SPOILER ALERT! Read the latest Justice League and Superman books if you want to be surprised. Otherwise, read on.
No, seriously. Scroll elsewhere if you’re spoiler-averse.
Last warning! Scroll at your own risk!
Ha! That wasn’t the last warning! This is the last warning!
Okay, then. It’s all on you from here on out.
FINALLY, the Justice Society of America is back.
We get the first look at them in Justice League #30, so grab it while you can. I can forgive Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV for their seemingly endless JLA storyline since it includes the return of the JSA.
Now, hopefully DC won’t screw it up: the writers should look at how the “return” of the team was handled in the “Earth Two” series a few years ago and do everything opposite of what was done then. Don’t use younger, new versions of classic heroes like Flash and Green Lantern; give us the real thing.
That’s not to say fans won’t accept characters of different races, creeds and sexual orientation; just make them new characters and leave the originals alone.
What fans loved about the 87 issues of the JSA series by Geoff Johns, James Robinson, and David Goyer in the late 90s and 2000s was not just the brilliant writing. Like me, they loved the way the writers slowly introduced new characters that were connected to the original JSA members. There were children and grandchildren, relatives, and a few folks that were inspired by the originals. It was seamless and done without compromising the older heroes. And to the creative team’s credit, they made it look so easy.
The one-page JSA appearance in the latest Justice League is set in the 1940s and shows a mostly familiar group, minus Wonder Woman and Black Canary and including a Thunderbolt version of Johnny Thunder.
So finally, the long-awaited society returns, something that has been unfolding with glacial slowness in Doomsday Clock.
And even better, the JSA’s return coincides with the equally anticipated return of the Legion of Super-Heroes in Superman #14.
It appears that the new Legion will contain many changes from the venerable line-up that first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 in 1958, including a reimagined Lightning Lad, who appears to be a different race than the previous version.
Other changes are sure to become apparent as the team slowly debuts over the next few months.
As an aged fan, I’d like to see the original team return. But to be honest, the Legion was mostly a bunch of white folks (except for Chameleon Boy and Brainiac 5) for much of its run.
Perhaps some changes are overdue.
And this brings me to my oft-told tale of an encounter with a DC editor that exemplifies the problems with the company.
Once upon a time in the far away land called San Diego in the mid-1990s, I was chatting with a top editor of DC Comics at the San Diego Comic-Con.
I asked when they were bringing back my favorite group of all time –The Justice Society of America. His response surprised me.
“At every comic convention I go to you people always come up and ask us to bring back the Justice Society,” he said. “Well, it ain’t gonna happen.”
I pointed out the fact that so many people wanting to see the comic might be an indication that a relaunch was a good idea. He harumphed.
Eventually, the JSA did come back in 1999 and was a brilliant and very successful book.
Do that again and everyone will be happy.
Mike Sangiacomo, who has been patiently waiting for the return of the Justice Society of America for way too long, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.