With black adam Set to open in theaters soon, it will not only mark the titular antihero’s debut, but also introduce the Justice Society of America to the DCEU. The Justice Society of America, or JSA for short and sometimes just The Society, was conceived by publisher Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox during the golden age of comics. They were the first superhero team in the comics and made their first appearance in All-Star Comics #3 by artist Everett E. Hibbard.
The team ceased publication in 1951 and during the Silver Age was replaced by the more popular Justice League as DC Comics’ first superhero team. However, the Justice Society endured and, in the comics, was on a parallel Earth to the Justice League, with their annual crossovers being a major event. Over the years the team has been revamped, with an extensive roster of characters with the team mostly focused on classic Golden Age superheroes forming new heroes based on legacy.
The Justice Society appeared on Smallville, Legends of tomorrow, and recently the hit CW series star girl where they are an important part of the series. They recently received their own animated film Justice Society: World War II in 2021 and with their appearance in black adam they are expected to be a major player in the growing DCEU. The film’s roster is relatively small and consists of Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher. With a wonderful cast of characters in the comics, these are the seven members of the Justice Society we want to see in future DCEU movies.
Although usually associated as a member of the Justice League due to her appearance in the popular animated series, many incarnations of Hawkgirl have also been members of the Justice Society. She would have been considered for black adam, but for some unspecified reason they were unable to cast the character, and instead Cyclone filled the role in the film. Whatever the DCEU has planned for Hawkgirl, her presence in the DCEU would definitely be one that would excite audiences as she is still a hugely popular character.
The sand man The series on Netflix was a major hit, but the Dreamlord isn’t DC Comics’ only Sandman. Original character Wesley Dodd and his sidekick Sandy Hawkins took over the role of Sandman and served as members of the Justice Society.
While he has more in common with the pulp heroes of hard detective novels, it’s this very different kind of story that makes him an excellent choice for the Justice Society. It shows how the team has one member for different types of missions, and they can tell multiple types of stories. While they need powerhouses like Hawkman and Dr. Fate, they also need street-level heroes to investigate standard crimes.
The Shining Knight was never a member of the Justice Society in the comics, as both incarnations of the character are more closely associated with the Seven Victory Soldiers. However, it seems more than fitting to have Shining Knight on the team as the character is associated with the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the JSA often sit around a giant conference table.
The ideal candidate for future films is the second Shining Knight, Ystina. Ystina is a transgender superhero and would not only be a big step up in terms of diversity in mainstream superhero movies, but thematically the character could find a big home among the various members of the Justice Society. They are heroes who come from very different worlds with varying backgrounds, but together they are a surrogate family.
There have been four different people to take up the mantle of Amazing Man, and the first three all have a family connection. The original is Will Everett, a black athlete who competed in the infamous 1936 Olympics in Berlin under Nazi Germany. He developed the superpower to imitate anything he touched and spent his life as a superhero and advocating for civil rights. His two grandsons, Will Everett III and Markus Clay also took on the role of Amazing Man. Markus Clay got his start in comics helping Hurricane Katrina survivors.
These three characters have connections to unique black experiences and this life experience would be both a much-needed boost in terms of diversity but also storytelling potential. Amazing Man could give DC a Marvel-like hero with Luke Cage, a hero who embraces his roots. They are the Justice Society of America, which means they should represent all walks of American life and have a hero watching over the everyday person.
Jakeem Thunder and the Thunderbolt
Jakeem is a young kid with a key who receives a magic pen containing the powerful genie Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt can grant any wish, but Jakeem has to be careful with his wishes because he can only do it once and the Thunderbolt can literally interpret them. Jakeem was given the Power Pen by Johnny Thunder, the original wielder of the Thunderbolt, due to his declining sanity. Jakeem is a longtime member of the Justice Society.
This basic premise of what if a child had a magical genius is such a homerun concept that it’s amazing to think that Warner Bros. didn’t grasp that concept years ago and turned it into a series of family movies in the 90s. Putting a kid on a superhero team allows young audiences who tend to see movies of superheroes to see themselves on screen, and also provides a great opportunity for older heroes to be role models and surrogate parental figures.
girl of power
Power Girl is one of the most iconic DC superheroes but also one of the most complicated in terms of backstory. The simple explanation is that she’s an adult version of Supergirl from another Earth who gets stuck in the main DC Universe. with the next the flash movie exploring the DC multiverse, now might be the perfect time to bring in the fan-favorite Power Girl. Her status as a Kryptonian not only gives the team a heavy hitter, but who can go along with someone like Black Adam.
With Power Girl also comes the chance to introduce a strong female leader for the team, and someone who navigates an outsider in a world different from her own. It’s a spin on the Superman story, but here’s a grown woman who’s the last surviving member of an entire universe. This may be the dramatic arc of her story and the audience sees how she fits into a new universe. Power Girl is a great character with a lot of story potential that DC shouldn’t waste.
One of the most powerful characters in the DC Universe and who received little attention in terms of live-action adaptations in The Spectre. While many have held the torch, the most iconic is Jim Corrigan. Corrigan was a cop who was murdered only to return as a spirit of revenge who seeks evil to kill and punish them. In many ways, he acts like the DC version of Punisher and Ghost Rider and is one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe.
The character would make a great addition to the DCEU, both as a heavy hitter in potential face-offs with characters like Black Adam, but also as the leader of a supernatural-themed horror franchise with the Specter acting as some sort of slasher movie monster. The Specter is one of those great characters with so much untapped potential and it’s finally time for him to step into the limelight.