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Origin and First Appearance of Superheroes and Villains
Beginning With J
Jack Frost is a Golden Age superhero with the ability to generate ice and withstand extremely cold temperatures.
During World War II, Frost joined the Liberty Legion to battle against the Axis Powers.
After disappearing for several years, Frost appears in the modern era, where he reveals that he had sacrificed himself by melding with an Arctic "ice-worm" monster to prevent it from destroying human cities.
Jack o' Lantern
Jack O'Lantern was a villain, originally Jason Macendale, ex-CIA agent.
Since then, there have been at least four others to wear the costume of Jack O'Lantern.
In his original incarnation, Jack O'Lantern had no super-powers, but later versions added and subtracted powers.
The Jaguar was zoologist Ralph Hardy.
While on an expedition in Peru, Hardy follows a rare white jaguar into a cave. There, he finds a series of ancient Incan cave drawings depicting a superhuman hero and a mystical "Nucleon Belt."
When he puts the belt on, Ralph becomes The Jaguar, with red tights and all the abilities of the big cats (speed, agility, grace, etc.).
Eventually, he gained all the abilities of all animals, and could call upon them when needed.
The Jaguar was also later acquired and rebooted by DC.
Jason Todd was the second Robin after Dick Greyson went on to become Nightwing.
Jason met Batman when he attempted to steal the tires off the Batmobile.
Seeing his potential, Batman took the trouble youth under his wing.
Later, Jason is killed by Joker, but is resurrected several years later and becomes the Red Hood.
As the Red Hood, Jason is a vigilante who isn't afraid to use lethal force.
Jason now has deep conflicting feelings about Batman and the two often clash.
Javelin was a German Olympic athlete who used his amazing skills with a javelin to fuel his life of crime.
After being defeated by Green Lantern, Javelin joins the Suicide Squad.
Jax-Ur is a super villain from the planet Krypton.
Originally beginning as a brilliant but evil scientist, Jax-Ur was banished to the Phantom Zone after blowing up one of Krypton's moons with a missile.
Later, Jax-Ur escapes but is sent back to the Phantom Zone by Superman.
In a subsequent escape, Jax-Ur helps Superman defeat Black Zero.
Jesse Chambers is the daughter of Golden Age heroes Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle.
She inherited some powers from both of her parents: her father taught her his super-speed formula, and from her mother, she inherited super-strength, flight, and the ability to shoot sonic bursts.
She was introduced at the same time as the JSA's reintroduction after a 6-year absence following the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and later became sidekick to the Wally West version of The Flash.
Jimmy Olsen is a photographer for the Daily Planet and friend of Lois Lane and Clark Kent / Superman.
When Jimmy needs help, he uses a watch that emits a sound only Superman can hear.
Originally, Jimmy was often used for comedic relief, but his role has become more serious over time.
Later, Jimmy becomes possessed by several New Gods of Apokolips and begins displaying bizarre transformations.
Beginning in the 1950s until the mid-70s, Jimmy had his own comic - Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen.
Jinx is a sorceress and member of the Fearsome Five and the Injustice Society.
Jinx has the ability to use magical energy to create force bolts and flames, the ability to dissolve matter, and the ability to create small earthquakes.
However, in order to use her magic, she must have direct contact with the natural ground, which is why she is always barefoot.
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Johnny Canuck is a long-time symbol of Canadian pride and spirit, much like Uncle Sam in the USA.
During WWII, American comics were banned from import into Canada, and so Canadian comics began sprouting up.
One was Johnny Canuck, the story of a non-super-powered, non-costumed adventurer who fought the axis powers, got the girl, and always got out unscathed.
Like many heroes of the era, he fought Hitler personally.
After the war, American comics were no longer banned, and Canadian comics fell by the wayside.
Origin and First Appearance,Johnny Quick
More Fun Comics #71, DC Comics, 1941
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Johnny Quick was newsreel cameraman Johnny Chambers. When he recited the special mathematical formula, "3x2(9YZ)4A," he activated super-speed powers.
The formula had been taught to him as a child by Professor Gill, his childhood guardian. Gill had apparently gotten the formula from an ancient Egyptian tomb.
Johnny Quick was surprisingly durable for a second-string speedster for DC Comics, remaining in print until 1954.
He was brought back and retconned into the Earth-Two chronology as part of the All-Star Squadron.
Johnny Thunder was more than simply comic relief for the JSA, although he and his Thunderbolt did provide just that for many years.
Born at seven in the morning on the seventh day of the seventh month of 1917, the seventh son of a seventh son, John L. Thunder is so lucky that some evildoers from the nation of Badhnesia kidnap him and give him a genie named Yz to try to compel him to help them take over the world.
Badhnesia is invaded, the plans go awry, and Johnny returns to America, where he is surprised every time he begins a sentence with the words, "Say, you..." as the mystical words "cei-u" are the words that summon Yz.
Eventually, Johnny figures it out and forms an unlikely team with the genie. They became the comic relief of the DC Comics world.
He had no superpowers of his own, but Yz (also known as the Thunderbolt) had plenty to spare, and used them to pull Johnny out of some tight spots.
The Joker is Batman's oldest and most enduring enemies, wreaking havoc since the start of Batman's career.
While Joker's backstory has changed throughout the years, it is generally accepted that he fell into a vat of chemicals, bleaching his skin white, turning his hair green, and driving him insane.
He is a criminal mastermind, cryptic, intelligent, and absolutely crazy.
Joker uses inventive and unique gadgets to aid in his crimes and he is expert chemist and bomb maker. He is also quite skilled in hand-to-hand combat.
Joker's crimes have resulted in the killing of dozens (or more) people, including Jason Todd (the 2nd Robin), Commissioner Gordon's wife, and Alexander Luthor Jr.
While enlisted in the US Army, Cain Marko, stationed in Korea, stumbles upon the temple of Cyttorak.
Speaking the incantation outlined on the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, Cain is transformed into a human juggernaut.
The Juggernaut is invulnerable against any physical attack, and if he is somehow wounded, he heals nearly instantly.
His strength allows him to pick up buildings and destroy mountains. His only weakness is mental attacks.
Cain is the step brother of X-Men leader Professor Charles Xavier, whom Cain hates.
Julia Carpenter was the second Spider-Woman, and would later be known as the 2nd Arachne and the 2nd Madame Web.
During a scientific study, Julia was injected with a mixture of spider venom and plant extracts, giving her super-powers, like strength, speed, and agility, as well as some psychic powers and the ability to crawl up walls.
She was not the last Spider-Woman, but would not remain a distinctive presence after the end of her time in that role.
Justice League of America
First Appearance, Justice League of America
Brave and the Bold #28, DC Comics, 1960
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The Justice League of America is DC Comics' Silver Age reboot of the Golden Age Justice Society of America, founded to combat evil as only a super-team can.
This is their first appearance, but not the origin of the JLA in Brave and the Bold, which was not shown until many years later.
The original lineup included Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter, with Superman and Batman listed as "honorary members," not often able to participate because of their busy schedules.
In this adventure, they combat Starro, a starfish-like alien who wants to take over the earth.
Soon, Green Arrow, Hawkman, and The Atom would join, and over the years almost every major DC character would take part.
Rebooted many times, the JLA is still going strong.
Justice Society of America (JSA)
DC brought together all of the heroes they had who weren't stars, and combined them with all of the heroes on the All-American roster who weren't stars to form the Justice Society of America: Dr. Fate, Hourman, the Spectre, Sandman, the Atom, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman.
The adventurers at first simply related their individual escapades in meetings, but eventually figured out that they should fight as a team.
The JSA lasted until the early 1950s and served as a model for the JLA of the 1960s and beyond.
It was the first superhero team from any comics company, and still stands as a model of the genre. See more on the Justice Society of America here.
Index of Superhero / Supervillain Origin and First Appearance Comics
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