One Panel #289: Birth of the JSA!

As we start on comics on the stands in November of 1940, I'm going to break the rule of "one panel" to celebrate the birth of the superhero team as a concept.
From "The First Meeting of the Justice Society of America" by Gardner Fox and Everett E. Hibbard, All-Star Comics #3 (December 1940)

All-Star Comics #3 indeed features the first meeting of the Justice Society of America, but at this point, being a "team" means little more than showing up at the club house and recounting your solo stories to the other members. And doing it through your usual creative teams, no less. The "team" then, is just a framing tale (and a slightly meta one as well, as the heroes keep mentioning the comics they appear in) to give a "superheroes-only" anthology book some structure.

It's still a landmark moment in comics, and I think the various artists do some of their better work on these short stories. Here then are out-of-context panels from each member's tales:
Johnny Thunder by Gardner Fox and Everett E. Hibbard

The Flash by Gardner Fox and Everett E. Hibbard

Hawkman by Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff

The Spectre by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Bailey

Bonus: First appearance of Oom, who Roy Thomas would include in his version of the Monster Society of Evil in All-Star Squadron.

Hourman by Ken Fitch and Bernard Bailey

Red Tornado by Sheldon Meyer

Though she never reappears in a Golden Age JSA story, Ma Hunkel is indeed invited to the meeting, as were no-shows Superman, Batman and Robin. Maybe she was too embarassed to ever return, here leaving after ripping the seat of her pants off when climbing through the window.

Sandman by Gardner Fox and Chad Grothkopf

Doctor Fate by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman

The Atom by Bill O'Connor and Ben Flinton

Green Lantern by Gardner Fox and Martin Nodell

Featuring little remembered Lantern interrogation techniques!

So who was YOUR favorite charter member of the Justice Society?


De said...

My favorite charter member is easily Green Lantern. Part of that is due to Nodell’s semi-psychedelic art.

Siskoid said...

I haven't even asked myself the question...

I have a certain fondness for the insanity of the magical heroes, with Doctor Fate somehow crazier than the Spectre at this point. Sandman and Hawkman have some of the nicest art. The old Flash stories are disappointing in that regard.

Freed from the Golden Age (i.e. in later comics), the Atom and Hourman are among my favorite JSA members.

Anonymous said...

Spectre and green lantern

Andersonh1 said...

Jay Garrick is my favorite JSAer, by far, with Green Lantern and later Starman as close seconds.


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