One of the most iconic things Batman ever did in comics was take down the entire Justice League, but that wasn’t even originally Batman’s plan.
Batman is often touted as one of the most dangerous people in the DC Universe, and this makes sense considering everything he’s accomplished, but one of Batman’s greatest accomplishments—taking down the entire Justice League—wasn’t even Batman’s idea.
It’s been well established that Batman is one of the greatest tacticians on the planet. His paranoid mind lets him think of dozens of possible scenarios that he then plans accordingly for. One of the most famous examples of this was during the 2000 story arc Tower of Babel by Mark Waid, Howard Porter and Steve Scott, which saw Batman’s contingency plans for the JLA get leaked to Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s then proceeded to use these plans to take down every single member of the League one by one. Tower of Babel was a pivotal moment for both the Justice League and Batman, but it turns out Batman’s ideas weren’t original, he stole them from a villain the Justice League had fought several years prior.
The first time the Justice League was really taken down was in Grant Morrison and Arnie Jorgensen’s JLA #17. The 1998 issues sees a new supervillain named Prometheus sneak onboard the JLA Watchtower. Prometheus is a character who hates justice, after he witnessed his loving criminal parents gunned down in front of him by police officers. Ever since then Prometheus has tried to destroy every hero he can find, but the plans he uses would later be refined and used by Batman to beat the Justice League. Prometheus is able to use his plans to beat every single League member who tries to stop him, including Batman. He even has a plan for taking down Superman, but that’s where his plan falls apart, and it’s exactly where Batman improved Prometheus’ designs.
Batman Fixed The Flaws In Prometheus’ Designs
Prometheus is able to easily dispatch every single Justice League member, except for Superman. Despite everyone knowing that Kryptonite is Superman’s greatest weakness, getting ahold of it is another matter entirely. In order to defeat Superman, Prometheus tries to set up a situation where civilians will die if Superman doesn’t surrender, but Prometheus forgot to account for the Justice League’s scariest member: Plastic Man. Unfortunately for Prometheus, Plastic Man is able to foil his trap, which allows Superman to take Prometheus down. What’s interesting about this though is when Batman later comes up with his plans to take down the Justice League, he has a contingency plan for Plastic Man, something Prometheus doesn’t bother with. Batman recognizes that a single man could take down the Justice League, and he also recognizes exactly where Prometheus goes wrong in his attempts, and he corrects those failures.
When Batman devises methods to take down the Justice League, his plans are almost entirely foolproof. He is able to disable Superman and Wonder Woman, something Prometheus fails to do. This just goes to show that while the plans to defeat the Justice League may not have originally been Batman‘s, he certainly perfected them.