Justice League: A Better World
Welcome to Earth-50
When President Lex Luthor murdered the Flash, the Superman of this world took it upon himself to punish Luthor by death and instituted a global police state patrolled and maintained by the tyrannical, super-powered Justice Lords.
- Superman: There are at least six different ways I can stop you right now.
- President Luthor: But they all involve deadly force, don’t they? And you don’t do that. No, you need me. You wouldn’t be much of a hero without a villain, and you do love being a hero, don’t you? The cheering children, the swooning women, you love it so much, it’s made you my most reliable accomplice.
- Superman: Accomplice? What are you…?
- President Luthor: You could’ve crushed me any time you wanted and it wasn’t the law or the will of the people that stopped you. It was your ego. Being a hero was too important to you. You’re as much responsible as I am. So go ahead, fix it somehow, put me on trial, lock me up, but I’ll beat it and then we’ll start the whole thing all over again.
- Superman: I did love being a hero, but if this is where it leads, I’m done with it.
In a universe parallel to that of the Justice League’s universe (New Earth), President Lex Luthor’s unjust execution of the Flash caused the super-hero team of that universe to go rogue. Though this team called itself the Justice Lords (rather than the Justice League) since its inception, it too is composed of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, John Stewart, Hawkgirl, and J’onn J’onzz, and (until Luthor became President) both teams apparently shared the same history.
After Superman killed President Luthor, the Justice Lords reorganized itself into a planet-wide ruling body, quickly beginning a program of protecting humanity from itself. Free speech was all but dead, elections were chosen only when the Lords said so and the slightest disturbance of the peace which meant immediate arrest. Many of the rogues that the Lords had faced in the past were lobotomized to make them peaceful and harmless. The rogues were then placed in an updated and pleasant-looking Arkham Asylum run by The Joker, who had become harmless after undergoing the “treatment” himself. Also during this period, the costumes of the Justice Lords underwent extensive changes.
Despite this victory, the concern the Justice League had that they themselves could slide into the same kind of corrupting excesses remained a bothersome one. To prevent such an occurrence, the team took pains to recruit the politically active Green Arrow when the League expanded after the Thanagarian Invasion. The team hoped he could be a populist voice who could be their political conscience, and he did not disappoint considering that he was instrumental in preventing a dangerous overreaction by the League during the Cadmus Project Affair. For more details in this timeline see Important Events.