Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Justice Society of America #19 Review

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

Did anyone else have to flip back through their copy and check to see if pages were ripped out? With so many sudden and abrupt changes in the flow of the story, from flip flopping on 'we don't fight each other' moments to brawling on the next page to Power Girl asking for help from Earth-2's Mr Terrific on one page to just suddenly being back on our Earth, with the Earth-2 JSA in pursuit, several pages later, the whole issue felt like it was having a seizure, spasming from plot point to plot point with no real connecting plotpoints or proper scene changes.

And I'm not joking when I asked if anyone else had to check for missing pages. I literally flipped back on more than one occasion to see if my copy was out of order or if I had missing pages. It was that jarring.

Ignoring these moments and looking at each individual section on its own merits and this is another solid issue of JSA. However, these small moments of congruity do not make up for the schizophrenic story telling and lack of cohesion on the whole. Let's take a look at some the things I did like about this issue.

First up is Magog. David Reid (Ya, I had to look his name up, too) is a much more interesting character post death and rebirth than he was in the previous half a dozen or so that he's appeared in prior to this. His talks with Kingdom Come Superman helped sell this sudden introduction of Magog into the mix and I really like this change, on the whole. I loved how they were justifying him not being a bad guy now with his feeding of a monkey at breakfast. Villains don't feed monkeys! Classic.

Starman was great, as always. I was afraid with the return of his sanity, he'd fade into obscurity, but everything he says and the way he is reacting so negatively to having his sanity back has only served to add to my like of his character. I'll miss Sloppy Joe Wednesdays though.

Finally, a Black Adam cameo is always a good thing in my books. At first I thought it was Gog making the mystery lightning bolt shaped field of Isis "pointing" Adam towards Khandaq, but I don't think it is now. It seems like Adam was in the opposite direction of where Gog was currently, so I don't think the flowers were grown in that desert area by him. Maybe Faust? Someone else? Does Isis have some control over herself now and is trying to help Adam find her?

These weren't the only good parts of the issue, but they were the ones that stood out the most. My biggest disappointment was how quickly sides were drawn between the heroes and how quick they were to fight each other. After a solid opening of everyone getting along and some allusions to a potential future conflict, it was disappointing to see Johns just go for the quick, no build up and cliched super-hero fight.

Verdict - Check It. I'm still enjoying the Gog storyline, but this is the weakest issue of JSA in a while.

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