Thursday, July 16, 2009

Justice Society of America #27 and 28

So, a few months ago I subscribed to a couple of DC comics. No sense paying extra money on the comics I buy if I can help it right? Anyway, about 2 months ago JSA #26 showed up in my mailbox. "Cool" I thought, "It looks like my subscription has kicked in." However, last month, JSA #27 never arrived. I didn't think much about it, sometimes subscription books tend to arrive late. Then, a few weeks ago, JSA #28 arrived. Well, needless to say I was a bit pissed, because without issue #27 I couldn't read #28. Then, a few days ago, JSA #27 showed up in the mail. How weird is it when #28 arrives before #27? Anyway, that's why I'll be reviewing both of these comics together. These are the first post-Geoff Johns issues of this series. Wow, not seeing Geoff's name in the credits of this comic makes me feel uncomfortable. I mean he's like Mr. JSA! Instead of Geoff Johns these issues are written by Jerry Ordway.

-First up is the review for #27. It seems like Obsidian has gone loco again, as he has thrown all of the JSA out of their headquarters with the exception of Flash, Green Lantern, Wildcat and Liberty Belle. After tossing the team outside, Obsidian then proceeded to put an impregnable shadow shield around the building. According to Obsidian, some evil presence is lurking around outside the building and he's only trying to protect the members of the team the presence is after.

-Unfortunately for Obsidian, only Alan believes him, and even he isn't totally convinced Obsidian isn't flipping out once again.

-Outside, some bystander from Fawcett City collapses in the street, and Stargirl tries to resuscitate him with the cosmic rod, but is instead possessed by some kind of ghost. Before anybody can react, Stargirl begins to blast Obsidian's shadow shield with the energy from the rod. Eventually, the rod breaks through the shield, and Power Girl manages to free Courtney from whatever had taken control of her body.

-The team rushes inside, and they are met by the presence, which seems to want revenge against the elder members of the team for their past actions. The JSA discovers that the presence is a collection of angry spirits. One of those spirits is Kung, a Japanese foe of the JSA who died in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Kung somehow brings Lantern, Flash, Wildcat, Liberty Belle and Hourman to Hiroshima just prior to the bomb dropping. The heroes are unable to move and are seemingly blown up by the atomic blast.

-Back at the JSA headquarters, the remaining team members can't figure out where the presence took their teammates. However, as this comic ends, the Spectre arrives and tells the team that if they want to help their teammates out they have to go with him.

-Next up is issue #28. The Spectre takes Power Girl, Damage, Judomaster and Atom Smasher(leaving Stargirl behind)with him to hunt down Kung and his band of angry spirits.

-In 1945 Hiroshima, Green Lantern manages to put a force field up as the atomic bomb detonates above the city. Kung is pissed that the heroes didn't just take their deaths laying down, and he transports them to a beach, where he throws trees at them, figuring the flying branches would kill Alan, since his ring isn't effective against wood. Jesse and Jay use their super speed to collect all of the stray tree limbs, before the team rallies and launches a counterattack on Kung and his angry spirits.

-Kung easily brushes the JSAers aside and gives his origin story like any good villain should. Kung was trapped in Limbo, and he convinced several other dead Japanese spirits to assist him in attacking the JSA to get revenge for the atomic bombings in 1945.

-After Kung's origin is complete, the Spectre arrives with the other JSA members. The Spectre and the JSA battle Kung and his spirits, eventually separating the other spirits from Kung, which weakens Kung. Spectre reveals to the other spirits that Kung was only using them to resurrect himself(if he would have been able to kill the 5 JSA members he abducted, he would have returned to life), and upon learning that, the other spirits return to Limbo. Kung gets sent away as well... Or does he???

-Back at JSA headquarters, Stargirl is feeling under the weather. Spectre brings the JSA back and proceeds to pull an evil spirit out of Stargirl. Apparently, Kung had placed the spirit inside of her as a way to return to menace the team in case his original plan failed. With the threat of Kung over, Spectre takes his leave. This issue ends with Atom Smasher telling Stargirl they can't have a relationship due to the difference in their ages. Stargirl runs to her room heartbroken and Atom Smasher reports to Jay, Alan and Ted that he did as they asked him to.

I enjoyed the first issue a lot more than the second one. While the first issue had a good sense of mystery about it, the second one was little more than a boring extended fight scene, that tended to be a bit too preachy for my taste. Jerry really didn't do that good a job at establishing the abilities/power levels of Kung and the spirits either. Kung went from being able to battle the Spectre to a stalemate, to being harmed by Alan and Damage... The Spectre couldn't hurt Kung but you expect me to believe Damage can? No way!

For a score, I'll give issue #27 a 7 out of 10 and #28 a 6 out of 10. This storyline was OK, but nowhere near the awesomeness Geoff Johns would give us month in and month out. Next month the new regular writing team of Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges take over. I'll be interested to see what they have in store for the team Geoff Johns built.


  1. I didn't read JSA #27, but I did pick up JSA #28...just because the cover revealed that the Spectre would play a prominent role in the story. (I'm a huge Spectre fan...though I don't like Crispus Allen as the human host.) That being said, I was so mad when the JSA didn't ask the Spectre to become a member of the team at the end of the issue! After all, the Spectre is a founding member! He deserves to be back on the team!

  2. Yeah, it was funny, the Spectre gave the team the perfect opportunity to sign him up too. I think he said something like "If you're going to offer me membership...". How difficult would it have been for one of the JSAers to say, "Well, now that you mention it..."! When I think about the Spectre, I think, JSA! It's pretty strange that he's been off the team for so long now.