The Justice Society of America, or JSA for short, was the comic book medium’s first-ever super team. And they are making their big screen debut in Black Adam. Although, we only meet four members in that film — Doctor Fate, Hawkman, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone. But should the JSA prove popular, a spin-off film seems likely. It’s time to expand this relatively small team into an actual society, as their name suggests. And we have some ideas on who should join that expanded lineup.
A Justice Society DCEU Movie Should Start with a World War II Flashback
Although we think a JSA spin-off movie would likely take place in the same timeframe as Black Adam, their history as the first-ever superhero team should be represented. That’s why we hope there is some kind of flashback to their early days in World War II. A lot of the more ’40s-specific heroes, who likely wouldn’t see a movie otherwise, could showcase in a scene like this. Let’s see younger versions of Hawkman and Doctor Fate, as well as the mentors to Atom Smasher and Cyclone, the Atom and Red Tornado.
Other classic heroes of the JSA like Starman, Wildcat, and the rest should appear too. Especially if they have legacy heroes as members in the present day (but we’ll get to them). And why not have Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, appear in this scene? Who doesn’t want to see Diana lead the JSA against Nazis during WWII? They originally designed wonder Woman to fight Nazis after all. We’d love for a JSA flashback scene to show off Diana tearing some Nazi tanks in half.
After that, as the film heads into the present day, we should get a new JSA. Primarily made up of legacy heroes, like Atom Smasher and Cyclone. Although our first two candidates are actually OG members. Here are our top choices for an expanded Justice Society roster, should they get their own film.
Hawkwoman (Shiera Sanders Hall)
Where Hawkman goes, Hawkgirl usually follows. The two Winged Wonders were bound to each other through time, falling in love with one another from one life to the next. So it’s odd that Shiera Hall wasn’t in Black Adam along with Carter Hall. She’s just as fierce a warrior as he is, and thanks to the Justice League cartoon, she’s an iconic hero to a whole generation who grew up with her. Should the JSA ever get its own film, Shiera needs to be there. And she should upgrade her name to Hawkwoman, despite that being a separate character in the comics at times.
The Spectre (Jim Corrigan)
The ghostly Spectre was a founding member of the JSA, and aside from the Hawks and Doctor Fate, one of the few who could feasibly still be around today. The reason? He’s already been dead for decades. As his name indicates, he’s a ghost. The Spectre is DC’s Spirit of Vengeance, the embodiment of God’s Wrath, and easily one of the most powerful entities in the DC universe.
In the 1940s, the Spirit of Vengeance bonded with the ghost of murdered police detective Jim Corrigan. Although there have been other hosts for the Spectre, Corrigan remains the most identifiable. With his ghostly white face and green hood and cape, he makes for a striking image, and would definitely make the JSA a bigger powerhouse team than they already are.
Mister Terrific (Michael Holt)
There was a Mister Terrific in the Golden Age, Terry Sloane, who was part of the JSA, but frankly, he was totally forgettable. His chest emblem, which said the words “Fair Play,” was even corny in the ’40s. However, the inheritor of his legacy in the modern era, Michael Holt, far surpassed his predecessor. He’s been chairman of the team, and a DC Universe mainstay, for years now.
Considered “the third smartest man in the world,” behind only Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne, Holt was on the verge of suicide after several personal tragedies. Then the Spectre intervened and showed Holt what he could do with his intellect to help others. After hearing about Terry Sloane from the Spectre, he took his superhero name, and became a key member of the JSA. As the team’s Batman (no powers, but literally good at everything) he could become an invaluable part of a cinematic Justice Society.
Jade and Obsidian (Jenny-Lynn Hayden and Todd Rice)
The original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was a founding member of the JSA. We think WB’s Green Lantern plans, whatever they may be, will probably keep GL from being a main member of the team. But, let’s say a young Alan Scott appears in an opening flashback in WWII (along with the original Flash). They could then introduce his adult twin children, Jade and Obsidian, to the team. His son Todd Rice took the name Obsidian due to his ability to control shadows and darkness. His twin sister Jenny-Lynn, also known as Jade, was born with Green Lantern powers which are innate to her. No ring required. Also, since Obsidian is an LGBTQ character, his inclusion would allow for some representation on the team.
Wildcat (Yolanda Montez)
The original Wildcat of the JSA, Ted Grant, was a boxer and heavyweight champion turned superhero. A fighter of considerable skill, his only actual superpower were his “9 lives,” which granted him a prolonged lifespan. He was injured in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, at which point his godchild Yolanda Montez took the Wildcat identity. She was born with catlike agility, thanks to experiments performed on her in the womb. Although they killed her off in the comics, the Stargirl TV series has reinvented Yolanda as a teenager for a new generation. We’d love to see an older version of her in the DCEU’s Justice Society, perhaps after establishing her godfather Ted in some kind of flashback/cameo scene.
Starman (Jack Knight)
The original Starman, Ted Knight, was a genius astronomer who created a powerful gravity-defying weapon called the Cosmic Rod. Serving with the JSA in their World War II era, he retired in the 1950s. This left lots of different people to take on the mantle (including the teenaged Stargirl, as seen in her TV series). In the comics, he also had a son, Jack Knight, who became Starman when his older brother passed away.
Jack Knight was an eccentric collector of vintage memorabilia, and wanted nothing to do with the family business. But his brother’s death forced him into the role. Jack was a reluctant superhero, who didn’t even wear a costume. But he headlined his own critically acclaimed comic for over 80 issues in the ’90s. Since the Stargirl TV series has used a lot of his storylines, and rendered him not needed for TV, maybe he can show up in the cinematic DCEU instead as part of their JSA.
There are many other legacy JSA heroes who would qualify too, of course. Hourman, Power Girl, and so many more. Hopefully, DC can turn its first superhero team into its own franchise, something even the comics struggled to do at times. It’s high time the inspiration for the Justice League and every other heroic team got their moment in the sun.