Standing only five feet tall, 1940s college student turned research scientist Al Pratt was constantly picked on until he took up bodybuilding and developed some self-esteem. Donning a costume and calling himself the Atom, he fought crime with nothing but his fists and raw grit and became a founding member of the JSA. Later, after absorbing nuclear energy from his enemy Cyclotron, he gained super-strength and an "atomic punch". Al retired in the '50s, came out of retirement in The Silver Age of Comic Books, and, tragically, was murdered by Extant in Zero Hour. He is survived by his son, Damage, and godson, Atom-Smasher.
I Just Want to Be Special: As stated above, Al was originally a Badass Normal who often felt that, in the presence of such heavyweights as Green Lantern or the Flash, he wasn't worth much of anything. Even when comparing himself to other Badass Normals, he could still find something to envy, such as Mr.Terrific being able to run faster then him, or Wildcat being a better fighter. The man had an inferiority complex. However, after soaking up some radiation from the Supervillain Cyclotron in 1941, he finally gained Super-Strength from this event years later, in 1945. He was naturally quite thrilled upon this revelation, and yet, he was never quite satisfied...
Abilities: Martial arts master, detective skills, high-tech equipment
Like Superman, the JSA's Batman was only a part-time member. He married Catwoman, had a daughter (the Huntress), was killed by a no-name supervillain in the '70s, and was erased from history by Crisis on Infinite Earths. He was brought back into continuity due to the New 52, but was revealed to have been killed off in a flashback.
Mother of the modern Black Canary, Dinah started out as a supporting cast member in Johnny Thunder's series before totally overshadowing him. She was the last hero to join the JSA before it disbanded in 1951. Unlike her daughter, the first Black Canary had no powers; she relied solely on her martial arts skills. She died of cancer after her daughter took up her mantle.
Introduced in More Fun Comics in 1940, Kent Nelson had discovered the tomb of an ancient wizard named Nabu. He used the helmet and amulet of Nabu to fight crime and magical enemies. The character's popularity waned faster than his JSA contemporaries, and he was gone by the mid-40s. Revived with the rest of the JSA during the 60s, and was briefly a member of the Justice League in the mid-80s. See his own page for more.
Doctor Mid-Nite I / Starman II
AKA: Charles McNider
Abilities: Night vision, expert surgeon
The original Doc Mid-Nite, Dr. McNider lost his sight when gangsters bombed his house in retribution for saving an informant's life. Miraculously, he soon found that though he could no longer see in the light, he had perfect eyesight in darkness. Wearing dark goggles and creating "blackout bombs" to allow him to see during the day, he fought crime as Doctor Mid-Nite. He was killed by Extant in Zero Hour.McNider very briefly took up the mantle of Starman in the 1950s when the first Starman, Ted Knight, retired.
The original speedster, still going after all these years. The Flash was one of the JSA's founders and has remained a member through every incarnation of the team. He was even briefly the team's chairman back in the '40s. Jay acts as a friendly uncle to the rest of the JSA and is the team's public face. He has a life-long friendship with Alan Scott, the Green Lantern. See the Flash character sheet for more.
The first Earth-based Green Lantern, only distantly connected to the spacefaring Green Lantern Corps. Alan Scott was a founding member of the JSA, briefly served as chairman, and has been an almost constant presence on the team throughout the years. He is one of the most respected superheroes on Earth and oversaw the creation of the new All-Star Squadron during Final Crisis; he is also seen as a stern but loving father figure by the younger JSA members, especially to his own son, Obsidian. See the Green Lantern character sheet for more.
Continuity Snarl: Kept him out of comics for years, as even the DC Editors refused to let other writers use such a "poisoned" character. It took Johns condensing all of his past to make him viable again.
Jerk Ass: He spends the entirety of the JSA run growling and yelling at the younger members, then finally grabs the leadership reins during "Black Reign", which ended badly.
Abilities: Super-strength, speed, and stamina for one hour at a time
Rex Tyler was a biochemist who discovered a vitamin he dubbed "Miraclo", which gave him super-strength for exactly one hour. Armed with Miraclo tablets, he fought crime as the Man of the Hour, Hourman. Rex was a founding member of the JSA and briefly served with Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (and was present with them for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). Hourman was eventually killed by Extant in Zero Hour, but thanks to the machinations of his time-traveling legacy, the third Hourman, he was pulled out of the time stream a split-second before his death and is now alive and well, living in retirement and occasionally acting as an adviser to the new JSA. See his own page for more.
Abilities: Commands an all-powerful genie
The original owner of the Thunderbolt genie, Johnny was basically the JSA's collective sidekick. He was kind of a loser; he even lost his own series to supporting character Black Canary, who would become much more popular than him. His body died as a result of Alzheimer's disease, but his soul was merged with the genie to become Johnny Thunderbolt.
Abilities: Super-intelligence, martial arts master
"The Man of a Thousand Talents", millionaire Terry Sloane had done it all and saw little point in going on with life. When he was about to commit suicide by leaping from a bridge, he caught sight of a woman attempting the same thing, and saved her life. Realizing the reward of virtue, Sloane decided to spread his message of courage and fair play as Mister Terrific.
Abilities: Mean right hook, wields a frying pan with deadly skill
An overweight housewife from New York, "Ma" Hunkel dressed up as a male superhero (her costume consisting of red pajamas, a yellow sweater, and a cooking pot over her head) to clean up her neighborhood and entertain her kids. She showed up at the JSA's first meeting to petition for membership, but quickly left when she realized she'd torn her pants when she climbed in the window. Years later, an elderly, widowed Mrs. Hunkel happily accepted the JSA's offer to become the curator of their museum. Despite lacking any superpowers and being of advanced age, Ma is still as spry as ever. See her own page for more.
First appeared in "Adventure Comics" #40 (July, 1939), created by Gardner Fox and Bert Christman. One of the first superheroes of the 20th century, Wesley Dodds was plagued with prophetic dreams that impelled him to fight crime. He invented a sleeping-gas gun and "wirepoon" (a gun-mounted grappling hook) to help him in his cause and became a founding member of the Justice Society of America. Shortly before the refounding of the modern JSA, the 86 year old Wesley Dodds committed suicide to prevent the Evil SorcererMordru from extracting important information from him; his funeral set the stage for the JSA's rebirth.Gaiman's Sandman revealed that as a result of Dream's imprisonment during the 20th century, some mortals were affected by the cosmic imbalance. Dodds held a piece of the Dreaming inside him, and this was the cause of his prophetic dreams. Dodds also had his own, 1930s-set Vertigo series Sandman Mystery Theatre.
Ace Pilot: Surprisingly, Wesley Dodds is an excellent airplane pilot, and so are some of his closest friends. All are veterans of WWI.
Catch Phrase: The short poem he left at the scene of every crime he stopped. "There is no land beyond the law where tyrants rule with unshakable power! 'Tis but a dream from which the evil wake to face their fate... their terrifying hour!"
Gas Mask, Longcoat: The Ur Example, though in the Golden Age, Wesley Dodds wore a suit and a cape with his custom gas mask rather than a longcoat.
Good Costume Switch: In Adventure Comics #68, Wesley is still fighting crime in his fedora, suit and gas mask. In issue #69, he's in a yellow and purple spandex suit fighting giant bees with his wirepoon, and he gains a kid sidekick. There's no reason given in-story at all, though in real life the character was simply adjusted to be more like the popular Batman and Superman.
Heel-Face Turn: Dian in her first appearance is a known thief, though she reforms rather quickly and becomes Wesley's girlfriend and partner in crime-fighting.
Military Super Hero: Wesley was a military aviator before becoming a costumed crime-fighter. He keeps in contact with former members of his unit, who are aware that he's now the Sandman.
My Greatest Failure: Turning his sidekick, Sandy, into a rock monster in the 1950s. (He got better.)
Only a Flesh Wound: Wesley is shot several times during his Adventure Comics run. Sometimes it barely slows him down, sometimes he has to spend time recovering.
Superheroes Wear Tights: Averted at first with the hat, suit and gas mask combo, but later played straight when Sandman switched to the yellow and purple spandex, complete with kid sidekick.
When New York police detective Jim Corrigan was murdered in the late 1930s, he found himself raised from the dead and merged with the Spectre, the literal spirit of God's wrath, and charged with enacting (often gruesome) vengeance against evildoers. One of the JSA's founding members, Corrigan served as the spirit of vengeance for many years, tempering the Spectre's rage with his own humanity. Corrigan was finally granted eternal rest and the Spectre went on to bond with other hosts. See his own page for more.
Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics #8, and soon joined the JSA as one of its more prominent Golden Age members, staying with the team through the rest of its Golden Age run. In later years, Diana married Earth-Two's Steve Trevor, and they had a daughter, Lyta Trevor (aka the heroine named Fury). She was erased from history due to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. She was then brought back by the Cosmic Retcon of the New 52, but was revealed to have been killed off in a flashback.
Reformed Era (1961-1986)
Black Canary II
AKA: Dinah Laurel Lance
Abilities: Ultrasonic scream, martial arts master
Black Canary is noted for her martial arts skills and her "Canary Cry"—a high powered, sonic scream with the ability to shatter objects and incapacitate villains. Dinah is the daughter of the Golden Age Black Canary, Dinah Drake, who was also a member of the JSA. Dinah is also notable for having been one of the few characters to have served with both the Justice Society and the Justice League. She is currently married to Oliver Queen, a.k.a. Green Arrow.
Ms. Fanservice: Did we mention the fishnets? Well, what about the time she appeared fully nude in front of the entire JSA? Or the fact that she's one of the only DC heroines ever to have exposed her nipples on-panel (although the circumstances of that were more Fan Disservice).
Captain Ersatz: The Earth-2 version of Supergirl. Also "Galatea" from the Justice League cartoon series, an aged clone of Supergirl who had the same "boob window" costume, but a whole new origin and personality.
Character Development: Kind of a boring character in the '80s, she became a one-note bitch "Girl Power!" archetype by the mid-'90s, and was generally unlikable. Geoff Johns took to her, and fashioned a personality that had portions of her prior bitchiness, but added some sadness about her lack of past and good friendships.
Continuity Snarl: One of the more famous examples; her cousin, the original Golden Age Superman, was written out of the universe by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, so she no longer had an origin. So she became the granddaughter of Arion, a dead lord of Atlantis. Then a bunch more confusing stuff happened, and we discovered she had or original origin after all.
Mama Bear: Acted this way to Stargirl at least once, warning Captain Marvel to leave her alone when his presence was upsetting the young girl.
Most Common Superpower: Nowadays the defining example of this trope, after artists had increased her bustline every issue as a running joke to see if the censors took notice. They didn't. Now it's by far her defining trait (the "Boob Window" of her costume doesn't help), and every single article about her online or in comics-related media will comment on her chest. One of the few comic book women where this is explicitly pointed out by other characters.
Stripperific: The infamous "Boob Window" on her costume. Handwaved by her stating it shows her as feminine & healthy (and that she was trying to "fill the hole" with a symbol once she gained an identity), but we all know the REAL reason...
The Worf Effect: Since she's one of the most physically powerful members of the team, she sometimes gets beaten to show how serious the situation is. For example, it looks like she and Wild Cat won't have any trouble with the Crimson Avenger, but then we see that the Avenger's bullets can even break her skin. Again, when the team goes to Kahndaq the first time around, Black Adam takes her out with one hit in the climactic fight.
Red Tornado II
AKA: John Smith
Abilities: Flight, wind generation and manipulation
This scarlet android was created by Mad Scientist T.O. Morrow to infiltrate the JSA and cause their destruction, but as soon as he learned of his creator's evil schemes he quickly switched sides and became a true hero. Reddy only spent a short time on the JSA before switching over to the Justice League. See his own page for more.
AKA: Dick Grayson of Earth-2
Star-Spangled Kid I / Skyman
AKA: Sylvester Pemberton
Abilities: Expert acrobat; Cosmic Converter Belt grants super-strength, flight, energy manipulation
An acrobatic teenager, Sylvester Pemberton donned a colorful costume to fight Nazi infiltrators as the Star-Spangled Kid with the aid of his adult sidekick, Pat "Stripesy" Dugan. Founding members of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, after WWII Syl and Pat found themselves tossed through time to the present era. Syl joined the reborn Justice Society and was even given technology from Starman to create a "Cosmic Converter Belt" that gave him super-powers. Eventually, Syl left the JSA to found Infinity, Inc., a team made up of the JSA's heirs. He retooled his belt to give him the power of flight, taking a new name—Skyman. Tragically, Syl was killed by Solomon Grundy, but his legacy lives on with Courtney "Stargirl" Whitmore.
Originally 1980s hero Nuklon, young Al Rothstein was a nice, unassuming guy in love with his engaged teammate, Fury. The 7'6" young lad eventually moved on to the Justice League of America and Comics Limbo, before debuting the "Atom Smasher" name & look and coming to the authentic JSA. Still a nice guy, he reacted poorly to his mother's death at the hands of Kobra, and hooked up with Anti-Hero Black Adam, eventually being twisted to his ways, and he left the team in a huff. Later battles resulted in him feeling guilty and finally going back to the team.
The Atoner: After betraying the team to join Black Adam's crusade, he asked to be let back on, and does a lot of this, offering his life to The Spectre so the people of Kahndaq may live, and fighting against Adam when necessary. The team has differing points of view on him.
Depending on the Artist: Al used to be a redhead, with a standard comic book cherry-red. This went off-and-on during the last JSA series, and the relaunch seems to show him as brown-haired permanently now. He used to be almost eight feet tall naturally, but has suddenly shifted to a standard "tall, but not too tall" muscular superhero.
Dogged Nice Guy: His original persona most of the time, especially in Infinity, Inc., where he pines over Fury, while admitting she loves his friend Hector Hall. The poor guy even proposes to her out of pity (and his own feelings) because she's alone and pregnant after Hector's death, and she politely turns him down by stating that they're friends. Ouch. It isn't until his mother is killed by Kobra in modern times that he freaks out and shows a more brutal, savage nature, and even then it's tempered by his good nature.
'80s Hair: His original identity as "Nuklon" had a mohawk. Now a pretty famous embarrassing example to look back on, in continuity and out (new JSA writers joked that he could only be on their roster if he brought it back).
Face-Heel Turn: See below; he eventually sees the error of his ways and tries to move back onto the JSA.
Heel-Face Turn: A major arc sees him abruptly quit the team after Black Adam tells him what he needs to hear (that his murder of Extant to save his mom was justified), and join him on his crusade into Kahndaq.
Ho Yay: Some see this in his reactions to "Big Brother Figure" Black Adam, since he's so utterly loyal to the older gent.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: He dwarfs his potential love interest, the average-height-for-a-teenage-girl Stargirl.
Legacy Character: One of the more tenuous links, he's the godson of the Golden Age Atom (and the grandson of his archenemy, Cyclotron). Oddly, this is a closer relationship than almost any of the other Legacies, including actual father/son ones.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Goes on one when his mother is killed during a terrorist attack by Kobra. He wrecks a base, smashes a jet, and nearly squishes the mad bomber with one hand while screaming bloody murder at him. Only a talk-down by Jack "Starman" Knight stops him.
Thou Shalt Not Kill: One of the more in-depth explanations of this trope was undergone with Al, as he kills some unquestionably evil people (Extant, Kahndaqi Dictator), but has to deal with the guilt and the line that gets crossed as a result.
Will They or Won't They?: A very long subplot in the JSA series was between he and Stargirl. They were Like Brother and Sister at first, but they're shown as married in a Flash Forward, and she clearly crushes on him several times. When he quits the team, she's the most heartbroken member, and promises to "wait for him" when he goes to jail. In the end, they both admit to themselves that they're in love with the other, but he rejects her on prompting by the Original Three, since she's too young and he's already on loose footing with the team.
Abilities: Stamina of Shu, speed of Heru, strength of Amon, wisdom of Zehuti, power of Aton, courage of Mehen
The nemesis of Captain Marvel. The villain Johnny Sorrow "killed" the personality of Theo Adam, the original Black Adam's modern-day descendant and inheritor of his powers, allowing the real Black Adam's personality to take control. Adam turned on Sorrow and became a member of the JSA, trying to be a real hero, but his Bronze Age brand of justice proved incompatible with the team; he left the JSA, killed the dictator of his homeland Kahndaq with the help of Atom-Smasher, and took control of the country as its god-king. He has since proved a dangerous wild card and constant threat to the JSA and the balance of world power. See the Shazam character sheet for more.
Captain Marvel / Marvel
AKA: Billy Batson
Abilities: Wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles, speed of Mercury
The World's Mightiest Mortal and champion of the wizard Shazam. Cap joined the team to keep an eye on old enemy Black Adam, eventually falling for fellow teenager Stargirl, but they were forced apart when Jay Garrick took notice, and Billy, who's Younger Than He Looks, was told to back off. See the Shazam character sheet for more.
Doctor Mid-Nite II
AKA: Pieter Anton Cross
Abilities: Night vision, X-ray vision, expert surgeon
A humble, Christian doctor who follows in the footsteps of Charles McNider. He's the team medic, and often its heart. In addition to having the same ability to see in the dark as McNider, he also has limited X-ray vision that allows him to see through people's bodies to better treat them.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Mr. Terrific II are best buddies, coming to terms with each other quickly and having tons of respect all-around.
Holier Than Thou: Notably averted, as he never lectures people about having faith; he just has it. And his best friend is Mr. Terrific, an atheist.
Legacy Character: He was delivered by Dr. Charles McNider, and studied under him later.
This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Since they're the only super-team with a medic on-staff, it makes sense that they suffer by far the most injuries & combat casualties in all of comics, thus requiring his exact skill-set constantly. The part where they consistently tackle JLA-level opposition without having as high a percentage of invulnerable members as the JLA doesn't help much either.
Young teenage punk introduced in the Grant Morrison era JLA, now gaining Johnny Thunder's legendary Thunderbolt, an all-powerful genie.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Although never directly stated, Fridge Logic tells us that Jakeem has had sex at some point (Stargirl is immune to the ghosts called up by the Gentleman Ghost because she's a virgin; those same ghosts can easily affect Jakeem).
Deus ex Machina: The Thunderbolt is so powerful that Jakeem can end Eldritch Abomination-level threats by himself if he says the right thing. Writers have had so much trouble with a character this powerful that he's been forced onto the sidelines for arcs at a time, or been KO'd straight away by the savvy villains.
Kid Hero: Jakeem is by far the youngest member of the JSA.
Abilities: Super-intelligence, martial arts master, high-tech equipment
An Olympic Decathlete and super-genius, he nearly took his own life when his wife was killed by a drunk driver. Inspired by the first Mr. Terrific's legacy, he took up his costume, and eventually became the JSA chairman. Later stepped down when he had to split his time between the JSA and Checkmate.
Abilities: Earth manipulation, sleeping gas gun, prophetic dreams
The original "Sandy the Golden Boy", nephew of the Wesley Dodds. Grew up into the first chairman of the modern incarnation of the JSA, leading the team through many adventures. He gained super-powers and, after Wesley's death, inherited his prophetic dreams, but eventually got written out as the writer-switch between David Goyer & Geoff Johns went underway, disappearing into the Earth for a while, and losing his leadership position to Mr. Terrific. Eventually changed his name to the Sandman like his mentor. See the Sandman character sheet for more.
Star-Spangled Kid II / Stargirl
AKA: Courtney Whitmore
Abilities: Cosmic Converter Belt grants super-strength; Cosmic Rod grants flight and energy manipulation
The Star-Spangled Kid (as she was originally known) stole her costume from her stepfather, Pat Dugan, the Golden Age sidekick of the original hero, and attempted to divorce Pat from her mom. Instead, she learned the meaning of heroism, hooked up with the JSA, and became one of the main characters of the revamped book. Later, she got the Cosmic Control Rod from Jack "Starman" Knight, changing her codename and inheriting two legacies.
Abilities: Cosmic Rod grants flight and energy manipulation
The son of Golden Age Starman Ted Knight, Jack reluctantly took up the Starman name upon the death of his older brother, David, the previous Starman. At first, Jack resented his duties as a superhero, but as time went on he matured both as a hero and as a human being, and even became a founding member of the JSA's current incarnation. After discovering he had a son, Jack passed his Cosmic Rod on to Stargirl and retired, having earned his Happily Ever After. See his own page for more.
"Justice Society of America" (2006-2011)
Amazing Man II
AKA: Marcus Clay
Abilities: Duplicates the properties of matter and energy
The grandson of the Golden Age Retroactive Continuity add-on, the first Amazing Man. Added to the team during a mass introduction of new Legacy Heroes, and given little personality beyond a calm, observational man with a mind for community.
Captain Ethnic: A dashiki-wearing black Muslim who preaches peace and brotherhood.
Put on a Bus: As the least popular of the new characters, he quietly left the team, being given some new powers (he can bestow his Matter-Copying powers onto others) so he could help out his home in New Orleans.
A relative of Commander Steel. He had lost his lower right leg after a football injury. During a reunion, Nathan's family was attacked by the aryan group known as the Fourth Reich. During this time, he stabbed the villain Reichsmark in the throat, causing the villain to cough up his molten metal blood on him. The blood was absorbed into Nathan's skin, turning it and his bones into metal (even regrowing his lost leg). It also gave him uncontrollable super strength, requiring him to wear a metal suit to restrain it.
Restraining Bolt: His suit. Whenever he moves, he has to bend the metal around him, which cuts his strength in half. During the battle against Gog, Nate ripped his suit off, and threw a punch which toppled the giant.
Abilities: Flight, wind generation and manipulation
The hyper-excitable (but actually depressed) Harvard-going teenage granddaughter of Ma Hunkel. She gained the ability to generate tornadoes after a Mad Scientist kidnapped and performed experiments on her.
Absent-Minded Professor: Don't let her naturally bubbly personality and motor mouth tendencies fool you, Max' is actually incredibly intelligent. She scored a 1300 on her SAT, and she's 4.0 student at Harvard University!
All Girls Want Bad Boys: After Damage and Judomaster II (Sonia Sato) began dating, she starts crushing on the cold and aloof King Chimera. He's softened up a bit since they first met, and they're actually good friends now, but he's got a lot of issues he needs to work out.
Blow You Away: Her nickname isn't "The Witch of The Winds" for nothing.
Depending on the Artist: Her costume is pretty hard to draw, so various artists raise or lower the slit on the side (or remove it entirely), alter the amount of stripes on the leggings, change the size or colour of her emblem, and change how baggy or large the overhanging pouch is. Even her hair is subject to this, either having long bangs, or none at all.
Genki Girl: One of the only examples in western comics. Hyperactive and frequently seen jumping around or talking on-end. Witness her priceless physical comedy shouting "Surprise!" at Stargirl's birthday party.
Hearing Voices: An aspect of her aerokinetic abilities is that she can draw far-off sounds to her ears on the winds. Its pretty useful, but sadly, it also lets her hear all the negative things people say about her, both in and out of costume.
Legacy Character: Granddaughter of the original Red Tornado, Ma Hunkel. Her alias is in honor of her grandmother's sidekicks, the Cyclone Kids, her uncle Dinky and aunt Sisty. However, she dropped the "Kid" part, on the advice of Stargirl.
Les Yay: Her obsession with best friend and teammate Stargirl frequently leads fans to this trope, but it's never mentioned in-series.
Motor Mouth: Defines this trope, going on huge rants ad nauseum, saying about a paragraph in the time in takes most characters to say one or two lines. Various characters have covered her mouth for her, or she's simply wandered off, embarrassed over what she just said. She's acknowledged this aspect of herself personally, but realizes this is just part of who she is.
Shout-Out: Her entire motif is inspired by L. Frank Baum's Oz series, most notably her favorite play, Wicked. She even wore a witch's hat for a while there, before deciding it looked dorky. She even has a pet monkey dressed up like one of its flying brethren from the movie, whom she's affectionately named "Franky".
AKA: Grant Emerson
Doctor Fate V
AKA: Kent V. Nelson
AKA: Sonia Sato
Morality Chain: Damage's death sent her back to trying to kill her father's killer, but he had left her a message that managed to bring her back.
Liberty Belle I
AKA: Elizabeth "Libby" Lawrence
AKA: Jennifer Pierce
Abilities: Flight, electrical generation and direction
Black Lightning's teenage daughter with uncontrollable powers.
Blessed with Suck: Has massive electrical powers, but can't touch any modern tech without shutting down everything within 100 feet, so she can't use TV, computers, or cars.
Legacy Character: To Black Lightning. Though this thirty-year-old (as a concept) character has never been described as having a second daughter before her debut.
Satellite Character: Thanks to the massive team roster, Jennifer just kind of ends up hanging around with Stargirl and Cyclone in group shots, and rarely with anyone else. Being so hard to draw, she was stuck in background shots at-best, and rarely says or does much of anything.
This is mostly true until the most recent issues of the series, where Lightning is responsible for stopping Scythe. Writer Marc Guggenheim has stated his intention to do more with the character.
AKA: David Reid
Abilities: Super-strength and invulnerability; staff fires plasma blasts
An immigrant from the Kingdom Come universe, he debuted in the most recent JSA series.
The Atoner: After his first big storyline in Thy Kingdom Come. It's subsequently dropped and never mentioned again.
Jerk Ass: Has taken completely to acting like this. Way over the top at points, openly disrespecting his teammates, insulting Wildcat in front of everybody, and being miserable and grouchy constantly.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Totally absent from the main books, but seen in his brief solo title when he trains an abused housewife to stand up to her husband and lays waste to a banana republic's army for terrorizing the citizens. It's also hinted at in JSA All-Stars, where Stargirl comments that while Magog might have been a jerk, he also looked out for her and his training saved her life.
FBI agent Jeffrey Graves was the partner of Trey Thompson, who was secretly the superhero Mister America. When Thompson uncovered a plot by Vandal Savage to wipe out the JSA's legacy, the villain murdered him. When it was revealed that Graves supplied FBI information to Thompson, he was fired; to honor his dead friend, and to give his life meaning, he took up the mantle of Mister America.
Badass Normal: He was in the superhero advance on the Bridge to Bludhaven during Final Crisis, with detective skills and a whip. Two words, Darkseid - "Game. On."
Legacy Character: To the first Mr. America, a relative unknown named Tex Thompson, and his descendant, Trey.
Take Up My Sword: Replace sword with whip and you've got Jeffrey Graves, after Trey dies.
AKA: Todd Rice
Abilities: Generate absolute darkness
Wielder of the Shadowlands, Todd got into superheroing because of his twin, Jenni-Lynn Hayden/Jade. Currently, he acts as the security system for the JSA brownstone, as his shadow powers allow him to be aware of the entire building at once.
Blessed with Suck: Todd can feel every negative emotion in people around him, can bring out negative emotions in others, and can manipulate shadows to attack and engulf people. Understandably, Todd sometimes has a hard time believing he's a good person given the way his powers have mostly negative effects on people.
Face-Heel Turn: Once he went off his medication, he started listening to the voices inside and outside his head telling him to hurt people.
Hearing Voices: It didn't help that one of the voices Todd heard was actually a Golden Age supervillain with a grudge against the JSA.
Luke, You Are My Father: He found out he was adopted right before he graduated high school, and met his sister Jenni. They speculated that Alan Scott/Green Lantern might be their biological father, and set out to meet him.
No Medication for Me: Averted. He's taking medication for his schizophrenia, and it works for him. When he starts acting strangely, Liberty Belle worries aloud that he's quit his meds.
Retcon The source of his powers via the recent Brightest Day event. Before his powers came from the Shadowlands via Ian Karkull (who is also the reason why the JSA age so well when not given another reason) now it's implied that he got that his powers from the Starheart, same as his sister.
Abilities: Super-strength, speed, senses, flight, and invulnerability
An older, more world-weary Superman from a darker parallel universe, accidentally brought to our world by Starman VIII. This Superman joined the JSA in their battle against the deity Gog, then returned to Earth-22, determined to use the JSA's example to make it a better world.
Abilities: Commands the Third Reich, possesses the Spear of Destiny
The JSA's ultimate archnemesis during World War II, Adolf Hitler's incarnation in The DCU mirrors that of our world, with a few differences. By obtaining the Spear of Destiny—the lance that pierced Christ on the cross—Hitler was able to control any metahuman who set foot in the Nazi sphere of influence, which is why the JSA was unable to take the fight directly to Germany. He also formed his own team of Nazi super-villains meant to infiltrate the Allies—Axis Amerika. As in our world, Hitler committed suicide in 1945, ending the war and freeing the JSA to enter Europe.
Continuity Snarl: There are two different, mutually exclusive explanations of how the original Degaton died. And that was before the Crisis reset the continuity.
Deceptive Disciple: To three different groups of scientists. Apparently, the Greatest Generation could sometimes be too trusting for their own good.
Driven to Suicide: At the end of America vs. the Justice Society, original Degaton Ate His Gun when the murder that led to the creation of his chronal duplicate was finally exposed 40 years after the fact.
Retcon: He only fought the JSA three times during the actual Golden Age. All of his other pre-Crisis appearances were the result of Bronze Age writers "retelling" (by which they meant "expanding") the JSA's history.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Played with. Every time the chronal duplicate Degaton's plans are foiled, the Time Disc's Reset Button is pressed, the chronal duplicate winks out of existence, and everyone forgets what happened. But, the night before the incident that caused Degaton's temporal split, he experiences (has experienced? will experience?) a psychic dream that fills him in on all of his attempts at intertemporal conquest. After the split, the original Degaton dismisses the vision as just a crazy dream, while the chronal duplicate retains all memories of his previous exploits until his next inevitable defeat.
The Slow Path: The original Degaton has a bit of a psychotic break when he realizes he'll have to wait forty years for the runaway Time Disc to intersect with his personal timeline again. And then, when it finally does arrive, it leads to his death anyway (although exactly how it happens varies with the telling).
Villain Team-Up: Degaton is an inveterate joiner. Pre-Crisis, he was a founding member of the Injustice Society of America and teamed up on an individual basis with Mekanique, Brainwave, Solomon Grundy, the Wizard, the Ultra-Humanite, and the Crime Syndicate of America. After Infinite Crisis, he is a member of the Time Stealers, a cadre of villainous time travelers formed by Mister Mind.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He had this as his motive in his first appearance. He'd missed the early years of the team as he was in isolation, learning black magic, and when he returned to civilization, the Wizard could not believe that smart people with superpowers would use them for altruistic purposes. Therefore, the JSA had to be pulling the biggest scam ever, and the Wizard demanded to be cut in.
Abilities: Mad Scientist; specializes in transporting his brain to other bodies, with his most well-known one being that of an Albino ape.
Humanite is a Mad Scientist who first got villain career started 1939, in the Golden Age of comics. Originally, he was an Arch-Enemy of Golden Age (Earth 2) Superman, but when Earth 2 was wiped out Post-Crisis, his enemies extended to the entire JSA. (Though he did face the All-Star Squadron once.) Aside from being incredibly intelligent, he also specializes in transporting his brain from one body to another. Over time, he's acquired a variety of different forms, be it his original form, that of an old bald crippled scientist, young beautiful actress Dolores Winters, or even a giant scientist, but by now, his most recognized form is that of a large Albino Ape, with a rather large noggin to match. In the Present-Day DCU, he's still quite the threat, having enacted a number of daring schemes, be it Controlling the entire JSA and having them turn on their offspring&godchildren, taking an entire space-station hostage, or what-have-you, but his most notorious scheme of all came when he controlled Johny Thunder's body, thus gaining possession of the Thunderbolt, and using it to completely conquer the Earth for 6 whole months, and in the process, mind-controlling nearly every Superhero on the planet, including most of the JSA. However, thanks to Johhny's successor, Jakeem Thunder, as well as the help of the reaming JSA'ers, (and one villain, Icicle II,) they were able to save the day and reverse the effects, though all of the heroes still remembered what had happened those 6 months. Since then however, the Humanite is still around, showing his face on occasion.In general: