JSA All-Stars 17 and 18

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JSA All-Stars #17
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams III

This book and the main JSA book really could have benefited from having those boxes explaining each character that shows up like they have in Legion books. It is very helpful and would bring in new readers. That being said, story-wise I enjoyed this issue as a man named “The Prince”shows up claiming he comes from an alternate timeline where he is a member of the Justice Society and no one believes him but the last panel makes it look like he is telling the truth. I can’t say I enjoyed the art of Williams III here which is still too cartoony for my tastes and for this title.

jsa_all-stars_vol_1_18JSA All-Stars #18
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams III

This is the final issue of JSA All-Stars in which the Prince is revealed to be extremely powerful and almost destroys the world before being defeated by Roxy. Who luckily survives! But other than that it wasn’t really that great of an ending and I imagine it was rushed due to a surprise that the series was ending. I have to say that Sturges created some great characters in this run and I hope to see them elsewhere in the DCU.

Justice Society 50-54

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Justice Society of America #50
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick, Howard Chaykin, George Perez, Freddie Williams II, and Scott Koblish

So Martha Kent designed the Superman costume? I am pretty sure that flys in the face of continuity. Also I am pretty sure Alan Scott was in retirement when Hal got the ring right? Does DC not have editors? That being said it is always cool to see how the modern heroes knew about the Justice Society growing up which is what the first part of this anniversary issue focuses on. The secon story has something to do with Per Degaton traveling between universes. The third is the JSA vs. the House on Un-American Activities in the fifties being retold, and then finally the modern day JSA sets up shop in Monument Point just as Jay Garrick is sworn in as mayor. I really liked how Guggenheim threaded all of these stories together and it all lead up to certain events in the modern story. This issue mattered and that is so important in serial storytelling.

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Justice Society of America #51
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick

At one point in this issue it says Jay Garrick is the first superhero to be elected to office. That is not true I know at least Green Arrow became mayor of Star City but maybe the person didn’t know. Anyways Lightning makes it out of the after life okay and alive and there is a touching moment between her and Doctor Fate. Also, Jay Garrick kicks into gear as the Mayor of Monument Point and we get hints that there is a strange history behind the city that I am excited to find out about. Derenick draws the shit out of this book and does a wonderful job. I sometimes feel his facial expressinos always seem menacing though when the story doesn’t call for it.


Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_52Justice Society of America #52

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick

This was another good issue. Mr. Terrific finds out the man who took away his intelligence is a deranged original Mr. Terrific fan kind of like the same guys who complain whenever a hero is replaced meanwhile the JSA and the Challengers of the Unknown go deep underground Monument Point to learn about its ancient mysteries. I enjoyed it.

 

 


Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_53Justice Society of America #53

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Jerry Ordway

Wow Jerry Ordway sure is a breath of fresh air. Why can’t he be the book’s regular artist? He is perfect for the JSA and while I have liked what Derenick has done lately he really only draws menacing facial expressions even on the good guys. This was a fun issue where the JSA accidentally release a God who draws his power from metahumans. I can’t believe this is the penultimate issue of this series though.

 

Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_54Justice Society of America #54
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Jerry Ordway

 

Damn…just damn. This was clearly not Guggenheim’s plan to have a rushed ending to this arc and have Alan Scott sacrifice his life so quickly and without much fanfare. The fact of the matter is that the true JSA Villain is Dan fucking Didio who has no respect for the DC Universe and has publicly complained about the JSA “being old” in interviews. He is responsible for the awful New 52 and I am so glad the real JSA will be coming back soon. I wonder how much will remain in continuity but I have to say Guggenheim’s run could have been great but it was cut off too soon.

Roxy Forever

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JSA All-Stars #16
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

 

Um I loved this issue! Roxy has quickly become my favorite thing to come out of this book – well tied with Anna Fortune and I was worried about what would happen to her with this book ending. Well sure enough we flash forward to the 852rd century and she is still around helping Hourman Matthew Tyler out. Awesome! There were a lot of great moments here. The art still bugs me sometimes though.

All-Stars 14 and 15

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JSA All-Stars #14
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

 

I am really falling in love with the character of Anna Fortune! I can’t wait to learn more about her. It was great to see the Robot Hourman – Matthew Tyler – again! I loved him in JSA and I really miss him. What a great character. This storyline already has grabbed my interest.

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JSA All-Stars #15
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

 

I am not sure what that ending implied? But I suppose it’s important that she says “Weird Skin”. Still enjoying this arc so far and the Puzzlemen are quite – well – literal.

Bones

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JSA All-Stars #13
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Howard Porter

 

This was a crazy goofy end to this arc as everything gets set right – the clones are real girls who have been altered to look like Cyclone by nanites and all get set back except well, Cyclone has the wrong bones…weird. Power Girl decides not tell her. It was all well and good and fun nothing really else to say about it.

Cylone Clones

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JSA All-Stars #12
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Howard Porter

 

Maxine is powerless and finds herself walking into a still powered version of herself in her dorm room – and they don’t know who the real Cyclone is. I have no idea what is going on here but it was an amusing issue especially if you are fan of Cyclone like I am. Not much else to say about it.

False Infinitors

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JSA All-Stars #11
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

Meh Sturges’s writing is still good but I am annoyed with Williams’s art again. Why draw Huntress into the group shot of Infinity Inc when she doesn’t fucking exist in modern continuity?! Does this book not have an editor? That kind of stuff really annoys me because I am a fan and I can get it straight why can’t the professionals. Plus I am not a huge fan of Williams’s art to begin with. The relationship between Atom Smasher and Anna Fortune as well as King Chimera and Cyclone are really great though and I am still enjoying the story if not the art. The back-up was much better how adorable is it that Icicle and Tigress had a baby together!

The Dark Side Of The Moon

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Justice Society of America #43
Written by James Robinson
Art by Jesus Merino

 

This epilogue to the JLA/JSA crossover was pretty damn amazing for a filler epilogue. It is basically a meeting between Obsidian and Alan Scott as they discuss the new world the Statheart is building on the darkside of the moon and how it has become a haven for magical beings of the DC Universe. We get so many obscure name-drops here and one thing I love about Robinson is how he not only brings in obscure old silver age characters but also modern ones too. He respects the entire DC Universe and not just pre-1984 characters like most of the DCU writers now-and-days. Heck we even learn the Monolith is on the moon now. The moments between Alan and Obsidian are great – I loved how Alan asked about Todd’s boyfriend and how happy he is they are still together. I finally understand why Jade and Obsidian can not be near each other and we learn about possible consequences of it – I love Merino’s huge spreads showing these possible events. This city on the moon will be interesting to explore in the future.

Blood Aflame With The Light Of The Sun

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JSA All-Stars #10
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

 

The main story was okay as it was really just the battle with these Paradoran Gods with some fun lines like “My blood is aflame with the Light of the Sun” haha. But other then that I feel like the plot really isn’t moving forward. I certainly don’t believe Power Girl is in any bit of trouble as the cliffhanger tried to make it seem. The back-up was good as usual.

Much Better Than The Lightning Saga

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Justice League of America #48
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Co-Feature by Robinson
Art by Pow Rodrix

 

This is the conclusion of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here and continued here, here, and here. I can’t say I was disappointed with the end of this per say because it was such an epic story. The perfect type of no-holds-barred story that should make an JLA/JSA crossover (And a hell of a lot better then the freaking Lightning Saga) but it left me a little confused as to how Jade fixed everything and why Obsidian and Jade can’t be near eachother anymore. But anyways, I loved every page and loved the moment where the League comes together and realizes they truly are the Justice League now and nothing can stop them. Jesse Quick officially joins here but Jade does not. I suppose she will  next issue. And the back-up was okay too.

The Greatest Green Lantern Working With The League Again

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Justice Society of America #42
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

This is part 4 of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here and continued here and here. Action-packed it wasn’t filled with as much plot and great moments as the previous parts – I found that to be a little disappointing but Robinson is still whipping up a fun-filled adventure here and I can’t wait to see how it concludes. Kyle would never be so eager to kill Alan Scott- even if the Guardians thought it was for the best.

Blasts From The Past

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JSA All-Stars #9
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

 

So the redhead from last issue was Brainwave from Infinity, Inc. I did not see that coming. This book is fantastic now I hope Sturges stays with it. I am afraid with his writing partner Willingham leaving the main JSA book Sturges won’t stay on this book long but I could be wrong. I love all the shout out to Infinity Inc, as it is a great use of continuity even though I have never read that original series. The romance between King Chimera and Cyclone is really interesting and I would like to see it continue to bloom and Anna Fortune is still a kick ass new character. The back-up continues to entertain as well.

Order And Chaos

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Justice League of America #47
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Co-Feature by Robinson
Art by Pow Rodix

 

This is part 3 of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here and continued here. Oh hell ya Kyle Rayner shows up here! It is great to see him in a JLA book again and they even use his old Green Lantern Logo text! That brought joy to my fanboy heart. As for the entire issue, I felt like the plot didn’t move as quick as it could have and we are at a kind of stand still. I wonder why Doctor Fate is the one holding the JSAers hostage and not the starheart? The narraration boxes also got kind of annoying in this issue where they haven’t bothered me the last few. Maybe Robinson is overdoing them a bit. This story is still as epic and fun as a JLA book should be though and I can’t wait for the next chapter. The back-up actually ties into the main story as now that Red Tornado has been remade nearly indestructibel by Cyborg, he is effected by the starheart. (I mean he is an elemental of the Wind – of course he would be effected, I am surprised I didn’t think of that before)

Mystery in Parador

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JSA All-Stars #8
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

Our heroes travel to fictional Parador to figure out why the one-time normal gang that the Infinitors used to fight has now become god-worshipping cultists. I liked all the reference to the days of Infinity Inc as it is an era that is rarely talked about. Hourman, Atom Smasher, and Power Girl were all members of that team and I completely forgot that. King Chimera apparently lost a lover once and that makes sense especially in the context of last issue where he cared so much about how Judomaster felt about Damage’s death. Williams’s art did not bother me at all this issue and I think it really worked for the first time since this series began. I guess he just needed to improve. Ann Fortune is still interesting as hell – she is apparently from the past somehow. In the back-up the villain behind everything seems to be the Professor’s son. Hmm.

Rest In Peace Damage

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JSA All-Stars #7
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams II
Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

 

The main story focuses on Judomaster – a character who really hasn’t had a lot of focus. She is dealing with the death of Damage during Blackest Night – I liked it although it didn’t seem to be that different from the letter sent from beyond the grave stories told in comics past. It was great to see former Titans at Damage’s funeral – because DC seems to have forgotten that Damage was also a Titans at one point. I loved seeing Argent too! The Liberty Belle and Hourman back-up goes along with its Indiana Jones like themes – pretty good stuff.

The Defeat of Johnny Sorrow

allstars6JSA All-Stars #6
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

 

The first arc of this series comes to an end with this issue and I must say looking back on it, I think it was a very cool arc. Albeit, I am not sure how Johnny Sorrow was defeated? What exactly did King Chimera do to him? That confused me. I liked that it was revealed that Sorrow was posing as Atom Smasher so at least now we don’t have that weird romance between Stargirl and Atom Smasher but it created the drama that Atom Smasher knows that Stargirl fell in love with a false version of him. Next issue will deal with the death of Damage during Blackest Night – I hope he gets a good send-off. Also, is Ann Fortune joining the team? I sure hope so. I actually rather enjoyed the Liberty Belle and Hourman back-up this issue as they continue their quest with Tigress and Icicle and have an indiana Jones-like adventure. We even learn that Hourman and Liberty Belle are planning on trying to have a baby. I like that he wants to get off Miraclo completely before they conceive. Good stuff.

Who is Anna Fortune?

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JSA All-Stars #5
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

 

I think this was the best issue of this book to date. Sturges really ups the ante with the character interactions and crazy fun concepts. I love that this Anna Fortune – whoever she is – has spells contained in little capsules! The budding romance between Cyclone and King Chimera, as well as Stargirl and Atom Smasher (Although she is much younger then him it’s legal in my state), and a hint of something between Sand and Power Girl. The subtle realms are so strange and exciting I wonder what exactly is going on there. Good issue. The back-up with Liberty Belle and Hourman has them split into boy and girl teams with Icicle and Tigress which made for some amusing banter. I liked it a lot even though I have kind of forgotten what happened before this issue.