JSA Team Design


Disclaimer: JSA is the one team that I did the initial designs for.

Way back at the dawn of time when we first started work on this project, everyone picked a team to start working on.  Guglio picked Emerald Enemies.  But because he’s super fast, he did the Green Lanterns too.  Seventh Soldier started working on . . . a team I can’t say yet.  And I started working on my favorite team in the set (and my second favorite team of all time) the JSA.

The challenge for me in desiging the JSA was to keep the flavor of the original team while still doing something new and different.  Originally, I tried to flesh out the “identity” theme.  But it didn’t work well with the roster I wanted to use.  (More on the roster later.)  I focused my attention on exhausted characters and attacking up curve.

To try to differentiate the new JSA cards from the old ones, I incorporated the keyword “boost”.  My original design had a lot of boost effects.  I figured that this would work well with the little guys attacking up curve strategy.  However, all that changed when the MUN previews started.

Here’s the thing about designing a fan-created set.  Upper Deck doesn’t tell us what they are doing.  I try not to be offended, but frankly this would be a whole lot easier if they would just keep us in the loop. 

(Incidentally, if anyone in R&D would send me a full explanation of the keywords that will be featured in Marvel: Evolution, it would be greatly appreciated!)

You may recall that the first MUN preview card was Captain America, Secret Avenger.  It showcased the new keyword “rally”.  Immediately, I knew we needed to include “rally” in our set.  More than that, I knew “rally” needed to be on my team.  Who rallies better than the JSA?  No one. 

While I was re-working the team to incorporate the new keyword, I also started fine-tuning the roster.  Characters who had been included solely for their identity got dropped.  I decided to focus on the line-up from the current series.  It took a lot of work, but we managed to squeeze in almost* every member from Justice Society of America #1 to current.  (*Sorry, Lance.)

One of the themes in the book since its relaunch has been the swelling of the ranks in the JSA.  It’s getting tough to keep all of these characters straight!  As I was reviewing the roster, it occurred to me that some of these guys had to be reservists.  Before I knew what I was doing, the JSA had a minor reservist theme as well.

So, yeah, the JSA is going to work very well with the Avengers.  Since the Avengers are my favorite Marvel team, I guess I can live with that.

What else can you expect from the JSA?  We’ve got a few legends.  It was tough squeezing them in given the size of the team.  A couple of them spilled over into other teams like Alan Scott in the Green Lanterns.  And there’s some cards designed to work well with the old team themes from Infinite Crisis.

I hope you guys enjoy the refeature as much as I enjoyed doing it.  If not, the good news is I didn’t have time to do any others.*

*And honestly, the other guys are better designers than me anyway.

Be sure to check out today’s JSA preview artcicles and keep coming back all week for more!


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