Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Justice Society of America #42, #43, #44, #45 and #46 - as well as Justice League #48 - DC

I had to include Justice League #48 here because it's all part of the Dark Things story-line. This is the cross-over event between the JSA and the JLA this year. James Robinson does a great job with the story, and I'm really enjoying Mark Bagley's work on the JLA . . and by association, this entire storyline. Well . . except for issue #43 which is the epilogue to this series, and sets the groundwork for the future of the JSA. Well . . kind of. It actually sets the stage for Alan Scott's next evolution and role within the JSA. As well as Jade and Obsidian. Anyways, that issue is by Jesus Merino. Also Mark Bagley not only did the covers, but . . if you take all 5 chapters of this story-line, it provides a nice panoramic view of both teams. My only concern is that Mark does some work on the 150th issue of Ultimate Spider-man, and . . there's reports of him going back to Marvel to do some more work. I'm afraid this may be his swan-song as a DC artist. I don't know that for sure, but . . if so . . that would definitely be a loss for DC. As well as the readers. I think he's brought a great energy to the titles that he's done over the last year or two here. But . . such is the way of the comic book creator. Right? Anyways, Issue #42 shows us the amalgamation of Jenni-Lynn and Todd . . Jade and Obsidian. Apparently their respective powers exemplify the light and dark natures of the Star-Heart. With this new more powerful Star-Heart on the scene . . and their already seeming lack of control of their powers over the years . . especially Todd . . it seems as if they've been drawn together to form a physical manifestation of the Star-Heart persona. But, part of it is also because, for some reason, the Star-Heart is afraid of Jenni. Or at least uncomfortable with her. I think it all has to do with her being dead . . then a Black Lantern . . then resurrected . . and in this issue, for a short period of time, a White Lantern. Anyways, it's that power that she's tapped into that she eventually uses to break free of her brother. Although it breaks both their hearts as they can now never be within about a half mile of each other, as the temptation for this amalgamation will be to strong for either of them. Anyways, Faust figures out that the Star-Heart isn't actually there because Alan is really only a construct. He figures this out because the Star-Heart is using Fate to bind the heroes. Therefore, the real Alan/Star-Heart must be someplace else, and consequently . . they can attack without fear of consequence. Unfortunately . . for the Star-Heart, after this revelation Fate regains his composure, and after dissipating the Alan construct . . they force Alan and the real Star-Heart to return to the moon to face this army on it's own. And that's the beginning of the end. Alan shortly regains control, and the war is over. However, for Alan . . it's a tenuous relationship at best. Because of the Star-Heart's increased power he has to remain in control at all times. The slightest misstep and everything starts all over . . again. Finally in issue #43 . . the epilogue . . we find that Alan has decided to keep the Star-Heart's city on the dark side of the moon in tact. In fact it's become a safe-zone, of sorts, for all types of magical creatures from Earth. He's also become their leader . . for lack of a better term. Maybe administrator is better. And he's formed alliances with many other magical worlds. This includes Sorcerer's world, the 5th dimension, and Gemworld . . to name a few. Most of this issue is spent with Alan explaining all of this to Todd, as well as the dangers of him and his sister falling into the trap of the Star-Heart again. It's nice to see Alan and Todd talking like this again, but . . I don't think Todd fully accepts his father's reasoning. I have a feeling this is going to be something that's going to come back and bite them all in the butt again . . sooner or later. Also, between parts 5 and the epilogue . . JLA #48 and JSA #43 . . it seems like there's something missing. Almost like there's a part of the story in there that we didn't get to see, or something. I don't know . . maybe it's just me. Overall I really enjoyed the story. I thought it was a good run. Then in issues #44, #45 and #46 we start off in a new direction, under the tutelage of Marc Guggenheim and Scott Kolins. It starts out that there's this guy (?) that's been locked in this Afghanistan prison for the last 5 years. Two months ago he breaks out, and a couple of weeks later ends up in Monument Point wreaking havoc. It appears to me that all of this happens before the Dark Things story-line. The story actually starts out in the present, with Jay being asked to become the new Mayor of Monument Point, and . . then we flash back 2 months to what I assume are the events leading up to this. The reason I'm pretty sure this occurs before the Dark Things is because Alan is seriously hurt . . paralyzed actually, and taken to a hospital in Florida. So, in the course of stopping this obviously super-powered terrorist, the JSA pretty much lay waste to this little town. After they beat him, the stop to survey the damage and Wildcat asks . . ' . . what have we done?' In issue #45 we find out that this new 'super-villain' is actually connected to a mission Jay and Alan had during WWII. Since they were being kept out of Germany by the Spear of Destiny, they decided to do what they could in Japan. They were ordered to destroy a secret project called 'Drachen'. What they found was a baby. So obviously they couldn't bring themselves to destroy it. Fast forward to the present and 'Drachen' is this new 'super-villain' that they're calling Scythe. So ultimately Jay and Alan are responsible for everything that's happened here. Which forces Jay to decide that he's going to stick around and help them rebuild. Then in issue #46 we find out, for sure, that this is actually happening after the Dark Things. Alan talks to Dr Mid-Nite about how he's pure energy, but . . he's taken physical form. And with all the concentration he has to wield to keep the Star-Heart in check . . he doesn't have enough energy to heal himself. They've got Scythe locked up in a local back vault . . which Michael converted into a prison cell, but . . he still appears to be pulling some strings. The Mayor's aide, Mr Hogan, has hired a Dr Chaos for some reason or another. All we know is that at the end of the issue Lightning loses her powers, and appears to be dead, as does the new Mayor . . Mayor Voytek. Of course it doesn't help that Todd decides he wants to enact some revenge on Scythe for what he did to his father. He ends up distracting Jay right when he's needed most. The blurb at the end of all of this . . for next issue is . . 'Things get worse!' That doesn't bode well for . . anyone. I like the story-line so far. I'm just a little confused about the timeline. In the beginning of all this Jay was being asked to be Mayor . . after Voytek's death. Then we see that Scythe broke out of his cell 2 months before that. He attacked this city 3 weeks after that. The initial attack is when Alan was paralyzed. So I'm not sure how this all fits in with the previous story-line. Or, maybe . . I'm just reading to much into all of this and I just need to accept the story for what it is, and not get all caught up in the continuity of the situation. Right? It certainly sounds like a plan to me. Anyways . . great covers by Shane Davis. And on issue #46, Mike Norton steps in to help out Scott on the pencils. Oh yeah, and the title of this story-line is 'Supertown' . . for whatever reason.

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