10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About The Justice Society Of America

Fans of the DC Extended Universe will get a chance to meet the Justice Society of America in the upcoming movie Black Adam. This is a team of superheroes that have undergone some major changes throughout the years but is often considered the original DC superteam for many readers.

Originally, the JSA was the old-school heroes from the golden age, men and women who protected the world years before the Justice League formed. These were the legacy heroes, the original Green Lantern and Flash, as well as some who have remained in action thanks to delayed aging, like Hawkman. While old-school fans know them well, there is a lot that younger fans don’t know about the Justice Society.


10 The Justice Society Predated The Justice League

When the Justice League formed, it consisted of heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Batman. However, the Justice Society was around before this and included at least two legacy heroes. They included Alan Scott’s Green Lantern and Jay Garrick’s Flash.

Black Canary’s mother was serving in the role at the time and Hawkman was around, although he is the same man who served as Hawkman in the JLA thanks to his alien physiology decreasing his aging. This changed over time with a different Earth, but in the beginning, JSA was the first superhero team on Earth.

9 Justice Society’s Original Members

The JSA of the cover of DC Comics

The Justice Society members were America’s heroes during World War II. They were part of the All-Star Squadron and fought to defend the country, and the world. This team included some of the mightiest heroes on Earth in the golden age, and while they are not as powerful as the JLA members, they were a force to be reckoned with.

The original members of the team, first appearing in All-Star Comics #3 in 1940, included Atom, Doctor Fate, Jay Garrick’s Flash, Alan Scott’s Green Lantern, Hourman, Sandman, and Spectre.

8 Justice Society’s First Villain Was Hitler

Flash and Green Lantern vs the Nazis.

Much in the same way that Captain America was introduced as an opponent to Nazi Germany, the Justice Society was also presented in the same manner by DC. The first adventures saw the United States send Flash and Green Lantern to stop a Nazi plan to unleash a giant killer robot.

However, Hitler had other plans with the Spear of Destiny and planned an attack on American soil, bringing in the other founding member to try to stop him. This all led to a battle with President Roosevelt’s life on the line. In the end, it was the US President who sent the JSA to fight in the war on behalf of the United States.

7 The Red Scare Broke Up The Justice Society

Stargirl and Justice Society of America by Alex Ross

In a story that played into the Red Scare and Senator Joseph McCarthy, a character called Per Degaton set out to bring down the JSA. He convinced the government officials that the JSA had ties to communism and the heroes were ordered to reveal their identities.

Rather than put their families’ lives in danger, the JSA broke up and went their separate ways. Several members retired, while others kept fighting crime on their own, but no longer answering to the government. They remained broken up until the Justice League eventually replaced them.

6 They Used To Regularly Cross Over With The Justice League

Justice League and Justice Society team up

One thing that older fans who read Justice Society comics in the 1980s remember is that the JSA and JLA used to have regular crossovers. It became so popular that it was almost a yearly event where the heroes from the 80s would end up somehow interacting with the heroes from the past.

This happened usually thanks to time travel or other comic book tropes. It also happened when the two teams were from different Earths. Some of the better stories involving the two teams were Aquarius Saga and Return of Darkseid.

5 Post-Crisis Sent JSA Into A Timeloop

The members of the JSA looking scared

In Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Justice Society was back together and fought alongside the JLA and other heroes against the Anti-Monitor. In the end, Flash helped beat the Anti-Monitor and reset the timeline, changing the origins of many heroes.

The JSA was still intact, but by this time, they were older and not as powerful as the new era of heroes. Just as Hawkman called them together to officially disband, they ended up sent back in time to 1945 to battle Hitler again. They ended up in Asgard during Ragnarok and had to take part in a never-ending, repeating battle, to ensure the safety of the universe. This lasted for several years before they finally found a way out of the battle.

4 The Justice Society Is Connected With The Sandman Universe

doctor fate dc comics

One of the founding Justice Society members was named Sandman, but this was a human hero named Wesley Dodds. The Justice Society reformed when Wesley had a dream that there would be a new Doctor Fate. The team scoured the globe to find him and it turned out that the next Doctor Fate was Hector Hall.

This was also ironic. since Hector Hall was the son of Carter Hall, the founding member of the JSA known as Hawkman. Hall was trapped in a mystical realm known as the Dreaming, which was the home of Sandman of the Endless. Hector finally escaped and officially took on the role of Doctor Fate.

3 Dr. Manhattan Erased The JSA From The Timeline

The Crisis events were shown to be, at last partially caused by Dr. Manhattan of the Watchmen. He actually caused the entire Justice Society team to get wiped out of existence when he went back and caused Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, to die in a train accident.

This all changed when Dr. Manhattan spoke to Superman and took his words to heart. As a result, he went back and reversed his decision to let Alan die and as a result, the JSA suddenly returned to existence in the history of DC and the once-beloved heroes were back once again.

two The New JSA History Was Inspired By Wonder Woman

The return of the Justice Society also brought about a new reason for their formation. Instead of the US Government setting them up to fight Hitler, this new version all began to operate as superheroes because they were inspired by the first known hero in the world – Wonder Woman. She saved President Roosevelt and other heroes stepped forward to follow her lead from her.

The JSA formed and began to actively help out the fighting on the frontlines in World War II, and this is when they came into contact with Hitler and the Spear of Destiny, tying the two timelines together.

1 Black Adam Was Written Into The Team Much Later

Black Adam and Hawkman talking about killing

Movie fans will likely come out of Black Adam believing that he was a founding member of the Justice Society. That might be true for the movies, and it might actually be true today in the comics, but it was not the fact in the original iterations of the JSA.

Black Adam was always a Shazam! villain, and he was not part of the JSA in any manner throughout most of the team’s existence in comics. However, the multiple Crisis events in DC allow them to rewrite history, and that is what Black Adam’s contributions amount to – rewriting history.

NEXT: 10 Questions About Black Adam, Answered

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