"The Next Age, Part I of IV": In Westmoreland County, Virginia, special agent Trey Thompson investigates the brutal murder of a fifteen-year-old girl named Jennifer King. Having researched this particular serial killer's record, Trey follows the trail - a trail
Synopsis for "The Next Age, Part I of IV"
In Westmoreland County, Virginia, special agent Trey Thompson investigates the brutal murder of a fifteen-year-old girl named Jennifer King. Having researched this particular serial killer's record, Trey follows the trail - a trail that unfortunately leads him back to his own house. Entering his home under the costumed guise of Mister America, he discovers that the killer has slaughtered his wife and daughters. Trey reveals his secret identity to his fellow F.B.I. agents.
In New York, the Flash, Green Lantern and Wildcat - three of the original members of the Justice Society of America, discuss their plans to reform the group. Alan and Jay pour through photos and dossiers, but Ted has little interest in interviewing new members. For this retired boxer, the best introductions are made "in the ring".
In Philadelphia, the hero known as Damage is involved in a street brawl with a hate-mongering villain named Rebel. Damage is sporting a new costume reminiscent of that once worn by his biological father, Al Pratt, the first Atom. Damage is able to defeat Rebel, but with serious collateral damage, including the patrol car of the officers on the scene. They blame him for damaging the car, but Damage throws the car aside, only to be caught by Hourman and Liberty Belle. Damage knows that they're here to offer him membership in the JSA, but meets their offer with disdain. However, when the two cops demand to know who is going to pay for their car, Hourman tells them to send the JSA the bill. Reluctantly, Damage goes with them.
In Richmond, Virginia, Mister America concentrates on solving his family's murder. He discovers that their killer is a metahuman named Catalyst. At the same time, Mister America received a call from his younger brother, begging for help, only to be cut off. Heading for his brother's apartment, Mister America discovers that Catalyst has murdered his brother and sister-in-law. He snares Catalyst with his whip and demands to know who hired him to murder his family.
At Harvard University in Cambridge, two more members of the JSA, Mister Terrific and Power Girl, show up to recruit another new member - Maxine Hunkel. Maxine is the granddaughter of Abigail "Ma" Hunkel, the original Red Tornado, and appears to be a metahuman as well, gifted with the power of wind manipulation. Upon hearing the offer, Maxine is overjoyed at the chance to become a part of America's first super-hero team. Her unbridled enthusiasm almost prompts Power Girl to rescind the offer.
In Opal City, a new Starman flies to the rescue, saving dozens of lives after an explosion at the Opal City Power Plant. Unlike his predecessors however, this Starman appears to have only a slight grip on his sanity. After performing several heroic feats, he retires to his room at the Sunshine Sanitarium. Doctor Mid-Nite and Stargirl arrive and ask him to become part of the Justice Society of America. He accepts their offer, and they bring him back to the team's new headquarters in Battery Park, New York.
Later that evening, Alan and Jay take Ted aside and bring him to Brooklyn. They stand outside of a brownstone whereupon they see a young boy exiting the building. Alan tells him that the boy is Ted's son, Tom.
Meanwhile, Mister America, having concluded his fight with Catalyst arrives in New York. A hidden menace attacks him from behind. America is able to escape, but is seriously injured. Mister America manages to make his way to the JSA's brownstone, in an attempt to warn them, only to fall through the glass doom in the roof and land on their meeting table - dead.
Appearing in "The Next Age, Part I of IV"
- Justice Society of America
- Cyclone (First appearance)
- Doctor Mid-Nite (Flashback and main story)
- Green Lantern (Flashback and main story)
- Flash (Flashback and main story)
- Hourman (Flashback and main story)
- Liberty Belle
- Mister Terrific (Flashback and main story)
- Power Girl (Flashback and main story)
- Stargirl (Flashback and main story)
- Wildcat (Flashback and main story)
- Batman (Flashback only)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Jeff Graves (First appearance)
- Ma Hunkel
- Mister America (Trey Thompson) (Only appearance; dies)
- Superman (Flashback only)
- Wonder Woman (Flashback only)
- Atom (Al Pratt) (Flashback only)
- Atom Smasher (Flashback only)
- Black Canary (Flashback only)
- Blue Beetle (In a photograph only)
- Breach (In a photograph only)
- Captain Marvel (In a photograph only)
- Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) (Flashback only)
- Firestorm (In a photograph only)
- Green Arrow (In a photograph only)
- Hawkman (Flashback only)
- Hourman (Rex Tyler) (Flashback only)
- Hourman (Matthew Tyler) (Flashback only)
- Jakeem Thunder and Yz, the Thunderbolt (Flashback only)
- Jessica Jensen
- Manhattan Guardian (In a photograph only)
- Nightwing (In a photograph only)
- Ragman (In a photograph only)
- Robin (Earth-Two) (Cameo) (Flashback only)
- Sandman (Sandy Hawkins) (Flashback only)
- Sandman (Wesley Dodds) (Flashback only)
- Skyrocket (In a photograph only)
- Spectre (Jim Corrigan) (Flashback only)
- Starman (Jack Knight) (Flashback only)
- Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton) (Flashback only)
- Stephen Schwartz
- S.T.R.I.P.E. (In a photograph only)
- Tom Bronson (First appearance)
- Winnie Holzman
- Zauriel (In a photograph only)
- Opal City
- New York City
- This issue is reprinted in the Justice Society of America: The Next Age Vol. 1 collection.
- The events from this issue take place on Wednesday, December 6th, 2006.
- The Justice Society of America were chronologically seen last in 52 - Week Twenty-Nine.
- This issue includes flashback scenes of the JLA and JSA during the Earth-shattering event known as World War III. The World War III saga took place in four separate one-shot specials published in May of 2007, and built on events that took place during 52. It should not be confused with the Grant Morrison storyline that ran through issues #36-41 of JLA.
- Trey Thompson is the second individual to call himself Mister America. The original Mister America was Tex Thompson, who first appeared in Action Comics #1. It will later be revealed that Trey is Tex's grandson.
- The true identity of the Starman featured in this issue is not revealed at the time of publication. There are several indicators however, suggesting a connection with the 31st century Legion of Super-Heroes member, Star Boy. His costume consists of a black starfield pattern, similar to that worn by the Pre-Crisis Star Boy. On page 34, he is seen saying, "All four colors. Color kids and polar boys." Although it appears as if he is merely rambling, he could in fact be referencing Color Kid and Polar Boy - two members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, a team that Star Boy was briefly affiliated with. Also, on page 46, a woman who appears to be Dawnstar says, "I have to go. I have to track down Starman". Dawnstar's cameo appearance is part of a preview page for events scheduled to take place throughout the year. It is revealed during the "Lightning Saga" that Starman is actually Thom Kallor who had been previously shunted to the "Kingdom Come" reality of Earth-22 before arriving on New Earth. The experience separated him from his schizophrenia drugs for too long (schizophrenia is easily controlled by medication in the 31st century), leaving him in his current mental state.
- Superman of Earth-22 makes a cameo appearance on the preview page. This version of Superman is not to be confused with Kal-L of Earth-Two who recently died fighting Superboy-Prime in Infinite Crisis #7.
- Page 11 features snapshots of the Justice Society over the years. The first panel is a rendering of the team's first official meeting from All-Star Comics #3. The second panel shows the team during the Justice Battalion era when All-Star Comics was revived in 1976. Oddly, the team picture includes the Earth-Two Robin, a character whose existence was erased following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. The third panel shows the most recent Justice Society line-up in a re-imagining of the cover to JSA #1.
- Hawkman (Carter Hall) is featured on the cover of this issue, but only appears in flashback in this story.
- This issue reveals that Wildcat (Ted Grant) has an illegitimate son named Tom. Tom is not to be confused with Ted's first son, Jake, a boy who was brutally murdered by the Yellow Wasp.
- The cover had Damage depicted as being much larger than his fellow team members. Alex Ross is likely confusing him with Atom-Smasher.
- Cover gallery for the Justice Society of America series
- Images from Justice Society of America Vol 3 1
- Justice Society Recommended Reading
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1)
- All-Star Comics (Volume 1)
- All-Star Squadron (Volume 1)
- America vs. the Justice Society (Volume 1)
- Infinity Inc. (Volume 1)
- JSA (Volume 1)
- JSA: All Stars (Volume 1)
- JSA Classified (Volume 1)
- JSA: Strange Adventures (Volume 1)
- JSA vs. Kobra (Volume 1)
- Justice Society of America (Volume 1)
- Justice Society of America (Volume 2)
- Justice Society of America (Volume 3)
- Last Days of the Justice Society Special #1