Who are the Justice Society of America?
Who Are the Justice Society of America?
With the recent spotlight on one of my favorite golden age teams in the film Black Adam and in CW shows like Stargirl, newcomers may be wondering where this team comes from in the long history of DC Comics. The standouts in the film are definitely Fate and Hawkman but who are the characters that precede the Justice League? How have they impacted the greater DCU? Let’s dig in!
During the late 1930’s National Publications and All-American Publications had six titles that ran adventures of several characters; Dr. Fate, The Flash, Green Lantern, The Spectre, Hour-Man, Sandman, and Hawkman. In the first inter-company title crossover in All Star Comics #3, these characters would create the very first superhero team, known as the Justice Society of America! Johnny Thunder (a regular Flash Comics side character) would force these characters together to share stories of their exploits thus creating the first official meeting of the JSA. All Star Comics would end with issue #57, and during that time the JSA stories would take members on different adventures from to the war effort in Europe where characters like Wonder Woman had their debuts, fighting dictators, and fighting the earliest super villain team, aptly named the Injustice Society.
The Silver Age would see the Justice Society and their characters play more of a supporting role for the main line DC characters as other characters grew in popularity, but their importance to the DCU would continue in major events including those of multiple earths. As a backup story in Flash #123, the “Flash of Two Worlds” story, it is revealed through Jay Garrick meeting Barry Allen, that the JSA inhabit an entirely alternate universe. All Star Comics title would eventually be picked up and start off where the original stories ended with issue #58. This new title would see the original members older, in their 50’s mentoring a younger generation of heroes. Their time would end with DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths as they were written out of active continuity.
The seminal run written by James Robinson and Geoff Johns, would reintroduce the JSA again, this time taking a page from the 1970’s-1980’s runs and having original members mentoring a new generation of heroes helping them continue the legacy of the team, while also cleaning up their messes they left behind. Brightest Day would end this iteration of the JSA in 2006 with the team making sparse appearances in the years after until now.
The New Golden Age and Justice Society books that were released this month, are a time hopping, Earth-2 adventure. Seeing Helena Wayne (Huntress) leading a new JSA with Power Girl, Icicle Junior, Solomon Grundy, Gentlemen Ghost, Harlequin, Mist, and the daughter of the Golden Age Red Lantern take on the Immortus War dictator Degaton while trying to save the legacy and original members of the JSA. These new books showcase an expanded Golden Age, introducing ideas that the modern counterparts have been dealing with or characters from the original Golden age run. I am excited to see what the new Golden Age of Heroes has to bring going forward which you can find with us here at any of our six Houston area stores!