Overview

Justice Society of America #1

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Justice Society of America #1

Credits

  • Words: Geoff Johns
  • Art: Dale Eaglesham
  • Inks: Art Thibert
  • Colors: Jeremy Cox
  • Story Title: The Next Age: Chapter 1
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 6, 2006

The original super-team returns to action with a massive recruitment drive. But who is targeting these heroes for death?

In the wake of Infinite Crisis, the Justice Society has been redefined with a new role in the DC Universe—to serve as the guides and moral compass for the rapidly swelling ranks of heroes and metahumans appearing in the world. To this end, they begin to expand their membership and trace the bloodlines of old friends and allies. Enter the new kids, from the bubbly and brilliant misfit Maxine Hunkel to the bitter and battle-scarred Damage to the odd and perhaps slightly deranged new Starman. Yet even as the JSA looks to the future, someone is out to ensure they never have one. First on their list—former FBI agent turned super-patriot Mr. America. What price must be paid for following a hero’s legacy?

Geoff Johns returns to the series that made him a star without missing a beat. His love for and knowledgeable grasp of this team is evident and he manages to weave plenty of great characterization into the issue as a result. Through little surprising moments, he shows what a strong and quirky cast this series has. Hourman and Liberty Belle cavort as a sickeningly cute couple. Starman is both absurd and somehow affecting. And if you haven’t fallen in love with Maxine by issue’s end, you may have a cold heart indeed. Understandably, much of the focus is on the new characters, though the framing sequence with the old guard offers each character’s unique perspective as well. Wildcat’s resistance to the recruitment feels a little forced at times for story convenience, but it’s hard not to like the ol’ curmudgeon. Backing up these character beats is a solid plot rife with mysteries to keep the reader coming back. Johns is nothing if not a tease and here his playful hints and intriguing setups are in full force. The story also drops an unexpected bombshell that should have interesting implications for one of the longtime members.

Penciller Dale Eaglesham does an impressive job with his first stab at this group. Johns has said that Eaglesham brings emotion to the series and I can believe it. Through posture, body language, and facial expression (both subtle and overt), Eaglesham’s art seems to make the characters come alive. He also seems to have an eye for dynamic action sequences, be it violence or graceful motion. Jeremy Cox provides the bright shiny colors that a hero book should have, as well as a number of after-effects that lend a striking glow to many of the images.

While I still question whether a re-launch was really necessary, this first issue is a promising beginning that will most likely please both old fans and new.

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