JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

Justice League Task Force

37 issues (1993-96)

+ History

The Justice League Task Force was an off-shoot from the main JLA book for several years, beginning in June 1993. Following "Doomsday," when Superman died and the JLA was left in shambles once again, the JLTF were created by the US government for specific missions. The Martian Manhunter moved from the main team to oversee these operations.

Like Justice League Europe before it, this team carried a United Nations charter which sanctioned their activities. It's rotating membership included mostly former members of the JLA and Justice Society. Their liaison was Hannibal Martin, a representative of the U.N.

Justice League Task Force #1 (1993)
With Zero Hour, the Task Force became
a training team for "green" heroes
Justice League Task Force #0 (1994)

The creative teams on this book rotated frequently until just after issue #0, when Christopher Priest took over and wrote the series until its end. Penciller Sal Velluto was its primary artist, lasting from issues #1-24.

+ The Video Game (1995)

Justice League Task Force was a Super NES and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis tournament fighting game developed by Blizzard Entertainment and published by Acclaim in 1995. It involves characters from DC Comics' Justice League.

The characters included Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, the Flash, and Aquaman.

The game style is the versus fighting game genre, akin to the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat series.

In the story, Darkseid attacks the planet Earth, destroying a military base in the process. A member of the Justice League (that the player chooses to play as) tracks down the other members for information and aid only be to attacked by those heroes in their related locations. As the hero defeats the other JL members, they deduce that the others aren't the real Leaguers, but rather android clones. Coming to this conclusion, the hero battles Cheetah and then Despero for more information. They both lead the hero to Darkseid, who then forces the hero to fight their android clone. Upon defeating the clone, the hero must face Darkseid himself. After the hero defeats him, the other League members are freed, and the military base is restored.

Some locations in the game include Atlantis, Gotham City, Metropolis, Themyscira and Apokolips.

+ Membership

Martian Manhunter •  Gypsy •  L-Ron •  The Ray •  Triumph • Mystek

Listed here are operatives who were recruited by, or appeared with the Task Force for selected missions. Most of them were official JLA members at one time. From Justice League Task Force #0 onward, the Task Force was considered an official branch of the Justice League, and I have noted it's permanent members (**) as full JLA members (they also appear in the full JLA Membership list).

Member Tenure
(JLTF issues)
Status
Martian Manhunter** (J'onn J'onzz, John Jones, Bronze Wraith and others) 1-37 Deceased Final Crisis #1
Gypsy** (Cindy Reynolds) 1-8, 10-15, 17-37 Active in adventuring
Aquaman (Orin), Flash III (Wally West), Nightwing (Dick Grayson) 1-3  
Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Guy Gardner, Jade, Power Girl, The Ray, Sentinel Action Comics #690  
Batman (Bruce Wayne), Bronze Tiger (Ben Turner), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) 5-6  
Dolphin, Maxima, Vixen (Mari McCabe), Wonder Woman (Diana) 7-8  
Giest, Joe Public, Loose Cannon 9  
Black Canary (Dinah Lance), Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny), Hourman I (Rex Tyler), Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt 10-12  
L-Ron** (L-Ron H*bb*rd, Despero) 13-33, 37 Active in adventuring
Triumph** (William MacIntyre) 0, 17-28 Decased, JLA #38
Ray II** (Ray Terrill) 0, 17-37 Active in adventuring
Damage (Grant Emerson), Impulse (Bart Allen) 25-26  
Mystek** (Seong, Barclay) 26-32 Deceased Justice League Task Force #32 (Feb. 1996)

+ Chronology

What follows are events specific to the Martian Manhunter's Justice League Task Force only.

David Michelinie is writer
Sal Velluto begins penciller
US official Hannibal Martin recruits J'onn, Aquaman, Flash, Gypsy and Nightwing for a special undercover assignment. This group becomes a second "branch" of the Justice League—the Task Force. Justice League Task Force #1 (June 1993)
In the Caribbean, the T.F. tries to stop the use of a Death Cannon. Justice League Task Force #2 (July 1993)
Hannibal Martin appointed head of Task Force operations. Justice League Task Force #3 (Aug. 1993)
Task Force formed with Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Maxima, Guy Gardner, Captain Marvel, Sentinel, Jade, Ray, Doctor Fate and Power Girl. Action Comics #690 (Aug. 1993)
Gypsy signs on as a permanent JLTF member, cracking a case involving Lady Shiva and the evil Sa'ar. Gypsy reveals her first name: Cindy. NOTE: Written by Chuck Dixon. Justice League Task Force #4 (Sept. 1993)
Dennis O'Neil, writer
Knightquest: Batman enlists the T.F.'s help to rescue Robin's captive father. Green Arrow & Bronze Tiger are recruited. Justice League Task Force #5 (Oct. 1993)
Knightquest: We see the first sparks of a romantic interest between Gypsy and Bronze Tiger. NOTE: Continues in Shadow of the Bat #21. Justice League Task Force #6 (Nov. 1993)
Peter David, writer
An all-female Task Force (Wonder Woman, Dolphin, Vixen, Maxima, Gypsy) is assembled to rescue Valley of the Daals — a subterranean African race of women. J'onn assumes a female form and is taken as consort by their queen. NOTE: Written by Peter David. Justice League Task Force #7 (Dec. 1993)
J'onn discovers that the queen of the Daals is half male! NOTE: Evidence of the evolving nature of J'onn's vulnerability to fire here; he says, "My fear of fire... it's psychosomatic. I shouldn't... but it's just so... so hot!" Justice League Task Force #8 (Jan. 1994)
New Blood: Geist, Loose Cannon and Joe Public join J'onn against the Wildman. NOTE: Written by Jeph Loeb. Pencils by Greg Laroque. Justice League Task Force #9 (Feb. 1994)
Michael Jan Friedman, writer
Elongated Man, Black Canary, Hourman I & Peter Cannon recruited to fight the Aryan Nation: Iron Cross, Heatmonger, Backlash, Blind Faith, Golden Eagle II. Justice League Task Force #10 (Mar. 1994)
The Task Force's cover is blown while trying to infiltrate the Aryan Nation. Justice League Task Force #11 (Apr. 1994)
Hourman (Rex Tyler) saves the Task Force and J'onn stops the racist bomb. L-Ron (in Despero's body) returns as a full-time field operative, warning J'onn of Overmaster's arrival. Justice League Task Force #12 (May 1994)
Sarge Steel assembles a JLA Task Force (Beetle, Capt. Atom, Nightshade & Thunderbolt & Judomaster II) to battle Andreas Havoc. 1st app. Jack O'Lantern III, Liam McHugh. NOTE: These heroes were all originally published by Charlton Comics. Also contains Crimson Fox, Jack O' Lantern & Praxis stories. The death of Jack O'Lantern II is not explained until the Primal Force series. Justice League Quarterly #14 (Spring 1994)
Mark Waid, writer
JUDGMENT DAY
Part 1: The Overmaster's ship arrives on Earth at Mt. Everest, Nepal. When all Justice League teams are assembled, Captain Atom clashes with Wonder Woman over a course of action. Against her wishes, Atom leads a team to Everest where Booster Gold loses an arm and is fatally injured. Ice goes missing in action and is coerced into joining the new Cadre: Shatterfist, Devastator (Jack Snyder), the Aryan Nation and the New Extremists. Justice League America #89 (June 1994)
Part 2: UN Liaison, Hannibal Martin orders the League to stand down against the Overmaster. Captain Atom again defies him and assembles another strike team. NOTE: Written by Mark Waid. Justice League Task Force #13 (June 1994)
Part 3: At Maxwell Lord's urging, the U.N. sends the League Busters (Peacemaker, Ultraa, Mirror Master, Chromax, Spellbinder) to stop Captain Atom's team. The Cadre destroys the League's New York headquarters. Guest stars: Lionheart, Osiris and Seneca. NOTE: In Gunfire #6 (Nov. 1994), Mirror Master (McCulloch) says that the Mirror Master in this tale was not him. Justice League Int'l v.2 #65 (June 1994)
Part 4: Ice kills Shatterfist and assumes leadership of the Cadre. Booster is saved by the life support features in his new suit. Wonder Woman rails at Max for consipiring to create the League Busters. Justice League America #90 (July 1994)
Part 5: Bloodwynd leaves the JLA and becomes an observer. Gypsy is deserted on Mt. Everest. Ice turns on the Overmaster and is killed. NOTE: In retrospect, writer Mark Waid regrets the decision to kill Ice. Justice League Task Force #14 (July 1994)
Final: Amazing Man subdues the Overmaster by absorbing his power. Meanwhile, Beetle discovers the control room of the Overmaster's ship and detonates the ship (and Overmaster) ahead of the armageddon device. GUEST APPS: Lionheart, Osiris, Seneca. Justice League Int'l v.2 #66 (July 1994)
Epilogue: The funeral of Ice. The UN (Catherine Cobert) denies the heroes access to their former headquarters. Captain Atom butts heads with Max. Justice League America #91 (Aug. 1994)
The League struggles to reestablish its status and membership. Maxima resigns. Justice League Task Force #15 (Aug. 1994)
Doctor Light, Maya and Power Girl resign. The U.N. abandons the League and Wonder Woman, J'onn and Captain Atom all begin recruiting members for new Justice Leagues. Wonder Woman offers membership to Osiris and Seneca, who apparently decline. The hero Triumph appears amid the time fluctuations of the "Zero Hour." NOTE: The Erewhon storyline was left unfinished. Justice League Int'l v.2 #67 (Aug. 1994)
ZERO HOUR
Return of the Hero 1: Triumph retells the League's 1st adventure--how he assembled Aquaman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Superman to stop an alien mining mechanism. In defeating them, Triumph is thrown out of time for 10 years, leaving no trace of his existence. Justice League America #92 (Sept. 1994)
Return of the Hero 2: Triumph struggles to find the JLA he remembers. Fire asks Arion to commune with Ice's spirit. Justice League Task Force #16 (Sept. 1994)
Return of the Hero 3: Tasmanian Devil and Elongated Man resign. Triumph's disappearance from the timestream is explained, and he joins J'onn's Task Force team. NOTE: Last issue of Justice League Europe/International. Phil Jimenez pencils. Justice League Int'l v.2 #68 (Sept. 1994)
Alan Scott fills in Kyle Rayner on Hal Jordan's demise. Also, Kyle and Superman use the GL ring and Metron (of the New Gods) chair to project a message to all DCU heroes. Green Lantern v.2 #55 (Sept. 1994)
Carter and Shiera Hall are merged with Katar Hol. Shiera perishes in the process. NOTES: Shiera's death was confirmed in JSA Secret Files #2, 9. 2001. Her soul is reincarnated inside her neice, Kendra Saunders. Hawkman v.4 #13 (Sept. 1994)
Parallax begins a campaign to reshape the universe in his own image, starting a wave of temporal distortion that begins to unravel time from the end of the universe backwards. As Waverider and the Linear Men move to warn Earth's heroes, the villain Monarch, now calling himself Extant, tries to exploit the crisis for his own ends. Superman, using the help of Metron and Kyle Rayner, recruits Earth's heroes and alerts them to the time crisis. Zero Hour #4 (Sept. 1994)
A new League reforms under Wonder Woman with new members Hawkman III, Nuklon and Obsidian. They claim the Overmaster's former escape pod as an orbiting headquarters (later referred to as the Refuge). Other members include Flash, Crimson Fox & Metamorpho. The members comment that Blue Beetle has joined Captain Atom's team. Justice League America #0 (Oct. 1994)
J'onn forms a new team (Gypsy, L-Ron, Ray & Triumph) intent on training future Leaguers. The Bronze Tiger declines an invitation to join. They establish headquarters in Ivotown (Professor Ivo's island). Justice League Task Force #0 (Oct. 1994)
The original Ray (Happy Terrill) confronts Martian Manhunter about the whereabouts of his son, the Ray. Ray v.2 #0 (Oct. 1994)
Vandal Savage enlists the Task Force help. 1st app: Osprey. Justice League Task Force #17 (Nov. 1994)
Christopher Priest begins as writer
The Task Force attacked at Savage's crystal palace. Justice League Task Force #18 (Dec. 1994)
JLTF vs. Vandal Savage. Justice League Task Force #19-20 (Jan.–Feb. 1995)
Frustrated by the League's leadership, Captain Atom claims the Justice League name and forms a third branch of the Justice League. Maxima, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and Amazing Man II join him. They establish headquarters at Mt. Thunder, Nevada, a former military complex. Ronald Raymond (Firestorm) is told he is dying of leukemia. 1st app. (shadowed) of Monarch II, the original Nathaniel Adam. NOTE: The team considers itself the Justice League and does not call themselves "Extreme Justice," as the title suggests. Extreme Justice #0 (Jan. 1995)
Gypsy and Ray have second thoughts, but stay with the T.F. J'onn issues new uniforms. Justice League Task Force #21 (Mar. 1995)
1st app. Baron Von Mauler, who imprisons Ray and kidnaps Gypsy. Justice League Task Force #22 (Apr. 1995)
Von Mauler revealed as a powerful empath whom J'onn had been trailing. Despero's personality surfaces briefly in L-Ron. Justice League Task Force #23 (May 1995)
The Ray's spurned girlfriend, Jennifer Barclay, becomes Mystek. The Ray v.2 #12 (May 1995)
Gypsy defeats Von Mauler. NOTE: Includes some pencils by Ed Benes. Last Sal Velluto pencils. Justice League Task Force #24 (June 1995)
Mystek stumbles into Justice League Task Force #HQ; Damage is abducted by Vandal Savage. Justice League Task Force #25 (July 1995
Ray announces his resignation; Mystek joins the Task Force. Guest app: Impulse. Justice League Task Force #26 (Aug. 1995)
L-Ron kills when Despero's will surfaces. Justice League Task Force #27 (Sept. 1995)
The bounty hunter Gammeron comes to capture Despero. Justice League Task Force #28 (Oct. 1995)
L-Ron/Despero kills again; Gammeron captures him to face a galactic trial. Justice League Task Force #29 (Nov. 1995)
UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED
J'onn battles Shrapnel, Sledge, and Brimstone. Triumph accepts Neron's wishing candle in exchange for his soul. Guest appearance: Wonder Woman. Justice League Task Force #30 (Dec. 1995)
All the JLA teams band together to battle the evil erupting on Earth. Luthor and Joker plot to steal Neron's power. Underworld Unleashed #2 (Early Dec. 1995)
J'onn, Wonder Woman, Obsidian, Fire, Icemaiden & Warrior visit an unstable Aquaman in Atlantis. Obsidian is badly injured. Aquaman v.5 #16 (Jan. 1996)
The T.F. set course for Despero's trial in space. Justice League Task Force #31 (Jan. 1996)
Mystek dies during the spacecraft's hull breach. The Ray sets out from Earth to find them. Justice League Task Force #32 (Feb. 1996)
L-Ron escapes his captors, remains at large. Justice League Task Force #33 (Mar. 1996)
Team meets Travis Morgan, Warlord, in the dimension of Skartaris. Justice League Task Force #34-35 (5-6.96)
The T.F. returns to Earth from Skartaris. Justice League Task Force #36 (July 1996)
The JLA returns with the Refuge to Earth; they do not disband, but remain a loose-knit group, using Captain Atom's Mt. Thunder headquarters. Justice League America #113 (Aug. 1996)
The three branches of the League celebrate Christmas together. Triumph contemplates lighting the candle he received from Neron. If so, he would reclaim the lost decade of his life. Though he chooses not to light the candle, Ray and Gypsy unwittingly do. L-Ron returns to Earth. NOTE: Writer Christopher Priest said that even though Ray and Gypsy lit the candle, this did indeed grant Triumph's wish and change the past. Whether Triumph's ideal life included involvement in the Justice League is unclear. This also means that Triumphs soul now belongs to Neron. Inexplicably, the Bronze Tiger appears with the others in this tale. Justice League Task Force #37 (Aug. 1996)
Doctor Destiny returns, empowered by Know Man (1st app. #3); Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter join together to defeat them. (#3) NOTE: This series implies that a Justice League of some sort currently exists. JL: Midsummer's Nightmare #1-3 (Sept.–Nov. 1996)
Final Night: The Sun-Eater destroys Earth's sun. League members past and present band together with other heroes to save the planet. NOTE: The new "big seven" JLA has not yet officially formed. Captain Atom makes reference to his own team, still together. Final Night #1-3 (Nov. 1996)
In response to the new Queen Bee (III)'s reconstruction of the Extremist robots, Captain Atom's team invades Bialya. The U.N. responds by asking all Leagues to disband. Maxima departs in anger. Batman then meets with Superman to discuss the direction of a new JLA. NOTE: This tale erroneously suggests that the post-Judgment Day Leagues were U.N.-sanctioned. JLA: Incarnations #6 (Dec. 2001)