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Golden Age Justice Society of America

October 24, 2015

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The Justice Society of America, also known as JSA, was the first superhero team in comics. The DC Comics team was conceived by writer Gardner Fox and editor Sheldon Mayer, making their first appearance in All Star Comics #3 in December 1940. The JSA initially included a stellar lineup of beloved characters with the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Hour-Man, the Spectre, the Sandman, and the Atom.

It was considered a great idea because readers could enjoy a story with multiple headliners for only 10˘. The first story featured the JSA’s inaugural team meeting which framed sequences for each member’s story in individual adventures. In the next issue the team worked together on a case then follow-up stories saw them fighting in individual missions, but still working together to solve the case.

The team saw a few roster changes and incarnations over the many issues. Through a rule established at the end of All Star Comics #5 when a character got his/her own title, he/she would become an honorary member of the team. The Flash was replaced by Johnny Thunder after #6 and not long after that, Green Lantern left. Batman and Superman were considered honorary members in the early issues. Hawkman was the only member to appear in each JSA story during the All Star Comics run while Atom only missed two issues. Wonder Woman made her debut in All Star Comics #8.

The JSA included characters published by All-American Publications and National Comics, making JSA the first inter-company superhero title. By All Star Comics #24 National Comics and All-American Publications were in disagreements. The National Comics heroes were removed from the title, which resulted in the Flash and Green Lantern returning to the team. At issue #27 National bought All-American, merging as Detective Comics. The JSA remained mostly the same for the rest of the run. Fox left the series at issue #34 with a story that introduced the villain the Wizard. The Golden Age JSA run ended with issue #57.

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