Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Justice Society of America Annual #1 Review

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jerry Ordway

This issue is a prime example of what I think is wrong with DC Comics. Here we have what should be a relatively fun trip to an alternate Earth that will help explain or redefine Power Girl's role and origin in the DCU and it's written by one of the best writers in the business to boot.

Instead of an introduction to Earth-2, Power Girl's past, the Justice Society of Earth-2 and the new status quo post-Crisis (take your pick of Crisis's, but let's go with post-52 football toss for this one), we're treated to an uninspired and dark tail of Earth-2's Huntress, who we know nothing about and could care less about, that features an ending that just further muddies Power Girl's origin and whether or not she is even from Earth-2.

For example, did we need this tacked on marriage proposal subplot for the Huntress? I don't know her, her fiance or even the events that lead to this. I don't even know if this is Johns introducing new stories or if it's simply a recycled Silver Age plot.

This story represents everything wrong with DC and its unhealthy obsession with the Silver Age and their over-reliance on nostolgia to hook readers and sell books.
Continuing with the Huntress, isn't Earth-2 supposed to be a lighter, friendlier Earth? Why are we focusing on a brooding Huntress that wants to murder the Joker for throwing acid in the face of the man that proposed to her, who we later find out Huntress doesn't even love in the first place! It's so convuluted and none of it really serves any purpose to the Power Girl story either.

Despite these subplots still being well written on Johns part, I don't care about them and he has given me little to no reason to care either, especially in a post-Countdown DCU where I half expect at this point for Earth-2 to be destroyed or half these characters to be killed off by the end of the arc.

Even though I was enjoying the story, for the most part, that all came to a grinding halt when Johns introduced what is supposed to be the real Earth-2 Power Girl. Yes, to further complicate things even more than they already were and to make me question the point of this little trip to Earth-2 in the first place, Johns goes and introduces either the real Power Girl of Earth-2 or a cheap doppleganger to the story.

So, instead of getting a primer for Earth-2 whereby we are reintroduced to these long forgotten characters or getting to see Power Girl's origin or reactions to these events, we get a cheap "grim and gritty" story, which has Power Girl "kill" the Joker, robbing that little plot of any impact it could have had if Huntress had chosen to or not to kill him herself, and then multiple versions of the same character from different Earths running around with no reasons or explanations.

Verdict - Avoid It. While well written, from a technical standpoint, and featuring decent artwork, this story represents everything wrong with DC and its unhealthy obsession with the Silver Age and their over-reliance on nostolgia to hook readers and sell books and I refuse to recommend a story like this to anyone.

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