Thursday, December 07, 2006
The Justice Society of America
When I was seven years old, my parents and I stopped at a dimestore called Ben Franklin's on a Sunday afternoon and as we were going through the checkout lane with our cart, I spotted some comic books. One of them was an issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and featured several heroes being tossed about through giant sound effects words. One of the heroes was TV favorite Batman. There was another, however, who looked pretty much like Batman (at least when drawn by Mike Sekowsky). Soon enough, I learned that he was Wildcat, a super hero from the Earth 2 group, the Justice Society of America. With that issue, the JSA became immediate favorites and have remained so ever since. Over the years, through the courtesy of various reprint projects, I have been able to discover the surprisingly rich 1940's world in which these original super heroes premiered. Nearly all of the JSA were All American Comics characters and lately we've been writing alot about these longtime favorites here. Today, I stopped by my local comic shop for the first time in several weeks ( I got no money, remember?) and spotted an all-new JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA # 1.The magnificent (as always) cover by Alex Ross grabbed my attention, echoing as it did the JSA's earliest ALL-STAR COMICS appearance. Once again, after more than six decades, the golden age Flash and the golden age Green Lantern, two of my all-time favorites, prove themselves to be seminal heroes in the truest sense of the word. Here they team with only one other original member, the surprisingly durable Wildcat, and recruit a new team of youngsters to carry on as a "moral compass" for America and the free world. The JSA has meant so much to so many over the years for just that very reason. No matter who writes them, these guys ARE heroes and they know it. It's good to see that still counts in this new century in which we find ourselves. I don't pay much attention to modern comic books these days because the characters clearly aren't really the same ones I grew up with but, in this case, they are! There's something magical about Jay Garrick, Alan Scott and yes, Ted Grant. They were created at a time when the goal was simply to cash in on the super hero craze but somehow, they transcended that. JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA # 1 spends its entire length developing characters and setting up future developments. Geoff Johns knows his stuff, though, so its all good. The art is clean, the storytelling good.How can you go wrong with Golden Age Magic!? Booksteve says check it out!