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.

Justice League of America 55-60

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Justice League of America #55
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

This James Robinson Justice League was so fantastic. It really was totally underrated. Robinson is a writer who understands that the DC Universe is so rich with diversity of characters. Anything CAN happen in the DCU and Robinson and really knows how to play with its toys. I also loved how odd this group of Justice Leaguers was at the time. This issue is actually part of a wider crossover but Robinson does what any good writer should do and incorporate the crossover into the ongoing story of the book without a hitch. It was cool to see Dick Grayson Batman’s space suit too.

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Justice League of America #56
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

Congorilla calls in the Justice League Reserves which I didn’t even realize existed but I am sure glad they do because Zauriel is a great character to put against Eclipso. Robinson is brilliant with his use of DC characters. Even Manitou Dawn got a name drop! He joined the League back when I first started reading comics as a kid and has been barely seen since! I did find it odd that the Shade is aware that two heroes teaming up is called The Brave and the Bold. How would he know that in-universe? What does the media in the DCU say that?  The issue ends with Obsidian showing up as the Big bad.

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Justice League of America #57
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

Robinson’s use of Theology in this DCU is fascinating to me. Earth as the Conduit for God’s love for the Universe. Theology in the DCU would be an interesting topic for a paper don’t you think? Anyways, The Spectre shows up now (Robinson is brilliant I can’t say that enough) to fight Eclipso and Eclipso absorbs Spectre’s power. His whole plan with this is to kill God. That is the ultimate villainous plot is it not?

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Justice League of America #58
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere and Miguel Sepulveda

Jesse Quick makes mention here that she is no faster than Donna or Batman now that she has lost her link to the speed force. Does Jesse Quick think that Batman has super speed powers? Because Donna does have superhuman speed so why is she saying that like Batman and Donna are equal in speed. I hate to sound like a broken record but Robinson’s knowledge of DCU obscurity is great and he uses that to a great advantage in the story. All of the Leaguer’s histories are mentioned in this arc so far and this time we get a look at Donna Troy’s past which is quite interesting. But I sure hope Eclipso did not just kill Donna at the end. I like Sampere’s art here.

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Justice League of America #59
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere

The Justice League defeats Eclipso in this issue and all returns to normal, but there is a tease that the League will be breaking up next issue (which is the last issue of this series) after the Atom expresses how impressed he is with this new ver

 

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Justice League of America #60
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere

This is the final Justice League issue before the New 52. Sad because James Robinson made this comic good for the first time since I can really remember. Certainly specifically this volume of the comic was pretty awful till he showed up. I look forward to reading more Justice League Comics during the Rebirth of the DCU. The beginning of this issue is a quick summary of an arc he probably had planned for the book where all the robots in the DCU get corrupted. How cool would that have been as a full arc! Robinson has so many obscure Robots name dropped. Instead he fast forwards through that and has the team meeting and talking about why each one wants to bow out of the League. Donna wants to discover who she is again now that her rage is gone, Supergirl wants to do the same after dealing with New Krypton, Jade wants to enjoy her second chance at life outside of the superhero costume, Jesse Quick is pregnant, Congorilla wants to become a hero for Africa, Starman is nursing a broken arm,  Batman thinks he will be too busy with Batman Incorporated,   They look back on an untold story (has to be another arc Robinson had planned, this guy is great!) about a war between Saturn and Thanagar and an untold story in Gemworld. Donna makes a comment at the end she wants the world to forget her which is ironic because I think at the beginning of the New 52 they had forgotten her. This was a very bittersweet ending to Robinson’s run and I love that we get a taste of what he would have done with this group if the book wasn’t ending.

 

 

Settling In Monument Point

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Justice Society of America #49
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Scott Kolins

 

I was a tad dissapointed with the conclusion of this Supertown arc. We new that Jay Garrick was going to the mayor of Monument Point from the beginning/ There real only surprise here was Alan Scott’s new costume (Which I like by the way) and the return of some of the other JSA members. We still don’t know anything about the new characters like Red Beetle but she acts like an old friend when she addresses the JSA. I guess I just want to know who is a part of the team now and who is not.

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!

Gathering Shadow

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Justice League of America #54
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

 

This was a fantastic issue as Eclipso gathers shadow-based characters for some kind of plan. It even goes back and looks at the history of Eclipso which even I needed some refreshing on. Once again Robinson really makes the DC Universe seem like a vast wonderland as he pulls characters from its history – both obscure and famous. There were some more shadow villains I could think of – such as Shadow-of-War but hey he picked the ones he did for a reason I am sure. Booth’s art is going to take some getting used to as some parts of this issue seemed too much like Ed Benes (That is not a good thing) and the beginning two pages make no sense in terms of who was in the League at the same time I mean why are Vibe and Red Arrow shown to be in the team together at the same time!

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!

This Arc

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Justice League of America #52
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

At this point I can probably say that I like this arc a lot less then the previous epic one as I really don’t care for Dark Supergirl or the Crime Syndicate all that much. It’s not a bad issue at all though and it is certainly much better then anything this book had pre-Robinson.

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!

Earths

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Justice League of America #50
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

I liked this issue as it begins the new Crime Syndicate arc. Normally I would be annoyed to see another Crime Syndicate story but I would like to see them up against the new League. I think it’s ashame that Robinson thought it was necessary to have them destroy the Tangent universe of Earth-9…but we don’t know if it will be completely destroyed yet. One thing that annoyed the crap out of me that put me in a bad mood while reading it is that Alexander Luthor is NOT FROM THE ANTI-MATTER EARTH! He is from the long-dead Pre-Crisis Earth-3, so why does the Crime Syndicate act like they know him and why would he want to have their world destroyed after his death???? I sure hope this isn’t a huge continuity mistake and Robinson will explain it. Otherwise, still loving Robinson’s run and the new League.

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.

Characters

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Justice League of America #49
Written by James Robinson
Art by Pow Rodrix and Robson Rocha

 

This was a brilliant interlude that really takes a look at the characters of Donna Troy and Jade in particular. Robinson shows he knows their past and gets how they tick but also how he is going to move them forward. I love how he brings in old continuity like the Bogeyman but does it in a way that makes sense and natural. Even in the one panel scenes we get of some of the other Leaguers he demonstrates how much he gets those characters. This is awesome writing. The art was okay…Bagley is missed though.

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.