Current Reviews


JSA #64

Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2004
By: Ray Tate

"Night Terrors"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jerry Ordway(p), Prentis Rollins(i), Hi-Fi(c)
Publisher: DC

Once again, let me say right up front that I did not read JSA. I do not believe in self-abuse. Therefore, I will not read a book by Geoff Johns whose work causes brain hemorrhages. This review judges only the artwork.

I am sorry to say that this issue of JSA does not represent Jerry Ordway's best. To be fair I do not believe that this is necessarily Ordway's fault. Rather his artwork has been ruined by either Prentis Rollins--who really should have been a good match--or the mysterious McKenna listed on the cover.

Inker Wayne Faucher and Jerry Ordway made the perfect pair, and yes, the artwork's descent into eye-assault is evidenced blatantly by Power Girl's cantaloupes. What the hell is wrong with DC? The only continuity they're willing to protect religiously besides Babs Gordon's wheelchair is Power Girl's Post-Crisis D-Cups. Here's a newsflash DC. Nobody got into reading super-hero comic books because of a female hero's breasts or buttocks.

Last issue, each of Power Girl's breasts were half the size of her head. I measured them. This issue each breast is in every scene, mind you, the exact same size of her head. Somebody needs to be taken out and shot for this.

The difference in the artwork cannot only be seen in Power Girl's breasts but also in her general form. The detail and care seen last issue is not present this issue. The texture of her hair is missing. The haircut looks in fact different from the haircut she had last issue. A comparison of her shoulder reveals a much rounder, fuller shape last issue than this issue which is jagged for some reason.

Overall, the inker or whoever looks to have smoothed out Jerry Ordway's linework--for which he is known and his style is based. Ordway's extensive linework give his work a unique tactile illusion. Something really smells in JSA, and I just don't know whom to blame. I have never seen such a lack of detail before in Ordway's work. This artist thrives on detail.

The Fury's hair in the previous issue was nothing short of long and flowing as it should be. You see art is more than just a visual representation of words. It goes deeper than words. It is about symbolism and symmetry. Fury's golden hair was meant to represent a golden flame trailing behind her. There's no gold here, nor silver, nor bronze.

The black highlights on Hawkgirl's costume go missing for half of the scenes in which she partakes. This acts two-fold. One, her breasts look larger because the missing blacks as seen last issue de-emphasized them, and two, it brings her down to earth. She just looks like some big-breasted broad in a costume she bought on the cheap. The black highlights return only when she removes her mask. Coincidence? Or a purposeful attempt to remove the icon's grandeur? Ah, says you, Ray's off his nut again, but take a look at exhibit B. Hawkgirl's wings looked like nicely detailed, feathery wings in the previous issue. In this issue they appear to be something bought from the costume shop's irregular department and made in China not Thanagar. Jerry Ordway can draw wings better than this. He has had loads of experience when detailing the earth-two Hawks' wings. There's that word again. Detail. Missing in action.

Think the guys come out any better? Think again. Both Jay and Wildcat have no pupils. Both heroes had eyes in the last issue. This issue, it appears as though some serial killer from a giallo went and scooped them out. Brainwave's crtoch last issue was thankfully darkened and de-emphasized. This issue he seems mildly excited about meeting Sandman. The Jack Kirby Sandman's belt changes panel to panel, and the inking of the belt in one panel is so warped that it appears as though Sandman grows the paunch of Johnny Weismuller. Brute incidentally is not green. At least I can blame Hi-Fi for that one.

Ordway isn't entirely out of the book, but almost every scene is tainted in some way. Right on the first page. What the hell happened to Hawkgirl's knee? It appears as if it's swollen from a previous blunt trauma injury. It's so blatantly out of proportion with her other leg and her other knee. The big battle between Power Girl and the molten dude becomes undermined because somebody wanted to make damn sure that her breasts ballooned and her back be uber-curved to jut out her buttocks like apples agitated by acromegaly. To add insult to injury, "ze leetle window" in Power Girl's costume is burned open to expose even more flesh! This is a nauseating defilement of Power Girl when contrasted by her appearance in the last issue of JSA where Jerry Ordway honored the earth-two character through an illustration of she as a classic beauty posed in a natural setting.

The final issue of JSA I hope to buy is a horrible disappointment. I bought this issue and the last solely for Jerry Ordway's artwork, and something mars the very purpose of purchase. Perhaps it's McKenna. Perhaps, it's Prentis Rolins. Maybe the art editor's to blame, but somebody took Jerry Ordway's undoubtedly beautiful pencils and turned them into trash.

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