ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

ISSN: 1549-6732
Home » Exhibit 1 » Exhibit Catalog »

The Justice Society of America

The Justice Society of America was created by editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox and made its first appearance in All-Star (Winter 1940). The group started a new trend in comic books—the grouping of a company’s heroes in a single adventure magazine. The group began with eight members: Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hourman, Sandman, Dr. Fate, Spectre and the Atom. Over the years, however, many others have entered and left the convocation. Batman and Superman made their joint appearance here, and Black Canary, Dr. Mid-Nite, Johnny Thunder, Mr. Terri? c, Red Tornado, Starman, Wildcat, and Wonder Woman all became members or made brief cameo appearances.

Gardner Fox wrote 35 of the 57 adventures. The format for handling so many characters became formularized: the heroes gathered for an introductory chapter, were each defeated by their enemies in an individual chapter, and finally reunited to defeat the villains in the last chapter. The stories were idealistic as well as exciting with a wide range of scenarios, including defending America against spies, traveling to the planets, feeding the starving of Europe and fighting such villains as the Brain Wave, the Psycho-Pirate, and Solomon Grundy. The later writers of the JSA were Robert Kanigher and John Broome. The final issue of All-Star was dated February-March 1951.

The Justice Society came out of retirement in the Silver Age thanks to the DC concept that the Golden Age characters and the Silver Age characters existed in parallel worlds known as Earth-One and Earth-Two. Now and then the JSA members joined up with their Silver Age counterparts, the Justice League of America. The JSA continues with its own magazine today.

Comics on Display

“The Revenge of Solomon Grundy!” Super-Team Family 4 (April-May 1976) Story by Gardner Fox; art by Irwin Hasen

“Countdown to Disaster!” Adventure Comics 465 (September-October 1979) Story by Paul Levitz; art by Joe Staton and Dave Hunt

“The Night of the Soul Thief,” Adventure Comics 463 (June 1979) Story by Paul Levitz; art by Joe Staton and Dave Hunt

The Justice League of America

When it became apparent that the revival of DC’s superheroes was going to be a great commercial success, editor Julius Schwartz, writer Gardiner Fox, and artist Mike Sekowsky combined to create the Justice League of America, the Silver Age version of the Golden Age Justice Society. The membership roster included the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, Superman and Batman. The super group (which inspired Marvel Comics to launch the Fantastic Four) was introduced in The Brave and the Bold (March 1960).

For DC’s older fans, it was a thrilling moment. Many of them sent letters of gratitude to the company and it created a revival of interest in superhero comics among people who would normally have put such things behind them. After three tryout issues, the Justice League was promoted to its own magazine in the autumn of 1960 (Justice League of America). It continued through the spring 1987 issue. A new comic, titled Justice League, started up the following month. For a time it was called Justice League International and in the spring of 1989 a separate magazine, Justice League Europe, was launched.

Like other super groups, the JLA experienced personnel changes in the three-plus decades of its existence. Other heroes coming on for a term included Green Arrow, Mr. Miracle, Blue Beetle, the Red Tornado, Black Canary, Captain Atom, Rocket Red, Captain Marvel, Elongated Man, and Booster Gold. As with the Justice Society before them, the Justice League battled many original villains, among them Felix Foust and the Royal Flush Gang.

Comics on Display

“Crisis on Earth-A!” Justice League of America 38 (September 1965)

“Metamorpho Says ‘No!’” Justice League of America 42 (February 1966)

“The Bridge Between Earths!” Justice League of America 47 (September 1966) Story by Gardner Fox; art by Mike Sekowsky and Sid Greene

“Threat of the True-or-False Sorcerer!” Justice League of America 49 (November 1966) Story by Gardner Fox; art by Mike Sekowsky and Sid Greene

“Missing in Action—5 Justice Leaguers!” Justice League of America 52 (March 1967) Story by Gardner Fox; art by Mike Sekowsky and Sid Greene

“Where Valor Fails…Will Magic Triumph?” Justice League of America 83 (September 1970)

“The Coming of…Starbreaker,” Justice League of America 96 (February 1972) Story by Mike Friedrich; art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella

“The Day the Earth Screams!” Justice League of America 97 (March 1972) Story by Mike Friedrich; art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella

“Crisis on Earth-X!” Justice League of America 107 (September-October 1973) Story by Len Wein; art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella

“Thirteen Against the Earth!” Justice League of America 108 (November-December 1973) Story by Len Wein; art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella

“Adam Strange…Strange Puppet of Time!” Justice League of America 138 (January 1977) Story by Cary Bates; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“A Tale of Two Satellites!” Justice League of America 143 (June 1977) Story by Steve Englehart; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“Inner Mission,” Justice League of America 146 (September 1977) Story by Steve Englehart; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“Crisis in Triplicate!” Justice League of America 148 (November 1977) Story by Martin Pasko; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“Under the Moons of Earth!” Justice League of America 155 (June 1978) Story by Gerry Conway; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“The Fiend with Five Faces!” Justice League of America 156 (July 1978) Story by Gerry Conway; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“The Murderer Among Us: Crisis Above Earth-One!” Justice League of America 171 (October 1979) Story by Gerry Conway; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“I Accuse…” Justice League of America 172 (November 1979) Story by Gerry Conway; art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin

“A League Divided” Justice League of America 200 (March 1982) Story by Gerry Conway; art by George Perez and Brett Breeding

“Hunters and Prey,” Justice League of America 251 (June 1986) Story by Gerry Conway; art by Luke McDonnell and Bill Wray

“The Show Must Go On…” Justice League Special 1 (1990) Story by Len Wein; art by Joe Phillips and Bruce D. Patterson

“The Man Who Wears the Star,” Justice League Europe 28 (July 1991) Story by Gerard Jones; art by Bart Sears and Randy Elliott

“Red Winter: A Wind From the East,” Justice League Europe 45 (December 1992) Story by Gerard Jones; art by Ron Randall and Randy Elliott

“Split Hit,” Justice League Task Force 2 (July 1993) Story by David Michelinie; art by Sal Velluto and Jeff Albrecht

“The Arsenal of Souls,” Justice League Task Force 4 (September 1993) Story by Chuck Dixon; art by Gabriel Morrissette and Dick Giordano

“How Green Was My Daalie?” Justice League Task Force 8 (January 1994) Story by Peter David; art by Sal Velluto and Jeff Albrecht

Exhibit 1: Main

All content is (c) ImageTexT 2004 - 2017 unless otherwise noted. All authors and artists retain copyright unless otherwise noted.
All images are used with permission or are permissible under fair use. Please see our legal notice.

ImageTexT is published by the Department of English at the University of Florida.