Friday, December 4, 2009

Comic Book Review: JSA All-Stars #1

Written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Freddie Williams II
Variant cover by Ryan Sook

The JSA splinters off into two groups, and “All-Stars #1” brings us the younger, more attack happy group of heroes. Under the leadership of Magog, the team now goes under some serious new tactical and hand to hand combat training. However, what seems to be missing from the team is confidence in Magog as a leader. Can the new JSA All-Stars come together as a team to fight injustice without killing each other first?
Meanwhile, the mystery of Stargirl unfolds as the perpetrator makes his presence know!

My Thoughts
To start off, I wasn’t too thrilled to learn that the JSA was splitting up into two separate teams. But I understand the necessity of it seeing as how Geoff Johns made the team way too big for most writers to handle. But much to my dismay, I picked up this new first issue curious as too what changes will be made under the leadership of Magog. And I must say, I still haven’t made up my mind yet.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is a new chapter in the world of the JSA and it may take some time to build up momentum. But along with that comes the possibility where it ends up flopping on its face. What I did enjoy in the story however was the tension between Power Girl and Magog. PeeGee came out of the JSA as a leader, and now she has submitted to following someone else, and she hasn’t figured out how to let the team leader take charge. But of course, the directions from Magog to his team weren’t all that brilliant either. If PeeGee hadn’t intervened in the way she did, the team may not have succeeded in defeating the android army. (Wow, Power Girl’s been doing a lot of busting up androids lately hasn’t she?)

But of course, my favorite scene was with Power Girl and Star Girl with their heart to heart on the roof of their New York City headquarters. Here’s Power Girl, a defining feature of the DC universe sitting down expressing her need for this teenaged wonder being on the new team. How many adults in the world will admit to a child that they are necessary for a collective group to survive on a journey? It seems we only find this type of phenomenon in fiction and fantasy. It happened with Frodo in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter in his self-named series of books, Richard Tyler in The Pagemaster, and with Bod in The Graveyard Book. Now here, Star Girl finds herself chatting with one of her Icons about how she (Star Girl) is necessary for the team to survive. And with the unexplained mystery of villains not laying a finger on her, there will probably be more divine providence to come with Star Girl.

Freddie Williams II has some interesting ways of expressing his art work. But I begin to wonder how much of his creativity is coming from his brain, and how much of it is coming from his penis. I realize there are some pretty “ris-kay” comics out there with virtually naked women in them, but Williams certainly pushes the envelope. Here are a few examples….

And that’s just the tip of the ice berg! The issue ends with Power Girl, after stopping a huge explosion, ends up with almost nothing to cloth her. I know Power Girl is a hottie, but geez, keep it in your pants buddy!

This is a fun issue, but not exceptional. I’ll probably be giving this title another two issue trial before deciding if it’s worth it, especially if it continually runs at $4 an issue. Wow!

3 out of 5 stars

Next Issue Coming January 6, 2010
In "Constellations," part 1, The All-Stars have survived their first major battle, but in the aftermath, one team member is missing without a trace. The mysterious Strike Force has that member captive, but there's someone else who wants the missing All-Star even worse than Strike Force does. Plus, the rift between Power Girl and Magog widens.
And in the first chapter of a new co-feature, Liberty Belle and Hourman embark on a worldwide hunt for a mysterious book – and the killer who may be after the secrets held within it! Icicle and Tigress aren't responsible for the murder, but they just might hold some keys to solving the mystery!

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