How Do the Justice Society of America and Justice League Fit Together in the DCU?
In Black Adam, we are introduced, for the first time in the DCU, to the Justice Society of America, a group of superheroes that appears to have been in operation for some time and also work for Amanda Waller. This is very different from the dynamic we have seen between Waller and superheroes thus far.
While the Justice League is a lot more well known, the Justice Society of America predates it by almost twenty years and was originally made up of the Golden Age incarnations of Doctor Fate, Hourman, the Spectre, Sandman, Atom, and Hawkman, in addition to pre-Justice League incarnations of the Flash (Jay Garrick) and (Alan Scott) Green Lantern. Eventually, as superhero comics got less popular, the series was canceled until eventually the Justice League was created to reboot the JSA, but then became its own thing. In response to that, it the JSA was placed on “Earth-Two,” with the Justice League on “Earth-One.”
Now, one of the biggest issues with the DCU has is that, across its many films, it has changed in tone, theme, and creative direction—especially due to the creative vision of its original architect, Zack Snyder, vs. everyone else. At this point, it already feels like there are two Earths. The CW’s Arrowverse has already played with this, but it is possible that it might be something DC will play with on the big screen to get things working again, so what we could be seeing in Black Adam is the groundwork for multiple different different realities.
The existence of the JSA also complicates the idea, in Justice League, about there needs to be a new union of heroes to fight against the evil of the New Gods. Well where was the JSA? If the JSA was formed after the mess that Amanda Waller had with the Suicide Squad, then the question is why? And why haven’t we even heard a hint of this in any other material? Plus, we are hearing about people like Red Tornado and The Atom, who have never been in this universe, but have presence here. Since Black Adam is doing well and a sequel is coming, one in which Henry Cavill’s Superman exists once more, there will come a time for both of these Justice teams to come together. But can they coexist?
A Justice Society film is apparently currently potentially in the works, and maybe we can get some more answers to these questions. World-building in comics is always messy, so it makes sense that their adaptations would struggle from time to time, but the DCU is in an especially strange place. Only time will tell how it will all come together.
(featured image: Warner Bros.)
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