Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #33

Written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Jesus Merino

Everything is falling to pieces around the Justice Society, both literally and figuratively!  The JSA Brownstone has crumble due to a massive attack by a various assortment of villains.  But even with Mr. Terrific’s mysterious attacker finally revealed, the team has decided to do the unthinkable…to split up into two teams to keep one another from killing each other!

My Thoughts
Geoff John’s work on the JSA was an unmatchable phenomenon.  Incredible storylines strung along with wonderful character developments is what made the current run of this title so miraculous.  One could argue that Geoff John’s work on the JSA was some of the best writing on any book to date.  However, Johns made one crucial error, something I don’t think anyone could have seen coming…he made the team too big.  So naturally the way to rectify the situation is to split the team up! 

We have two sides of the JSA now, a militant side and a much more peaceful side.  Now I personally tilt my head wondering how well this is going to be taken by fans, firstly because this monthly title is now two books!  One which will be the regular title that has been coming out monthly, and now a second which is titled “JSA All-Stars” and starts the first week in December.  I understand the need to split the team up, but it hurts me to see DC going the route of making two separate books for the same team.  Oh well, I’ll give it a shot for 3 issues and see if it’s worth it.

I was very disappointed in discovering that it actually WAS All American Boy who attacked Mr. Terrific and not some phantom player controlling the kid’s mind.  It was almost too cheap and predictable to be accepted as a good ending to a great arc.

Merino pulls out some good artwork, even though this issue seemed to be slacking from what he brought us the past four issues.  Never the less, I was still impressed with the full-page pose for Dr. Fate moments before his coup de grace. 

One thing I am missing in contrast to John’s time on this title are the personal moments that every character seemed to get.  Willingham seems to be spending more time on pointless dialogue rather than getting at the heart of the heroes.  Even with a team this size, Johns managed to utilize every single heroe effectively and emotionally, and I’m not getting that with Willingham and Struges on board.

A good issue, but very flawed.  I’m very conflicted with the team splitting up and how permanent this segregation will be.  One thing’s for sure, we’ll definitely see which viewpoint on effective crime fighting will last and which will die out, wont we?

3.5 out of 5 stars

Next Issue Coming December 23, 2009
The Justice Society struggles to pick up the pieces after the team's devastating break up! Regrouping at a new, temporary home base, the smaller team reflects on the recent infiltration of their ranks and how they can protect themselves from another such attack in the future! And why is the new Dr. Fate acting so weird?

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