Thursday, July 31, 2008

Justice Society of America Annual #1 review

Earth 2

Following up on the events of the last regular issue of Justice Society, Power Girl lands in Earth 2 Gotham City...right on top of the Huntress, who is shocked at Power Girl's return. A small reminder, remember, Power Girl was originally introduced as the Supergirl of Earth 2, Kara Zor-L, the cousin of Earth 2's Superman, Kal-L. Then Crisis...muddled origin...Infinite Crisis...that didn't help...52...fuck. Okay, Huntress contacts her ex-teammates in the Justice Society Infinity who haul Power Girl's unconscious butt to their Dr. Midnite. While she's being examined, Robin and Huntress are talking. It seems Earth 2 Batman is dead as well as Alfred. Huntress's fiance, Gotham Dictrict Attorney Harry Sims, is also in the hospital after a brutal acid attack by the Joker in an attempt to recreate Two-Face. Once Power Girl comes to, she freaks out, smashes through Dr. Midnite's lab and encounters a group meeting of the JSI. After calming down and getting re-acquainted with everyone, Power Girl realizes that she has no memories of anyone in the room, even though her memories of Earth 2 are seemingly restored during Infinite Crisis. We're then treated to a scene between Dr. Fate and The Spectre talking about the fate and safety of Earth 2.

Power Girl and Huntress then go out to seek some revenge against the Joker, who is now crippled and dying after so many yuears of handling toxins. Huntress lunges at the Joker who is prepared with a "gag" shock ring around his finger. However, Power Girl, being invulnerable, steps in and grabs his hand holding onto it until the Joker is killed by his own device. After this, Power Girl and Huntress have a heart to heart, talking about her fiance and the Joker, and her relationship with the JSI and Dick Grayson ("I...I love dick!" Do tell...) when who shows up but...fucking POWER GIRL?!?!?!?! This other Power Girl (Karen Starr) goes on the attack and smacks down our Power Girl (Kara Zor-L). She proves she's the real deal to Huntress when she shares a memory that only the two of them would know and they both start laying into Kara. Kara escapes, but Huntress and Karen go to mobilize the JSI where she reveals that she's been gone searching for her cousin, Kal-L, and doesn't believe that Kara told them the truth when she had said Kal died at the end of Infinite Crisis. The issue ends with the JSI mobilized against a now fugitive Power Girl.

Okay, so how was it?

S'alright. Yeah, just okay. It's an important issue in a lot of ways, in fact I remember the original solicitation in Previews labeling this a "Sightings" issue which is weirdly absent on this book, but there's just a lot of character stuff that, by and large, I wasn't really getting in to. Geoff Johns, don't get me wrong, did a solid enough job with this issue. The character stuff is interesting enough I suppose. But he does set the stage for future stories in the JSA involving Power Girl. He lays some groundwork on his post-Infinite Crisis DCU but then at the same time makes me really hate the whole stupid event and DC in general. So is Kara Zor-L the Power Girl of Earth 2 or not? Is this other Power Girl an imposter? From reading the book, I don't think so and Johns makes that pretty clear. If Kara isn't the Power Girl of Earth 2, then just where the hell is she from? Just what exactly is the nature of the DC multiverse now since the end of Infinite Crisis? Was Kara Zor-L recreated in Earth 2 when the multiverse was recreated giving us sort of clones, two characters with nearly the exact same histories? If that's the case, was Kal-L recreated as well?

When I was a kid, part of the appeal of reading comics was knowing there was all this character history that I hadn't read making the books seem so much more epic. In a way, I get some of that feeling back reading this issue. There's a lot of character history that is there that I've never read. When I picked up my first DC books, the DCU had been a single, integrated universe for several years. Sometimes being left scratching your head in some regards can be a good thing. However, what annoys me is that even though Infinite Crisis undid some of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, it annoys me that DC is still just arbitrarily cherry picking the parts of the Silver Age DCU that they want and tossing the rest. Basically, the DCU is just as confusing as ever.

The strongest point of this issue, really, is the art. Jerry fucking Ordway, man. The lay outs are well done and the action flows smoothly. He does what no one has been able to do in years and manages to make Power Girl look respectable instead of being the sloppy lewd whore everyone always presents her as. Seriously, Power Girl is always so top heavy it's a joke. It's all about the tits. Tits and ass, but with all the grace of a female body builder anguished over seeing her favorite puppy get run over. Ordway makes her a more serious hero again, thank God. I also love the expressiveness of the Huntress. Since she has that mask on it's all eyes and he really uses it to great affect. The character drama might be so so, but Ordway really does a helluva job selling it. Tight old school stuff.

Overall, I'd say the issue is mostly filler but with there are hints of major thing occuring. It's important...ish. I really thought it would be more important then it was. If you're a fan of JSA, I suppose you can pick it up and enjoy it as there is actually plenty about the issue to like. If you're wanting to save $4 bucks...yeah, I think you're relatively safe in skipping it.


Post a Comment

<< Home