Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #39

Literary And Artistic Credits

Writer: Bill Willingham
Penciller: Jesus Merino
Inkers: Jesse Delperdang
Letterers: Rob Leigh
Colorist: Allen Passalaqua
Cover Art: Merino & Passalaqua
Associate Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Mike Carlin

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Like any story dealing in time travel, or an alternate universe, there is this paradox that creates numerous problems in its logic and progression.  These types of plots almost always end as if nothing ever happened, as if the conflict, which is the basis of the storyline, never occurred.  This same plot progression occurs in #39 as Mr. Terrific’s ultimate goal is to send a message to his past self, giving him the code necessary to turn off the Fourth Reich’s dark engine in hopes that this terrible catastrophe will never happen.  But Willingham throws in a major monkey wrench that may cause the JSA to change their plans drastically.

What I had to remind myself of is Willingham’s purposeful style of storytelling; that hokey, Nazi defying storyline that was extremely popular during the mid 70’s into the mid 80’s is the dominant feature of this story.  This is important in realizing the authors’ intention as Willingham pulls from the silver age and follows the formulaic plot progression from that time. 

The first six pages give us a brief recap of what had transpired thus far as narrated by Mr. Terrific himself.  This may have been a tad bit tedious, but the artwork by Merino kept eyes interested where my mind wasn’t.  What follows is a series of corny, and somewhat humorous pieces of dialogue that wouldn’t fit into the comic book literature of the modern age.  Black Canaries phrase of ending up in the “Valhalla of these Nazi’s Nordic wet dreams” was priceless and made me wonder what it would have been like reading comics when my parents were kids. 

Despite the corny dialogue in places, nothing seemed out of place with the purpose of the story.  The dark nature of this future was powerful enough to keep everything focused and the characters meaningful.  There were even some pretty epic moments that no one can justly claim to be a poor aspect of the story; Superman controlling the giant military robot, Green Arrow saving the day from above, there was even a moment portraying the Penguin as a changed man in the face of Armageddon.  What I found most amusing and fun was attempting to decipher who was who in this time period.  Black Canary with black hair was particularly tricky to figure out.

Merino is flawless in how precise and creative he gets in each panel.  This comic is so busy with fire and explosions, but never once does it become so overbearing that I no longer enjoy the artistic value. 
My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
This book is a lot of fun.  We know for the most part how this story will end but my hopes tell me Willingham will use this storyline to drastically change the future of the JSA forever.  Predictable this story is, but the potential that this story carries into the DC universe is far greater.

Writing: 9
Themes: 9
Art: 10
Overall: 9.33 out of 10

1 comment:

  1. Finally caught up-to-date (as of yesterday) with my JSA backissues and gotta say: am loving this story. Mood-wise, I'm reminded of the classic X-Men tale: Days Of Future Past.