Huntress, Power Girl, and... Solomon Grundy? Meet the future JSA

Justice Society of America #1 art
Justice Society of America #1 art (Image credit: DC)

It's a bittersweet new comic book day for JSA fans. After years without their own title on the shelves, DC's first superteam is back, but at the same time, they couldn't be more lost. Still, though the original cast of the JSA is missing, Helena Wayne AKA Huntress has put together her own version of JSA #1's titular team… although her recruits may surprise you.

Spoilers ahead for Justice Society of America #1

Justice Society of America #1 cover (Image credit: DC)

Justice Society of America #1 is written by Geoff Johns; drawn by Mikel Janin with guest art by Jerry Ordway, Scott Kolins, Steve Lieber, and Brandon Peterson; colored by Jordie Bellaire with guest colors by Peterson, John Kalisz, and Jord Boyd; and lettered by Rob Leigh. It begins Johns' and DC's New Golden Age, which revisits and rewrites DC history such as the JSA's 1940s origins.

Though WWII and its aftermath feature in the comic a few times, most of the issue is set in a very different world than that of the original JSA, 26 years in the future of the present-day DCU, with a team that's also very modern, and even more different. Not only has Helena (Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle's child) recruited characters that are rarely seen on the side of good, but she's also recruited characters that DC fans have never seen on any side before now. 

We'll begin with the baddies. Sitting around the famous JSA table featured on All-Star Comics #3 all the way back in 1940 are two names that DC heroes will know and, until now, fear. First up is Solomon Grundy, the undead zombie king and frequent rival to original Green Lantern and JSA founding member Alan Scott. The second is Gentleman Ghost, another necromantic nemesis of a JSA legend: Hawkman.

a page from Justice Society of America #1 (Image credit: DC)

Legacy villains-turned-reluctant heroes continue with Kyle Knight, who has inherited the name and powers of one of his father Jack Knight's (AKA Starman) villains, The Mist, and Cameron Mahkent, who goes by the name Icicle, which his freeze-gun-wielding father used to take on the JSA. The last reformed villain at the table is Harlequin's Son - an all-new addition to the DCU save for ties to the Harlequin, a foe and later wife of Alan Scott.

Also new but less outrightly villainous is Ruby Sokov, AKA the Red Lantern. No, she's not a member of the Red Lantern Corps introduced in Johns's legendary Green Lantern run, but the daughter of an altogether different Red Lantern, the Russian response to Alan Scott. This hero taps into the power of the previously established ‘Crimson Flame,' a force that can mimic the power of the original Green Lantern's ring. 

Both Red Lantern and Harlequin's Son spin directly out of the 13, the time-lost characters Johns recently retroactively inserted into DC continuity. 

Only two characters traditionally cast in the hero role are with the JSA at the beginning of this issue; those two being the Huntress (as we previously mentioned) and Power Girl. Well, the new Doctor Fate is supposed to be with them too, but no one has seen him in a while. The JSA has been scouring the criminal underworld for his whereabouts, but they simply can't find him.

Then, much to their horror, they do.

The modern Doctor Fate, alter ego Khalid Nassour, is found stuffed into a sarcophagus in the Ancient Egyptian wing of a museum. Even more terrifying is the fact his body appears to be mummified, kept for thousands of years after his murder. And just as the team begins to wonder who could have done such a thing, a deadly Stranger appears.

Readers that have been keeping up with the other entries into the New Golden Age (that is, The New Golden Age ones-shot and the first issue of Stargirl: The Lost Children) will recognize this Stranger as a mysterious stalker that has been hanging around Helena Wayne since her childhood. Since the Stranger was first introduced it's been speculated that he has some control over time, and in the museum, he proves this theory to devastating effect.

a page from Justice Society of America #1 (Image credit: DC)

One by one, the Stranger murders the Modern JSA by shifting their placements in time. He speeds up the rotting Solomon Grundy's zombie state, turning him to dust. He warps Gentleman Ghost back into his mortal body, only to shoot him. And Power Girl, well, he shoots her too, after accelerating her exposure to a chunk of Kryptonite. Though the Stranger makes moves that span lifetimes, the battle is over in just a couple of seconds.

Helena Wayne is the last JSA member standing, but her odds don't look good. The Stranger has sped up her lifetime as well, aging her decades in a moment. She's about to take the final steps to the grave when, smashing through the glass roof above, her closest ally appears. 

Selina Kyle, mother to Helena, former Catwoman, and lover of the murdered Batman takes on the Stranger with her last breath, but not before giving the Huntress one last gift and one last heroic mission. The gift is Doctor Manhattan's snow globe, first introduced in Flashpoint Beyond and revealed to be a powerful time-traveling object, and the mission is simple but deadly: Save the Justice Society. 

Not the modern one, not the one whose heroic and villainous members lie scattered around the museum, corpses unnaturally aged, but the original one. Before she can ask any more questions, Helena takes hold of the snow globe and is ripped backward in time, landing at the foot of a round table where a very familiar, thoroughly un-modern JSA meets.

Justice Society of America #1 is on sale November 29.

The Justice Society of America is one of the best superhero teams of all time.

Grant DeArmitt
Freelance writer

Grant DeArmitt is a NYC-based writer and editor who regularly contributes bylines to Newsarama. Grant is a horror aficionado, writing about the genre for Nightmare on Film Street, and has written features, reviews, and interviews for the likes of PanelxPanel and Monkeys Fighting Robots. Grant says he probably isn't a werewolf… but you can never be too careful.