BatmanEverything Superman does out front of the League, Batman is doing in the back. While Superman may be quarterbacking the play, Batman is the coach making sure everyone is doing their job. While the rest of the DCU marvels at what Superman can do, they’re wondering what Batman CAN’T do. He’s a thinker, a planner, a tactician and a strategist. He’s got plans within plans and some of those plans are pointed at the League itself should anything go wrong. He can handle himself against opponents who are a lot more powerful than himself all while coordinating the rest of the League and deducing what the villains are up to. If necessary, Batman is a one man espionage squad with an extended family of operatives who are nearly, if not just as, skilled as he is. Most importantly, Batman has a willingness to ignore the rules when winning is more important. Nobody wants to disappoint the Dark Knight Detective either…mostly because they’re afraid of what he’d do to them.
Oh, good, looks like I get to be a contrarian again. That's right: Batman, not high on my list of favorite characters. Sometimes, I wonder if there's something wrong with my wiring . . . anyway, for me, even before the Dark Knight Detective became the Sullen Jerk Detective, Batman never gelled on the team effectively; about the only really positive Batman/JLA memory that springs to mind was the Bats/Guy Gardner "fight." Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my next pick:
Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
Sure, he's dead, but that didn't stop Superman or Green Arrow from re-upping their membership, now did it? I know that Beetle became something of a joke during the Giffen years (a fact that was pounded home mercilessly in Countdown to Infinte Crisis), but Beetle's got a lot more going for him when he doesn't have Booster around to give his inner child some wacky tabacky. Beetle's a skilled fighter, a talented inventor, a fairly good detective, and, of course, a bit of a cut-up. Personally, despite a love of all things dark and gloomy in most other genres, when it comes to my super-heroes, I prefer a bit of light-heartedness, and Ted's got that in spades.
Plus, he travels around in a giant blue bug; how can you not love that?
Okay, who doesn't love the Blue Beetle? Seriously! I can't even argue with these choices in and of themselves, I totally get the reasoning. However, nobody gets to make fun of your significant other but YOU (boy am I going to catch hell for this analogy). I'm not saying I want to date Batman, but I am saying that I have a huge personal investment in the character (his shield, yellow disk surrounding it just like when all was right with the world, permanently adorns my left shoulder after all) and won't have others bad mouthing him or his place in the League. Sure, he's become a total asshat lately and one thing Infinite Crisis and One Year Later better do is make him less of a jerk, at least to his own "family." Regardless, Batman belongs on the League and he'd want to be there if only to see that the rest of the amateurs they let run around the place don't drop the ball one lazy afternoon when the world is in dire peril.
I really wish I could have worked Ted into my League though...