Secret Six 32 – 36

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Secret Six (Volume 3) #32
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

The Secret Six travel to hell in a fantastic issue. I forgot how much I missed reading this book with it’s hilarious but dark characters and it’s beautiful artwork. I loved how Bane seemed shock that he might be damned to hell because he considers himself to be good. I loved that Ragdoll doesn’t want to return to earth because he is going “sane.” I loved it all.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #33secretsix33
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Catman goes to make sure that his father is in hell where he deserves to be only to find that his mother is in hell too – she eats his father every day as a lioness to torture him. Etrigan tells Catman this is heaven for his mother. I guess his Dad got what he deserved! That is some dark humor there and I love it. We even get to see the personal hells of all of the Secret Six. Some were sad like Bane’s but then Gail Simone – the master 0f writing comedic relief – shows King Shark’s hell as a vegetarian restaurant. Anyways, Lady Blaze tells Scandal her other girlfriend’s soul will soon belong to her in hell. I can’t remember who Scandal’s other girlfriend was.

secretsix34Secret Six (Volume 3) #34
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

Did Jeanette quote Julian of Norwhich in this issue? Scandal sure did lie to her girlfriend in this issue didn’t she? Anyways, this was a heartwarming issue in a dark heartwarming disturbing way only the Secret Six can bring. Bane goes on a date and gets in a fight. Jeanette seems to have decided to turn good? And it was just a lot of fun.

 

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #35secretsix35
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Bane decides to lead the team in another assault Batman after realizing that he never got to really break the Batman like he wanted to back in the day. They start by drafting the Penguin to join the team. I enjoy the way Simone writes Penguin…it reminds me of Batman Returns a bit. And that is my favorite Batman movie. This was a fantastic issue.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #36 secretsix36
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

This is the final issue of a great series that I will miss. Gail Simone is a creative genius. You writes complex characters who are so well-rounded it is like they are real people. She is truly a gem in the comic book world. Also, she has a scene in this where they feed a man to King Shark on a fishing hook. So she is hilarious too. The part where Scandal decides she wants to marry both Knockout and Liana was a tad strange though but hey these are crazy people this book is about. The only problem I had was it is really hard to believe all of those supeheroes would show up to fight the Secret Six like they are Darkseid or something. But they sure got their asses handed to them and this villain team went out in a blaze of glory. What a fitting finale to an amazing series!

 

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.

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.

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_57

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.

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_59

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

 

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_60

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!

Finally The Whole Roster

jsa46

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 Dark Side Of The Moon

jsa43

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

jla48

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

jla47

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)

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.

Shield10

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.

Happy Ending

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Justice Society of America #40
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Jesus Merino

 

The timeline is restored in this uplifitng issue. Willingham has Mr. Terrific warn the team of the coming attack by the fourth Reich and Obsidian is restored. I loved the moment where he jokes that he is “cured” of being gay to his Dad and the reaction on his Dad’s face – priceless! I gotta hand it to Merino for that use of facial expressions. I like how everything was explained and now the timeline has Obsidian involved in fight with Mordru and we are finally brought to the present time and the start of the JLA/JSA crossover. This was great stuff and I hope Willingham returns as writer after the crossover because his run has been excellent so far. I loved the moment where Mr. Terrific gives the little girl the college fund! And it looks like he is now dating her mom.

Attack Of The Starheart

jla45

Justice League of America #45
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

I am sorry but anyone who hates on this book should be beaten. This is a hundred times better then Meltzer or McDuffie’s runs. Robinson utilizes the DC Universe to the fullest and brings in characters and concepts you would never expect. I love it! Dick is the perfect leader for the League and I love Starman and Congorilla and Donna’s happiness. I wonder how long before Jade realizes that Batman isn’t Bruce? She doesn’t know yet right? Robinson does an excellent job of explaining the history of the starheart…although I never knew that it was sentient I do not think. This could be very interesting. I like how he said the Guardians bottled up Black Energy with Green to create the starheart so that is why Obsidian and Jade have different powers. Supergirl’s fight with Power Girl was probably not needed…it seems like they are always fighting and I do not know that I necessarily want her on the team, but I don’t dislike the idea of her joining either. This was great stuff and I can not wait to see where it goes next. Oh and Bagley’s art is pretty great here too.

The Jade Meteor

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Justice League of America #44
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

I still think it is mega-strange that they changed the line up after two issues. That is annoying but I do like the current line up and look forward to seeing Jade, Jesse Quick, and Supergirl join the team. Starman’s new look is hot and awesome! Much better then the long hair and trench coat thing he had going. It is great to see Donna Troy all happy. She needed this and I hope she stays in the League for a long time to come. I didn’t expect the meteorite to contain Jade considering she just was on Oa with Kyle how did she end up trapped in a meteorite? I guess we shall see. Robinson’s run continues to impress me.

Future

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Justice Society of America #37
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Jesus Merino

 

The JSA versus the fourth Reich once again in this issue. Seriously this book is just as good as it was under Johns if not better. I love Merino’s art and Willingham’s characterization. The idea of the Fourth Reich is such a comic bookey concept you can’t help but love it – all of these old Archie Comic villains being brought to life is cool too. The Shadow of War is a particularly cool looking villain. I am not sure where this is all going, I am sure that this future can not come to past. It was definitely cool to see a grown up Jaime Reyes though.

I Am Happy For Donna

jla43

Justice League of America #43
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

Not really sure why DC had certain members like Starfire and Mon-El join just to leave one or two issues later…kind’ve bad planning on their part but oh well I am enjoying Robinson’s run so far and this is no different. I loved to see Donna and Congorilla feeling so happy to be on the League! It’s refreshing to see someone be excited about it for a change. Donna needed to find her place somewhere and I like that Robinson is giving it to her. Please keep her around for a while. Did Donna always have a lasso though? I will have to look that up. I love that Starman is staying in the book and I think this cast really works so far. There was a lot of action and characterization – in fact really the perfect balance for the league. The narration boxes are utilized much better then Meltzer ever did and hey at least everyone has code names. There were some minor continuity troubles – this takes place after Blackest Night yet Green Arrow acts like J’onn and Aquaman are still dead. Not to mention Black Canary should have been in that flashback scene as well but those are just minor complaints in what was an enjoyable issue.