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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Default When did the JSA get pegged to WW II?

    I mean, I know they were created in that era, but so were Superman and Batman. Most of the JSA weren't patriotically-themed ala Star-Spangled Kid or even Wonder Woman. So I'm trying to figure out when a time-slide ceased to apply and they got very tied to that era. I apologize if I'm muddying up other Earth 2 figures incorrectly with JSA.

    When used in the 1970s, they seemed time-slid, though still older than the JLA heroes. When Larry Lance died, his tombstone said 1930-1969. When Power Girl appeared in 1976, she seemed a young adult, not in her 30s as a teen from 1958 would be. Then Huntress debuted, and she was a 20-year old (which doesn't seem to mesh with Power Girl's age to me), born in 1957. Now, if Selina was 20 in 1940, that's feasible. It's just also feasible if Selina was 20 in 1950.

    I know by 1978, the were doing the WWII-era Wonder Woman stories with Jay Garrick (and Etta in military to match show), so that definitely pegs them to that era. Just don't know if it continued after show ended. And, of course, then COIE came.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    When they got replaced in the Silver Age. The old heroes who got tied to the past were the ones whose sales were in the toilet. Superman and Batman still sold well so they carried forward, and DC had to publish a monthly WW comic so she carried forward with them.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    When they got replaced in the Silver Age. The old heroes who got tied to the past were the ones whose sales were in the toilet. Superman and Batman still sold well so they carried forward, and DC had to publish a monthly WW comic so she carried forward with them.
    But like I said, in the early 1970s, they weren't being treated like they were active in the early 1940s. When did that change?

  4. #4
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    I don't know. To my knowledge, they were always treated as having been around during WW2. The very first Earth 2 story "The Flash of Two Worlds" specifically mentions that Jay Garrick quit being the Flash in 1949, if I remember correctly.

    The WW2 aspect wasn't really highlighted much, at least not as much as "these are the heroes from the Golden Age", but I don't think they were ever divorced from the original era of publication. But as time went on, the whole situation did get a bit weird - with Earth 1 heroes on a sliding timescale, while Earth 2 heroes should logically have been growing older (but didn't seem to be). I've heard somewhere that the explanation was time passing at different rates on both earths, but I'm not sure if there was ever a proper canonical explanation...well, until the story of how Ian Karkull caused all the JSA members to age slowly.

  5. #5
    Fantastic Member astro@work's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I mean, I know they were created in that era, but so were Superman and Batman. Most of the JSA weren't patriotically-themed ala Star-Spangled Kid or even Wonder Woman. So I'm trying to figure out when a time-slide ceased to apply and they got very tied to that era. I apologize if I'm muddying up other Earth 2 figures incorrectly with JSA.

    When used in the 1970s, they seemed time-slid, though still older than the JLA heroes. When Larry Lance died, his tombstone said 1930-1969. When Power Girl appeared in 1976, she seemed a young adult, not in her 30s as a teen from 1958 would be. Then Huntress debuted, and she was a 20-year old (which doesn't seem to mesh with Power Girl's age to me), born in 1957. Now, if Selina was 20 in 1940, that's feasible. It's just also feasible if Selina was 20 in 1950.

    I know by 1978, the were doing the WWII-era Wonder Woman stories with Jay Garrick (and Etta in military to match show), so that definitely pegs them to that era. Just don't know if it continued after show ended. And, of course, then COIE came.
    I'd say that Roy Thomas's All Star Squadron probably helped cement the attachment to WW II, based on his attention to detail including actual historical events happening at the time of his stories (which were very specific as to dates).

    Similarly, the actual Golden Age Adventures frequently leaned into patriotism and World War II figures...far more than later publications.
    Look no farther than the JSA (All-Star Comics) covers from the era for images of the war. Conversely, I can't recall any (or very many) comic covers that leaned into the Korean War, Viet Nam, Gulf War, etc. for imagery.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Similarly, the actual Golden Age Adventures frequently leaned into patriotism and World War II figures...far more than later publications.
    Sure, but they had several years post-war worth of stories, too. But I'm not asking when they were first WWII themed - they were during the war. I'm asking when, post-1969, they became tied to that era and no long time-slid. Maybe also when a lot of fans no longer found it acceptable to time-slide them. The answer to the second one may be "immediately" but that still leaves question #1. Definitely by 1983, because of Canary's change. And I've mentioned the late 1970s for Wonder Woman -WWII-era stories with some of them. Maybe with Huntress, who added a lot of years over Power Girl (unless Power Girl was just younger in Earth 2)? Or even just when they had their own comic again?
    Last edited by Tzigone; 10-08-2019 at 11:48 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by astro@work View Post
    I'd say that Roy Thomas's All Star Squadron probably helped cement the attachment to WW II, based on his attention to detail including actual historical events happening at the time of his stories (which were very specific as to dates).

    Similarly, the actual Golden Age Adventures frequently leaned into patriotism and World War II figures...far more than later publications.
    Look no farther than the JSA (All-Star Comics) covers from the era for images of the war. Conversely, I can't recall any (or very many) comic covers that leaned into the Korean War, Viet Nam, Gulf War, etc. for imagery.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Sure, but they had several years post-war worth of stories, too. But I'm not asking when they were first WWII themed - they were during the war. I'm asking when, post-1969, they became tied to that era and no long time-slid. Maybe also when a lot of fans no longer found it acceptable to time-slide them. The answer to the second one may be "immediately" but that still leaves question #1. Definitely by 1983, because of Canary's change. And I've mentioned the late 1970s for Wonder Woman -WWII-era stories with some of them. Maybe with Huntress, who added a lot of years over Power Girl (unless Power Girl was just younger in Earth 2)? Or even just when they had their own comic again?
    There were light inferences from "The Flash of Two Worlds" on about the dates things happened that tied them to the era. An example would be the dates used in the Huntress' origin specifying she was born in 1957, and the JSA breaking up in the early 1951 due to HUAC persecution.

    Nobody really addressed the issue head on because they didn't really need time-sliding before the launch of All-Star Squadron; they were supposed to be aged heroes in our modern era. The early 1980s were only 30-odd years after the end of the JSA's published adventures in All-Star Comics, so nobody was terribly hung up on how old they were at that point. By the mid-1980s, the ages locking their origins into WWII imposed on characters like Starman began to be enough of an issue that Thomas wrote the story proposing that Karkull's magic had extended the JSA members' vitality. The closest anybody got to really addressing it before Thomas was Bates and Maggins in Justice League of America #123, who suggested that time passed slower on E2 than on E1, making the JSA's "now" earlier than E1's, and giving the JSA a bit of an out about their age.

    I suppose if they ever were time-sliding, it probably depends on The Atom (Al Pratt). His published adventures began with him as a college sophomore in 1940. If that didn't change before the end of the JSA's original run, back in All-Star Comics #57, it would imply either time-sliding, or that Pratt was a really lousy student (unless he was shown as pursuing a doctorate in later comics). So, depending on The Atom, I'd say any time-sliding they did ended in 1951.
    Last edited by DrNewGod; 10-08-2019 at 01:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/All-Star_Comics_Vol_1_11

    all-star squadron revisited that issue early on...

  9. #9
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    When were the JLA heroes first detached from WW II? It seems to me there's a vague sense (in the 1950s, 1960s) that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have been around for awhile. And even the newer heroes seem to all have had military service. Because that's the basic frame of reference for Baby Boomer readers, who all had parents that were in the war (in some capacity). So a grown up is someone who has some experience of this war that the older generation all remember. And even the writers and artists all had war experiences of some kind. So for the kids reading the comics, the grown up heroes were, of course, in the war in some fashion.

    I think this only starts to unravel in the 1970s when you have younger writers handling the books and other changes in continuity start to happen. Once that happens, and the JLAers are detached from their origins in the 1930s and 1940s, then the JSAers are by contrast attached to that period. But it's still not clear when the Earth-One heroes appeared on the scene and how long they've been active. Sometimes it seems like Wonder Woman's original origin in WW II is still intact and other times not--but then when did Steve land on Paradise Island if not WW II? The Korean War? The Vietnam War?
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  10. #10
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    When were the JLA heroes first detached from WW II? It seems to me there's a vague sense (in the 1950s, 1960s) that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have been around for awhile.
    A while, sure. Not 10 or 20 years, though, I wouldn't think. Sidekick ages are a limiting factor there. Which mostly applicable to Batman in that context, I guess.

    And I never thought of Barry as having military service, though certainly Hal. I've seen others think that on Barry, but I don't remember it, and (unlike almost any other hero), I've read all his Silver Age issues. Though I could still forget because memory is fallible, and it might be in another title, because I didn't read any silver age JLA. That does double for Ralph.

    Because that's the basic frame of reference for Baby Boomer readers, who all had parents that were in the war (in some capacity). So a grown up is someone who has some experience of this war that the older generation all remember. And even the writers and artists all had war experiences of some kind. So for the kids reading the comics, the grown up heroes were, of course, in the war in some fashion.
    I really think that's stretching - the idea that grownup = "war experience" so all the comic characters must have had war experience.

    Anyway, I don't think the continuing-to-be-published titles were ever pegged to a specific date, but could easily be wrong about that. But if ever they were, I'd say it ended, at latest, with "The Flash of Two Worlds" in 1961.

  11. #11
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    DC didn't always follow the same rules as Marvel. Some comic books/comic strips didn't bother with trying to make sense of time and just maintained that the characters had been around since they were first published. Readers just accepted that. It actually makes as much sense as the Marvel approach to time, where time keeps updating itself, which is unlike anything we experience in the real world. The most realistic approach to time was in comic strips like GASOLINE ALLEY and PRINCE VALIANT (or later DC's Earth-Two) where time worked the same for the characters as it works for us in the real world.
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  12. #12
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    I think it was somewhat organic and occurred over the years. Obviously in their original incarnations they had plenty of connections to World War 2, but so did everybody else. Eventually when JLA introduced the crossovers to Earth-2 and we saw all these guys teaming up with the JLA the stories weren't really about their World War 2 origins, they were just new superhero stories with them active and in their prime (maybe a little more veteran) and frankly were just dealing with cosmic and multiversal threats - although I haven't read it I do wonder if there were some overt references at least to WWII when they for instance crashed up against the Freedom Fighters and Nazi World of Earth-X.

    All-Star Squadron felt like what really cemented it. I mean didn't that book actually deal with them like, questing for the Spear of Destiny? It kept growing as in the 70s Earth-2 stories continued to feature like, "Grown Up Dick Grayson" and more so it was easy enough to just keep the backstories consistent instead of worrying about making them evergreen. And that persisted as well. Then when COIE hits and blends Earth-2 back into Earth-1, instead of fixing their timelines to be evergreen and match the rest of their Earth-Prime colleagues, new stories plug them back into WWII with that whole Generational "they were Mystery Men" angle that ran through all the stuff up until Johns and Flashpoint and whatever else resets occurred. Of course meanwhile, Zero Hour was used to unstick them in time as far as their physical ages. But then they also had all their Infinity Inc. stuff with a whole new generation. So it's just sort of one thing building on another onto another and nobody ever bothering to detach them from WWII and make their origins evergreen.

    Flashpoint confused it even further by starting a new Earth-2 with Flashpointed versions of all of them. I think it's at least apparent by now that while the Flashpointed Earth-2 is a new take on that Earth-2, that the Earth-2 itself, refuge of the lost Golden Age of Earth-0/1, they aren't the same people as the Prime Earth people. There's shunted Earth-2 Alan Scott ... New 52ed Earth-2 Alan Scott ... neither of them are "Our Alan Scott".
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  13. #13
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Some comic books/comic strips didn't bother with trying to make sense of time and just maintained that the characters had been around since they were first published.
    I do know that, but they weren't pegged to a specific era in the way that the JSA is. Superman started before WWII, and he would no more be pegged to WWII than to the era before WWII, I don't think - not in even if the late 1950s. Timeslides happened at least by the 1960s. I can attest they happened in radio shows earlier (Green Hornet referenced a previous episode as "5 years ago" when it was longer ago than that), but that's not DC comics, so not really relevant.

    My point is that character's birth/milestone years moved around at least by the 1960s. I can give examples from the late 1960s (would have to hunt up for earlier). I can give examples for the JSA from 1969. So I wanted to know when it became untenable that their birth/origin years be moved.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by K. Jones View Post
    I think it was somewhat organic and occurred over the years. Obviously in their original incarnations they had plenty of connections to World War 2, but so did everybody else. Eventually when JLA introduced the crossovers to Earth-2 and we saw all these guys teaming up with the JLA the stories weren't really about their World War 2 origins, they were just new superhero stories with them active and in their prime (maybe a little more veteran) and frankly were just dealing with cosmic and multiversal threats - although I haven't read it I do wonder if there were some overt references at least to WWII when they for instance crashed up against the Freedom Fighters and Nazi World of Earth-X.

    All-Star Squadron felt like what really cemented it. I mean didn't that book actually deal with them like, questing for the Spear of Destiny? It kept growing as in the 70s Earth-2 stories continued to feature like, "Grown Up Dick Grayson" and more so it was easy enough to just keep the backstories consistent instead of worrying about making them evergreen. And that persisted as well. Then when COIE hits and blends Earth-2 back into Earth-1, instead of fixing their timelines to be evergreen and match the rest of their Earth-Prime colleagues, new stories plug them back into WWII with that whole Generational "they were Mystery Men" angle that ran through all the stuff up until Johns and Flashpoint and whatever else resets occurred. Of course meanwhile, Zero Hour was used to unstick them in time as far as their physical ages. But then they also had all their Infinity Inc. stuff with a whole new generation. So it's just sort of one thing building on another onto another and nobody ever bothering to detach them from WWII and make their origins evergreen.

    Flashpoint confused it even further by starting a new Earth-2 with Flashpointed versions of all of them. I think it's at least apparent by now that while the Flashpointed Earth-2 is a new take on that Earth-2, that the Earth-2 itself, refuge of the lost Golden Age of Earth-0/1, they aren't the same people as the Prime Earth people. There's shunted Earth-2 Alan Scott ... New 52ed Earth-2 Alan Scott ... neither of them are "Our Alan Scott".
    You may be right about the lack of WW2 references, but the idea that the JSA heroes were older than the JLA ones was there right from "Flash of Two Worlds". Granted, they weren't a lot older...Jay was probably just around 10-15 years older than Barry. Certainly, the Golden Age heroes weren't old enough to be the parents of the Silver Age heroes.

    Then we had a grown-up Robin introduced in the late 60's, which further brought home the point that on Earth 2, the heroes were older and 'further along' in their timelines.

    I may be wrong, but I believe that when the Earth 2 Superman was first introduced, he looked the same age as the Earth 1 Superman, and that they only really aged him up later. Granted, that just might be a result of Earth 2 Superman ageing slower than a normal human would.

  15. #15
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    The JSA, and pretty much all of DC's Golden Age characters were pegged to WW2. Exceptions were the characters that continued on through the fifties and made it into the Silver Age (Super Friends, Green Arrow, and their supporting casts). The question isn't when did the JSA get pegged, but when did the others become unpegged?

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