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Justice Society of America #21

Posted: Friday, December 5, 2008
By: Erik Norris

Geoff Johns, Alex Ross
Dale Eaglesham, Jerry Ordway
DC Comics
I thought I had escaped the grasp of Justice Society of America. I was able to enter my local comic shop and confidently leave the JSA: Kingdom Come specials on the shelf, knowing full well they wouldnít really move forward the overarching plot. Hell, the main series canít even accomplish that task. So here we are, the week a new issue of JSA hits shelves, one thatís part of the monthly on-going, and I canít stop myself from picking it up. Itís like a festering beast inside me, whispering in my ear that it has to be good, it has Geoff Johnsí name on the cover. Then this little demon in my ear calls me a bitch, tells me three dollars is nothing, I give in, and Erik leaves the shop with a lighter wallet than he entered.

Then I read the book. Damnit, I was duped again! I really got to stop listening to that little guy in my ear. Or maybe I just need to stop being a consumer whore. Probably more the latter than the former, but the moral of this story is that Justice Society of America #21 is not a comic Iím praising from the rooftops. In fact, a whole lot of nothing worthwhile continues to happen in this spiritual sequel to Kingdom Come which is currently hijacking my beloved Justice Society of America.

Issue #21 picks up following the events of the Geoff Johnsí penned Kingdom special, but even without reading that one-shot this weekís issue was able to fill in the plot gaps for readers. Apparently Gog is demanding the people of Earth bow on their knees and worship him, even the members of the Society. Of course, this act rocks the JSA off their high-horse and makes Gog very angry. A battle ensues and, wouldnít ya know it, Gog retracts his ďblessingsĒ from the group. So to keep with the cynical tone of this review, over the course of sixteen issues thus far (13 monthlies, 3 specials) Gog has turned out to be nothing more than the standard, cookie-cutter villain who needs to be taken down. I was really hoping for a little more playing in the sandbox of religious beliefs, the right/wrong aspect of the JSA allowing Gog to ďsaveĒ the world, and the true meaning of ďjustice.Ē But thatís all been easily sidestepped in exchange for the standard fisticuffs.

Man, if you canít tell, Iím upset this is what I spent so much money on. And itís no oneís fault but my own, but this storyline could have been epic. But instead I dropped a good chunk of money on a story that does a better job sullying Kingdom Come than honoring it.

And much like the plot of this issue, the art is all over the place. With both Dale Eaglesham and Jerry Ordway contributing pencil work, itís an artistic clash thatís pretty jarring. In this reviewerís eyes Dale Eaglesham is incredible, Jerry Ordway, not so much. Heís a great sequential storyteller, and a legend, but his art just isnít pleasing to me. So when Iím reading a comic with both Eaglesham and Ordway contributing to interior arts and constantly fearing when I turn the page I wonít find Eaglesham, thatís a problem. It should flow, not contrast.

Fortunately, next monthís issue #22 is the end of this Kingdome Come sequel and hopefully we can start seeing Justice Society of America return to itís former glory coming out of this mess. We know a storyline involving Black Adam and Isis is right around the corner -- some of Geoff Johnsí pet characters at DC -- so Iím sure JSA will be readable in the near future. Until then, do whatever you can to avoid the current issue, even if it means you biting the bullet and accepting a numbering gap in your long box.



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