998
Subtitle: The American Way
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair
Storyline: After Hal realized Negative Man was one of his old flying buddies, he began to wonder who was financing them. The JLA got together and visited Simon Carr. J'onn was able to read his mind and learn that they were in no danger. Maxwell Lord introduced himself to Bruce Wayne at the same function. Afterwards, the group again split ways to rejoin their other lives.
Locus enacted their final plan and prepared for the coming holocaust. Clark Kent turned a story in on the JLA, then went out to help them. They believed they'd been teleported to another world, but Superman saw through it and destroyed the hologram. They defeated the "Weapons Master" and sent him back to his own time. The JLA gave Superman a tour of their headquarters and offered him a spot on their team. He declined.

Issue #8

Cover Date: August 1998
Subtitle: Loose Ends
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair
Storyline: Each of the five JLA members had defeated an alien, and their first joint effort was to defeat a sixth. Superman had taken down a seventh, but Snapper learned an eighth had landed. The group went out to check for signs. Empty handed, they headed back to headquarters. Snapper showed them surveillance of J'onn's room - he had detailed files on everyone. They went after him, but Martian Manhunter escaped.
One of Locus's members came to them, but was killed by Simon Carr.

Issue #9

Cover Date: September 1998
Subtitle: Change the World
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair
Storyline: Snapper informed Flash to call in the League. When they got there (all but J'onn), he showed them three global-threatening happenings that seemed to be linked. Flash and Canary checked out the polar ice caps. Together, they destroyed the microwave device that was melting them. GL and Aquaman stopped the device that was boring into the earth's crust beneath the sea. The four arrived in California, where a third device was found. Martian Manhunter was attempting to disable it, but in their attempt to stop him, they destroyed it. The machine's methane went up in flames.

Issue #10

Cover Date: October 1998
Subtitle: Heaven and Earth
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair, Mark Propst
Storyline: Believing Martian Manhunter was the eight alien, the JLA went after him, eventhough the sky was now on fire. Locus arrived and began their battle. J'onn took out their machine while the rest of the team battled the drones. He was badly injured by the flames. The JLA followed Locus to their base, where during battle, they learned the plot - the eighth alien was leading them, transforming the earth into something he could live on. Locus was transmutating themselves to be able to live on the new earth. A quake hit - one that would reverse continental drift, causing one huge landmass on the planet. Hal flew into space in hopes of stopping the continents. Barry was able to get to their main computer and shut down the quake. J'onn attempted to get into the Locus troops' brains to find out more information, but it set off some sort of mechanism that killed them all.
Back at headquarters, Manhunter told everyone why he pried into their lives. Barry took his mask off and introduced himself to the group. The rest followed suit. Snapper came in to tell everyone that the man he believed to be his uncle was the eighth alien. Thousands more were on their way.

Issue #11

Cover Date: November 1998
Subtitle: Stalag Earth
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair
Storyline: Superman, the Atom, Blue Beetle, the Metal Men, Dr. Mid-Nite, all the superheroes were taken by the invaders. The JLA was the only thing left to defend Earth. After 24 hours of warring, Metropolis was lost. The alien possessing Simon Carr left his body and took that of one of his troops. Vandal Savage grabbed Carr.
The JLA traveled back to headquarters hoping to get J'onn's files. The aliens were there waiting for them. The last of Earth's superheroes were delivered to the holding island in the Atlantic. Little did the aliens know, but J'onn had disguised the team as each other. They easily broke through their bindings and freed the other heroes.

Issue #12

Cover Date: December 1998
Subtitle: Justice for All
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artists(s): Barry Kitson, Michael Bair
Storyline: The heroes of today and yesterday all banded together to save the world, but the aliens were still better. In guise of Clayface, Vandal Savage delivered the JLA a weapon to destroy the Appelexians. All were in agreement to be against their total destruction. J'onn was able to reconfigure the device to defeat them. The JLA teamed together with J'onn to use their brain power and open a portal. The aliens were vanquished back to their home.
After the victory, the JLA took a vote on a new member - Green Arrow - not realizing his secret identity, Oliver Queen, was financing them.

trade paperback edition


  • Dinah Lance is 19 at the time of issue 1.
  • Barry Allen is engaged.
  • Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, and Atom are mentioned by Vandal Savage in issue 2.
  • Metamorpho, the Atom, Batman, and Green Arrow made cameos in issue 2.
  • Joker was mentioned in issue 2.
  • Speedy made a cameo in issue 11.
  • In the post-Infinite Crisis "new Earth," Wonder Woman was a founding member of the JLA. As this was written, she didn't exist yet (she was destroyed in CoIE and reborn shortly thereafter).
  • Return to continuity section 1.