Monday, August 9, 2010

Comic Book Review: JSA All-Stars #9

Book Information

Written by Matthew Sturges
Art and Cover Freddie Williams II
Colors by Richard & Tanya Horie
Letters by Pat Brosseau

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Matthew Sturges continues his epic story from last month. Montez has discovered a way to bring Gods to life in human form, and the vessels he uses to accomplish this task…the psychic children that seemed so tore up and terrified last issue. The All-Stars now must fight for their own lives as these risen deities, as the cover suggests, will now invade the minds of the splintered section of the Society.

I love it when a writer decides to push boundaries and give a hero a questionable motive. Here we have Brainwave, or Henry King, who hates the criminal activity going on around him, but is compelled to stay for the sake of the children. In essence, he supports Montez and his drug trafficking. I agree with Power Girl and Atom that this is very wrong, but I also appreciate what Brainwave is trying to do. It’s a question of taking care of the most important issue, does he stop Montez or help the suffering children? What’s the most pressing issue?

Sturges does a fantastic job at balancing the three plotlines; not allowing the two minor plots to overshadow the main one, but still allows enough “teasing” to occur for it to be interesting. King Chimera is developing quite nicely as a character and the tension between him and little Miss Tornado is building up very quickly.

The humor in this issue is really strong as well. Citizen Steel’s uncertainty of his image towards the young children is priceless as he spats off a bunch of cliché, moralistic one liners. ”Stay in school! Don’t do drugs! And, uh, riding in the back of a pickup isn’t safe,” he states while riding away in the back of a truck. Likewise, Stargirl takes issue with Steel knocking out the leopard who was on the verge of tearing her in half, whom she refers to as a “kitty.” And of course, Roxi has a pleasantly sarcastic tone in her voice which gives any tense situation a much lighter feel to it. Sturges is really giving this title everything needed to keep readers coming back month after month.

Artistically, Freddie Williams II brings us his typical style that will always annoy me to some extent. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to warm up to his “prunish” look in overdoing the muscular structure of every character. King Chimera and Torny, however, look just fine, but that’s because Chimera is wearing a suit and Maxine is too skinny for it to matter. I know this is what Williams likes to do, but I would love to see it toned down even more.

He does present some impressive visuals though, especially during the fight scenes. The moment the gods burst out of the temple was very impressive.

My Awesomely Climactic Conclusion
Overall, this is a great issue and I’m anxious to see how this will turn out and if Chimera’s dilemma plays out in the overarching scheme of things.

Writing: 10
Themes: 10
Art: 7
Overall: 9 out of 10

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