Friday, 30 January 2009

Justice Society of America 23 review

Oh nasty Isis . . . really, she's back from the dead and getting her revenge on Felix Faust for his actions in the Black Adam mini series which followed 52.

Which I never read, as I'm not keen on the way he's been presented over the last few years as an anti-hero, when he's just a killer who tries to justify his rage by blaming everyone else. The resurrected Isis joins him in this attitude here, though she seems more confused that flat-out evil; she wants to cleanse the earth of evildoers but won't temper her judgement with mercy.

Her quest to consolidate her power leads to a fight between Adam and Billy Batson, the new wizard Shazam, at the Rock of Eternity, which leads to events I hope will return the Marvel family to their classic status quo. Old Billy, Captain Marvel Freddy and Black Mary Marvel just aren't working.

Still, at least Mary is a good girl again, courtesy of Final Crisis issue 6, a fortnight ago. Sadly, this issue seems to take place prior to that, meaning someone with Marvel powers in a black mini skirt shows up at the end of the issue, and I doubt it's Freddy. No crutch.

The rest of the issue is wonderfully refreshing after the lengthy Gog storyline. It's fantastic to see a meeting of the JSA inner circle over the Gog affair - and Stargirl holding her own with the veterans. Chatting about their stated aim to make better good guys, they assess the recent actions of their newer members, allowing the old guard some characterisation as we catch up with the young guns.

Co-authored by Geoff Johns and former Power of Shazam writer Jerry Ordway, this combines the 'day-in-the-life' issue with an action packed B-plot. It's a thoroughly satisfying, fun read, with lovely art by Ordway, inker Bob Wiacek and colour gang Hi-Fi. And a shout-out to Rob Leigh for particularly excellent title lettering on the, er, final page. (What is it with DC and final page titles and credits? Unless a book ends with a massive reveal, and the title reflects that, it's just stupid!)

You want another reason to give this book a try? Wildcat Jr's boxing shorts.

2 comments:

  1. The 'day-in-the-life' stuff I kinda liked. The B-Plot, not so much. I was afraid they'd turn Isis to the dark side, and I'm not thrilled about it. Not at all.

    I did read the Black Adam mini, but only for a hope of seeing Isis. Black Adam is a character I really don't care about. He grew on me when he was an anti-hero member of the JSA. As a whiny mass-murderer? Bleh.

    This wasn't one of my favorite issues, except for the glorious Ordway art (yum!). But it wasn't too horrible. Just don't care for the direction. And I don't recall Old Billy/Shazam talking like a 12-year old before. That was kinda odd...

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  2. I'm not good with Isis as a merciless biddy either - heck, she wears white - surely there's a rule? Mind, it didn't help poor Mary Marvel.

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