The Atom · Dr. Mid-Nite · Hourman · The Sandman
Wonder Woman · Dr. Fate · Black Canary
The Justice Society of America is the oldest and longest-lasting organization of super-heroes in
history, and one of the greatest.
In November 1940 a British secret agent acting on behalf of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked the Golden Age Batman, the original Flash, and the original Green Lantern to go on a secret mission to Scotland. There the three heroes fought Nazi forces who had established a base in Scotland to support a planned German invasion of Great Britain. The heroes were captured and were brought before Adolf Hitler in Berlin. However, Doctor Fate and the original Hourman, who had also been asked to serve on this mission, arrived in time to prevent the three heroes' deaths. All five super-heroes then pursued Valkyries whom Hitler had summoned to attack Britain.
Then Hitler ordered his naval invasion of England to begin. Doctor Fate magically brought the original Atom, the original Hawkman, the original Sandman, and the Spectre to England, where they defeated the invading forces. The nine super-heroes then joined forces against the Valkyries, whom they pursued to Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, Hitler had sent an advanced bomber plane to attack the Golden Age Superman. Together, Superman and the Atom thwarted the Valkyrie leader's attempt to assassinate President Roosevelt. The Valkyries returned to Valhalla, their mission for Hitler having failed.
Roosevelt told the ten assembled super-heroes that he wished they could continue as a team. Superman suggested the name for the team, and the Justice Society of America held its first meeting on November 22, 1940.
Until more recent times, Superman and Batman acted only as honorary members. The Flash was the first JSA chairman, but he soon stepped down to honorary membership and was succeeded as chairman by Green Lantern. Johnny Thunder joined the Society in Flash's place.
During a JSA case the regular and honorary members, as well as Doctor Mid-Nite and Starman, were exposed to chronal energy released from the body of the criminal Ian Karkull. This energy has enabled the JSA members then present to retain an unusual degree of vitality even today, over forty years later.
Green Lantern stepped down to honorary membership, and Hourman left the Society. They were succeeded by Doctor Mid-Nite and Starman. Hawkman became chairman and has retained this position ever since.
In December 1941 all of the then-current and honorary members of the JSA also became members of the All-Star Squadron, an organization of virtually all of America's costumed heroes formed at the request of President Roosevelt to operate for the duration of World War II.
Later that month the JSA disbanded, and eight of its members joined the armed forces in their secret identities. However, only a few weeks later, the Justice Society members returned to civilian life and regrouped under the name of the Justice Battalion, to take orders during the war from the U.S. War Department. The Golden Age Wonder Woman joined the Battalion, and the JSA returned to its original name in 1943.
In 1944 and 1945, Dr. Fate, the Sandman, the Spectre, and Starman all left the JSA for differing reasons. Mr. Terrific and the original Wildcat joined the JSA for one case, and the Flash and Green Lantern returned to active membership. In 1948 Johnny Thunder left the Society and was replaced by the original Black Canary.
In early 1951 the head of a group called Eliminations, Inc. lured the JSA members to a satellite in outer space, where he tried unsuccessfully to kill them. The JSA captured the man, who proved to be an agent of a foreign power. The Justice Society was then subpoenaed to appear before the Joint Congressional Un-American Activities Committee, headed by Senator O'Fallon, whose members wrongly suspected that the JSA was in league with the captured spy. When O'Fallon demanded the Justice Society members reveal their secret identities if they wanted to be considered "good Americans," the JSA members refused and went into retirement. Only Superman, the Batman, and Wonder Woman remained active over the following years.
But then the Flash emerged from retirement. Later, other former JSA members emerged from retirement as well to battle their old foe Vandal Savage. The heroes decided to reactivate the Justice Society, and it began meeting regularly soon afterward. Everyone who had ever been an active JSA member returned to active membership with the revived Justice Society. Moreover, the Society gained new younger members: the original Robin, the android Red Tornado, the Star-Spangled Kid, Power Girl, and the Huntress.
As time has passed, the Society has lost some of its members. Batman, Black Canary, Mr. Terrific, Robin, and the Huntress died. The Sandman and Wildcat have left active status for health reasons, and the Star-Spangled Kid left to join Infinity, Inc., a team of super-heroes made up of children and proteges of the JSA members. The second Red Tornado joined the Justice League of America, and the Spectre for the most part is no longer interested in participating in Justice Society cases.
Nevertheless, after over forty years the Justice Society of America remains an active and powerful force on behalf of justice and the welfare of humanity.