Green Lantern: That’s why the Justice Society is so important to me. To Jay, Ted and Carter. Jay and his wife could not have children of their own. Ted lost his son. Carter overlooked it. And I just… I wasn’t even there for mine. We are abandoning our children. But we will not fail again. I won’t let you down again. You or one of the Justice Society kids. That’s my wish.
JSA: Princes of Darkness
Superhero teams haven’t been around for a long time. No Avengers, no Justice League, no X-Men, nothing, nada, bupkis. The superheroes kept their magazines and stayed there. Then came the Justice Society, which led to the overlap and continuity that fans care about. So who are they? How was the Justice Society founded? How do they continue to fight crime almost a century after their founding? We’ll find out.
Johnny Thunder: I’ll share an idea. Let’s say each of you tells us about the most exciting experience you’ve ever had. This will amuse everyone!
Flash: It’s not a bad idea!
All-Star Comics #3
The American Justice Society began in All-Star Comics #3 in 1940. The team was created by Gardner Fox and Sheldon Mayer, who saw that the characters were already in the same anthology and decided that they would overlap.
The Justice Society began as a club of Golden Age superheroes who shared stories of their adventures. Soon they are called upon to participate in World War II to thwart Nazi plans around the world. Unfortunately, they couldn’t just attack Hitler, because the Führer had a superweapon, the Spear of Destiny, with which he could control superhumans. The other Nazis were easy prey.
At the beginning of Silver Age, readers learn that the Justice Society exists on Earth-2, a counterpart to the DC Universe. They crossed paths with the Justice League each year, working together to face threats too powerful for one team of superheroes.
The original Justice Society ended shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earth. Time-traveling Hitler used the Spear of Destiny to activate Ragnarok. The Justice Society was forced to merge with the Norse gods and fight eternally against the fiery giant Surter to prevent the end of the world. And you thought Marvel’s Thor was wild.
Hawkman: I wonder if there’s still room in this world for heroes like us.
Flash: More than ever, I’d say. The way I see it, we have a responsibility to the heroes who came after us. The people on the street, the people who really matter, they look up to teams like the Titans and the league. But the Titans and the league are watching.
JSA Vol. 1 #25
The Ragnarok storyline was eventually dropped, and the writers needed a new reason for the Justice Society to disappear from the public eye. Readers have learned that the JSA has been accused of treason by Senator McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. The team refused to give up their secret identities and were disbanded.
Decades later, the Justice Society has come together to guide the next generation of heroes. The old guard began to fight crime with new talent like Stargirl, Shazam and Cyclone. They also worked on a few comics, mostly as backups for other teams.
Barry: What are you doing? You’re retired. You could have died.
Joan’s gonna kill me for wearing an iron hat.
Young Justice Bloodlines (Season 2, Episode 6)
Long before Barry Allen or Wally West learned to run, Jay Garrick was the fastest man in the world.
Garrick was a scientist who conducted experiments with heavy water. The constant contact with the fumes activated his metagenes, giving Jay super speed. He became the Flash and hid his identity with his World War I helmet.
Flash was the first member of the JSA to experience the multiverse. He was sought out by Barry Allen, who knew Jay’s characters because they had been published on Earth-1 as comic books. After the Universal merger, Jay became the mentor of the Flash family, although he was the slowest of the group.
And I will let my light shine upon the dark evil,
for the dark things cannot abide the light…..
The light of the Green Lantern!
All-American Comics #16
The Flash is not the only hero on the team. Throw out everything you know about the Corps and the emotional spectrum, they don’t apply to the original Green Lantern.
Alan Scott was a train driver who almost died in a sabotaged train. He survived and discovered the Green Lantern, from which he forged a ring. The ring gave Alan the ability to create solid structures from his will. He became the Green Lantern and brought the saboteurs to justice.
Green Lantern is the face of the Justice Society, of which he is often the leader. He had two children, Jade and Obsidian, with a former felon. Both children joined the JSA to learn from their father, but Alan found it difficult to deal with Obsidian because his homosexuality was frowned upon. Ironically, in 2020, Alan realized that he was also gay and knotted up their relationship again.
Hurman: I really want to see the pointless use of technology. Wait, no, it’s not. I do it all the time!
Every member of the JSA is a hard nut to crack, but few want to challenge the man of the hour.
Scientist Rex Tyler has created a supersteroid called Miracle that gives people exceptional strength and endurance for exactly sixty minutes. Rex fears his invention will fall into the wrong hands and begins using it to fight crime like Hourman. Not content with fighting alone, he hired a team of assistants he called the Miniaturists. Stop whining.
Rex resigned after discovering that Miraclo is addictive and toxic. His successor created a homeopathic version of Miracle that allowed Hurman to resume his exploits. Miraclo’s formula has also been turned into the base of Bane’s Venom. Fans of the shooter may know it as Mirakuru serum.
Dr. Mid-Nite: Ah, I diagnosed this crime as a robbery. Now I’m here to operate!
Justice League of America #46
I hope you don’t mind staying longer, because you won’t find the first disabled superhero to fight during the day.
Dr. Charles McNider made a lot of enemies when he saved a criminal’s life. Gangsters blew up his house and blinded the good doctor. McNeider’s metagenes are activated, allowing him to see perfectly, but only in the dark. First him, then Daredevil. What kind of blind superheroes are they, whose power is reduced to I’m just blind?
He becomes Doctor Midnight, blinding his enemies with black bombs before turning off their lights. Although Dr. Mid-Nite is an experienced fighter, he comes into his own best in the role of superhero surgeon. He was killed during the Zero Hour, but several of his successors followed in his footsteps.
Johnny: I bet that’s the secret of my Thunderbolt! These are the words I say to you! Every time I say it, Bolt!
Flash Comics #20
Let’s just say we were writing about Johnny Thunder. Well, there’s nothing like the present!
Johnny Thunder was the seventh son of the seventh son, born in July 1917. This Convergence of the Seven attracted a spirit named Yz the Thunder, who was in the 5th dimension. Experienced Dimension. Jinn would be forced to do what Johnny said when he cast the Cei-u spell, Thunderbolt’s name pronounced backwards. I wish someone had told Johnny that.
As a teenager, Johnny began his sentences with the phrase dis, toi, which is a homophone of cei-u. Thunderbolt used his magic to do what Johnny said, which sounded like a wish. The druggist didn’t notice and thought he was the cause of all the strange happenings. Eventually Johnny discovered the existence of Thunder and, with his help, became a superhero.
Red Tornado: Kent was a founding member of the Justice Society, the precursor to your mentors’ Justice League.
Aqualad: Yes, of course. Nelson was the Great Wizard of Earth! It was Dr. Fate!
Young Justice, Denial (Season 1, Episode 7)
The prophecy has come true. A magical hero has joined the Justice Society. It is the will of fate.
Kent Nelson is the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Naboo the Wise. During his exploration, he found a golden helmet and was forced to wear it. Naboo appeared to Kent and revealed that he was the Lord of Order. Naboo chose Kent as its champion and gave him magic, making the archaeologist a doctor of destiny.
Doctor Fate is perhaps the most powerful wizard in the DC Universe. He even put together our top 5 superheroes who use magic. The only downside is that Doctor Fate is more concerned with maintaining order than doing good. He even attacked his allies to prevent them from disturbing the natural order.
Wildcat! I turn my back on you for two seconds and suddenly you’re eighty years old and covered in robots!
Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Golden Age of Justice (Season 2, Episode 5)
Who needs superpowers when you have fists and tenacity? Certainly not a wildcat.
Ted Grant was a champion boxer who was framed for murder. The Green Lantern stories made him want to become a superhero and clear his name, resulting in Wildcat. He continued his heroism by clearing his name, even joined the Justice Society and fought on the side of his inspiration.
Wildcat is often considered the strongest fighter in the Justice Society. Other heroes may be stronger or faster, but he doesn’t give up. It later turned out that an ally named Zatara had cast a spell on Wildcat that gave him nine lives. So not only is Wildcat tricky, but you have to kill him nine times before he stays dead.
Wonder Woman: The Justice Society can afford to put things on hold until they see what they can do to save the boy’s life.
Star Comics #48
Wonder Woman has an interesting history with the Justice Society, which is fitting for its first female member.
Wonder Woman fought alongside the JSA on a mission and was offered a job as a secretary as a reward. She accepted this role and often stayed in the mission because her creator would not allow anyone else to write her story.
After her death, Wonder Woman became a more active member of the JSA. Later writers claimed that the Wonder Woman who joined the JSA was Queen Hippolyta, Diana’s mother. This allows the JLA and JSA to have their own parallel Wonder Woman. If you want to know more, read our Wonder Woman story.
Black Canary: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m not a kid anymore.
Wildcat! I can see that. Your mother would be proud to see the woman you’ve become.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Golden Age of Justice (Season 2, Episode 5)
The second woman in the JSA didn’t start out as a secretary, that’s for sure.
Dinah Drake was an aspiring police officer who was denied permission to join the force due to widespread sexism. She became a florist and used her training to fight crime as a Black Canary.
Johnny Thunder met Black Canary when he was involved with the gang and was impressed. She and Wonder Woman supported Canary’s admission to the JSA. Dinah’s daughter, Dinah Lance, has taken up the torch these days. Our black canary backyard has details.
The Ghost: We’re not part of the army. We fight only in the name of justice… and this will give us a name… The Justice Society of America! –
Secret Origins, Vol. 2 #31
Sooner or later the JSA will be forced to pull the big guns. That’s where Spectre comes in.
Police officer Jim Corrigan was murdered by bandits, but is offered a chance to avenge his death. He teamed up with Sfeker, the avenging angel of God, and was charged with stopping the crime. He got involved with the gangsters and started taking revenge all over the world.
Spectre is the all-powerful side that can defeat almost any villain. Unfortunately, he also enjoys torturing and killing sinners, which is only tempered by Corrigan’s sense of right and wrong. JSA is wary of Spectre and wants him where he can be treated.
The original superhero team. Don’t take substitutes.
Jared Bunakos wrote for 2016.
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