We live in a superhero-crazed world right now. Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m always glad to oblige readers’ requests to throw in superhero-related posts because I have a soft spot for the subject since superhero comic books were a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera.
DC fans have complained that I pay too much attention to Marvel Comics and other comic book companies, so here is the first of my looks at DC’s biggest claim to fame – the VERY FIRST SUPERHERO TEAM EVER. Long before the Justice League came the Justice Society in 1940.
I will review the original issue AND detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.
ALL-STAR COMICS #3 (December 1940)
Title: THE FIRST MEETING OF THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Heroes: FLASH (Original), RED TORNADO (Original female version), SPECTRE, SANDMAN, GREEN LANTERN (Original), HOURMAN, DOCTOR FATE, HAWKMAN (Original), ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER
Synopsis: At this very first meeting of any superteam in comic book history, the members make general introductions and each relate one of their adventures via flashback. The Red Tornado stops by for a visit.
While the meeting is going on, FBI Chief J Edgar Hoover invites the entire team to a Top Secret meeting the following Tuesday and the Justice Society of America accepts.
How I Would Revise It:
A. I would make the original, female Red Tornado (Abigail Hunkel) a full member instead of Johnny Thunder, the Jar Jar Binks of the JSA. Johnny was just comic relief and since the Red Tornado’s Golden Age adventures were largely comic relief SHE should be on the team, not him. She at least wears a costume and does her own fighting.
B. Instead of just telling each other random adventures I would have had each hero relate their Origin Story since this is their first meeting.
C. I would have had the previous issue’s depiction of individual stories for Hourman, the Spectre, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Sandman end with each hero being approached by Kermit Roosevelt, son of Theodore and cousin to President Franklin Roosevelt.
Kermit could be recruiting the heroes Nick Fury-style and presenting them with a special Presidential request to get together and form the Justice Society of America. Instead of the previous issue’s solo adventures for Johnny Thunder and Red, White & Blue I’d have substituted Red Tornado, Dr Fate and the Atom.
Since All-Star Comics #3 would still be the team’s first meeting there would be no need to change the title and at least the team’s formation would seem less out-of-nowhere. I included both the Republican (Teddy) and Democrat (Franklin) sides of the Roosevelt family in a bid for political unity TODAY, since even though I like Franklin Roosevelt a lot of people feel hostile about him.
I WILL REVIEW THE NEXT JSA STORY SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY EXAMINATION OF THE 13-PART BLACK PANTHER STORY TITLED PANTHER’S RAGE CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE LIST OF ATLAS/ SEABOARD SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MAIN LIST OF CENTAUR COMICS SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MEMBERS OF INFINITE HORIZON CLICK HERE
FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
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