Friday, November 5, 2010

Comic Book Review: JSA All-Stars #12

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: Matthew Sturges
Penciller: Howard Porter
Colorist: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover Art: Freddie Williams II
Editor: Mike Carlin

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
We finally delve into a story revolving around the clever and fun-loving high school sensation, Cyclone!  Sturges has done a fantastic job at keeping her useful in her “minor character” status, but it is about time we give our twisty, redheaded and freckled tiny toon a chance to shine.

Having no powers Maxine takes this opportunity to see and experience the normal side of life; going through college, doing homework, all the fun stuff right?  It’s too bad she has to deal with fellow students gawking at her trying to recognize if she is who they think she is.  On top of that, a young looking professor attempts to use his powers of nerdity and put the moves on our dear little Maxine as well has having a nice, yet unexpected visit from herself.  (what?!?!)  With the All-Stars fighting Alien crime in outer space, Cyclone has a lot to deal with on her own.  Keep your fingers crossed!

While I enjoyed the bulk of this issue, I was mostly impressed by the art work of Howard Porter.  You can definitely see a difference, but I was amazed at how similar the styles between him and Freddie Williams II were.  Granted I don’t really like William’s artistic vision, which in turn means I don’t like Porter’s style, but the way he changes his artistry to meet the standard that Williams has established is a talent most artist will never achieve. 

The story itself seemed a little chaotic and strange, even for my tastes.  I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bath water just yet as I’m sure Sturges wants his readers thinking to themselves, “huh?”  But I do have an issue when a random plot device is thrown into the mix near the beginning of a story and not even a slight hint of explanation is given.  Not only do we have to deal with the fact that there are TWO Cyclones, the last panel on the final page brings a third Maxine into the story.  There’s not even a lingering puff of smoke to help signify that an oddity occurs, it just seems to happen.  Certainly this will be explained next issue in this two part story.

I like how Sturges establishes that being on a team isn’t necessarily about what powers you have, but more so about who you are and what you stand for.  Brad Meltzer tried to enforce that mentality early on when he began writing for the Justice League, but that idea never retained its potency.  I hope Sturges can continue with this for as long as he remains writing for the All-Stars.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
With some minor editing problems and a few confusing plot devices, this was a solid issue.  And of course the cover has to deal with the side story and not the main theme that goes with this arc, but who’s paying attention right?  (ME!  I am! ME ME!!)

Rating: 8 out of 8
Writing: 8
Art: 8
Themes: 8

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