The very first major superhero group in comics was the Justice Society of America, first conceived by editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox in the winter of 1940. Little did they know at the time just how much their idea would change the shape of superhero comics forever.
The JSA brought together some of the biggest superheroes around at the time – the founding members being Jay Garrick’s Flash, Alan Scott’s Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, Spectre, Sandman, Atom, Hourman and Hawman. Back then, DC – or rather All-American Comics, who were later hoovered up by DC – liked to keep the big guns separate and so the likes of Superman and Batman were only ever ‘honorary’ members of the JSA.
Over the years, the JSA has stuck around, even after the formation of its more popular successor the Justice League. Through a series of reinventions and reboots, the JSA has been kept fresh and has often been allowed to explore darker and more dramatic areas than the more mainstream JLA.