I haven't been reading the books since Johns left, so I'm curious: Why did the JSA split into two groups? Was it the standard Outsiders/Cry For Justice rationale: "You're not proactive enough, so we're striking out on our own," or is there a different (and probably better) reason?

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There's a good interview here that addresses a lot of these issues:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=23043

Sounds pretty good to me, though I sort of share the sentiments of the guy on the Awesomed By Comics podcast, who said (regarding someone who said JSA All-Stars would be fun whether you love Magog or if you love to hate him.) He said his position was neither, but rather that he was looking for a "Magog-free reading experience."
Judging from the preview pages, All-Stars doesn't look dark at all -- just a little XTREME and kind of constipated. (I mean, look at Steel on page 3!)
Thanks for the link, Suedenim! So it's an outgrowth of the Gog event, eh? It's odd -- I thought Johns wrapped that up pretty tightly with an emphatic statement that they were one big team.
A different way of doing things would be to have the team split on the basis that it's simply over-large. When they go to fight XYZ they find half are simply standing around doing nothing, or getting in each others' way. The secondary members of the two teams could switch back and forth because of scheduling problems and whatever other reasons the writers could come up with.
Or just send out individual members or small teams as needed.

I know, that's silly. I mean, when has the Justice Society of America ever done that?
I guess that was the approach of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Yeah -- size and getting in each other's way isn't a problem if they're not all going on every mission. Size is more of a writer's problem (how to check in with the characters who don't get much action) than the characters'.

That said, I could see characters saying "Why don't we put a satellite HQ on the West Coast?" or in Europe or wherever. Or an extended mission/self-contained storyline, a la Legion Lost.
Doctor Hmmm? said:
Or just send out individual members or small teams as needed.
I know, that's silly. I mean, when has the Justice Society of America ever done that?

bwah ha habwah ha habwah ha ha

Well said!!!

Rob, I'm sure that it was the idea that JSA was doing well; a spin-off was doing okay; and it was time to split them. And how to justify it in-story? INTERNAL TEAM CONFLICT!!!

The other route - "we can better serve the common good by putting a branch in multiple locations" - shucks, who would try that?!?

x<]:o){
I've got no problem with the internal team conflict route. It really *is* a great source of drama (witness New vs. Mighty Avengers).The problem is, this seems like poorly-defined internal conflict. No one reading the books seems to know why they split apart, or why the split fell along the lines it did. Hopefully tomorrow's All-Stars will clear that up. I plan to give it a good flip-thru to see.
I haven't been reading the books since Johns left, so I'm curious: Why did the JSA split into two groups? Was it the standard Outsiders/Cry For Justice rationale: "You're not proactive enough, so we're striking out on our own," or is there a different (and probably better) reason?

No, you pretty much nailed it.

I thought the story started out well, when it was mostly Wildcat and Magog going at it. But the whole "we should just split into two teams" declaration came out of left field (within the story at least). Having read the All-Stars preview, I'll probably use this as jumping-off point for both books.
I flipped through JSA All-Stars in the store today. The three things I was able to glean through a quick glance:

1) During a press conference, Magog mentions the group *hasn't* split up -- it's just two branches of the same team, or something like that.

2) There's a villain somehow related to the original Star-Spangled Kid, Sylvester Pemberton -- and since it seems like the Strike Force is involved, it might be the same relative who was introduced with the Strike Force in the 70s All-Star Comics run.

3) Boy, Power Girl's costume must be made of tissue paper. It sure ripped a lot. Williams seems to have more control over his art than he did during his Flash run, but I'm less impressed with what he's controlling it to do.

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