JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
History of the Justice Society
Based on text written by Scott Stephen Moore
In late 1940, DC Comics (then actually two companies, National and All-American Comics) created a new comic book series called All-Star Comics. All-Star included several stories, each featuring a different popular costumed character of the time such as Flash, Hawkman and Green Lantern.
With its Winter 1940 issue, the third, All-Star's format changed. Writer Gardner Fox combined all the companies' primary characters in a single story. They didn't stop a crime spree or save the world. No, these heroes met for dinner. This was the humble beginning of comics' first super-hero team.
The concept of All-Star was to promote the company's second tier characters. Any character who starred in their own series was deemed ineligible (i.e., in danger of overexposure) for inclusion. For this reason, Batman and Superman were considered honorary members. They appeared only in All-Star #7 and #24. Likewise, when Flash and Green Lantern were given their own comic books, they "left" the JSA to become reserve members. The opposite was also true: if a character lost his feature in another series, he also lost his membership in the JSA. Hourman's "leave of absence" marked the end of his strip in Adventure Comics.
After the Justice Society's members—indeed most costumed heroes—disappeared by the early 1950s, they languished in limbo until 1961. During DC's Silver Age, heroes such as Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom were dramatically updated for modern readers. Instead of having both old and new heroes live on the same Earth, DC created the concept of "parallel Earths." The Justice Society's Earth was was essentially moved onto a separate Earth called "Earth Two," while DC's modern day heroes lived on Earth One. Earth Two was one of an infinite number of parallel universes.
Since the introduction of parallel Earths, or multiverse, the DC Universe has gone through some dramatic changes. Two company-wide events changed JSA continuity in extremely significant ways. First, 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths collapsed all parallel Earths into only one universe and continuity. As a result, the Justice Society became the preeminent wartime heroes in the DCU, but Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were entirely removed from that Golden Age. Over the next couple decades, writers would struggle to retrofit Golden Age tales in a coherent way, without these iconic heroes.
Then in 2011, DC again wiped the to create the "New 52." This universe began fresh with most characters reinvented from scratch. The New 52 contained 52 parallel Earths (a concept introduced by the 2005 Infinite Crisis, which had semi-restored DC's original multiverse). Earth 2 in the New 52 was also the home of the Justice Society. This time around, all of the characters were of a similar age to the mainstream DC Universe; they were not of World War II. And again, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were removed from the board—all killed in an epic battle with Darkseid's forces. After their passing, familiar new heroes (or "wonders") began to appear.
The Golden Age (1940–1951)
Those in attendance at the first meeting of the Justice Society included eight costumed heroes: The Flash (Jay Garrick), the Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hourman (Rex Tyler), the Atom (Al Pratt), the Sandman (Wesley Dodds), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson), and the Spectre (Jim Corrigan).
Two others decided to crash this dinner party: Johnny Thunder and the original Red Tornado. Johnny was allowed to stay as the official JSA "mascot"; the Red Tornado remained only briefly, as an embarrassing tear in her costume necessitated a hasty retreat. (All-Star #3)
The Flash served as the JSA's first chairperson. (#3–6) He resigned when his duties in Keystone City became too great (in actuality, he'd been awarded his own solo comic book series [All-Flash] and so the editors removed him from this anthology). Johnny Thunder took his place as a full member, and Green Lantern became the second chairperson. (#7)
Green Lantern served an even shorter term as chair and soon left as well. He was replaced by Hawkman as chairperson, who retained the post for many decades. (The Golden Age Hawkman starred regularly in Flash Comics, but was never awarded his own series.) GL's place in the JSA was filled by Dr. Mid-Nite (the blind Charles McNider). Hourman also took a leave of absence (later revealed as a foray with the new Freedom Fighters [All-Star Squadron #31]) and was replaced by the original Starman (Ted Knight). (#8)
The team's first female member, Wonder Woman, actually made her first appearance in All-Star Comics #8 and joined the team in issue #12—ostensibly as their secretary! She was the Amazon princess, Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta. Wonder Woman's place in JSA continuity was changed greatly by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, which removed her from the Golden Age. (Superman and Batman were also removed but their participation in the JSA was very limited by comparison.) To fill the void, writer/artist John Byrne crafted a tale in which Hippolyta traveled back to 1942 from the future with the Flash (Jay Garrick). (Wonder Woman v.2 #130) After they completed their mission, Jay returned to the future, but Hippolyta elected to remain with the JSA —serving as Wonder Woman—until the early 1950s. (#133) Having trained for millennia in the arts of war, but used them only in practice, Hippolyta was more than ready stand and fight for America in the war.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, President Roosevelt called upon all America's costumed adventurers to form an All-Star Squadron in service of their country. The members of the JSA joined the Squadron, but they were soon drafted into a higher service. On 9 December 1941, they formally disbanded so that all members could join the armed forces. (#11) They then formed a special task force called the Justice Battalion. (#12)
During the war, only a handful of others joined the JSA. Among them were Mr. Terrific (Terry Sloane) and Wildcat (Ted Grant). (#24) They actually appeared in only that single issue of All-Star, but later stories established them as more active members. A much more regular cast member was the Black Canary (Dinah Drake [#38]). And although she was never officially inducted as a member during the Golden Age, Hawkgirl (Shiera Sanders) assisted the team on several missions. (#5, 8, 15)
To readers in 1951, the Justice Society simply disappeared with no explanation. With issue #58, All-Star Comics was retitled All-Star Western and DC shelved their former bread-and-butter heroes. In later decades, writers explained the disappearance (in terms of DC continuity) as the product of McCarthyism. During this paranoid time in American politics, the JSA refused to reveal their secret identities to the U.S. Government. Instead they chose to disband. Many of the team members settled down and started families during this time. Some of their children would also become super-heroes and later form Infinity, Inc.
The Justice Society faced some of their most relentless enemies during this time, including: Brain Wave (#15, 17, 30), the Psycho Pirate (#23, 32), Solomon Grundy (#33), the Wizard (#34), Per Degaton. (#35) Most were also a part of the Injustice Society, a super-villain team that would return in many forms over the years. (#37, 41)
Series and prominent appearances from this period:
All-Star Comics #3–57 (1940–51) The original Golden Age tales of the Justice Society.
The Silver Age and Beyond (1956–1980)
Over ten years later, in the pages of The Flash #123 (1961), DC's new Flash, Barry Allen, met his Golden Age predecessor for the first time. DC then decided to revive the Justice Society. But during the Silver Age—which began with Allen's introduction in 1956—DC's revived characters had secret identities, origins, and in some cases powers that were vastly different than their Golden Age counterparts. To explain the existence of two Flashes, Green Lanterns, Hawkmen, Atoms, et al, DC invented the idea that these heroes lived on different parallel Earths. Earth One was the home of the Justice League of America (formed in The Brave and the Bold #28, 1960). Earth Two was the world of the Justice Society and other Golden Age characters.
Eventually DC Comics acquired characters from former rivals, Quality Comics and Fawcett Comics (home of Captain Marvel). Their heroes adventures were assigned to Earth-X and Earth-S respectively.
In the Flashes' second meeting, (The Flash #129, 1962) the entire Justice Society showed up and decided to come out of retirement. The membership was then comprised of the Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite, the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Johnny Thunder, and Wonder Woman.
The first meeting of the Justice Society and the Justice League took place just a few months later in Justice League of America #21-22 (1963). This occasion proved so popular that it sparked an annual tradition. The JSA guest-starred in Justice League of America crossovers every year for 23 years. » SEE ALSO: List of Justice League/Justice Society crossovers
Several heroes joined the JSA for the first time during this period. The original Robin (Dick Grayson) joined during the crossover in Justice League of America #55. The android Red Tornado was also admitted but soon moved to Earth One and joined the JLA. (Justice League of America #65) After he was retrieved from being stranded in the prehistoric past, the still youthful Star-Spangled Kid joined along with Superman's cousin, Power Girl (Kara Zor-L, the counterpart to Supergirl). (All-Star Comics #58) And after the Batman's death, his daughter Helena debuted as the Huntress. (All-Star Comics #72)
- Alan Scott: 57
- Jay Garrick: "maybe 55"
- Carter Hall: 57
- Wes Dodds: not stated
- Rex Tyler: "in his sixties now"
- Al Pratt: "about 53"
- Bruce Wayne: 60
- Clark Kent: not stated
- Jim Corrigan: "Corrigan was about 25 when the murder took place, so he's about 62 now"
- Kent Nelson: "really hitting 60, but no one would take him for a day over 40"
- Ted Knight: not stated
- Charles MacNider: sixties
- Diana Prince: not stated, except that "she doesn't age at the same pace as regular mortals"
- Ted Grant: "just hitting 50"
- Terry Sloane: not stated
- Dinah Lance: "it's a woman's privilege not to tell her age … especially to someone who doesn't even write her adventures"
- Ma Hunkle: "forget her"
- Syl Pemberton: "still feels and acts like an 18 year old"
- Dick Grayson: 35
- Power Girl: "she's 18" but "has her own age related problems."
In addition to these, Flash and Green Lantern frequently guest-starred in their counterparts' series. And the Golden Age Wonder Woman returned as the main character in Wonder Woman for a brief time, supplanting her Silver Age duplicate! (This coincided with the "Wonder Woman" TV series) The original Superman (joined on one occasion by Johnny Thunder) was a regular character in Superman Family. And (a perhaps Earth One) Wildcat frequently teamed with the Earth One Batman in The Brave and the Bold. Here are more notable comic book appearances from the 1960s and '70s:
Series and prominent appearances from this period:
All-Star Comics #58–74 (1976–78): The original JSA title was revived and saw the addition of several new team members. Star-Spangled Kid joined in issue #64, as did Power Girl (who first appeared in #58). The Huntress, daughter of the Golden-Age Batman and Catwoman, first appeared in issue #69 and joined the team in #72.
DC Special #29 (1977): "The Untold Origin of the Justice Society." The name says it all. The story of how the heroes of the world's greatest super team first met.
Adventure Comics #461–466 (1979): After their run in All-Star came to an end, the JSA's exploits continued in Adventure Comics. Major event of the series: The Golden-Age Batman dies in battle in #462. Completists may also want to track down issue 460, which guest-stars the Golden-Age Flash.
Justice League of America #21-22, 29-30, 37-38, 46-47, 55-56, 64-65, 73-74, 82-83, 91-92, 100-102, 107-108, 113, 123-124, 135-137, 147-148, 159-160, 171-172, 183-185, 195-197, 207-209, 219, 220
Other JSA features from this period:
Flash #129 (1962) Second Silver Age appearance of the Golden Age Flash, first Silver Age appearance of the Justice Society (in flashback).
Flash #137 (1963) Second Silver Age appearance of the Justice Society, their first Silver Age adventure.
The Brave and the Bold #61–62 (1965) Starman and Black Canary.
Showcase #55–56 (1965) Hourman and Dr. Fate, Green Lantern guests in #55.
Atom #29, 36 (1967) The Golden Age Atom guest stars.
DC Super-Stars #17 (1977) First appearance of Batman and Catwoman's daughter, the Huntress.
Action Comics #484 (1978) The Golden Age Superman marries Lois Lane.
Secret Society of Super-Villians #15 (1978) Dr. Mid-Nite and the Golden Age Atom appear.
Showcase #97–99 (1978) Introducing Power Girl.
Superman Family #198–222 (1979–82) The adventures of "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" of Earth Two.
Wonder Woman v.1 #228-243 (1977–78). Tales shifted to the Golden Age when the "Wonder Woman" TV show was airing.
The 1980s turned out to be a miserable time for the world's greatest super-team. In 1984, several super-powered children of JSA members crashed a Justice Society meeting, demanding to be admitted as members. These were Jade and Obsidian, the long-lost twin offspring of Green Lantern; Northwind, the sort-of godson of Hawkman; Nuklon, godson of the Atom; Silver Scarab, son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl; and and Fury, daughter of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. Their attempt to join the Justice Society was rebuffed. The teens left angrily, joined by the sympathetic Huntress (Batman's daughter) and Power Girl (Superman's cousin). (Infinity Inc. #1) These new heroes actually first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25, a tale which took place after Infinity Inc. #1.
The new heroes were rejected because the majority of JSA members felt they were still too young. The JSA's children subsequently formed their own super-hero team, Infinity, Inc. For their first case, they were joined by Power Girl and the Huntress. But another young JSAer, the Star-Spangled Kid (later known as Skyman) joined them and became their leader.
In 1985, the JSA were tried for treason against the United States, based on evidence obtained from the deceased Batman's diary (left in the care of his friend before Wayne's death). It turned out that the diary's allegations against the JSA were actually part of a complex code created by the Batman to expose a greater injustice. The JSA were exonerated. (America vs. the Justice Society #1-4)
After that farce came the DC's greatest shakeup ever— Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this twelve-part maxi-series, a being known as the Anti-Monitor destroyed nearly all of the infinite universes. Only five Earths were spared: Earths One and Two, along with Earth-S (Fawcett), Earth-X (Quality), and Earth-4 (newly acquired Charlton Comics characters). These five were ultimately merged into one, and the unified history of that Earth was rewritten to include all those characters.
By the end of Crisis, all of the Golden Age heroes who had "exact duplicates" on Earth One were removed from the board. The Earth Two Robin and Huntress died and were laid to rest in a private cemetery on the estate of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. The Golden Age Superman and his wife, Lois Lane, retreated to another dimension, and the Golden Age Wonder Woman and her husband, Steve Trevor, were invited to Olympus to live as gods. History soon forgot all about these great heroes as the universe settled into it's new state of existence.
As a result of the new Earth's history, Power Girl was no longer Superman's cousin, but supposedly the granddaughter of Arion, ancient Lord of Atlantis. Lyta Trveor/Fury, was no longer the daughter of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, but instead became the daughter of the Golden Age Fury (created just for this purpose). Since there was no Golden Age Wonder Woman in the new continuity, the JSA's Golden Age secretary was revealed to be Miss America, a Golden Age Quality Comics heroine who was also a member of the Freedom Fighters.
In the post-Crisis zeitgeist, DC's Golden Age characters were considered irrelevant. Eventually what remained of the Justice Society was removed by a different method—they were drawn into an inter-dimensional conflict and forced to fight the great monsters of Norse Mythology for all eternity. Trapped in Limbo were Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman, Starman, Wildcat, Johnny Thunder, Atom, Sandman, Hawkgirl and Sandy the Golden Boy. Only the Spectre, Dr. Fate, Power Girl, and the Star Spangled Kid managed to avoid this fate; there were already plans to use these characters in expanded roles. (Last Days of the JSA)
Series from this period:
All-Star Squadron #1–67 (1981–87)
Justice League of America #231, 232, 244 (1984–85)
America vs. the Justice Society #1–4 (1985)
Infinity, Inc. #1–53 (1985–88)
Last Days of the JSA #1 (1986) The surviving JSA members enter the Ragnarok cycle.
Dr. Fate v.1 #1-4 (1987)
Young All-Stars #1–31 (1987–89)
Justice Society of America v.1 #1-8 (1991): Set in the early 1950s and staring Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, Starman, and Black Canary.
Features from this period:
DC Comics Presents #25 (1980) "Whatever happened to Hourman?" • #29 (1981): "Whatever happened to Dr. Mid-Nite?" • #30 (1981) "Whatever happened to the Golden Age Atom?" • #42 (1982) "Whatever happened to the Golden Age Sandman?"
Secret Origins (1986–90): #1: Superman • #6: Batman • #7: Sandman • #9: Star-Spangled Kid • #11: Power Girl & Hawkman • #12 Fury • #13: Johnny Thunder • #15: Spectre • #16: Hourman • #18: Green Lantern • #20: Dr. Mid-Nite • #24: Dr. Fate • #25: The Atom • #26: Miss America • #29: Red Tornado • #31: Justice Society • #50: Black Canary I dies
Legends #6 • JLA #1 (1987) Black Canary II and Dr. Fate become charter members of the new Justice League.
Flash Annual #3 (1989) Flash III investigates the disappearance of Jay Garrick and learns the fate of the JSA from Jade and Obsidian.
Hawkworld Annual #1 (1990) Hawkman, Hawkwoman and the Flash pursue the Fiddler back to the 1940s.
Starman v.1 #26-27 (1990) David Knight becomes Starman VI.
Superman v.2 #46 (1990) Jade and Obsidian meet Superman.
Sandman v.2 #22 (1991) Hector and Lyta Hall's son Daniel Hall is born. • #40 (1992) Lyta Hall suffers from memory lapses while her sleeping son, Daniel, meets his future subjects in the Dreaming. • #57-68: Lyta Hall's son Daniel is kidnapped by Loki. The distraught Lyta is manipulated by the Furies as a weapon against Morpheus.
As with anything, if you put it away for a long enough time, people will grow nostalgic about it. This nostalgia leads to renewed interest.
After the JSA went into Limbo, their old headquarters in Gotham City was converted to a museum in their honor. Seven years later, the JSA was freed from Limbo in a crossover event known as Armageddon Inferno. During the time they were gone, Infinity, Inc. had been decimated and disbanded. Hawkman and Hawkgirl had become grandparents, but their son, Hector, had died.
They JSA then starred in a new ongoing series (1992) which featured lively art and storytelling but which did not succeed in sales. Many of the team's members returned to active adventuring and they set up a new headquarters in Gotham City. They faced old enemies such as the Ultra-Humanite and Kulak. Their former ally, Johnny Quick hung out with them for awhile, as did his daughter Jesse Quick. (Justice Society of America v.2 #1) Johnny Thunder adopted a girl named Kiku, who was born of the native land from where his Thunderbolt originated. (#3, 7) (His first adopted daughter, Peachy Pet, invented frozen yogurt and during his stay in Limbo she had amassed great wealth for the family). The Flash began spending more time with the "Flash family," mentoring new speedsters including Wally West (Flash III), Jesse Quick, and Barry Allen's grandson, Impulse. NOTE: Writer Len Strazewski called the cancellation of JSA v.2 "a capricious decision made personally by Mike Carlin because he didn't like Mike's artwork or my writing and believed that senior citizen super-heroes was not what DC should be publishing. He made his opinion clear to me several times after the cancellation."
Many JSA members were enjoying vital new roles—until the DC editorial machine once again branded these senior heroes as obsolete. During the course of 1994's, Zero Hour event, Atom, Hourman, and Dr. Mid-Nite were slain, Wildcat suffered a heart attack, and the rest of the team was aged well past their prime. (Zero Hour #3-2) The JSA disbanded once again. Only three were left with active roles in the DCU. Garrick remained part of the Flash Family; Green Lantern was rejuvenated by his own powers and took the name Sentinel (Showcase '95 #1); and Starman retired to his observatory and passed his cosmic torch onto his sons David and Jack. (Starman #0)
In 1999, the Flash, Green Lantern, Hippolyta, and Wildcat (who revealed that he acquired "nine lives" back in the 1940s, explaining his renewed youth) reteamed with a new Justice League to solve a case involving Johnny Thunder's mystic Thunderbolt. At the conclusion, the young Jakeem Thunder gained control of the Thunderbolt, and the stage was set for the formation a new JSA. (JLA #28-31)
Series from this period:
Dr. Fate v.2 #1–41 (1988–92) Eric and Linda Strauss become Dr. Fate, then succeeded by Kent and Inza Nelson.
Armageddon Inferno #1–4 (1992): The return of the JSA from Limbo to current DC continuity. Yet again, overwhelming fan response led to...
Justice Society of America v.2 #1–10 (1992-93): The JSA reestablishes itself as an active superhero team. Jessie Quick debuts.
Sandman Mystery Theatre #1–70 (1993–99)
The Spectre v.2 #1–62 (1993–98) Jim Corrigan struggles for his own redemption, and the vengeful nature of his alter ego.
Starman v.2 #0–80 (1994–2001) When David Knight is killed in battle, his younger brother, Jack Knight, becomes Starman VII.
Zero Hour: Crisis In Time #0-4 (1994): The JSA is decimated; Hourman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Atom are killed, Wildcat has a heart attack, Hawkman and Hawkwoman are merged into one being.
Damage #0–12 (1994–95) Grant Emerson (the son of the Atom I) becomes the superhero Damage.
Kingdom Come #1–4 (1996)
Batman and Wildcat #1–3 (1997) Wildcat in a fist fight with Batman! And holding his own!
Catwoman and Wildcat #1–4 (1998): Another Wildcat adventure, due to the popularity of Batman And Wildcat.
Green Lantern & Sentinel #1–3 (1998): The Golden Age and current Green Lanterns team up with Jade and Obsidian.
All Star Comics #1–2, Adventure, All-American, National, Sensation, Smash, Star-Spangled, and Thrilling Comics #1 (1999): A nine-part story set in the 1940s, meant to reintroduce people to the Golden Age JSA before their return as a modern team.
Featured Appearances from this period :
Starman v.1 #26-27 (1990) David Knight takes over his father's role as Starman.
Green Lantern v.3 #19 (1991) Alan Scott guest stars. • #71 (1996): Alan Scott restores his wife's soul, but in the process Molly is returned to her real age. • #109 (1999) Sentinel, Obsidian and Jade celebrate Christmas.
Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #3 (1992) The JSA discovers that Black Canary I passed away. • Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #5 (1993) Alan Scott's ring makes him younger.
Darkstars #6–7 (1993): The Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl guest star.
Eclipso #13 (1993) Dr. Midnight, Wildcat II, and Commander Steel are all slain by Eclipso.
The Flash v.2 #76 (1993) The Flash and Johnny Quick track down Max Mercury. • Flash v.2 #97–100 (1995) Terminal Velocity: The Flash Family vs. Kobra. • Flash v.2 #108-109 (1995) Dead Heat: The Flash Family vs. Savitar.
Justice League America #78-79 (1993) Jay Garrick replaces Superman as temporary field leader of JLA.
Justice League Europe #47-50 (1993) The JSA aids the JLE against Sonar.
Hawkman v.3 # 13 (1994) Carter and Shiera Hall are merged with Katar Hol (Hawkman III).
Justice League Task Force #10-12 (1994) Hourman and the Black Canary briefly join the JLTF.
Showcase '94 #8 (1994) Wildcat reconciles with the Montez family, who blame him for the death of Yolanda Montez (Wildcat II).
Showcase '95 #1 (1995) Alan Scott discovers that after the destruction of his ring he has internalized the power of the Starheart. He adopts the name Sentinel.
Wonder Woman v.2 #128–139 (1997–98) Queen Hippolyta becomes Wonder Woman when Diana dies.
JLA #28-31 (1999): A reformed JSA teams up with the JLA to stop an imp from the 5th dimension.
The Kingdom #1–2 (1999) The original Superman of Earth-2 (trapped in Alexander Luthor's "heaven") contemplates his "captivity" and searches for a way out.
Several months after the team-up with the new JLA, Wesley Dodds, the original Sandman sacrificed his life in Tibet. (JSA Secret Files #1) At his funeral, the remaining JSA members and several of their associates (Star-Spangled Kid II, Hourman III, Starman VII, Atom-Smasher, Black Canary II, and Sandy the Golden Boy), were attacked by a group of undead monsters known as the Sons of Anubis, who were seeking the relics belonging to the late Dr. Fate. (JSA #1) This led the heroes on a quest to find the infant who was destined to become the new Dr. Fate.
This group was joined by a new Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders, granddaughter of Speed Saunders, and grandniece of Hawkman and Hawkgirl) just as the team managed to locate the Fate-child. (#2) That child was magically accelerated to maturity and indeed became the new Dr. Fate. (#3) What's more, he was the reincarnation of Hector Hall (previously the Silver Scarab). The heroes decided to reform the JSA and use Wesley Dodds' New York mansion as their new base of operations.
Sandy the Golden Boy changed his codename to Sand and became the team's first new chairman. Sandy also possessed extended longevity as a result of a metaphysical transformation. Also joining the team was the new Mr. Terrific (Michael Holt). (#5) Dr. Mid-Nite II (Pieter Cross) became the DCU's go-to metaphysician. (#7-9) Jakeem Thunder became a reserve member. (JSA Sec. Files #2)
Their most deadly rivals during this time were the renewed Injustice Society. Formed by Johnny Sorrow with Black Adam, Shiv, Rival and the Thinker. Sorrow had been defeated by the Spectre in 1944 and sought to unleash armageddon. (#16-21) Black Adam took to the straight-and-narrow after this and began inserting himself into the JSA's affairs. Eventually his arch enemy, Captain Marvel, joined the team as well. (#19–37) Black Adam assisted the team in a mission to the alien planet Thanagar, which returned the original Hawkman to life. (#23-25) Mr. Terrific was elected the JSA's next long-running chairperson. (#27)
The theme of "legacy" permeated the series. Another new foe was Roulette, granddaughter of the original Mr. Terrific. (JSA Secret Files #2, JSA #27-30) And when Black Canary resigned, she designated her replacement: Power Girl. (#31)
Black Adam's turn to the light didn't last long. His descent began when the JSA refused to take action against the villain Kobra. Atom-Smasher (formerly Nuklon) left with Adam and they were joined by other former Infinitors Northwind, Brainwave Jr., and Eclipso II. Eventually Hawkman brokered a deal with Black Adam to remain inside the bounds of his home country, Kahndaq. For this, Hawkman was expelled from the JSA. (#45, 51, 56-58)
DC's next universe-shaping event, the Infinite Crisis, did for once restore some of the glory of its Golden Age characters instead of destroying it. This series was a mechanism to revert the DC Universe back into a multiverse. By the end, there were once again many parallel universes—though now just 52. Most significantly, Power Girl was reunited with her cousin, the original Golden Age Superman. (Infinite Crisis #2) He and Lois Lane had been locked away in another dimension since the Crisis. Once free, Lois died (#5) and Superman died in the end. (#7)
This also brought to light an untold Golden Age story, from March 21, 1951, written in Lois Lane's diary. In it, Superman and Batman discover that the JSA's headquarters has been robbed by the Gentleman Ghost. (#82)
Series from this period :
Hourman #1–25 (1999–2001) Following the android Hourman from the future.
Dr. Mid-Nite #1–3 (1999) Introducing Pieter Cross.
JSA #1–72 (1999–2005) The next generation of heroes officially assumes the mantle of the JSA.
Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #0–14 (1999–2000) Starring the new Star-Spangled Kid and the former Stripesy.
DC Two Thousand #1-2 (2000)
JSA All-Stars #1–8 (2003–04) Focusing on members, and versus the Injustice Society.
Featured Appearances from this period :
Martian Manhunter v.3 #18–19 (2000) At Black Canary's request, the Martian Manhunter leads a training session with the junior JSA members.
Sins of Youth: JSA (2000) Adult heroes are transformed into kids, now led by Starwoman.
Impulse #67 (2000) Flash, Wildcat, and Star-Spangled Kid welcome back Max Mercury.
Golden Age Secret Files #1 (2001) Clark Kent writes about the Crimson Avenger.
JSA: Our Worlds at War (2001) Sand recruits an army of All-Stars.
JLA/JSA: Virtue & Vice (2002) Team-up against Despero and Johnny Sorrow.
Hawkman v.4 #19, 23–25 (2003–04) Hawkman abides by Black Adam's new nation and meets the new Northwind.
JLA/JSA Secret Files #1 (2003)
After the Infinite Crisis, In JSA, a long-running story was crafted by linking the Justice Society to the mythology created for the 1996 hit mini-series Kingdom Come. Kingdom Come was known for its reinvention of DC's heroes, introducing scores of new heroes "legacy heroes"—those who took the mantles of past namesakes—including many Golden Age characters. During the JSA's "Thy Kingdom Come" story arc, many of Kingdom Come's heroes were introduced to the mainstream DC universe and became members of the JSA. Kingdom's story took place on Earth-22. That universe's Superman also found himself stranded on Earth-0 (aka mainstream Earth), and he joined the JSA.
"Legacy" became the common thread of the Justice Society's new adventures. Though demoralized, the JSA's founders were urged by the JLA to reassemble and train the myriad of legacy heroes popping up. The series was relaunched as Justice Society of America (volume 3) and the first wave of new members included Liberty Belle II (Jesse Quick) and Obsidian (JSofA v.3 #1); Cyclone (granddaughter of the original Red Tornado); Damage (son of the Atom); Starman VIII (Star Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes) (JSofA v.3 #1); Tomcat (long-lost son of Wildcat) (#4); and Citizen Steel. (#7)
Only a dozen more issues into this series, several more members joined, most of whom had made cameos in Kingdom Come: Judomaster III, Jakeem Thunder, Lightning, Amazing Man III, Mr. America III, and Lance Corporal David Reid. (#11-12) Their story was tied to Earth-22 by the appearance of an alien god called Gog, a primary character in Kingdom. On Earth-0, David Reid was soon transformed into Magog, a servant of Gog. (#18) (Thom Kallor as Starman, Red Tornado III, Wildcat III, and Nuklon as Atom-Smasher had also been originally created for Kingdom Come.)
Another result of Infinite Crisis was the short-lived resurrection of a distinct Earth-2. This Earth bore a continuity that picked right up from the original Earth Two—as if the Crisis had not happened and things went on normally. (JSofA v.3 #11) The JSA and Infinity Inc. had merged to form Justice Society Infinity. In time, Power Girl found her way there. She had hoped to discover that her cousin was alive there (he died in Infinite Crisis #7) but she was crushed to find another Power Girl—a native of that universe—already existed! (JSofA Annual #1, JSofA #18-20)
The success of the Kingdom Come-related storyline led to more ongoing JSA titles. First, in 2005 there was JSA: Classified, which focused on individual members. JSA vs. Kobra was a crossover with Checkmate, which starred Mr. Terrific. Perhaps DC had been building the JSA up in size because they were planning to split them up. Regardless, a split happened in 2010; after Justice Society of America #40, JSA All-Stars was launched with Power Girl at the helm, leading many of the younger heroes on a more proactive mission.
The main title ended with the death of Green Lantern Alan Scott and with Wildcat apparently exhausting the eighth of his nine lives.
Series from this period :
Infinite Crisis #1–7 (2005) Bringing back the Golden Age Superman and restoring DC's multiverse.
JSA #73–85 (2005–06) Leading into Infinite Crisis.
JSA: Classified #1–39 (2005–2008) Focusing on individual members.
Checkmate v.2 #1–31 (2006–2008) Alan Scott and Mr. Terrific play integral parts in the new global peacekeeping initiative.
Hawkgirl #50–66 (2006–07) After Infinite Crisis, Kendra takes center stage.
Countdown to Mystery #1-8 (2007) Dr. Kent V. Nelson becomes the new Dr. Fate.
Justice Society of America v.3, 57 issues (2007–11) The JSA grows by leaps and bounds.
JSA vs. Kobra #1–6 (2009–10) Crossover with Checkmate.
Magog #1–12 (2009–10)
Power Girl #1–27 (2009–11)
JSA All-Stars #1–18 (2010–11) Power Girl leads an offshoot of the now oversized JSA.
Featured Appearances from this period:
JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog (2009) David Reid goes to Iraq.
JSA Kingdom Come Specials (2009) … Magog: Gog's followers go with him across Africa on the way to Kahndaq. • … SupermanSuperman-22 tells his story. • … The Kingdom: Gog's influence grows.
Blackest Night #1 (2010) Hawkman and Hawkgirl are killed. #4: Damage is killed. #8: Carter & Shiera Hall, and Jade are brought back to life.
Blackest Night: JSA #1–3 (2010) Dead JSA members rise and Mr. Terrific invents a one-time bomb to destroy Black Lanterns.
Justice League of America v.2 #44–48 (2010) Crossover involving the powers of darkness, and the Starheart.
Justice League: Generation Lost #13 (2011) Magog is killed by Maxwell Lord.
The "New 52" and a New Earth-2 (2011–2019)
Before anyone could explore the potential of the Justice Society Infinity, DC rebooted its entire multiverse again, called the "New 52." In recreating the JSA's heroes, they eschewed anything to do with World War II and re-imagined these classic characters on a contemporary parallel world. Like most Earths in the multiverse, the new Earth 2 had a Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman (called "wonders"). These wonders lost their lives in battle with Steppenwolf of Apokolips. Supergirl and Robin survived but were shunted to Earth-0, where they adopted new identities: Power Girl and Huntress. Five years later on Earth 2, new heroes emerged, all with somewhat supernatural powers—Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, the Atom, Terry Sloane and many other classic JSA heroes. » SEE: Earth 2 Chronology • Earth 2 Members
Series from this period :
Mister Terrific (2011–12) This character was introduced on Earth-1, and he soon found discovered Earth-2 and became stranded there.
Earth 2 (2012–) Reintroducing the Golden Age characters in fresh new ways.
World's Finest (2012–) Power Girl and Huntress adjust to Earth-Prime.
Earth 2: Future's End (2014) A weekly series crossing over with DC's Future's End
Featured Appearances from this period :
Batman/Superman #1-4 (2013): The Earth-0 world's finest cross over.
Batman/Superman #8–9 (2014): Huntress and Power Girl team up with the Superman and Batman of Earth-0.
Supergirl #18–20 (2013): Power Girl guest stars.
Series from this period :
Doomsday Clock (2017–2019)
Hawkman v.5 (2018–2000)
Featured Appearances from this period :
DC Universe: Rebirth (July 2016)The Flash v.5 #10–12 (2017)
Justice League v.4 #30–39 (2019–2020)
- See JSA Publications for a details on the JLA/JSA Team-Ups , so read a list of Golden Age Reprints, and more
- Find JSA Links for more on the web
- The All-Stars section covers wartime characters who were not JSA members
- To read JSA member Profiles, clicking a name in the List of Members or browse the Index of Profiles
- The Comics Archives has very detailed Golden Age histories