Justice Society of America Annual #1
From: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Jerry Ordway
Cover: Alex Ross
This JSA annual serves three functions. First, it’s a terrific exercise in nostalgia that recalls a particular time and specified iterations of a large group of characters. Secondly, it advances the storyline presently rolling in the regular book. And third, it holds larger implications about the state of the continuity of the DC Universe, suggesting that reveals that we’ve seen about the nature of the 52 might not be completely accurate. All three of those functions are supported by the fact that this is a damn fine read.
First part, then. It should be clear to anyone that’s paying attention that Geoff Johns and a number of other creators (certainly James Robinson, David Goyer, and more) have successfully mined and updated the Earth-2 characters for today’s audience. In the mid-‘80s, these characters were represented in titles written by Roy Thomas (All-Star Squadron, Infinity Inc., and later, Young All-Stars). Today, many of those characters still survive and thrive in the regular JSA book or as supporting characters across the DCU. What a kick, then, to see the original versions of Infinity Inc. and the JSAers of that time. And they look great. Ordway, who worked on those books, does a fantastic job here, beautifully rendering the characters; it’s like he never left them.
On the second notion: Yes, this is a critical chapter if you’re a regular JSA reader. This issue follows up on where Gog sent Power Girl in that title. Power Girl fondly wished to go “home”, but as it turns out, what looks perfect might not be. This is played against a strong character study of the Earth-2 Huntress as she works through her issues with anger, fate, and one of her late father’s old enemies.
As to the relative importance of this issue where the confluences of continuity are concerned, that will become obvious as you near issue’s end. Johns deftly suggests several mysteries with an 11th hour twist, and it’s likely that we’ll see those implications continue to play out in several avenues.
All in all, this is a smarty written, wonderfully drawn issue that keys to the old-school while remaining entirely accessible. Check it out.