This is more like it. Over the course of ďThy Kingdom ComeĒ Justice Society of America has had its highs and lows. I consider issue #18 a high, mostly on the merits of my main man Hawkman, this monthís JSA spotlight.
I absolutely loved his initial appearance at the picnic scene in issue #2 of this latest re-launch. It came out of nowhere but was so completely bad-ass that I couldnít help nerd out about it. However, after that first appearance he has been waiting patiently on the sidelines for his next moment in the sun and it finally comes here in issue #18. The book starts off with a narration by Sir Hawks detailing his complex destiny and his brutal nature which dovetails readers right into the current conflict; while tailing Gog whose doing his best Jesus impression, the JSA comes across a band of rebels in the Congo terrorizing the locals.
Itís always bizarre to see DC heroes face-off with real world villains as we are so use to seeing them best someone that shoots beams of light out their fingertips. It always puts into perspective just how useless these heroes are because they never get rid of the true evils in the world. They just push back the super-villains and sit around until these same rogues strike again. But from reading issue #18 of Justice Society of America things would be completely different under the leadership of Hawkman.
He knows all to well the price of war and what must be donít to stop it once and for all. And he is probably one of the few ďsuper-heroesĒ willing to make that sacrifice in the name of a better tomorrow. And for bonus points, he goes about doing this by smacking rebels in the face with a spiked mace and taking machete hits to the arm like itís a bug bite.
Whatís also interesting are the solicitations for future issues of Justice Society of America because it looks like the team will be fracturing into two groups. With previous issues of the series I figured it was going to split into those who trust Gog, and those who donít. However, with issue #18, I think Gog is solely the catalyst for putting the ineffectiveness of the Justice Society into perspective. These heroes who think they are saving the world everyday look so small (figuratively and literally) compared to what Gog has already accomplished and I think Hawkman is the first to realize this and begin to take the next logical step. If evil is to be eliminated, real heroes have to make the decisions no one else is willing to make.
Justice Society of America #18 also does a fair job visiting all the subplots currently unfolding, as there are a lot of them. We visit in on Damage trying to bridge the nationality gap and make a move on Judomaster, Sandy getting the nightís sleep of his life, and Powergirl still struggling with her current predicament on Earth-2. And for those paying attention to the visual queues established early on between Lance Corporal, Gog, and Magog, the cliffhanger finally pays off on all that buildup. Itís nothing completely shocking, in fact itís something that was pretty much telegraphed from the start, but the look on Kingdom Come Supermanís face says it all as he knows shitís about to hit the fan.
Iím a constant flip-flopper when it comes to Justice Society of America these days. I go through spurts when I really love it, then the next month Iím kind of left wondering where this is all going. But if Justice Society of America #18 is any indication, and my hypothesis turns out to be correct, we can expect some exciting things in the coming months, itís just a matter of sticking out through this dragging story-arc. However, one thing is for certain, Justice Society of America is, and has been, the best super-hero team book on the market.
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