I never thought of it till I read this article over on Newsarama. Throwing the question out there would be good enough but I'll throw in the article anyways.
“Every title will start fresh with a number one and feature a new modern outlook...”
“...modernize the DC Universe.”
“...something brand-new and fresh...”
“...more modern and diverse 21st century.”
“...our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today's audience."
Those are just a few of the quotes coming from DC Entertainment Tuesday about their plans to "revamp" their entire line of DC Universe books beginning in September.
Together with the announcement about same-day digital distribution of their entire output, which will all relaunch with new #1 issues, DC was very successful in creating the impression that while valuing their current readers, they want and need new ones.
...And younger ones.
...And from more diverse walks of life than your typical comic book-buying demo.
The intent of their master plan is unassailable. Their execution will be the rub — the public's appetite for it remains to be seen, and its ultimate success is anyone's guess.
But what we can say now is what most sixth graders learn in science class; that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. With this clear new emphasis on new, young and modern, Newsarama can’t help asking ourselves this afternoon...
How the hell does the Justice Society of America fit into the fresh new "DCNu"?
Now, if you’re reading this with us, we probably don’t have to explain to you who the Justice Society is, or detail their utter whopper of a history in the DC Universe. Long story short — the foundation of the team is superheroes that fought in World War II.
No, not the Second Gulf War. The “Big One”. The one that took place in the 1940s that your grandfather and history teachers go on and on about.
That makes the JSA like, really really old, dude, and decidedly not modern.
Now, to be fair, a majority of the most current incarnation of the JSA are "legacy" characters — the sons and daughters and grandkids of many of the original team members. DC even recently tried giving some of the lesser-geriatric members of the team an ongoing series of their own, JSA All-Stars, but it can no longer count itself among the currently published.
But be all that as it may, even the staunchest fans of the series would likely to acknowledge that the Justice Society concept is indeed "legacy" — a continuation of tradition, a celebration of history, and an acknowledgement of the enduring nature of heroism.
"Legacy." "Tradition." "History." "Grandkids."
"Brand New." "Fresh." "Modern." "Younger."
See what we're getting at here?
Now to be fair again, DC’s greatest heroes — Superman, Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman — are in fact older then DC’s superheroes of the Greatest Generation. The secondary core of their Universe are mostly products of the early 60’s and, by god, man, if Tim Drake actually aged he’d be pushing 40 soon. (Maybe he became Red Robin to hide his combover?)
But fans accept DC sending these icons to the editorial-slash-continuity Lazarus Pit every decade or so.
That's not so easy with The Justice Society of America.
Sure, you can take the heroes out of WWII, but can you take the WWII out of the heroes? What are the JSA if not the elder statesmen and torchbearers of the DCU? Even if you took out the 90-somethings from the line-up, what else do they stand for?
Heck, even their very name is a constant reminder of their place as predecessors to the Justice League, the centerpiece of DC's new September youthful, modern initiative.
There is even some precedent here. After 1985-86's original Crisis of Infinite Earth (the now granddaddy of DC reboots), despite the Justice Society being merged onto the same singular Earth with their Silver Age counterparts, their existence was somewhat deemphasized by DC. It wasn't until 5 years later that the JSA emerged as star of their own titles, and it wasn't until James Robinson and David Goyer's 1999 revival JSA that the team truly reestablished a foothold in the DCU.
And irony alert - it was Geoff Johns, undoubtedly one of the architects of the new DCU, who gained much oh his fan-favorite status working on that title with Goyer, then solo, then relaunching it as Justice Socety of America.
So with the blinds being raised and DC going all-in on new and young in September, does it make any sense for the publisher to deal in a team and characters who can’t help serve as reminder of how old their stable of characters really are?
Newsarama is going to guess "no." Of the 52 titles being launched or relaunched this August and September, we’ll be surprised if the Justice Society is among them.
But that’s just us.
What do you think?