Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Days of the Justice Society

These are the last days of the Justice Society. At least until they decide to bring them back. It's inevitable that some day they will, but for now the JSA is off the table.

I'm sure that many people will be unhappy about this. It doesn't really bother me. I haven't really enjoyed the Justice Society since prior to its most recent relaunch. The book has felt adrift for quite a while now, and I think that probably has something to do with the decision to "let it rest."

That said, I think there are better reasons out there for taking the JSA out of action. Indeed, I think there are some very good reasons indeed. First has to do with age. In the past, DC has remained firm in tying the JSA founders to World War II. Setting aside what role they may or may not have originally had during the war, they've been tied to that time period pretty consistently for quite a long time now.

That presents a problem for the new DCU. DC is trying to make their DCU younger and fresher. And that's somewhat difficult to do with a team tie so closely to World War II. After all, with every year that passes the war grows more and more distant. The original JSAers go from being in their seventies to in their eighties. And eventually their nineties. And that's a problem.

But it's not the best reason to take the JSA out of the DCU. Under the current post-Crisis chronology the JSA creates a fatal flaw in the DC Universe. In my eyes, there's a big thing that's been missing for the past twenty-five or so years. I think it absolutely vital that Superman be the first super-hero.

In the real world Superman is the first super-hero. There is little debate about that. He ushered in a new kind of fiction and changed our world forever. He did the same thing in the DCU: a world largely like ours existed until a man dressed in red and blue appeared in the sky and altered things irrevocably.

He was followed by many others, but there was no question that he came first and inspired those who followed him. And with the JSA as it has been conceived we can't have that. In order for Superman to be returned to his rightful place -- which it seems Grant Morrison intends to do -- the Justice Society must fade away.

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At 3:30 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Awwguuugghh! But I love the JSA! has pretty much stunk on ice lately, but I still love the concept, and the characters. They just need some good stories.

Dagnabit, I love those old farts. And Sandy.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Captain Infinity said...

One of the things I love(d) most about DC was its sense of legacy. Sadly, that will be gone now along with most every other aspect of the DCU that I care about.

If DC is so all fired up about making Superman first, they damn well better make him an inspiring character. Which I doubt they will do.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

I can't say I disagree with either of you. Personally, I could accept the disappearance of the Justice Society if we got a Superman that lived up the the potential of Siegal and Schuster's original creation.

I don't know if we'll get that, but I do believe that Grant Morrison gets Superman is a way that not a lot of people do. So I still have some hope...

At 9:28 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

I don't know, wasn't Superman still regarded as the preeminent superhero in the world by the people of the DCU, even when the JSA came first? You don't necessarily have to be first to be most influential or greatest, though I'm sure it doesn't hurt.

I don't know how the history played out prior to this upcoming reboot, but I figured there was the JSA during WW2, then they were forced into retirement for a long time HUAC hearings demanding they unmask?), long period without costumed heroes, then the new generation, with Superman leading the way. Older citizens might remember the JSA, but for a lot of people, Superman would be the first. Certainly the first superhero they'd seen saving the world in the present, as opposed to old newsreel footage, if there was even any of that. Maybe that isn't how it was presented, though.

I don't think it's an issue if the average person thinks of Superman first, but Superman himself knows there were others who came before him.


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