iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #227 – Justice Society of America

Show Notes

With the upcoming DC Relaunch, one of the books not being relaunched (as of right now) is Justice Society of America, also known as the JSA. The first heroes in the DC Universe, originating in the 1940s, the JSA have a long legacy of appearing and then disappearing from the DC Universe.

This week, we take a look at the history and legacy of the JSA.


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  1. I wanna reread all my JSA trades now… Never forget…

  2. Im at work right now and cant listen to this so not sure if it was mentioned but whats the difference between this and JLA? The name itself being one a leauge and one a society and why that is.. doesnt seem necessary but then again i dont read these

  3. I disagree with the idea that the JSA was comics for old people.
    Yes the characters origins were from a past era.
    But the strength of the JSA was proving that these characters were still relevant.
    That and the mentor relationships with the new generation of heroes.
    There was never excessive- “In my day milk came in bottles” etc etc
    Just stories about a family of heroes in today’s world.
    But you know what book does do that? – Captain America.
    ALL the time. At least the current treatment. The man out of time who has trouble with the internets and just wants to jitterbug with his best girl.
    If there’s a comic for old people – that’s your book.

    Don’t get me wrong I really like Cap- but this return(and obviously for the movie in large part) to the constant WWII references and old tymey confusion of another generation in a modern world is getting a bit much for me.
    Obviously Caps origin is very important and should be celebrated but I always preferred writers treating him as an individual who could adapt to any situation based on his training his will and skill.

    But if I had to hand a comic to an older person stuck in a by gone era it wouldn’t be JSA it would be Captain America for sure.

    • The older members of the JSA felt it was their duty to teach some of the values of the Greatest Generation to the younger heroes. The JSA was a family, but it was also a training academy for the new kids. What it was never about was comparing the specifics of 1940’s life to life today. It embraced tradition, without delving into anachronism.

  4. This episode gave me what I love about the video shows on Ifanboy. Characters I am familiar with but don’t know anything about, their rich history and specific runs from creators I can check out. Thanks guys, more like it and keep up the good work

  5. As usual, great show. Your comments have inspired me to collect JSA trades, which I once thought was an old, run-down title.
    I think that the chance of DC reintroducing the JSA is very likely to occur, most likely through the Superman where Power Girl comes and then Superman inspires those with powers to become heroes, forming their own society. However, Flash, Green Lantern and Wildcat might be younger.

  6. i 4 1 , could care less about them getting shelved. I would much rather see DC putting ALL their efforts into righting the ship that is Justice League of America. Just think about it guys and girls (hahaha……girls) in exactly 1 week from today, we could possibly have a JLA book worth reading !!! That hasn’t been the case since back when looney-tune Morrison was on the book.

  7. Conner, ever thought about cranking up the AC to like 60 degrees before shooting, so that you’re still cold? Just popped into my head.

  8. These guys are the only connection i have with my old dad in comics, he talks about reading the All stars (as he calls them) when he was a kid which would have been in the 40’s. US soldiers based in Jamaica would give out the comics and taught them all baseball. Good to have you guys back, the conventions shows are great but i missed this (misting up here)
    Hey, do a vault show soon. That would be winning.

    Great show.

  9. I expect the JSA to be back within a couple of years. They don’t have much mainstream recognition, but as soon as someone does become a DC fan and learns about the characters, their interest is piqued. When The Flash was revived, the early fans, led by Roy Thomas and Jerry Bails, let DC know that they wanted to see the old favorites. And there is always a writer to fan that flame.

    After the JSA was fully retired for the first time in 1986, fan interest remained high and Neil Gaiman made several references to the old team in Sandman, so they brought the team back in 1991. After the team was broken up by Zero Hour, James Robinson’s Starman and Mark Waid’s continued use of Jay in the Flash kept interest alive until the 1999 revival.

    So I am sure there’s a writer who will adopt the team in the new world and keep interest going until they come back. With titles like Weird Western Tales and My Greatest Adventure returning, maybe we’ll see a new All-Star Comics #1 to tell the story of the JSA’s WWII adventures.

  10. dc would be awesome with conor running it. i really like the development of the jsa characters. sad to see them done. great show guys, thanks

  11. I totally forgot that the JSA were contemporaries of the JLA pre-crisis. Wouldn’t it be great if Johns brought back the Earth-2 connection with thirty-something versions of Alan Scott and Ted Grant and the rest.

    Good to know that Conor was the other person buying the Mike Parobeck JSA series that I treasure. Really sad that Ron didn’t know who he was. If he was alive today he’d be a comic god. I wish DC would put that in a trade, or his work on The Fly from Impact.

    • I was a third avid reader of that Parobeck JSA book. Some of his covers & interiors on that series were gorgeous.

  12. I miss seeing the title screen of the video podcast on the front page. I almost forgot about it. Downloading!

  13. I have been enjoying the JSA since they reintroduced them in All Star Comics with the Super Squad in the 1970’s. I then followed them in the short stories they had in Adventure Comics. I believe the Earth 2 Batman became Commisioner of Gotham and eventually died in a story in Adventure. I’m sure they will be back eventually, but I would rather read about the JSA than some of the other titles that DC is introducing in the reboot.

  14. For my part, the characters I will miss the most in the new DCU will be Dr Midnite, Dr Fate and Hourman. Those middle-to-lower tier characters (certainly in terms of recognition by the general public) were the heart of the JSA.

  15. JeffR (@JeffRReid) says:

    I loved (LOVED!) that ten issue Justice Society of America series with Mike Parobeck art. I read that thing backwards and forwards when I was a kid. Parobeck’s art was amazing. I’ve read rumors about why that series was cancelled though. Apparently, the sales on the series were okay but not spectacular. What I heard was that Mike Carlin didn’t think that the Justice Society fit well with the younger fans that DC was trying to court in 1992. So the JSA’s series was killed purely for company aesthetics. It didn’t help that the series was just about all the original heroes. There wasn’t a young face in that book. Many of the younger heroes who later showed up in JSA weren’t invented until after Dr. Mid-Nite, Atom, Hourman and Dr. Fate died in 1994’s Zero Hour. To further back up my earlier Carlin claim, it should be noted that Zero Hour was edited by Mike Carlin.

    Just a little conspiracy theory there for you.

    Man, I love the post-Crisis timeline of the DCU. Really disappointed that it’s going away. But hey, I understand the reasoning behind the changes. Gotta keep things fresh and superheroes active since WWII aren’t exactly “fresh.”

  16. The Johns stuff was real special. I’ve finally been reading comics long enough to realize that, while I miss the characters because that run was so good, it took that specific team to make it outstanding. Like many, I haven’t been reading JSA for a while now because it just wasn’t the same after Johns. I hope we get to revisit them with a great team again in the future.

  17. Is it possible that a new Earth 2 could be part of the DCnu?

  18. I’m not old or a kid either but love the JSA, they’re roots are the core of the DCU to me, they’re the first superhero team ever, with classic characters like The Spectre, Dr Fate, Hourman, Starman, Dr Midnite,Sandman,Hawkman,Atom, Wildcat the original Flash and Green Lanterns. They have always been about family and more private/vigilante than government sanctioned like the JLA, the JLA exists and learned from them in many ways over the history of the DCU, with many great runs over the years and great characters anyone who hasn’t got into the JSA should read the more recent Geoff Johns with Alex Ross covers vol.1 through 4,starting with The Next Age then Thy Kingdom Come as 2,3 and 4, great run, and good for new to JSA readers, edgy and mature, not what the people who think JSA is for old people would expect. I’ve always read a lot of dark, graphic titles and love comix in general from Cap,Spidey,X-Men to Batman, Green Arrow and obscure characters like The Goon,Hellboy, Swamp Thing and Animal Man. Perhaps the obscure characters is one of my biggest attractions to the JSA. After those vols don’t stop there, you could go back to the 90’s James Robinson,David Goyer and Geoff Johns stuff and start with Justice Be Done, then great trades like JSA Returns, JSA All-Stars (one collecting 8 issues with John Cassady covers), JSA:The Liberty Files and The Golden Age Elseworlds stories which are both excellent, Black Vengeance, JSA Strange Adventures…..then theres Omnibus’s and Masterworks type early volumes if you wanna go deep but to me this stuff is what comix are all about, good pulp, fun, compelling and at times heartfelt storytelling by some of the best in the industry,I’m 32 and didn’t get into JSA until about two years ago after reading comix on and off again my whole life and fell in love with them,JSA is as classic as they come.

  19. Two other great HC’s to scoop are JLA/JSA Virtue and Vice and JLA’s The Lightning Saga which has the JSA in it, love seeing these two teams together. One particular facet I love about the JSA that I left out of my previous post is that they are a multi-generational team that spans decades, gives me a Watchmen/Minutemen vibe that I really dig.Enjoi.

  20. Well that was quick:

    ‘Nicola Scott and James Robinson working on the new JSA book at FanExpo’.

  21. Comix for smart people who like and appreciate good comix and although the current ending JSA run fell off for a few when Geoff Johns left it picked back up later with (I forget/enter name here) and then also got good when Marc Guggenheim took over close to issue #50 to current, Guggenheims 5 issue mini for IMAGE titled Halcyon is a very mature graphic story I really recommend too, trade is out now which looks nicer than my 5 issues.

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