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It tells the story of The DCU's Golden Age heroes immediately after World War II, their problems with the rising tide of McCarthyism and government corruption, and a super-powered take-over of the US Government.
The series is told primarily from the viewpoints of Liberty Belle, Manhunter, the original Green Lantern, and Johnny Quick. The story plays out in a "realistic" fashion, similar to Watchmen, but not quite as dark.
Most of the Golden Age heroes have retired for various reasons, and are making new careers for themselves, when an amnesiac Manhunter makes his way back to America from parts unknown. As events unwind, the heroes have to deal with conspiracy, government corruption, and horrific discoveries about the war. In the end, there is a final showdown between pretty much every hero around and Hitler's Brain in a super-powered body.
The series touches on most of the major Golden Age heroes, and many of the minor ones. Notable absences from the line-up are Superman and Batman, despite both originating in The Golden Age of Comic Books.
The Golden Age is a What If story, but elements of the series have snuck into Canon anyway, most notably Ted "Starman" Knight's nervous breakdown. It was eventually retitled JSA: The Golden Age to connect the series to the current Justice Society of America ongoing series.
Provides examples of:
- Alliterative Name - Daniel Dunbar, aka Dan the Dyna-Mite
- Easy Amnesia - The Manhunter spends much of the series without his memory.
- Grand Theft Me - Besides the Ultra-Humanite's brain taking over the Americommando's body, there's also Adolf Hitler's brain taking over Daniel Dunbar's (Dynaman) body.
- Green Lantern Ring - the original Green Lantern, of course.
- Groin Attack: Dynaman gives the future Captain Comet one during the final fight near the end.
- Heel Face Turn - the villainess Tigress becomes a hero, at least until her lover Lance Gallant (Captain Triumph) is killed fighting Robotman.
- Heroes Unlimited: Given its current title, the All-Star Squadron is again portrayed as Justice Society Unlimited.
- It's for a Book: Why Tarantula was in the superhero business in the first place. After his book became successful, though, he found it very hard to follow it up with something else.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Miss America is about to reveal who Dynaman really is when Robotman kills her.
- My God, What Have I Done? - Ted Knight, when his research was used to make the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs.
- Part of why Alan Scott chose to turn his back on being Green Lantern, to avoid the destructive misuse of his power ring.
- Miss America has an entirely innocent one when she discovers she's been sleeping with the Ultra-Humanite.
- Super Serum - Hourman's pills, which in the series turn out to be a) addictive and b) losing their effectiveness as Hourman has built up an immunity.