Before I get started with these two reviews, a word to the wise. I read these comics a few days ago, and have since lent them out, so if the reviews seem a bit on the uninformative side, it's probably because I've forgotten some of the stuff that was inside! Alright, with that out of the way, here are my reviews for JSA All-Stars 1 and 2.
JSA All-Stars #1: Writer: Matthew Sturges. Artist: Freddie Williams II
This group of JSAers(the All-Stars)begin by battling a group of robot communists who emerged from the waters surrounding Manhattan and decided to march down Times Square. The All-Stars take the robots apart with relative ease, but are unsure as to what the purpose was. Magog, who is the field leader of the team, is surprised by the lack of military precision the All-Stars displayed while battling the robots, so he decides to drill them for several days before Magog and Power Girl hold a press conference explaining what their branch of the JSA stands for(they're proactive!). During the press conference, Arthur Pemberton and his Strike Force attacks the team. While the All-Stars are trying to contain the battle, Pemberton knocks Stargirl unconscious and whisks her away from the battle. This issue ends with Pemberton's forces telling Johnny Sorrow that they have Stargirl but that they want more money before they hand her over to him. Sorrow responds by announcing that he'd do anything for the love of his life(Stargirl!), before killing the two men.
This was a pretty good start for this series. I love the Johnny Sorrow character(just the look alone if priceless!), but I'm kind of... I don't know, disturbed I guess, by his sudden fixation with Stargirl. She's the love of his life? Wha?!? Anyhow, as a fan of the JSA, I've got to say this issue hit almost all the right notes, so I don't have anything substantial to complain about. Huzzah!
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.I have a question. What's up with those ram horns on your head?
JSA All-Stars #2: Writer: Matthew Sturges. Artist: Freddie Williams II
This issue opens with Power Girl and the JSA searching(unsuccessfully)for Stargirl. Unable to discover her whereabouts, the team returns to their base. Stargirl awakens at Arthur Pemberton's warehouse headquarters, where Pemberton taunts her like any good villain would. In the midst of his taunts though, Pemberton hears some loud explosions and rushes away from Stargirl, figuring the All-Stars had discovered his hideout and were attacking. Instead, Pemberton and his men come under attack from Johnny Sorrow and his Injustice League. It seems Sorrow is angry that Pemberton tried to charge him extra for the capture of Stargirl, so Sorrow has decided to steal Stargirl right out from under Pemberton and his men... Ah those wacky villains! The All-Stars are able to pin down the location of Stargirl with the help of the very annoying robot Hourman's father created, and the team rushes to the scene, where they are surprised to see the Injustice League doing battle with Strike Force. Magog wants to hold back and let the villains destroy each other(HA!)but Power Girl realizes that Stargirl could get caught in the middle of the battle, so the All-Stars rush in and attack both sides. Stargirl manages to escape her captivity, and joins her teammates outside, which causes Sorrow to decide to retreat with his group, since he doesn't want any harm to come to Stargirl. This issue concludes with Sand having a vision from the future where Sorrow summons the ultra powerful King of Tears as his servant.
With the exception of the annoying robot, this comic was really good. I'm not sure why Matthew thought the team could use a smart-alec robot to aid them, but whatever I guess. The story moved along at a brisk pace, the battle scenes looked good, and Johnny Sorrow was just the right mixture of evil, funny and creepy. Plus I liked the Liberty Belle/Hourman Second Feature! All in all, this was a pretty good comic that I'd have no problem recommending.
Score: 8 out of 10.Jeez Johnny, you're like THREE times the age of Stargirl! Can't you find a nice 80 year old to settle down with?