Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Batman Scene That Confirms The True Leader Of The Justice League

When one thinks of DC's Justice League, one can easily envision its main members and their function within the organization. There's stoic Batman, the all-too-human Superman, forthwith Wonder Woman, quick-witted The Flash, the dedicated Green Lantern, the sly Green Arrow, the brilliant Hawkgirl and Hawkman, and the tough Martian Manhunter. The organization's membership has shifted and changed over the decades, but these are the core individuals who comic (and animation) fans tend to associate with the League. No matter who's holding the lasso, wearing the cowl, or donning the cape, some version of these characters tend to sit at the table in the Hall of Justice to better protect the world against evildoers and their own arch-nemesis.

But which of these superheroes would DC fans consider to be the head honcho, the leader of the Justice League? It's a reasonable question. After all, there have been squabbles — both playful and not — for control of the superhero organization over time and different incarnations of the faction. Some fans would pick Batman, others would say Superman, and still, other fans would pick Wonder Woman, or dark horses like The Flash, as the group's figurehead. One must wonder who's really in charge here. Who chooses when and where the team stands down or goes into battle? Who guides the Justice League into war — and who should ultimately pull them out of a conflict? In the end, who do fans really think rules the organization's proverbial roost? 

A group of Batman lovers who gather to talk about all things Caped Crusader on a dedicated subreddit think they know who really wears the pants around the Hall of Justice. So which member is the true leader of the Justice League, according to them?

Some fans think Batman is the leader of the group

Via a meme posted to the Batman subreddit, u/toddster_ wrote that "[y]ou know Batman is the leader when he makes the League get in his plane, even though they can all fly."

The simple image, which has become popular on places such as Pinterest, shows a screencap of a meme that was originally posted to Facebook. In it, the above quote is printed in plain black text above a screencap from the Cartoon Network animated program "Justice League Unlimited," featuring Batman piloting his Batwing with Wonder Woman, Superman and other characters sitting strapped into their seats behind him. Beneath the screencap is a comment that reads, "[A]nd he even makes them wear seatbelts, even when some of them are more resistant than the plane."

It's true that The Justice League will historically and occasionally use alternate forms of travel — such as Wonder Woman's invisible jet and the Batwing — as a way of getting from one place to the other. This is a fact even though the League is comprised of characters like Superman and The Green Lantern, who can travel through space, are blessed with hides that are impervious to extreme elemental exposure, or who can simply fly. Sometimes, this is a matter of plot necessity, and other times, it's for practical reasons (such as when League members have to travel between galaxies or dimensions). Occasionally, though, it's a way for writers to get all of the characters in one place at the same time without having to make sure there's a storyline reason for Batman and other non-flying members of the league to arrive at a given location before or at the same time as their winged compatriots.

Fans disagree about whether or not this makes Batman the Justice League's leader

In the post's comments, fans were divided about whether or not this "Unlimited" moment meant that Batman was really the League's leader, with at least one fan declaring that Superman leads the team. A few more fans pointed out that there are reasons, such as the fact that Wonder Woman can't breathe in space, for the League to be traveling by plane together.

Much was made of the fact that the team sport seatbelts in the image. "They have to be role models even when they think no one is looking. So they put on their seatbelts because that's what heroes do," observed u/Stevenstorm505. Opined u/MateuszMartyni, "Batman is being smart" in making sure his friends are all belted into their seats. They pointed out that if the plane crashed, Batman would be "slammed by a force of a truck," meaning by his much heavier colleagues. u/iUptvote speculated that the heroes could make use of such downtime to rest and "talk or plan something."  "You don't carry Batman, he carries you," quipped u/buddymanson.

While some fans pointed out that it's likely that the League members are wearing safety belts to ensure that the kids watching at home know that they should do the same in their family's SUV versus this being a nod to Bruce Wayne's authority over them, other fans had a lot of fun envisioning what a Justice League road trip might look like. No matter who's calling the League's shots, in the end they're all going to be friends for life.