When the Justice Society Saved the World By...Doing Nothing?

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, based on a suggestion from my pal, Keith M., we take a look at the time that the Justice Society of America saved the world by doing, well, nothing!

The Justice Society of America made history by becoming the first superhero team that was made up of established superheroes. This happened in All-Star Comics #3...

Initially, the whole "Justice Society" concept was really just used as a framing sequence to spruce up the series (which was originally an anthology featuring stories of various heroes) to make it seem like it was more than just a collection of stories, but over time, the team aspect of the book became a bigger deal until it was just outright a team book (however, the writer on the book, Gardner Fox, maintained the whole "split the team up into individual adventures" format, which Fox later famously used for Justice League of America, as well).

In the late 1940s, superhero comics hit a sales lull and ultimately All Star Comics was canceled with #57...

A little over a decade later, Fox (who had introduced the concept of an Earth-2 in an issue of Flash to reveal that the original Flash, Jay Garrick, was still around) brought the Justice Society back in a crossover with the Justice League. The heroes would then have annual crossovers for the next decade or so.

Finally, though, during Gerry Conway's brief first stint at DC Comics (before he went back to Marvel for a year and then came BACK to DC), Conway decided to bring the Justice Society back, only now they would be rebranded as the Super Squad, along with the addition of some new younger superheroes on the team, including a new creation of Conway's the Earth-2 version of Supergirl, named Power Girl!

Here's Power Girl explaining the concept...

Kind of odd, right? "Now, you see, just add us three new heroes to the team and we'll all become a new team called the Super Squad." "Wait, why not just have you guys join the Justice Society?" "Uhmmm....reasons."

Anyhow, like I said, Conway went back to Marvel very soon after this and Paul Levitz took over the book and eventually, Levitz dropped the Super Squad angle and the book was just the Justice Society of America.

All Star Comics #74 (by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton and Joe Giella) turned out to be the final issue of the series (although not on purpose) due to the DC Implosion, where DC had to abruptly cancel a bunch of comic books at once, even with stories ready to go for the next issue (soon, the stories meant for All-Star Comics #75 and further were adapted into a feature in Adventure Comics).

The story opens with a cosmic being known as the Master Summoner, well, summoning Doctor Fate and Hawkman to warn them that the end of the world was coming unless the Justice Society could stop it...

They get the team together and prepare to save the day...

However, they were shocked that no matter what they were doing, the world just seemed to get more and more out of control, even when they brought in every other superhero in the world to help...

That's when Doctor Fate figured out the trick.

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