I’m back with a third and final foray (for now) into my initial exploration of the JSA after my Guide to Doctor Fate and Guide to Justice Society of America launches over the past week for Pledgeonaut Patrons of CK. For this third guide, I realized that a title I was trying to mash into the JSA guide deserved its own space – just as its cast broke away from the JSA in 1984 to form their own superhero that withstood the transition from Earth Two to Earth One. Of course, I’m referring to JSA’s original next generation, now covered in my Guide to Infinity Inc!
This guide will remain exclusive to Patrons even after the public debut of the JSA Guide in October.
Infinity Inc. occupies a unique and often-forgotten corner of the DC Universe as a book that had as many Pre-Crisis issues set on Earth Two as it had Post-Crisis issues set in DC’s main continuity.
If you’re not familiar with any Crisis other than me, allow me to explain that to you!
In 1984, the Teen Titans were a wildly popular title for DC – effectively, their X-Men and New Mutants rolled into one! If the Teen Titans were the next generation of the Justice League, then it made sense to introduce Infinity Inc. as the next generation of the Justice Society of America (JSA) of Earth Two. The JSA were DC’s Golden Age heroes who kept on living and aging on a parallel Earth to the main Silver Age and Bronze Age Earth where they introduced the Justice League.
At the time, the JSA didn’t even have a present-day title of their own, so the launch arc for their junior team had to be a time travel story set in 1942 in the pages of the JSA’s retcon title, All-Star Squadron! The original team a number of JSA legacy heroes like Alan Scott’s children Jade and Obsidian, The Atom’s godson Nuklon, Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s son Silver Scarab, Wonder Woman & Steve Trevor’s daughter Fury, Batman and Catwoman’s daughter Huntress, Superman’s relative Powergirl, and more.
Infinity Inc. became the home to Earth Two adventures in DC’s Universe in 1984 and 1985, where the team battled the evil Helix – including a character modern readers would come to know as the D.E.O.’s Director Bones! Then, Crisis on Infinite Earths happened. This was DC’s way of simplifying their complex, multi-Earth history – including merging Earth Two into Earth One!
This could’ve meant the cancellation of Infinity Inc., but somehow the team itself escaped nearly unscathed – only Huntress was removed by the event. However, the extended cast of their parents and mentors in the JSA sustained heavy losses in order to be merged seamlessly into a single continuity. Even if Infinity Inc.’s membership stayed the same, it meant some of their history changed – most radically for Fury, whose parents no longer existed in DC’s Golden Age history since Wonder Woman was completely rebooted in the wake of Crisis by George Perez!
This loss was compounded by the subsequent Last Days of the Justice Society special in 1986 which seemed to trap all of the surviving JSA to Limbo save for Doctor Fate, Star-Spangled Kid, and Power Girl. That made Infinity Inc. a team of orphans – trying to find their way in a DC Universe where they had precious few remaining connections.
Despite that lack of connection, the team lasted two more years after Crisis – until issue #53! However, their status as orphans of both deceased parents and simplified continuity meant that there was nowhere for members to go in the wake of the title’s cancellation. The return of the JSA to the present day in 1992 meant Jade and Obsidian continued to appear with Alan Scott, and Neil Gaiman improbably adopted the continuity-challenged Fury into The Sandman, but many of the other characters became serial cameo guest stars or canon fodder to be killed and quickly forgotten.
Their luck began to changed with the introduction of the modern Justice Society in JSA (1999), which pulled many of them back into the JSA extended family. Since that title had a built-in case of second and third-generation heroes, the need for Infinity Inc. as a legacy team was over – they would never again reassemble under their own title, even if DC re-used it for an unrelated spinoff of 52 (2006).
If you are a $1.99/month Patron of CK, you can read more about where former members next turn up in the Guide to Infinity Inc! This marks the end of my first sprint through the JSA family of guides, but that’s not the last you’ll be seeing of those heroes as my Crushing Comics Guide to DC Comic Books continues to expand.
Patrons of Crushing Krisis currently have access to…
Exclusives for Crushing Cadets ($1/month): 28 Guides!
Marvel Guides (22): Alpha Flight, Angela, Beta Ray Bill, Black Cat, Blade, Captain Britain, Dazzler, Domino, Dracula, Elsa Bloodstone, Heroes For Hire, Legion, Marvel Era: Marvel Legacy, Mister Sinister, Sabretooth, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man – Peter Parker (2018 – present), Thunderstrike, Valkyrie, Vision, Weapon X, X-Man – Nate Grey
Exclusives For Pledgeonauts ($1.99+/month): 59 Guides!
All of the 28 guides above, plus 31 more…
DC Guides (15): Animal Man, Aquaman, Books of Magic, Catwoman, Doctor Fate, Flash, Harley Quinn, Houses & Horrors, Infinity Inc., Justice League, Justice Society of America, Mister Miracle, Nightwing, Outsiders, Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing
Marvel Guides (14): Ant-Man & Giant-Man, Champions, Darkhawk, Falcon, Gwenpool, Hellcat – Patsy Walker, Loki, Moon Boy / Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Power Pack, Red She-Hulk, Sentry, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Venom
Indie & Licensed Comics: None right now