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The Justice Society of America were a group of superheroes originally active around World War II until they were erased from the timeline, though they were later restored to their proper place.

History

The Golden Age

Origins

Like much of the Golden Age of Heroes, the creation of the Justice Society was initially spurred on following the arrival of Wonder Woman in Man's World. In saving sitting president Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt's life at the 1939 World's Fair, she inspired others to come forward and use their powers for good, including Alan Scott, who would become known as the Green Lantern.[1]

Despite this, Wonder Woman was not a member of the team's initial lineup; when the team held their first official meeting on November 22nd, 1940, she was not among the group, which consisted of the Sandman, Spectre, Atom, Flash, Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Hourman, and Green Lantern.[2]

During this initial meeting, after introductions and photographs by Johnny Thunder, the team somewhat goaded Doctor Fate into using into using the power granted to him by the Helm of Fate to perform what he considered to be a parlor trick- telling them how many children they were each going to have. He first revealed to the Atom that he'd have at least one child with his crush, Mary, much to the group's amusement. Alan Scott rejected the offer, not wanting to know too much about the future of his own personal life. When Fate attempted to perform this trick on Jay Garrick, he instead had a vision of Per Degaton and the Society's many eventual sidekicks and children, lost. Afterwards, they quickly helped Fate remove his helmet to prevent him from being overwhelmed by this vision.[2]

Later Adventures

After forming, the Justice Society was prevented from actively involving themselves in the frontline battles of the Second World War by two factors; one, the presence of the Nazi metahuman agent Parsifal, who could nullify the powers of any superhuman he came into contact with, and two, the fact that the Nazi forces had recovered the Spear of Destiny, an artifact which allowed the wielder (in this case, Adolf Hitler) to dominate the minds of anybody nearby. After Jay Garrick and The Ray encountered both of these factors on a covert mission and were subsequently captured, it was deemed too dangerous to allow American superhumans to fight on the frontlines.[3]

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The Justice Society of 1940

In November 1940, the team encountered a time-displaced Helena Wayne, daughter of the yet-to-be-born Batman. She attempted to explain her predicament to the JSA, to limited success, though they noted that they'd encountered somebody from the future before, somebody known as the Legionnaire. Doctor Fate attempted to look into her future, only to have his own consciousness knocked into the future for a short time. After recovering, Fate attempted to divine the nature of the magic blocking her fate from his view, only to inadvertently cause her to be thrown forward in time.[4]

When Degaton, a Nazi time-traveler, launched a plot to destroy the Justice Society at several points in their history, they were drawn into the future by a later Doctor Fate to fight alongside the team's future iterations. They held back duplicates of their foe from across time while the Fates of each era together sealed him away, and then returned each JSA to their own time.[5]

The team would expand, and later included Johnny Thunder, Starman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Wonder Woman, Wildcat, Mister Terrific, Hawkgirl,[6] and the Black Canary. Additionally, a little-known counterpart formed to deal with purely mystical threats, known as the Justice Society Dark. The JSA also attempted to recruit the Aquaman of their time, but were refused; however, Aquaman did briefly join the All-Star Squadron,[2] a wartime super-team to which several Justice Society members also belonged.[7] The first JSA Headquarters, maintained by Ma Hunkel,[8] was located in Gotham City.[9]

Injustice Society Prime Earth 001

Versus the Injustice Society

The Society developed an opposite number in the Injustice Society, a team of supervillains. At some point, the Injustice Society attempted to establish a new headquarters in New York, only to be thwarted by the JSA (particularly Hawkman and Hawkgirl, who were secretly being possessed by their modern-day counterparts).[10] Other early foes of the Justice Society were the undead Solomon Grundy,[11] Wotan,[12] and Mekanique, a robot with mind-control abilities.[13]

The Justice Society launched a search for the Spear, and in 1940, investigated a supposedly-abandoned warehouse in Germany only to be ambushed by forces of the ISA led by the cybernetic Ro-Bear. Defeating their adversaries, instead of the Spear,[14] the superhuman experimentation facility of Doctor Elemental, whose powers were able to counter those of the JSA until he was forced to flee by the Flash's daughter and sidekick the Boom.[15] On April 2nd of 1941, the JSA featured in a Gotham Broadcasting Company spotlight of their contributions to war effort on the home front.[16] In the same year,[17] the JSA tasked tasked Alan Scott and the Spectre with investigating a series of killings and disappearances of gay men in New York City, which they discovered to be a plot to frame Scott for the crimes.[18] When Scott's investigation led him into conflict with the Soviet super-team the Crimson Host, the rest of the JSA came to his rescue.[19]

Justice/Doom War

When John Stewart and Barry Allen, the Green Lantern and Flash of the 21st Century Justice League, traveled to an alternate 1941, they arrived at the JSA headquarters while searching for a fragment of the Totality. There, they met the JSA but learned that Legion of Doom had already won here two weeks ago.[20] Having never heard of each other, Jay Garrick and Barry asked each other to explain who they are in hostile tones. John calmed the tempers and stated that they needed their help. Doctor Fate learned that they were not there to harm them and the two Leaguers explained their mission: to recover the Totality shard which had fallen out of the sky.[21]

Justice Society of America Prime Earth 0003

The Justice Society meets the Justice League

The JSA came to the realization that their existence must have been erased if the the two hadn't heard of them, with all of the team members then introducing themselves. Starman realized that they were after the shard in his Cosmic Rod which he had given to the United States military, later being taken to a military base in the Pacific Ocean. The two teams agreed to join forces in order to retrieve it, but Barry and John found out that the base was Pearl Harbor and they had arrived during the day Japanese forces were supposed to attack it.[21]

As they assaulted the base, they came under attack by military-men under control of Sinestro and Grodd, but were able to free many of the men. Dr. Fate discovered that the shard was being kept at a classified advanced aircraft carrier code-named Hail Mary. As they went after the ship, they came under attack by the soldiers under control of Grodd. Grodd, Sinestro and Cheetah however found the Totality at the same time as them, but they were rescued by the League's Aquaman who stated that they needed to get to Atlantis to get the Totality back to their time.[22]

While traveling, Aquaman explained to them that Atlantis was hidden from the rest of the world during their time and they needed to find the Conch of Arion there in order to be able to travel back to the present. They tried to sneak in, but were spotted by Atlantean guards. The Legion of Doom confronted them with the god Poseidon who was under their thrall. The JSA and the League also realized that Atlantis was now under the control of Vandal Savage of the past and his Legionnaires Club who demanded they hand over the Totality.[23]

After Poseidon started destroying Atlantis, they asked Savage to ally with them but he refused, John however convinced him to side with them stating that the fate of universe depended on it. The JSA then fought the Legion of Doom and Poseidon while Vandal opened a portal to the League's timeline with the help of both Starmen, Ted Knight and William Payton. All of the JSA traveled to the the timeline of the League and decided to help the League in fighting back against the forces of Perpetua after she regained part of her former powers.[24] They fought Perpetua's forces, but with the people siding with Doom over Justice, she regained her powers and vanished them back to their time.[25]

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The JSA at war

In 1943, the Justice Society, joined by Liberty Belle, fought on the frontlines of the war with Sergeant Rock.[26] The following year, they defeated Nazi cultists at the University of Pennsylvania, foiling a plot to ensure their victory in the war via the occult artifact the Skull of Zosimos.[27]

After the War

In 1947, the Justice Society faced Degaton, who had been thrown forwards in time from the last days of the war, and prevented him from rewriting history and taking over the world.[28] Later, McCarthyist congressional representatives pressured the JSA into retiring during the Red Scare, with the team officially disbanding following a congressional hearing on October 31st, 1951, after refusing to unmask at the request of the hearing's congressmen.[2]

Dark Crisis Vol 1 2 Textless Rafael Sarmento Variant

Crisis

The Society joined their League successors in further team-ups,[29] and by 1976, they were fully active once more with Power Girl and the Star-Spangled Kid as junior members, facing threats such as the Injustice Society and Vulcan.[2] Many of their own children or legacies would go on to form Infinity, Inc.,[30] while the JSA themselves spent decades in Limbo fighting to contain to demon Surtur.[31] During the Zero Hour, many members of the team were involved in a battle with Extant, who dissolved Doctor Fate.[4] Over the years, many of the original members grew old or died, the latter being buried in the top-secret Valhalla Cemetery, including the Atom and Sandman.[8] Others would remain youthful through various means, such as Alan Scott, who was kept young by the power of the Starheart. The Justice Society's actions would inspire later successors; first, the Justice Experience, and later, the Justice League.

Sandy Hawkins, Atom Smasher, and the Star-Spangled Kid's successor Courtney Whitmore joined a revived incarnation of the Justice Society, as did new bearers of the identities of Black Canary, Hawkgirl, Hourman, and Starman, alongside veteran members the Flash, Green Lantern, Wildcat,[32] and eventually Hawkman.[33] Later members included the Thunderbolt's bearer Jakeem Thunder, the returning Power Girl, and Rick Tyler,[34] another Hourman and son of the original, both of whom were saved by the android Hourman's self-sacrifice.[32]

This Justice Society worked with the Crimson Avenger and villainous Icicle to defeat the Ultra-Humanite and save the world,[34] tried unsuccessfully to keep Black Adam from conquering his homeland of Kahndaq, losing Atom Smasher to his side in the process,[33] and once again defeated Per Degaton, who had traveled to the future and undergone genetic alterations to become the "pinnacle of humanity."[28] Further additions and allies included the Superman of Earth-22, Lightning,[35] Cyclone, Damage, Jade, Obsidian, S.T.R.I.P.E, and legacy incarnations of Liberty Belle, Wildcat,[36] Mister Terrific,[37] and Doctor Mid-Nite—both Beth Chapel[36] and Pieter Cross—while Hawkins took on the mantle of Sandman.[35] The JSA were sent to capture Lightning's fugitive father, Black Lightning, instigating a conflict between them and her sister Thunder that was eventually resolved by the current Doctor Fate.[38]

Altered Timeline

Alan Scott, Green Lantern, had played a major role in the JSA's formation. During the aftermath of Flashpoint, Dr. Manhattan interfered with Earth-0's timeline and caused Alan Scott to die during a train accident by moving the life-saving Green Lantern out of his reach. This caused the JSA to never exist in the first place.[39]

In the present, they were largely erased from the timeline; few remembered them, with some exceptions, like Doctor Fate. Their past existence was first leaked to Lois Lane secretly by Reggie Long. She however had never heard of them, a result of Dr Manhattan's meddling with the timeline.[16] Superman's words and actions however inspired Manhattan's view on humanity to change and make him realize the importance of being a hero. He went back into time and moved the Green Lantern back into Scott's reach, causing him to survive and the JSA to exist again. They came to the rescue of Superman in Washington, D.C. alongside the Legion of Super-Heroes, helping him stop the metahuman battle.[36]

After the battle, they vowed to investigate the "Supermen theory", which alleged that the government was secretly creating metahumans to act as agents, and the role of Department of Metahuman Affairs in it. It was discovered that Professor Martin Stein was responsible for creating dozens of metahumans, leading to his arrest. Superman later organized a dialogue between the JSA and People's Heroes, who had been involved in the battle at Washington, D.C.[36]

Manhattan's attempt at fixing the timeline and reality failed however, as a result of Hypertime undergoing terminal breakdown and the machinations of Perpetua and her servants. The society was restored to history, but they were left without memories of their careers in the modern day.[40][25]

Death Metal

The Justice Society was fully restored to the timeline after Wally West, having gained the powers of Dr. Manhattan and acquiring the Mobius Chair, attempted to fix time by merging the various timelines. His work was however corrupted by the Batman Who Laughs, who pointed Perpetua to the Dark Multiverse where she could acquire the Crisis Energies from the endless crises.[40][41]

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The JSA in Valhalla

The surviving Justice Society members including Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Doctor Fate and Ted Grant went into hiding when Perpetua's forces conquered the multiverse and kept a watch on Valhalla Cemetery. They allowed Batman to resurrect their dead friends in order to fight the Dark Knights.[8]

The JSA reunited with Wonder Woman after she came to convince Batman in helping her take down Perpetua and stayed behind with Wally and Barry when they left. They encountered the Robin King, who didn't fight and told them that the Batman Who Laughs was coming for them. They realized the evil Batman had grown greatly powerful and all the speedsters separated from the JSA, since he was after Wally in particular to get his Anti-Crisis Energy.[8] Bolstered by undead past members such as Damage and the original Hourman, Sandman, and Atom, the JSA joined the final battle against the forces of the Batman Who Laughs,[42] including their own Nazi-affiliated counterparts from an alternate earth.[43]

Infinite Frontier

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Dark Crisis

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The New Golden Age

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Notes


See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. Wonder Woman #750
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The New Golden Age #1
  3. The Flash #770
  4. 4.0 4.1 Justice Society of America (Volume 4) #2
  5. Justice Society of America (Volume 4) #5
  6. Stargirl Spring Break Special #1
  7. DC Power: A Celebration #1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Dark Nights: Death Metal #2
  9. Infinite Frontier #1
  10. Hawkman (Volume 5) #27
  11. Justice Society of America (Volume 4) #1
  12. Hawkman (Volume 5) #29
  13. Batman/Superman: World's Finest #15
  14. Jay Garrick: The Flash #2
  15. Jay Garrick: The Flash #3
  16. 16.0 16.1 Doomsday Clock #8
  17. Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #1
  18. Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #3
  19. Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5
  20. Justice League (Volume 4) #30
  21. 21.0 21.1 Justice League (Volume 4) #31
  22. Justice League (Volume 4) #32
  23. Justice League (Volume 4) #33
  24. Justice League (Volume 4) #34-36
  25. 25.0 25.1 Justice League (Volume 4) #39
  26. Dark Nights: Death Metal #7
  27. DC's Terrors Through Time #1
  28. 28.0 28.1 Justice Society of America (Volume 4) #3
  29. Dark Crisis #1
  30. Infinite Frontier #0
  31. Justice Society of America (Volume 4) #10
  32. 32.0 32.1 Stargirl: The Lost Children #6
  33. 33.0 33.1 Batman: Urban Legends #17
  34. 34.0 34.1 Justice Society of America (Volume 4) #7
  35. 35.0 35.1 Shazam! (Volume 3) #14
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 Doomsday Clock #12
  37. DC Power 2024 #1
  38. DC Power: A Celebration #1
  39. Doomsday Clock #10
  40. 40.0 40.1 Flash Forward (Collected): Flash Forward – Epilogue
  41. Dark Nights: Death Metal #1
  42. Dark Nights: Death Metal #5
  43. Dark Nights: Death Metal The Last 52: War of the Multiverses #1


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