Monday, March 19, 2012

Justice Society of America: The Next Age (comics)

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Dale Eaglesham
Collects: Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #1-4

I've long had a habit of overlooking the Justice Society. It's been penned by Geoff Johns since the turn of the millennium, yet I've never cared enough to check it out. I suppose the concept just never hooked me, so I never bothered until this volume, collecting the first few issues of the relaunch in the wake of Infinite Crisis.

After having given it a fair shot, I don't think I'm likely to continue.

Don't get me wrong, it's not as though the book is terrible. It's fairly decent. I just don't think I'm going to get much out of it.

The book begins with what I assume is it's new mission statement; to turn the group into a true "society" while being something of a training ground for young superheroes. One of the new legacy heroes they invited turns up dead and from there it becomes a question of who did it and why. Amidst the investigation, families tied to legacy heroes are targeted for extermination. Naturally, the Justice Society needs to put a stop to it.

The B plot is that Wildcat discovers that he has a son. This son is a metahuman, able to turn into an actual wildcat in one of the biggest coincidences in fiction. This despite the fact that Wildcat himself is just a regular joe in a cat suit and neither he nor the mother have powers. It's kind of dumb; I guess Johns was struck with a sudden case of "why the hell not".

On the bright side, the new Starman is pretty hilarious. I think he's new anyways. I've certainly never seen him before.

The writing is fine, aside from the occasional stupid moment. It just didn't really click. Part of the problem could be with me; this book relies a bit on the whole "legacy" concept DC had a love affair with at the time, a concept I don't care for at all. I don't think that's it entirely, though.

Little of this comic stuck with me; I struggled to recall the events of the book and had to go back to it for this review. Not a great sign; even the worst books have scenes you remember after it's over. I mean, it's been five or six months since I read Batman: The Widening Gyre and I can still remember a fair amount of that one; even if the parts that stick out the most are the unfortunate "pee in his trunks, manhandles his girlfriend because he thought she was a robot" scenes that I kind of wish I never saw.

Oh, and fifteen dollars suggested retail price for a four issue trade is completely retarded; I expect crap like that more from Marvel.

The Score: 6.5 out of 10

It's perfectly serviceable, but ultimately forgettable. Starmans pretty cool though and Dale Eagleshams art is great as always. Still, it failed to suck me in. If you're a JSA fan this will probably be up your alley, but if you're a JSA agnostic this trade won't do much to convince you.

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