VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
It's time for a deep dive into the history of this iconic DC superhero team! For this video, we're exploring the origins of the Justice Society of America. We'll examine how this team came to fruition, the artists behind the iconic comic book series, and what the future holds!
Origins Justice Society of America
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re exploring the origins of the Justice Society of America.
Before this team unites for the “Black Adam” film, we’ll look back at how this super team came to be.
Who’s your favorite member of the Justice Society of America? Let us know in the comments below.
Decades before fans saw a group of DC legends team up for 2021’s Snyder Cut, Batman, The Flash and a Green Lantern named Alan Scott were called for a secret meeting. A government agent asked them to covertly take out a Nazi stronghold. When the three of them got captured during the mission, Dr. Fate and the hero Hour-Man came in to display their talents. Unfortunately, the mission gets ridiculously complicated and just plain ridiculous when Adolf Hitler uses a mystical spear to summon an army of Valkyries. But the heroes aren’t out of backup yet. Hawkman, Sandman and the Atom are all literally pulled into the battle too. The Spectre and Superman round out the team by making big appearances at the last second. After successfully working together against a common enemy, the heroes agree that a new alliance should be formed. Superman lays the groundwork for this team to be called the Justice Society of America.
In our world, this small group of heroes was first seen attending a meeting in 1940. Batman, Robin and Superman sat the proceedings out so they could keep criminals in check while their allies met. All the heroes from the first unofficial JSA mission reunited and were joined by a young hero/audience surrogate named Johnny Thunder. Their meeting marked the first time in comic history where a group of heroes agreed to form a team. As an icebreaker, the Justice Society of America swapped tales of their most exciting exploits. Some stories were definitely more interesting than others.
After every member got a chance to step into the spotlight, they were all thrust into their first o the books mission. The FBI asked the heroes if they could help root out spies that were embedded throughout the United States. Instead of all going to one place, all the members of the Justice Society of America scattered to the winds and went on their own epic solo adventures. This had the added bonus of giving readers an opportunity to learn about the abilities and personalities of characters they may not be familiar with. Once the team had finished their missions, they reunited to let their FBI contact know of their success. This victory allowed the team to keep operating and for them to make history in other ways.
Shortly after the team was founded in the pages of “All Star Comics”, Wonder Woman made her grand debut. Her immense powers and battle prowess made her a strong candidate for the team. So, the Justice Society of America naturally asked Wonder Woman to come aboard…to be their secretary. Fortunately, they eventually realized they were wasting her talents by making her take notes and she started going on missions. They were also lucky they had Wonder Woman around when a team of supervillains known as the Injustice Society of America showed up for the first time. Consisting of criminals with magical abilities like Wizard and rogues with powerful mental abilities like Brain Wave, the alliance nearly managed to take the heroes all out. Fortunately, Green Lantern helped them get out of their jam. But the team would soon run into a challenge they couldn't overcome with powers alone.
A super slump in comic sales in the 1940s caused the creators to suddenly stop making stories about the Justice Society of America. Within the DC universe, there was a different explanation for why the heroes no longer worked together on this historic team. On one fateful day, The Justice Society of America was suddenly asked to go to space. They were shocked to find that someone had built the team a floating base. Unfortunately, this was just a giant trap set up by a shady villain to capture them all. After the Justice Society freed themselves and brought the villain to the authorities, the team was asked to testify before Congress. It turned out the villain was a notorious spy. While the Justice Society quickly pointed out they were against the antagonist, Congress didn’t believe the good guys. When the heroes were asked to reveal their secret identities as a good show of faith, they refused. The Justice Society of America decided to disband rather than risk exposing their true selves.
Once the team was out of the picture, alliances like the Justice League rose up to fill the void. But the JSA wasn’t completely out of the game. It was later revealed that members of this good alliance lived on a completely different world than the one where the Justice League operated. After a wicked alliance of villains finds a way to travel between two earths, the two good groups teamed up to combat foes. This successful collaboration opened the door for the Justice Society of America to return in many crossover comics and solo stories. While they didn’t take the top spot back from the Justice League, the team was still welcomed by fans again. Instead of ignoring the fact that the heroes were around for World War 2, stories often recognized that the heroes were getting up there in age. And the team still continued to bring on breakout characters like Power Girl. This alliance wasn’t ready to go quietly into that good night quite yet.
The Justice Society of America would later step out of comics and make appearances in a number of animated shows and films. While several iterations of the team also appeared in live-action programs, one of the most notable versions of this alliance appeared on “Stargirl”. Years after the majority of the team was decimated by the Injustice Society, a group of young people use the items the alliance left behind to become heroes. This series was a great way to prepare wider audiences for the debut of the DCEU’s Justice Society in “Black Adam”. The film’s line up will definitely include Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Cyclone and Atom Smasher. We’re willing to bet that plenty of sparks will fly when they cross paths with the intimidating Black Adam. Hopefully, we’ll get to learn more about them before they rush into any dangerous battles.
It’s exciting to see the Justice Society of America finally get their due on a big screen. This superteam broke new ground in the 1940s by just existing. While they may never be as popular as they were when they debuted, there’s no denying that they brought important elements to the table. The Justice Society of America is a nostalgic team of the past that helped lead the superhero genre into an exciting future.