The Justice Society of America, or JSA, is a DC
Comics superhero group, the first team of superheroes in comic book
history. Conceived by editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox,
the JSA first appeared in All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940).
Unlike subsequent "all-star" teams, the JSA was limited to heroes
not already featured in their own titles because the publisher
wanted to expose their lesser known characters. Hence, Superman and
Batman were only honorary members and Flash and Green Lantern's
early tenures were brief, ending when each character was awarded his
own book. However, a 1944 change in policy allowed them back into
the group. Other popular members were Hawkman, the Spectre, Hourman,
Doctor Fate and the Atom.
The team was popular throughout the 1940s, but after superheroes
fell out of favor their adventures ceased with issue 57 of the title
(Feb-Mar 1951), and All Star Comics became All-Star Western. There
then followed a gap of 10 years in appearances by JSA members, until
the original (Jay Garrick) Flash appeared in The Flash #123
During the Silver Age, DC reinvented several popular Justice Society
members and banded many of them together in the Justice League of
America. However, instead of considering the JSA replaced, DC
revealed that the team existed on "Earth-Two" and the Justice League
on "Earth-One". This allowed for annual, cross-dimensional team-ups
of the teams, lasting from 1963 until 1985. It also allowed for new
series, such as All-Star Squadron, Infinity, Inc. and a new All-Star
Comics, which featured the JSA, their children, and their heirs.
These series explored the issues of aging, generational differences
and contrasts between the Golden Age and subsequent eras.
In the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series the series merged
all of the company's various realities into one, placing the JSA as
World War II-era predecessors to the company's modern characters. A
few unsuccessful and often controversial revivals were attempted,
until a new series, titled JSA, was launched in 1999, continuing
until July 2006. A new Justice Society of America series was
launched in December 2006, to coincide with the new Justice League
of America series, also launched in 2006. The title ended in August
2011 with issue 54 as part of DC Comics' September 2011 reboot of
its DC Universe properties.
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