[JSA Book Club] Week 19: A New Age [Nov. 16-30]

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Greetings fellow JSA fans! Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Got a shorter then normal set of readings for this week. We are traveling back to 2006 and the launch of a new JSA title: Justice Society of America.

  • This title was the third volume of the series and was written initially by Geoff Johns with pencils by Dale Englesham and Alex Ross on cover art. The series ran from February 2007-October 2011.

  • A major theme of this series, which carried over from previous ones, was the JSA being the caretakers of the superhero legacy from one generation to the next. To illustrate this the opening of the new series shows veteran JSAers the Flash, Green Lantern and Wildcat choosing a new generation of heroes to train.

  • It was also during this series that the old JLA/JSA crossovers started back up. The first of these crossover stories happens just after the story we will be reading this week.

  • Several new characters are introduced in this series and all of them are in some way related to former JSA members.

Let’s call this meeting to order and meet these new kids!

Club Leaders

@JasonTodd428 & @Aurora

Standing Members

Abrax, AggressiveIntellectual219, anthony.javier3, bbzo24, bigblock66, BlueBeetlesAssistant, Brenticus_Rex, CassTheStreet, CrazyQuilt, Daffern, dave_worrell, DCUniverse, Deathstroke’s.Punisher, december360, dj.ganon, DocterFate1, Don-El, fawsid, frankie.lacy79, Frostbite30, ganaoque, harrist, HombreDeMaiz, hotstufflouie, Jay_Kay, Jflow, jlevin, kaliym73, lunalane, MatthewHecht, mbpbinder, _meegs, Meisaj, mgeiler, Midnitehour, MisfitCMJ, mitchellbpearson ,msgtv, OldBoyWonder, PaintEater, parzival27, ProActress, ralphsix, Ravenrifft, Remember5NovEveyHammond, RickTylerHourman, rlynchfamily, rspezzano, rwm, scoop001, TheCosmicMoth, TK52, TurokSonOfStone, YolandaMontezz, ZacharyLee1995.

What to Read

*Justice Society of America (2006) #1-4

For Discussion

  1. How did you feel about the recruitment of descendants of original JSA members into the JSA?

  2. Last time we saw a group of Nazi villains and here we have another: The Fourth Reich. What did you think of them?

  3. Looks like Vandal Savage is stirring up trouble again. What did you think of his fight with Wildcat’s son?

  4. Cyclone had a very rough first day as a prospective member of the JSA. How would you have handled the situation she found herself in?

  5. What did you make of Starman in these issues?

  6. We see the reason Damage has donned a mask but do you feel he’s really in the right headspace to be a hero?

  7. At the end of this story we see Agent Graves taking up the mantle of Mr. America as Wildcat talks to his son about there is always someone willing to take up the role of a hero. Do you think that is true in real life?

And that’s all I have this week.

Join the JSA BOOK CLUB! We’d be happy to add your name to our Roll Call and you’d get a snazzy flair to wear on your avatar.

Coming up the first part of next month we have a tale drawn from All Star Comics and later in the month I have a couple of holiday stories lined up. Hope to see you there!

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Of the two versions of the
Justice Society that
Geoff Johns wrote
This is my favorite

The members here were well selected including different groups:

Alan Jay and Ted
Power Girl Mr Terrific Dr Midnite
Liberty Belle Hourman
Stargirl Cyclone Damage and Wildcat Junior

The group jells
Totally unlike
The original JSA title with:
Jack Knight
Queen Hippolyta
Future Android Hourman
Hawkgirl
Black Canary
As initial members
Later the too powerful Dr Fate
They were just
not good members
For the JSA.

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  1. I loved both the idea and the execution!
  2. They were ok. I need to see more of them to get a better feel for their powers.
  3. It was very cool when Wildcat’s son became a werecat. He put up a good fight.
  4. I like Cyclone a lot. I would have probably given up and not persevered.
  5. He seems to be the Starman from the Legion of Superheroes with memory issues.
  6. Damage needs some therapy for sure. I like him and hope things improve for him as the story continues.
  7. I think there are people willing to fight for justice. In real life, that doesn’t involve super heroics, but look at the people who risk their lives as firefighters and police officers every day.

In closing, I just have to say I love the artwork on this book. So much of the more modern comics has set that I just don’t like, but these issues were beautiful!

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Yeah, I really like this group. It had a nice mix of old and young characters which created a nice balance between the youthful enthusiasm of the young and the experience of the more mature heroes.

Me too. Sometimes a writer has a great idea but the execution of that idea falls flat but not this time. I enjoyed every bit of this.

I thought he put up a good fight myself. The werecat bit surprised me a bit at the time but I still like it.

I think the Cyclone parts were my favorites because she is so excited about the prospect of being a hero. I would have persevered as she did I think.

I agree.

I do think he could benefit from therapy. He’s obviously got some issue to work out.

My dad was one of them. He went out everyday and put his life at risk to protect others. It terrified my mother.

There are a lot of everyday heroes out there too.

  • The teen who helps an elderly person with their groceries.

  • The person who sees someone with a flat tire while driving and stops to help them out.

  • The person who volunteers their time to come to the aid of people they don’t even know during a natural disaster.

  • Even someone who find someone’s lost pet and reunites them with their owner.

There are lots ways to be a hero.

I especially loved the artwork here.

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I love the series, but not so much the first few issues.

  1. Too much focus on following legacies of previous members. Need to focus more on who is willing and ready.
  2. Dull and easy to beat.
  3. Finally the good stuff. Vandal is an intimidating villain like always.
  4. Probably… Just the way she did. Props to Star for all the support she is giving.
  5. Love him of course. I do love his opening banter with Mid-Nite and Stargirl.
  6. No. Picking him was just asking for trouble. He needs a really good friend, not membership. Look at how Star is constantly supporting Cyclone. He needs somebody like that, and I never saw Hourman or Liberty Belle doing it.
  7. Yes, the worst times bring out heroism.

I really love Englesham’s art. He does a great job at separating children from adults and facial expressions. The previous series had some issues where Star looks older than Power Girl.

“It was also during this series that the old JLA/JSA crossovers started back up. The first of these crossover stories happens just after the story we will be reading this week.”
I know there were a few from earlier like Virtue and Vice and the Thanksgiving issue. Do you mean they became more frequent?

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Vandal is a great villain IMHO. I never get tired of seeing him.

I loved seeing her take Cyclone under her wing. I only wish she had done the same with Damage who really could use it as well as a real friend.

That was fun to read. I really liked him even if he seems a bit off kilter.

I agree he needs a good friend and some therapy to help him deal with his trama. I’m not really a big proponent of putting on a mask and fighting bad guys as a coping mechanism for dealing with your issues because it’s not really a healthy way of dealing with trauma. (I’m looking at you, Bruce Wayne.)

I really love Englesham’s art too. I really hate it when artists make young characters look older than they should or when they make older ones look even older than they are.

There were exactly two crossovers between this book and JLA. The first was titled “The Lightning Saga” and happened in JLA #8-10 and JSA #5-6 with an epilogue in #7. The second happened under the Brightest Day banner and happened in JLA #44-47 and JSA #41-42.

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To start, I agree with @TurokSonOfStone1950. This is the better of the two Geoff Johns’ Justice Society runs. In fact, I think this might be my favorite era of the Justice Society. Johns improved on what he did the first time around and expanded it to include new pockets of the DC Universe that were previously untouched by the Justice Society.

  1. As some of you may get by now, I’m a sucker for superhero legacies. I started creating my own superhero legacy teams when I was a kid after I read the first appearance of Infinity, Inc. I’ve been doing it ever since. I like the fact that the JSA is recruiting the descendants of original members because I like seeing the torch being passed.

  2. To quote myself from last week: “the best thing about Nazi villains is that it’s really easy to hate them, so you don’t feel any sympathy when their plots are crushed. The worst thing about Nazi villains is it’s really easy to hate them…” It was funny seeing White Dragon, though. I’ve been reading through the Suicide Squad books recently, and White Dragon was a member in the 2007-2008 volume. I’ve also always wondered if the Captain Nazi in The Fourth Reich is the same one who crippled Freddy Freeman and killed his grandfather back in Whiz Comics #25. All in all, their massacre of the Heywood family reunion was pretty horrifying/disgusting.

  3. The Vandal Savage/Wildcats fight was pretty brutal. Vandal is a pretty dangerous guy. The body count and mayhem really racks up when Savage is involved. The fact that an untrained young Wildcat had to last against him alone was good drama. So, yeah, great fight.

  4. If I had a first day on the job like Cyclones’? I’d like to say that I’d cowboy up, approach the problem with a level head, and help fight the good fight. The truth is that I’d probably have to go have a panic attack somewhere. Cyclone held up much better than I would.

  5. Starman is one of my favorite things about these issues. First, his inclusion is great because you don’t really think of him as being part of the “Starman legacy.” The Legion often exists in its own pocket of the DC Universe that sometimes I forget that it is connected to everything else like Starman of the JSA. I’m also a big Legion fan, so it was a pleasant surprise, and his madness really capped it off. Some of the stuff he says is nonsense, but… not all of it…
    Kenz Nuhor
    (The name of the man Starboy killed in self-defense and the vote tally that got him expelled from the Legion for it. It originally happened in Adventure Comics #342, but, since that’s not digitized, you can check out details in Legion of Super-Heroes #306)

  6. I have a soft spot for Damage and for all the young heroes of the mid-90’s. I think they’re a true lost generation of superheroics. Grant has always kind of been like that even before what happened to his face, though. That story he told about demolishing half of Atlanta happened back in Damage #0. Honestly, though, I love that he went back and crossed the state line into Georgia. I get that. I get feeling like that. If someone is going through that, the worst thing to do is leave them to their own devices. Grant needs to be out there and needs to be part of this team. I think Hourman should be the guy to step in as his mentor. Especially because of what happened between Rick and The Wizard back in the Infinity, Inc. days.

  7. Yes. I think if a situation requires a hero then someone is bound to step up and try.

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I was thinking Wildcat is his ideal mentor. Both have anger issues, but Wildcat can teach (contrary to what he says), and maybe Damage could get part of his sense of humor.

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I could totally see that, and Wildcat would be a great teacher. I think Wildcat will have his hands full with his own son, though.

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What could happen? What are the odds something like say a wannabe god out to destroy the Earth turns Tommy and several younger members against the JSA?

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lol, no… that could never happen…

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I was thinking the same thing. I’m not sure Damage is in the right headspace for training though no matter who mentors him. I do think that Wildcat would be a good teacher though despite what he says.

Perish the thought. That could never ever happen…Oh wait…

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I’m a big fan passing on the torch to the younger generation myself. I sometimes wish that torch could remain passed on in some cases but comics aren’t set up that way.

It was at that. Pretty much what I’d expect from Vandal though and he was the one to orchestrate it.

That was the exact reason I enjoyed the fight here. Lots of drama especially since young Wildcat is an unknown variable in the fight. Up until this point we have no idea of his skills or if he as powers and that makes for some interesting possibilities.

Yeah me too. Or at least I would after the fact anyway. I think the adrenalin rush would see me though the actual events but I’d crash hard soon after. That has actually happened to me in real life in certain situations.

I agree and it could be that Grant is attempting to reach out to someone on a subconscious level by trying to be a member of the team.

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When I was choosing the [Legion Fan Club] reading for this month, I was highly tempted to do the Lightning Saga crossover since we’re currently doing a 30 year retrospective / quadruple layer sandwich reading. But since I follow both this club and @Vroom 's new Justice League club, I realized, when I was putting this Legion reading together a few days ago, that you both at the same time are featuring the 2006 versions of these and so I backed off.

Instead I used the 2014 Justice League United Legion story that took place after Legion was no longer published.

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No offense, but I really hated the JLU-Legion crossover. It just dragged too long, and the deontology vs consequentialism was poorly done.

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Maybe all three clubs can read and discuss Lightning Saga together at some point?

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In an interview, Grant Morrison said that the way he ended his Batman, Inc. series was inspired by that fact. He basically said that no one would really be Batman except Bruce Wayne because that’s the way the publishers set it up. Thinking about what happened to 5G (RIP), I’d have to say that he’s been right so far.

Well, Grant keeps saying he’s more comfortable alone and is not interested in being a member, but… hey he could leave at any time if he wanted. I think, on some level, he needs the JSA.

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I am game.

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This has my interest. I’ll probably read a couple issues today.

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That would be great if @Don-El and @Vroom are interested in doing so.

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