Comic Book Review: JSA #85: One Year Later

The Revolution has not been overly thrilled with the JSA’s “One Year Later” storyline so far. We have thought that it has felt a bit generic. But, we still love Levitz since he is a god to the Legion of Super Heroes, and we have plenty of faith that he will get this storyline going in the right direction.

Creative Team
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artists: Rags Morales, Luke Ross & Dave Meikis

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts with Star Girl learning to drive a car with her mom in the passenger seat. They suddenly attacked by the Gentleman Ghost. Star Girl powers up and gets her mom to safety while Power Girl appears on the scene and punches out the Gentlemen Ghost. Star Girl notes that only Power Girl can actually touch the Ghost. None of the other JSA’ers can do that. While Power Girl ahs the Gentleman Ghost in her grasp he disappears leaving only his clothing behind.

We then cut to the JSA headquarters where Mr. Terrific is analyzing the Ghost’s clothing and reveals that the cloth is 200 years old. Dr Mid-Nite reports that Alan Scott is stable but still unconscious. The Flash then takes off to grab Joan and bring her back to the JSA HQ where it is safer.
We then shift to Jakeem and the Thunderbolt who are going through the JSA archives. Jakeem then decides to get to the bottom of this Gentleman Ghost mystery and asks the Thunderbolt to take him to where the ghosts live. Suddenly, they are outside the JSA HQ and surrounded with tons of ghosts. Thunderbolt tells Jakeem that there are hundreds of ghosts everywhere. And out of nowhere, Jakeem is attacked by the Gentleman Ghost. The Thunderbolt rescues Jakeem. But, then other angry ghosts converge ready to attack them. Jakeem asks the Thunderbolt to call for help. And who does the Thunderbolt summon? Some Golden Age JSA goodness in the form of the original Sandman, original Mr. Terrific, original Atom, Jade and Golden Age Batman! (Hot damn! This is a cool scene!) The Golden Age heroes open up a huge can on the bad ghosts.

After the fight, Jade feels something call her and she floats up to her dad’s room in the JSA HQ. Jade pleads for her father to live. All the other Golden Age heroes disappear except Batman. Jakeem asks him to stay in order to get some clues from the greatest detective about how they can find and stop the Gentleman Ghost. Golden Age Batman tells Jakeem that they can find the Gentleman Ghost in the land of the living where he was born and one with noble blood will be his downfall. Batman concludes that the person with noble blood is “one of us.” With that, Batman disappears.

We then shift back inside the JSA HQ where Dr. Mid-Nite is worried that Alan Scott is going to die. We shift up to Alan’s room where Jay and Joan Garrick are at Alan’s bedside. Joan begs Alan to come back to them. Then we see a green flame flicker from Alan’s ring. We see Jade’s spirit come out of Alan’s ring. Jade gives her father one last kiss and then tells her father to live. Then Jade disappears. Alan then wakes up. End of issue.

During the story we have one page snippets of the Gentleman Ghost’s past as child in the late 1700’s in England tucked in here and there between scenes.


The Good: JSA #85 is the best issue so far of this “One Year Later” storyline. What really made me love this issue was the appearance of the ghosts of some of the Golden Age heroes. Especially the Golden Age Batman. Thank you, Infinite Crisis! That entire scene with the Golden Age heroes kicking butt was just fantastic.

Paul Levitz writes a strong issue. Levitz can still write very good dialogue. Each character is well developed and you can tell that Levitz really loves these classic JSA characters.

It is nice to have Alan back and I don’t think we have seen the last of Jade. I think she may still live on in his power ring. Or something. I don’t know, but there is something unresolved there.

The Bad: Even though this issue was better than the rest, it still is moving at to slow of a pace. Really, not much happened this issue. We got to see the Golden Age ghosts. And we got some cryptic help from Golden Age Batman. And we had Jade help her father come back to life. But, overall, the pace is just a bit too slow.

Plus, I am getting the feeling that this story arc is just pure filler in order to finish up this title in order to make way for Geoff Johns’ restart of the JSA later this year. Kind of like the final story arc to the Flash before they ended the title to get it ready for its restart.

The art is solid, but not spectacular. Usually I really like Rags’ art. But this issue has some weak art. I think it was the art by committee with the three artists that hurt this issue. That always leads to a schizophrenic and disjointed look to a comic book.

1 thought on “Comic Book Review: JSA #85: One Year Later

  1. Well, we here at the Revolution must be drinking the same cool-aid, because I’m right there with Rokk. This is a workable story, and there are some fun character beats, but it feels thin and a bit of a place holder.

    Hopefully the ending illuminates these issues a bit more.

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