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.

Action Comics 900-904

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Action Comics #900
Written by Paul Cornell, David Lindeloff, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer, Richard Donner, Derek  Hoffman
Art by Pete Woods, Jesus Marino, Ryan Sook, RB Silva, Gary Frank, Miguel Sepulveda, Matt Camp, and Brian Stelfreeze

This is the 900th issues of Action Comics and we get a special 96-page issue to celebrate. Some great things here. I loved that they actually mention Superboy’s tactile telekenisis power which has been ignored since the days of Young Justice it seems sometimes. Anyways, Lex Luthor is now a God and shows Superman some of the most emotional moments in the Man of Steel’s history, and then Lex finds out that Clark Kent is Superman finally! I love that Cornell has Superman confirming that the Kents made him who he is today. That is something that has been lost since Johns took over the Superman franchise and overemphasized Superman’s kryptonian heritage. The issue also shows how fundamentally wrong Lex is about Superman’s nature believing that he isn’t capable of human emotion which is the exact opposite because in many ways Superman is more “human” than Lex is. With all this look back at the death of Superman, would it have killed them to have the Matrix Supergirl/Linda Danvers involved instead of or in additon to Kara? That angers me but whatever. Anyways, Lex Luthor projects universal happiness well literally universally and we see even Death of the endless feel it. That was a genius moment from Cornell. Lex then learns that he can keep his new Godlike power and never kill Superman or do anything negative or he must give it up. Lex being the villain that he is chooses the second option and loses his memory of Clark Kent being Superman and the ending leads to what I don’t think looks that great called Reign of the Doomsdays. The rest of the book are smaller stories celebrating the 900th issue. Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, and David Goyer’s stories stood out. I loved Brian Stelfreeze’s final page art too.

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Action Comics #901
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Jesus Merino

This continues the Reign of the Doomdays arc which is stupid but Cornell shows he is a good writer even when given a stupid story. The Doomslayer is a clever creation too.  I wish there was just Jesus Merino on this issue though. It looks like The Eradicator may be dead.

 

 

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Action Comics #902
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Alex Gimenez

Wow! I was pleasantly surprised by this issue. Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, and Steel all work together and act like a real heroes. This is something that should happen on a regular basis and DC Comics but Paul Cornell really knocked it out of the park and had Superman not even want to have Doomsday die. I love that these are real heroes and I’m glad that they’re written that way.

 

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Action Comics #903
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez

This was a great issue with plenty of guest stars including the Justice League and the Teen Titans plus more I really enjoyed it and I was surprised by that. Paul Cornell is a good writer he knows how to create good suspense.

 

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Action Comics #904
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez and Ronan Cliquet

I’m very glad that DC is returning this book to its original numbering. This is the final issue before it relaunched under the new 52 Banner. It was a fantastic finale that it really showed Paul Cornell understands the character . I literally cheered out loud when Lois said Jonathan and Martha made Superman not Krypton. That was fantastic and it is the truth.

A Hell Ya Moment

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Justice Society of America #48
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Scott Kolins

 

And just when things couldn’t have got any worse for the JSA and Monument Point – the calvary arrives in the form of the All-Stars and other heroes! I suppose this is how the All-Stars will reintegrate with the main book (their own book is getting canceled) and it was a great moment – a definite hell ya moment and I can’t wait to see them kick Doctor Chaos’s ass!

Family Reunion

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #36
Written by Dan Didio and Joe Bennett
Art by Bennett

 

Okay so in interviews Giffen said he was taking over art but that doesn’t seem to be so. Dan Didio is supposed to be the co-publisher of DC Comics – how does this guy have this job if he can’t even keep an artist on his own book? And wow is Black Lightning a dick to Thunder in this. The dialogue is still pathetically bad here but at least we get a reason for Geo-Force’s madness and it was great to see Thunder and Grace again (Even if Bennett decided to have her be in a thong the whole issue!)

Loving This Book Again

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Justice Society of America #47
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Scott Kolins

 

I hope that this was just a fake-out and Mr. Terrific did not let Scythe out of the cell just to learn why his IQ is lowering – cause let me tell you – that makes him selfish and not heroic in the JSA-sense of the word at all. Anyways, I really hope Manhunter is joing the JSA! It was great to see her here and with the loss of her co-feature a move to Monument Point would suit her – I mean she is a legacy hero with the Golden Age ties after all. Doctor Chaos is a great adversary for the JSA so far and after the first couple of issues of Guggenheim’s run being downright awful – I am loving this book again.

Just Bring On The Eclipso

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Justice League of America #53
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

I was disappointed with the conclusion to this arc. I mean it was better then anything pre-Robinson but man was it not that great of an ending and Bagley…he must have known he was leaving when he drew this cause this was a weak issue on his part. That last splash page could have used some serious editing. Elasti-Woman is wearing the wrong costume and Damage is there – Damage is dead! Come on DC! I am looking forward to next month’s Rise of Eclipso story though!

Finally The Whole Roster

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Justice Society of America #46
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Mike Norton

 

After being annoyed at the first few issues of Guggenheim’s run, I am happy to say I enjoyed this issue a lot. I think because he actually included all of the current JSA as Obsidian and Mr. America finally show up. The cliffhanger is obviously not what it says it is. I highly doubt Lightning is dead, but I don’t know about the Mayor. Much improved.

The Rebirth of Dark Supergirl

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Justice League of America #51
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Robinson once again shows how much he understands and loves the DC Universe with the beginning of this issue. Instead of a random assortment of heroes trying to save Washington DC, we actually get an explanation for why each of the persons’ powers can help the situation. That is a rare feat in comics and I like the attention to detail! Meanwhile, the League is dealing with the threat of Omega Man – who is a bastard yet we don’t even know who he is yet and he has brought back Dark Supergirl. I miss Starman but this this is getting just as epic as the last arc! Great stuff!

Welcome To Monument Point

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Justice Society of America #44
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Scott Kolins

 

This issue begins Marc Guggenheim’s run on JSA, I liked his short run of Flash: Fastest Man Alive so I was looking forward to this. I am unsure how I feel about it yet. I find it kind of odd that Mr. America, Obsidian, and Doctor Mid-nite are all missing from the JSA roster as they fight this new terrorist in the city of Monument Point. I also think it’s kind of dumb that they aren’t just using a pre-existing unused DC city like Midway City or Vanity or all the others. I thought it was annoying that Jay Garrick called Barry Allen the “real” flash. But there are some good things about the issue, Kolins’s art fits the tone of the book wonderfully and I am glad that he is on board. The idea of the JSA running a city is interesting and Mr. Terrific losing his IQ slowly is another interesting development. I guess we will see where this goes.

Batman Confidential 47 – 49

 

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Batman Confidential #47
Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Tom Mandrake

 

Not the biggest Mandrake fan but I like the way he arranges the panels here. I also don’t buy Superman saying he doesn’t believe in occult stuff…um…he just said he was vulnerable to magic and he is fighting vampires and werewolves. How could he not believe?

batcon48Batman Confidential #48
Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Tom Mandrake

This issues concluded the vampire werewolf zombie arc and it was okay. Not much to say about it. Maybe I would have liked it all better if Mandrake didn’t draw it I don’t know.

 

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Batman Confidential #49
Written by James Patrick
Art by Steve Scott

 

This one issue story by a creative team I have never even heard of is the best damn Batman issue I have read in a long while!!!! Seriously DC who are these guys put them on a regular book! James Patrick’s story show’s Batman’s thoughts as he enters a crime scene examining everything. I have never read such a good use of Batman’s detective skills, Kudos! The art is fantastic and Steve Scott draws from a perspective where you really feel like you are with Batman searching this building for the killer…… really a surprisingly stellar issue!

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.

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.

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)

Batman Confidential 45 and 46

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Batman Confidential #45
Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Tom Mandrake

VanHook’s sequel to his Superman and Batman versus Vampire and Werewolves mini continues here and I liked this issue as it dealt with Louisiana Voodoo and all. It was great to see Bruce Wayne calling in Clark Kent to help out – a nice scene we don’t see too often. Swamp Thing cameos in one scene – I am surprised nobody caught that!

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Batman Confidential #46
Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Tom Mandrake

 

Doctor Fate arrives to help out Batman, Superman, and their vampire friend in this issue. I am not a big fan of Mandrake’s art but I think it works well for a horror story like this.

Mystical Victory

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #3
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Stephane Roux

 

Zatanna defeats Brother Night rather brilliantly by freeing the sould that empower him. I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly but we all know Brother Night will be back. I loved this issue as Dini continues to come up with clever ways for Zatanna to use her powers and I was glad John Zatara wasn’t under Brother Night’s control for too long. Fuseli is a great character and I hope he comes back before too long. I was hoping he would become Zatanna’s reluctant sidekick but it doesn’t look like that will happen. Good stuff.