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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Memory Wipe

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Power Girl (Volume 2) #19
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Sami Basri

 

I liked that the JSA All-Stars actually believed Power Girl about Maxwell Lord. I mean she is their proven leader and they would have no reason to doubt her – I feel like a lot of writers would have went there though so I am glad Winick did not. It’s too bad even PeeGee forgets about Lord soon after. One thing that kind of bothered me is that Power Girl was a member of Justice League Europe and probably didn’t have many adventures with Fire, Ice, and the rest of Justice League America but I can buy that they had a few. Anyways, this was a really good issue as Winick has really made the whole Generation Lost plotline pretty epic and the surprise success of the brightest day line. We need to see Terra soon though.

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.

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.

The Epic Continues

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Justice Society of America #41
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

This is part 2 of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here. Part 2 of this epic was just as awesome as the first. Once again Robinson utilizes the DC Universe to the fullest by bringing in obscure characters and such who would have been effected by the starheart. This is a lot of fun and I am having a blast reading it. Bagley’s art is gorgous, it is definitely the best work he has done at DC. I liked how Robinson even had the all-stars appeared because it was beginning to look like the main group never checked up on the all-star group. And the little tidbits such as a meta-ranking scale Mr. Terrific refers to called the “Hoshi scale”. Probably named after Doctor Light. Brilliant. The only thing I thought was strange was the flirtation between Lightning and Mr. America. Isn’t Lightning underage? Weird. It was also great to see Miss Martian and I loved how scary she was in her white Martain form. I can’t wait for the next part!

Shield 9 and 10

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The Shield #9
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Michael Avon Oeming

The Shield teams up with the JSA in this issue as Baron Gestapo and new villain Dragonfly attack Happy Harbor. Having him team up with the JSA seems so obvious I am surprised I never thought about it. This was pretty good and it makes me sad the book is ending. I could see The Shield as a member of the JSA. The Fox gets his superhero name in the back-up but decides to give up being Tokyo’s hero only to find his girlfriend murdered. It was rushed but this back-up is still very strong, especially when compared to the previous Inferno back-up.

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The Shield #10
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Marco Rudy
Co-Feature by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Michael Avon Oeming

Baron Gestapo is defeated along with Dragonfly in the final issue of this series. It is too bad that the Mighty Crusaders isn’t going to be an ongoing because I think it would be more successful then these solo books. I hope the Shield sticks around in the DCU as it has been fun following his adventures. In the Fox back-up the Dragon’s Head is defeated and the mentor is revealed as a villain, it looks like the Fox will be returning to America after this – perhaps as a Mighty Crusader. This was a great back-up.

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.