1940 saw the first appearance of Justice Society of America, the world's first superhero team. It initially comprised Doctor Fate, The Spectre, Sandman, Atom, Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman. It has been teased that some of them may play a role in the upcoming Black Adam movie, starring Dwayne Johnson in the title role.
The JSA is the embodiment of the Golden Age of comics. They're almost synonymous with DC Comics, and there are a plethora of great stories featuring them. As their repertoire stretched from their first appearance in All-Star Comics #3 to the modern era, now is a perfect time to dive in and explore those fantastic comics.
These are the 10 best Justice Society of America comics true fans fondly remember
1) Wild Hunt
Ted Grant was a world-class heavyweight boxer who put his skills to work as a part of the Justice Society of America. In Wild Hunt, he showed how skilled a fighter he is. When the Injustice Society attacks the JSA headquarters, Wildcat single-handedly defends and defeats the villains.
This story highlights how valuable a member Wildcat is to the team. His one-line "You're next" has one of those "I'm not trapped in here with you, you're trapped in here with me" feels to it that can give a fan goosebumps.
2) DC 2000
This two-issue story sees the Justice Society team up with the Justice League to stop the time-traveling supervillain, T.O. Morrow. This is a lesser-known meet-up between the two teams, although one of their most exciting. Written by Tom Peyer and illustrated by Val Semeiks, the teams must stop Morrow from reshaping the course of history.
When the Justice League chase Morrow through time, they're stopped by the Justice Society in the 1940s, which leads to a series of entertaining interactions. This story has everything fans can want from the JSA and JLA. From a classic meet-up to time-traveling hijinks, it's a fun comic from cover to cover.
3) The Last Days of the JSA
While all comic publishers retcon certain characters and events, DC is known for this a little more than their competitors. Every major crossover event sees some drastic change to the comic book universe, which inevitably requires some continuity changes. When Crisis on Infinite Earths merged the DC multiverse into one, there needed to be a reason for the Justice Society's absence.
Roy Thomas, responsible for much of the JSA stories of the '80s, penned this story to answer that question. Complete with time travel, the Spear of Destiny, and Norse gods, it is revealed that the team trapped themselves in a neverending battle with Surtur to save the world.
4) Golden Age
This comic, written by James Robinson, saw the end of the Justice Society and all of DC's Golden Age heroes. It focused on another Golden Age team (the All-Star Squadron), but multiple key players from the JSA played a role in this classic story about the public's distrust of superheroes. People question why heroes didn't fight in World War 2 and why they hid their true identities.
The Crimson Avenger is an interesting character and the primary reason to read this one-shot. She utilizes a pair of cursed handguns that force her to relive the death of someone that died before their time, and she must exact that spirit's revenge. In this case, the Crimson Avenger is exacting revenge on Wildcat.
Naturally, Wildcat ends up being the focus here, and Power Girl by his side, there's some classic banter between the two. Crimson Avenger's self-exploration and examination of morality pull the reader into this comic.
6) Justice Society of America (1991)
Before 1991, the JSA didn't appear in a comic except in The Last Days of the Justice Society, when they sacrificed themselves to save the world. Len Strazewski had the honor of writing the miniseries that saw their return. The first seven issues focused on a different team member, with the eighth and final issues bringing them all together.
The popularity of this miniseries would lead to the team's revival in their own ongoing a year later, also penned by Len Strazewski. Unfortunately, the popularity wouldn't last as that series eventually got canceled and only lasted ten issues. However, the 1991 miniseries is worth adding to your collection.
7) Virtue, Vice, and Pumpkin Pie
The JSA and JLA have frequently teamed up on various occasions. Attacking a turkey dinner is no exception. In a rare event in comics, there are no fisticuffs to be seen here, except for a lot of dialogue and character interactions. It's a fun and wholesome one-shot about heroes showing appreciation for one another. Who doesn't want to watch Batman and Mr. Terrific pick up an order of pizzas?
8) The Justice Society Returns
Less of a single story, The Justice Society Returns is a trade paperback that collects a series of one-shots that shows a different dynamic between the characters of the core team. A team-up between Green Lantern and Johnny Thunder, for example.
This series set the groundwork for the Justice Society of America 1999 series by Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer, and James Robinson, which is considered the best iteration of the Justice Society to date.
9) Injustice Be Done
A story collected in JSA issues #16-20, Injustice Be Done, sees the return of Injustice Society led by Johnny Sorrow. Johnny Sorrow is a terrifying villain and probably the worst the Justice Society of America has gone up against. In Injustice Be Done, the Injustice Society wages war against the JSA. Things look bleak for the heroes after they're separated and defeated.
However, the team should never be counted out, even when things look grim. This team sacrificed themselves to save the world, after all. There are several great moments with all of the characters that serve to highlight why the JSA remains a fan-favorite DC team.
10) Crisis on Infinite Earths
The story continues to be the topic of conversation amongst comic book fans today and was a driving force on the JSA's placement in DC continuity. Crisis on Infinite Earths saw the merging of multiple universes into one, putting members of the JSA in the same continuity as the Justice League. This story influenced numerous great tales that are featured on this list.
This 1985 crossover event saw the collapse of the DC universe at the hands of the Anti-Monitor, only for it to be rebuilt by the Spectre, highlighting how powerful the Spectre is. And he runs around with the JSA regularly.