Hello, this is John K, one of the other guys at Von’s. Carroll recently gave me access to the site and while it was tempting to delete this blog out of spite, I decided to contribute with the reviews!
This week I’m going to give my two cents on Justice Society of America. This series is one of the latest revamps of old lines that DC has done, and this one is actually much better than expected. It’s only on its second issue but the plot seems really interesting already.
Some history of the comic first, so everyone knows what I’m talking about: The Justice Society of America hails from the Golden Age of Comics. It’s ranks comprised of the Sandman, Spectre, Jay Garrick (aka the Flash), Dr. Fate, Starman, and more. They occasionally had Golden Age Superman and Wonder woman in their ranks as well. The team would later serve in All-Star Squadron during WW2 before their line ended.
The JSA would return over the years as the protectors of Earth 2, an alternate reality for Earth which frequently crossed over with Earth 1. The JSA and JLA would team up with each other and they played a key role in the Crisis on Multiple Earths storyline. After Crisis on Infinite Earths (different, more drawn out storyline) DC retconned their history to be the old superheroes of earth. The series had a few short-lived series over the years, but DC finally hit gold when they released JSA in 1999. JSA gained popularity but after sagging sales they ended it in 2006 in order to restart it as Justice Society of America.
Justice Society starts off with the team reforming itself after Infinite Crisis. The team seems to have expanded its ranks a little, and a few new superheroes have joined. Now they must deal with the families of old members of the Society being murdered. As the new team rushes to deal with this threat with its roster made up of rookies, we see mysterious glimpses into the future.
The comic gives glimpses into the future, and seems to be tying in with Kingdom Come. In the comics there are various pictures taken from Kingdom Come, and characters keep referencing a coming trial. While this sounds like it would be too complicated to be pulled off, Geoff Johns has managed to do well in the two issues. This series has a lot of potential, and the art is excellent. Johns is also creating unique characters to expand on the Society, and old characters such as Damage and Liberty Belle are brought back.
The flaws with the series are that it is hard to make a reader care about heroes with extensive histories. Most of the heroes in the Society date back more than fifty years, and while there are interesting twists taken with them a few seem kind of dated. Other flaws would be that it seems to rely a bit too much on Kingdom Come as its selling point. More information on the JSA can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_society_of_america.