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The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: The Justice Society of America
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: The Justice Society of America

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics. On this episode, hosts Matt Key, Taliesin Jaffe, and Amy Dallen chatted about the Justice Society of America, the Golden Age superhero team that would eventually make its way into modern comics.

The Justice Society of America, which debuted in All-Star Comics #3 during the Golden Age, brought together superheroes who didn’t have their own solo titles, Taliesin explained. (All-Star Comics would go on to introduce a new character named Wonder Woman in its eighth issue.)

“The original team was Doctor Fate, Hourman, The Spectre, The Sandman, Atom, Flash [Jay Garrick], Green Lantern [Alan Scott], and Hawkman. Batman and Superman were not technically members,” he continued. “[They] were considered to be reserve members because they had their own books.”

JSA75

Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years

This omnibus collects the staggering history of the JSA, beginning with All-Star Comics #1. “The first issue, which was really interesting, was almost entirely a series of solo stories,” said Taliesin. “No one actually teamed up. The president called them and asked them to deal with Nazi spies in the United States.”

The collection features the work of Gardner Fox, including the early issues which were just pages of the newly formed team eating together. (Everyone loves seeing superheroes eat dinner together, Taliesin said without irony.)

(DC Comics, various writers and artists)

flash123

The Flash #123 (1961)

In the Silver Age, DC Comics brought back old characters with new faces and names. The Flash was now Barry Allen, a character so successful that he stars in his own series. During his adventures he comes face to face with Jay Garrick.

“It was called ‘Flash of Two Worlds’,” said Amy. “The idea was, I fight crime here, you fight crime somewhere else that’s just like here by different.”

“That cover is so famous,” Taliesin said. (It was later created in The CW’s The Flash television series.)

(DC Comics, Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino)

JLA21

Justice League of America #21 (1963)

Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are part of the Justice League of America, and they come face to face with the Justice Society of America in this first multiverse “crisis.” The JSA characters officially returned to main continuity in this landmark crossover.

“That got deep and strange. I’m so into it,” said Taliesin of the first chapter.

(DC Comics, Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky)

crisismultiple

Crisis on Multiple Earths

The annual crossovers between the Justice Society and Justice League (or “shenanigan picnics,” as Amy described them) were eventually collected into multiple volumes called Crisis on Multiple Earths. In these pages, you’ll meet characters like Johnny Thunder that you might not have heard about otherwise.

“Crisis on Earth-S was a very interesting one,” Amy said. “I love these [collections] very, very much because you get to check in on a yearly basis with what’s going on in the DC universe over a course of twenty years.”

(DC Comics, Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky)

Matt, Amy, and Taliesin also chatted about JSA characters like Starman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Hourman, The Spectre, Captain Marvel (Shazam), Hawkman, Citizen Steel, Ma Hunkel/Red Tornado, and Wildcat, some of which enjoyed their own solo comic book series that are now out of print. (See The Wednesday Club‘s recent episode about the character for more Starman love.)

THE DAILY WEDNESDAY

Did you know The Wednesday Club has their own letters column with questions and comments from viewers? Send in your thoughts, comic recommendations, questions, and more to Matt, Amy, and Taliesin at [email protected] and you might just see yourself on the next episode.

wedclub-hosts

MORE COMIC AWESOMENESS!

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel and on Alpha every Wednesday night to catch the next spectacular episode of The Wednesday Club.

All Images: DC Comics

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