Sunday, October 10, 2010

Comic Book Review: JSA All-Stars #11

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: Matthew Sturges
Artist: Freddie Williams II
Colorist: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover Art: Freddie Williams II

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
What began as a mediocre title that seemed to be nothing more than a circus of out-or-proportioned bodies and a celebration of Power Girl’s gigantic boobs has become a meaningful and fun comic book title I look forward to reading every month.  While the JSA All-Stars isn’t perfect, almost a year later Willingham has turned into the fun book I never thought it would become. 

#11 concludes the four part story arc, glory days, giving many of its characters a chance to shine and also allowing for a change in momentum to occur.  Brainwave decides to defy his personal vow and use his powers to enter into the minds of the All-Stars, telling them to let go of something in their past that they cling too.  This, in turn, took away the powers of the demon gods shrinking them down to human sized beasts.  While the gods were defeated, the All-Stars hesitantly let them leave to live peacefully in their own land.

I do appreciate this idea behind this arc since it gives the All-Stars a chance to create new lives for themselves within this team.  From the start that’s what this team has been lacking, a chance to begin something new and not cling to the past; this will allow them to truly start working as a separate entity from the Justice Society and establish themselves as such in the eyes of the world.  But I wasn’t exactly sure why Brainwave needed to use the All-Stars and why asking them to let go of something from the past caused these gods to become powerless.  When was it established that these gods were powered by human’s inability to free themselves of the past, or the human desire for something that can no longer have?  It was a very confusing turn of events and I’m not sure it completely makes sense.

The scene where each of the heroes let go of their past was interesting with both good and bad points.  It makes sense with all of the stories involving the JSA recently and how it all led up to this point, but I’m not sure it was executed that well.  Surprises are great, but my reaction was not what I’m sure Willingham wants it be from his readers.  The need to “let go” hasn’t really been personified well enough for the effect to truly work.  I think it’s good that Willingham is pushing forward this need for change with the team, but I can’t help but feel as if it was a little too bland.

But who really believes anyone completely lets go of their past?  It’s certainly true of Stargirl who stares in disappointment as Atom Smasher begins his courtship of the team’s time traveler, Anna.  (Who is quite the hottie I must say.)  Plus, I highly doubt that power Girl has completely let go of the fact that she will never again see the Kal-El of her dimension, or that King Chimera hasn’t seen the last of his painful, ghost-like memory of his old fling.  Comics need drama, and these are perfect ways to bring drama to the stories.

Williams II is slowly growing on me.  He is bringing a much more balanced look to his art, straying away from the chaotic look of the characters he draws.  His style still isn’t my thing, but I’m glad to see he’s getting a better handle on the overall visual for the All-Stars.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
The book is a lot of fun and I would say if you haven’t been reading this title, number twelve might be a good place to start up.

Rating: 7.9 out of 10
Writing: 8
Art: 7
Themes: 8

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Jimmy - This was one of the books I gave up on when all the prices everywhere went up, pretty much due to how it started off. Glad things have turned around.