Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Justice Society of America #23

Overall- This was part one of the final story Geoff Johns is writing for the JSA. Geoff seems to be clearing away some of the team members in preparation for the upcoming new writer(s?). Right off the bat, we learn Amazing-Man has left, Mr. America seems to be out, Citizen Steel is on a leave of absence, Magog has left, Starman is off doing whatever he's supposed to be doing in "Legion of Three Worlds", and Hawkman quits the team after Jay and Alan have the audacity to tell him to take some time off. On top of that, Alan wants Damage off the team, but Jay wants him to stay. So, in just a few short pages, we see that a lot of regulars are gone. I'll personally miss Hawkman's crazy antics the most.

While the JSAers are deciding who should stay or go, Atom Smasher shows up with the news that Black Adam is back up to his old tricks again. Sure enough, Black Adam finds his queen, Isis in the hands of the evil magician Felix Faust. Faust had been keeping Isis his prisoner, doing God knows what to her when Black Adam arrives and demands Faust fixes Isis of her current mindless state, which Faust immediately does. Faust also gives Adam some magical artifacts in the hope that Adam won't kill him. Adam is ready, willing and able to finish Faust off, but Isis stays his hand and she does something to Faust off-panel, below the belt line that I don't even want to speculate on!

Isis and Black Adam next head to see Billy Batson, also known as the wizard Shazam, protector of the Rock of Eternity. Isis distracts Billy while Adam attacks him. We discover that Adam's attack is just a distraction for Isis to enact an enchantment that removes the power of Shazam from Billy and sends him back to Earth devoid of his power. With the power of Shazam now within the magical amulet Adam and Isis received from Faust, they decide to rid the Earth of all who would spread war, pestilence, famine or death.

Back on Earth and stuck as Billy Batson, Billy contacts the JSA, who respond and are perplexed by the fact that Captain Marvel is nowhere to be found. Billy comes clean to them and tells them he used to be Captain Marvel, but now Black Adam has stolen his powers and presumably his station as the guardian of the Rock of Eternity. This issue ends with Black Adam and Isis sitting side by side on throne chairs speaking to a female clad in shadows, who promises to aid them since Billy Batson is involved in their plans.

Well, right off the bat let me say I was very happy to see Black Adam here. He's always been one of my favorite "super-villains", even though he doesn't consider himself to be a villain. It was also interesting to see how the many tragedies in the life of Isis had changed her originally gentle personality much darker. Hopefully, the shadow-clad female at the end of this comic wasn't Mary Marvel, because I really can't stand her...

Besides that, this comic felt like it was setting a lot of future events into motion, and as such wasn't nearly as good as Geoff's work usually is. With that said though, I'm sure once this story gets moving along, it will wind up being great. For a score, I'll give this comic a respectable 8 out of 10. Like I said, by the next issue, as this story really begins to take shape, I expect that 8 out of 10 to increase dramatically.


  1. I just want to see Captain Marvel fixed.

    I want to see all elements of Winick's stories wiped from Continuity.

    I'll probably pick this up in the trades and then pick up Jerry Ordway and Geoff John's new Shazam! series.

    Black Adam is a BAMF!

  2. I may be in the minority, but I actually liked Judd Winick's "Trials of Shazam" stuff. I've always prefered Freddy Freeman to Billy Batson, so I was happy to see the Captain Marvel mantle moved over to Freddy.

    As for the new Shazam! series, if Geoff Johns name is attached to it, I'll be reading it!

    From the moment Black Adam tore some guy in half, in front of his embassy in New York during the 52 series, I became a diehard Black Adam fan. I also love the fact that Black Adam never see's himself as the bad guy. All that matters to him is his own definition of right and wrong, nothing else.