WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #30 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, and Francis Manapul, on sale Aug. 28.
After years of speculation and teases, the Justice Society of America finally makes its full-fledged return in the final pages of Justice League #30, the first chapter of the climactic storyline "Justice/Doom War."
After the present-day Flash and Green Lantern are transported back to the 1940s looking for additional help in their coming conflict with the upgraded Legion of Doom, they find themselves face-to-face with the original DC Comics team as they appeared at their physical prime during World War II.
First created by Gardner Fox, Everett E. Hibbard and Sheldon Mayer in 1941's All Star Comics #3, the JSA consisted of DC's various first-generation, World War II-era superheroes including Alan Scott's Green Lantern, Jay Garrick's Flash, Wildcat, Rex Tyler's Hourman, and other heroes of the time.
While these heroes had kids and grew old on DC's original Earth-Two, the JSA retired in the 1950s after being questioned by a congressional panel regarding their secret identities and allegiance to the United States despite their war record in post-Crisis continuity. They resurfaced decades later in the modern-day DCU as considerably older superheroes serving as mentors to new generations of superheroes as living legacies of superhero history.
The classic, Golden Age iteration of the JSA has been visibly absent from the DC Universe since before its complete reboot as part of 2011's New 52 publishing initiative. In the team's place, younger, reimagined versions of the characters were introduced on the alternate world of Earth-2. Surviving a world that had endured an attempted invasion by Steppenwolf and the forces of Apokalips, these heroes stepped up after the deaths of that reality's incarnations of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. A Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths version of New York City was seen in the multiversal storyline Convergence, with the JSA and Infinity Inc. active, but taking place in an isolated world and has yet to be revisited.
By the start of the DC Rebirth publishing initiative in 2016, the team had conspicuously disappeared entirely, with Johnny Thunder and Jay Garrick briefly appearing eluding to an unknown force having removed them from the DCU. This is elaborated in the comic book event Doomsday Clock, where Doctor Manhattan witnesses different creations of the Justice Society reflecting the continuity changes across the history the DCU. The omnipotent Watchmen character causes the death of Alan Scott before he can become the Golden Age Green Lantern, thus preventing the creation of the JSA in the current incarnation of the DC Universe.
With the Justice League now separated across the DCU's expansive timeline, history appears restored to its pre-Flashpoint state given the presence of the JSA in the 1940s and -- at least apparently -- not on an alternate Earth. While it is unclear who makes up this version of the full roster, the heroes shown are from the team's original lineup of Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Wildcat, Hourman, Al Pratt's Atom, Wesley Dodds' Sandman, Hawkman, Doctor Fate and Ted Knight's Starman. The Spectre is not seen among this version of the team despite being an original founding member.
With the heroes of the modern-day DCU facing overwhelming odds at the hands of their combined villains, the fate of the universe could very well rest in the hands of its old, original team, at the height of their powers as the Justice Society of America makes its grand return. After nearly a full decade of the classic iteration of the team being sidelined, the Justice Society finally seems set to jump back in action once again.