Ugh. If only Nazis could be relegated to old movie serials and alternative historical fiction.
But with hate crimes at their highest level in America since 9/11 and the alt-right (white supremacists and Neo-Nazis) intimately involved in the building of the next Presidential cabinet, the arrival of a new Justice Society of America — formed to take out the exact same forces the original fought — is needed more than ever.
What follows are the second three of six teams (the first three can be found here) Comicosity staff put together to lead the resistance and take our country back from the brink of a greater xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic danger than we’ve seen in a generation.
Members: Black Lightning, Green Lantern, Jade, Obsidian, Power Girl, Huntress, Doctor Mid-Nite, and Mary Marvel
When I think of the Justice Society of America, I think about a team’s ability to uphold a legacy. While the Justice League is off fighting the big threats, the JSA is dedicated to maintaining the peace and welfare of their world (and still engaging in the occasional cosmic battle). As such, one of the core themes of a JSA to me is family by way of legacy.
As we’ve seen over the years, parents and children have served, at some points together, and that’s what makes this team distinct. I’m usually not one for major relationships in one team, but here is where I think they work out best. Whether it’s the core family, like Alan, Todd, and Jade, or close friends, like Karen and Helena, these bonds form the crux of the team which drives their superheroic endeavors.
While this team may be closer to the touchy-feely side, they also have a bevy of superpowers that make each of them formidable in battle, adding to their prowess and expertise in maintaining justice.
Jefferson Pierce has been a superhero staple, especially as one of DC’s premiere black heroes, and his growth as a hero, father, and government official all lend to him being the masthead of my JSA. With an awesome powerset and keen skill for deliberation, he can make the hard choices when others are hesitant. He has had to grow his understanding of justice in order to strengthen his relationship with his daughter Anissa, aka Thunder, which will undoubtedly lead him to look at the mission and core of his team from multiple angles, not just a black and white conception of justice that continues to leave people in the margins.
To say Alan Scott’s been around the block is an understatement, which is why I see him as a steadfast supporter on this team. He balances compassion and duty without forsaking everyone else’s needs. He decides to take the legacy aspect literally and join with Obsidian and Jade, hoping to help them develop as heroes but uncovering new parts of himself. He’ll discover new ways of being a part of the JSA that challenge him to develop in a way he never imagined, even as being a senior member of the team. His experience and knowledge cement him as an important foundation for this JSA, but he won’t be afraid to learn from the younger members, especially Jade and Todd.
Jade is just simply amazing. She’s a hero who’s always deserved her due and she’s one of the major powerhouses for the team. Dealing with the trauma of life, death, and loss, she brings an emotional depth and understanding that’s necessary for the JSA. I see Jade as someone who can keep everyone’s feelings in check, reminding them that struggle does not necessitate failure. She’s come back from a lot, which will give her an edge when the team has the hardest of times.
In many ways, Todd didn’t have an extensive connection with his family, and this JSA is his chance. He almost gets the best of both worlds, being a hero and being with his father and sister, while still facing the challenge that goes with each. Todd could have a chance to figure out what it means for him to be a hero and part of a legacy after spending so many years facing challenge after challenge. This is his chance to be in the spotlight with people who care about him.
Like her friend Helena, Karen Starr isn’t afraid to throw punches. Between her steely skin and ironclad determination, she is truly immovable. As the team’s tank, she can barrel through some of the toughest obstacles, and she does so in a way that’s genuinely integrated into who she is. I imagine Karen as the one to challenge people without breaking them, helping them maintain their resolve when things seem dark. She’ll lead the charge, but also be the pillar of support her team needs.
Helena Wayne is never afraid to throw a punch. This makes her valuable as a member of the JSA because, like Jefferson, she can make the hard decisions but she’s also not afraid to act. Her life with Batman and Catwoman as parents gives her a training and grounding that suits her being on the team. She will still be brusque and there will still be conflict, but she will work to uphold order and justice but without the restraint that sometimes stops even the heroes in their tracks.
When it comes to legacy, Beth Chapel didn’t have much of a chance to build on the career of Doctor Mid-Nite. As a new entry, this would be her chance to carry on the mantle in a way unique to her. Beth’s medical skills would undoubtedly come handy whether in rescue missions or helping her teammates. There’s a lot of potential and exploration for her, and the JSA would be the perfect place for her to take her expertise and use it to help her grow among this team dedicated to justice.
Mary would work excellently with a team and it’d be nice to see her having new adventures away from the Marvel family. Despite her age, she’s seen the rough parts of battle, which could balance her youth with her own experiences. With the power of Shazam, she could also maintain the team’s mystical ties, drawing upon a different power source and thus adding a safety net if her teammates’ powers go awry. Mary could learn from her older team members, but also remind them that levity has its place among the JSA, too.
Members: Hawkman, Wildcat, Skyrocket, Obsidian, Power Girl, Doctor Light, Doctor Fate, and Red Tornado
With spirit and morale of the United States under attack and the threat of Neo-Nazi activity ascending, it’s time for the Justice Society of America to make America great again by punching Nazis in the face! My first impulse was to add Uncle Sam, the Freedom Fight and U.S. icon, but I think perhaps my JSA rallies around Sam, who is downtrodden and ill, in need of support and relief. So let’s get to building this roster.
With the experience of lives as all sorts of people, no one knows how to walk in another man’s shoes more than Carter Hall, and besides he has a mace. Why just punch Nazis in the face when you can hit them with a big ol’ mace? Hawkman brings his righteous anger and winged fury to lead this JSA into battle. This is the guy who can go toe-to-toe with any character in the DC Universe and has enough charisma to make Black Adam want to fall in line behind him.
Yolanda Montez, with Ted Grant providing field notes and training back at the JSA brownstone, is the all-new Wildcat. Ready to sink her claws into the bad guys and more than capable of breaking some faces, no one’s grabbing this Wildcat without her permission. And she’s not in a particularly agreeable mood.
I was all set to plug Stargirl Courtney Whitmore into this roster spot, but Skyrocket brings many of the same powers and abilities with more diversity an representation. A Navy aviator, Celia Forrestal has experience defending this country, and is ready to continue to serve for justice.
Power Girl has no tolerance for misogyny and sexism, but she does have a high tolerance for putting the hurt on the bad guys. A JSA veteran, Kara is right there at the front, charging into battle.
Todd Rice is one of those heroes with more experience than recognition. As a gay man who has walked the tightrope between hero and villain, Obsidian also knows what it’s like to be targeted, bullied, misrepresented and forgotten, and he’s going to leverage that experience to make the JSA a stronger force for good.
Completing the one-two punch of darkness and light, Kimiyo Hoshi is ready to make Doctor Light a name worthy of respect and honor. She brings the obsessed scientific knowledge to the team, and also sets up an interesting attack option when paired with Obsidian. A bit overwhelmed by the notion of being on the JSA, Kimiyo is trying to find her place, and the only way she knows how to prove her worth is through example.
Khalid Ben-Hassein brings a bit of the crazy and a whole lot of the mystic. Easily one of the team’s most powerful members, Khalid is also one of the most unpredictable. That said, when the helm of Fate is by your side in battle, you just know the other side is in for a whooping.
If we’re looking at a roster that should represent America, how can we leave out the androids and bots? Seriously, though, an elemental force in an android body is more than just a metaphor for the world today, it’s a force to be reckoned with and one of the powerhouses of this team. Reddy is ready for battle. Are you?
And there you have it. The JSA. With only 8 roster spots, it was a bit of a challenge to represent everybody, but this team upholds the proud legacy of the JSA and gives comic fans of all walks a team they can relate to.
Members: Hawkwoman, Jakeem Thunder, Doctor Fate, Gamerwitch, Mr. Terrific, Thunder, Grace, The Wall
The Justice Society of America is a legend… passed from memory after 70 years to be only a chapter in larger tomes about life in wartime America when most of our country’s men went off to face Hitler abroad. They were the ones that stayed behind, that defended our shores from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism, while women filled the workplace.
But not everyone has forgotten them. One cultural anthropologist, looking for clues on how to combat what she sees as a rising Fourth Reich, has decided the time has come to rebuild a key part of what kept America together in the 1940s. The time has come for the white nationalists and cultural supremacists of the alt-right to see what true justice is, and what America really looks like. And be afraid.
Shayera Hallal may be America’s foremost researcher in cultural anthropology and American Islamic history, but she’s still getting harassed daily in her hijab and threatened regularly online, on the streets, everywhere. When a dream leads her to discover antiquities holding a very advanced power within them, Shayera knows becoming Hawkwoman is only the first step to reforming the Justice Society of America. The next: recruitment.
Bounced from one foster home to another, Jakeem Williams wasn’t exactly the perfect kid. But when he got cornered by two policemen and ordered to drop his weapon — a pen — shots rang out before he could even loosen his grip. But not before whispering the magic words that summoned a Thunderbolt genie he’d only ever dreamed about.
Khalid Nassour isn’t sure how much help an amateur magician with a helmet he doesn’t really understand is going to be. What he does know is that hate crimes are at any all-time high, and whether it’s triaging victims while the other Society members kick ass or pulling out all the stops to transform his enemies into little sad frogs, Doctor Fate is on call for the Society.
Maxine Hunkel is tired of hiding, tired of being a target, tired of being told she has no place at the table. Harnessing the power of the wind and air, it’s time for this cyclone to blow through town and protect the women who’ve been targeted just like she was online — and off.
Newly out Michael Holt may still be adjusting to public perception of his sexuality — at a time when mainstream acceptance and political machinations are more at odds than ever before — but there’s one thing he is a master at: technology. With every invention, hack, or meme that Mr. Terrific devises for the Justice Society, you can know that he’s committed to one thing above all others: fair play.
Daughter of one of the first African-American super-heroes, Anissa Pierce feels the weight of legacy almost as much as she recognizes the systemic oppression her community has borne in one form or another since long before her birth. A leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, Thunder is uncompromising, a deep theoretical thinker, and not afraid to bust heads with her variable mass and density if the need arises.
Thunder’s partner in the streets AND between the sheets, Grace Choi matches Anissa’s brand of kick ass fist for fist and blow for blow. A child abuse survivor and descendant of internment camp occupants, Grace is determined to never let another travesty occur on American soil. She has a soft spot for kids, but no fucks to give for the new Nazi movement cascading across this country.
Miguel Jose Barragan didn’t plan on coming to America. His life in Mexico was quiet, surrounded by a community and family that loved him and supported him as a proud gay teenager who never even felt the need to be in the closet. But when his boyfriend went missing on a trip through Texas, Miguel knew he had to bunker down and do something. Fighting hateful rhetoric with the irony it deserves, the Wall is now the very thing that’s going to come between America’s Latinx community and the danger its government represents.
We’ve tackled the JLA, the Avengers, the JSA, and coming in the new year… the X-Men. Get ready.