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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Justice Society of America -It USED To Mean Something!

 I was asked what I thought of the current, or last, incarnation of what had been the Justice Society of America?

It started off in the 1940s and kids at that time must have blown a gasket!  All those heroes in one freaking book!  And this was before Timely and The All Winners Squad -the history and story behind which Marvel changed slightly for the 1970s series The Invaders and in the 1990s and since have totally and completely fecked up!

See the characters in the image above?  Those were the JSA.  The 1960s saw the start of the annual JSA-JLA team-ups that I still love and treasure today and, yes, I like Mike Sekowsky's art so sod off.

Below the late great Mike Parobek's JSA from the 1980s.  Good stories.  Good art. A great series though it often seemed like DC had no idea what direction to take them in.
The 1980s saw the All Star Squadron penned by Roy Thomas but, boy, did they screw everything up when Crisis On Infinite Earths happened.  We then had Young All Stars but unlike in the All Star Squadron book, the art varied from good-ish to awful.

The JSA returned, up-dated but still fun and action and plenty of scope for a great long term series but then we had Secret Identity Ultimate Infinite Cosmic Zero Hour -it was something like that. Luckily, some sense meant things were not too bad and we had the graphic novel JSA-JLA:Virtue and Vice with some great Carlos Pacheco artwork. even got a little bit seedy in places!!
 Some very nice covers on the series, too -
But things went really bad and I just stopped.  Yes, you know what I mean:
You love it?  Maybe your meds need changing?  Or you are one of the here-today-gone-tomorrow died in the wool comic fans who have no interest in continuity, character history and will buy toilet paper from Dan Didio after he's wiped his ass with it, of course.

The thing is, it is almost a broken record but its relevant to most industries today, if it ain't broke then WTF mess it up?  You are not fixing it.  Once you're done you move on to something else or DC puts that shiv in your back while you are in the elevator 'going up to meet the boss'.

What creators did in the 1940s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and to a degree in the 1990s will have more relevance and be fare more cherished and loved than any of the crap churned out now.

Didio -your momma says "Hi"!


  1. Yeah, man I love those JLA / JSA crossovers. The only reason I still haven´t gotten the trades is that I´d like to have the George Perez stuff in one neat hardcover but it seems DC is unable to do that.

    There is a spanish hardcover edition of it but stupid as I am I didn´t buy it when I had the chance. In my defense I have to say that I spent my money on the two NEW TEEN TITANS hardcovers by George Perez.

    Anyway, with the american editions you either go with the trades which have - most of the JSA and JLA issues or there are two hardcovers form the DC comics classics library which will cost you a nut - 40 dollars for six issues. At least the trades are also available in german but as usual the US trades are much cheaper. I´m not sure with which option I should go but there is still time.

    Ah, the JSA series from the 90s. Remember when Geoff Johns wrote anything that was actually good ? THY KINGDOM COME - Best JSA story ever. I´m so glad I bought the hardcovers on these ones because I have re - read the story a dozen times.

    Man, what happened to DC ?

    Okay, I know what happened. Greed kicked creativity in the groin and finished it off in a dark alley. Damn Didio ..... you bastard !!!

  2. One of my first comic book memories was reading a DC comic (I ssium it was an ealry JLA - probably one of my older brothers comics) and seeing the golden age Flash and Hawkman and not quite understanding why they looked different to the characters of the same name I knew (I was about 6 years old) but I do recall being excited by it all and finding out the history behind it etc - Since then one of my favourite comic events has always been the JLA - JSA annual event (issue 100-101 my personal all time favourite) - I really liked the Peter Snejberg and Jerry Ordway runs on the JSA books a few years ago great stuff 100 times better than anything DC is doing now. The New 52 has (imho) been very disappointing indeed some title are bloody awful with Earth 2 being one of my least favourites of the lot.

  3. Mike Sekowsky! and from thereon, his style influence in the work of Dave Gibbons. Strangely enough, I have this very issue here, had picked it out of my files in the last few days in a sort of 'back to my roots' moment and am considering getting the black and white 'Showcase' of this and the surrounding issues. I would love to see the art of these issues or an Artist Edition. I have bought a Romita and Mooney in a pricey investment as jump leads to get going into inking work again, as well as looking back at my old work. Tremors diminishing, but still twitching. In the need to hold the brush steady, I may have to augment the treatment. I am not going to let the retrogressive genes of this family defeat me!!

  4. Paul -yeah, I read the first 4(?) of the New 52 Earth 2 and, nice art to a point, but talk about dragging it out! I note someone online wrote that a series from DC had got up to issue 16 but the epic clash promised at the start still had NOT appeared. DC think if you make more money from ads, put in less story pages and string out a two issue story over, say, 10 issues the punters will have to buy. People just have to stop buying DC or Marvel for one month and the money boys will take note (even though you'll get the missed issues cheaper later on the idiots won't register their anger. When I saw the JSA and JLA together as a kid my mind kind of exploded and I'm still not fully recovered!
    Subzero -the first three trades are non-Perez but have great art and art fun. From the same period you have the trade, with Bolland cover, Zatanna's Search -Gil Kane, Murphy Anderson, Carmine Infantino, Bob Kane, Sekowsky and Romeo Tanghal. A lovely cross-over book as the JLA members help Zatanna. Thy Kingdom Come was a belter -and I need to get the trade!
    sepp -If you can find the discontinued Showcase books nab them -Marvel and DC dumped those for fewer issues, colour and expensive trades!

    1. Yeah, I saw that. On it! I hate the new colour. I loved the format of Super DC when they were published in the ( ? ) early seventies, if my memory serves. Hey, I found my Doctor Who Sugar Smacks badges! and the cutouts from Weetabix C 1974-5 and my Brook Bond tea card albums. Yay! These almost make me feel young again.