Earth 2 Society #18 review

The Justice Society are doing a limbo dance after the Pandora Casket was opened. Something's happened to their reality, making everything and everyone but them vanish. The outlines of buildings have been appearing, one or two members hear a voice counting down to some kind of 'cohesion'...
... and Sandman shades are attacking. 

At its most basic, this issue isn't very different from Earth 2: Society #17; the plot beats are pretty much exactly the same until the end, at which point writer Dan Abnett shows his hand - the New 52 Justice Society are headed for their third home in five years. They started off on an alternate version of the main DC Earth, and when that was destroyed wound up on the planet where Brainiac staged his Convergence games. That world having also proven a magnet did planetary disasters, DC is now placing the team somewhere less apocalyptic. Publicity tells us that DC Rebirth is bringing back a more traditional version of the JSA and it seems that rather than culling the current cast, Abnett will be adapting them to fit their new home

And it's a home that looks to be set in a time before today...

Is that not the most gorgeous Metropolis? After two light-on-backgrounds issues, the superb art team of penciller Bruno Redondo, inker Juan Albarrān and colourist Rex Lokus revel in the opportunity to go big and bright and shiny. I love this Fifties-style Metropolis, in which dirigibles fill the air and real men wear hats. 

Abnett's pithy dialogue complements the powerfully direct work of the art team, with the heroes working together to solve the mystery of this un-world in which they find themselves. And then there's the final page in which a character familiar to longtime readers, if not the current JSA, shows up and does his best Arnie-in-Terminator impression. It's a fine cliffhanger to the ongoing tale, moving the mystery of what the heck's going on forward while telling us that old continuity elements are returning. 

I could see any JSA reader who hasn't been following the series jumping on board and enjoying this issue, Abnett is that good. Characters such as Huntress and Power Girl are totally on model while newer players such as Val-Zod and John Grayson are equally appealing. And the art is a dream, with such nicely observed moments as Power Girl walking in the air to greet Val-Zod. 

Lokus deserves a special nod for the way he lights the scenes, giving weight to a deliberately insubstantial world. 

The cover by Redondo and colourist Alejandro Sanchez is a clever idea, nicely executed - but how much better would it be with a nice Justice Society logo plonked atop it? Soon...


  1. Those are some nice Super family costumes.

    That's also a great Metropolis. Retro futuristic in all the right ways. I think the secret to getting a look for Superman and his setting right is to understand just how anachronistic to be. If you go too retro you run the risk of making it look like all Superman can stand for is nostalgia for any golden age of choice and can't be relevant to anything else. If you go too New Yorkish or realistic you blunt both setting and character. I love art deco aesthetics for superheroes but that's a preference, all you have to do is be good at whatever it is you're doing.

    1. Spot on, sir. I remember when a Brainiac virus or something made Metropolis a futuristic City of Tomorrow and found that rather exciting until it became clear they meant to keep it around. Happily, DC realised it was a bad idea and changed things back (and got rid of poor old Cir-El!)


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