Thursday, December 24, 2009

Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #34

Book Information
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Travis Moore and Dan Green
Cover by Jesus Merino

As the Justice Society resets themselves with the most current spilt-up, a mysterious figure hovers above the Earth, monologuing to himself, claiming he is free once again. The figure descends upon the unsuspecting JSA to possess the body of the newly appointed Dr. Fate who now walks about the headquarters acting strangely. With plans to kill every member of the JSA, time is running short! Will the Society discover their phantom invader in time to stop his evil plans, or will they fall to an enemy they can’t see?

My Thoughts
Bill Willingham has not been overly impressive these few months he’s been working on this title, and this issue is far from impressive. My initial reaction to the story probably mirrors what most fans thought as well; this plot had been used before and Willingham sucks because of it and I’m totally on board with this sentiment. I believe it’s a cop out and Willingham needs to re-evaluate his writing techniques for future issues. However, there are a few aspects of the issue I did enjoy.

This is definitely one of the “funnier” issues to come around for this run of the JSA, maybe even TOO funny. Jesse’s pissed at everyone’s assumptions, Fate wants cookies, A lot of unexpected whip lashing power, and much much more. To the typical fan, this way of using humor can be annoying, especially since this is the most respected superhero team in the DCU. However, let us think back to issue #26 when our esteemed writer, Geoff Johns, was still on board. That was an issue about going deeper into the private lives of the JSA. What would it be like to see a day of rest for the entire team? Willingham takes this same approach and puts a different twist in it than Johns did. I’m sure everyone on the team, even Mr. Terrific, will say or do something stupid that causes people to laugh or feel silly. I appreciate Willingham’s willingness to expand his horizons and write a story with some normal, realistic humor.

I’m not sure how much of a fan I am of Travis Moore and Dan Green’s artwork. I felt like I could have seen this art in an issue of DC kids. Now granted, there are some moments of brilliance. The next to last page, with the team charging at Fate was impressive and emotional, but as a whole, I would say this was less than acceptable. But maybe that’s what Willingham was going for, so he enlisted the help of a more comedic artist to compliment his writing of this issue.

Definitely not my pick of the month, but there still enjoyable. I would think most DC fans will enjoy this issue, but forget about it next month.

Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming January 27, 2010
It's all-out war as the leaner, meaner Justice Society of America confront another intruder in their midst! But this time it's bad news for their enemy, as he's facing a team that has learned from its past mistakes! The new incarnation of the Justice Society is more together than ever!

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