JSA #1: Justice Be Done |
by various writers & artists
(DC Comics, 2000)
In the post-Golden Age, pre-Crisis (the first one) years of DC Comics, the original superhero team was shunted off to Earth-2 so they wouldn't compete with the Justice League of America or cause confusion among Flashes and Green Lanterns. Then, once the Crisis on Infinite Earths did its damage, those aging heroes were brought back into the main continuity, where they served as second-string characters lingering from a bygone day.
But the Justice Society of America was just too cool to go gently into retirement, so the Powers That Be brought them back to active duty. Justice Be Done collects the beginnings of the JSA series that revived them.
No, it's not a book about doddering old has-been heroes who foil the bad guys with bedpans and Geritol. Wildcat is aging gracefully. The Flash and Green Lantern are somewhat preserved by their powers. Black Canary has been replaced by her daughter, Starman by his son, Sandman by his girlfriend's nephew.
They, and a few others, are called into service after one of their own is killed and another, Dr. Fate, is close to being reborn into the wrong hands. Of course, once they get a taste of action again, it's hard to go back to wheat germ and prunes. And a new/old team is born.
Justice Be Done is a neat package in that readers who missed the Golden Age and the team members' various cameos in the present day don't need to know much about these characters. The writers and artists involved dust them off and bring them into the story with just enough backstory to make everything clear.
These guys will never supplant the modern Superman and Batman in popularity, sure, but there's room in the world for more than one team, and these characters deserve their second chance. Justice Be Done gets them off to a good start.
by Tom Knapp