Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #15

The Revolution loved the last issue of Justice Society of America. Johns finally stepped on the gas and got this lumbering story arc moving. The ending to the last issue was flat out awesome. I cannot wait to see Alan Scott armored up with Obsidian by his side clash with Gog. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Justice Society of America #15.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Pencils: Dale Eaglesham
Inks: Prentis Rollins

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: We begin with Gog still engaged in a massive battle with the JSA. Alan Scott and Obsidian attack Gog. Gog says that he is not here for the JSA. That he is only here for the Superman from another Earth. Obsidian turns into a black shadow and enters inside of Gog through his mouth. Obsidian then turns Gog’s eyes black and blinds him. The other members of the JSA take this opportunity to attack Gog while he can’t see. Gog then pukes Obsidian out of his body and then battles back against the JSA.

However, the newer members of the JSA get involved. Lightning blasts Gog. Gog then tries punching Steel but can’t budge Steel an inch. Steel then hammers Gog. Then Judomaster attacks Gog. Gog then blasts Judomaster.

We then cut to the JSA brownstone where Jakeem is knocked out and, therefore, cannot give a verbal command for Thunderbolt to join the fight against Gog. Suddenly, Sandy appears out of the Earth back and better than ever. Sandy says that the man they are fighting is not Gog. The man’s name is Matthews. Sandy says that the real Gog is somewhere else entirely.

We cut back to Matthews about to impale Judomaster. Matthews rants that the world was created in seven days and that Gog’s scripture says he will save it in seven more. Lance, Hawkman, Amazing Man, Steel, Mr. Terrific, Damage and Superman all dog pile on Matthews before he can kill Judomaster. Suddenly, a boom tube teleports Matthews and the JSA’ers who were on him away from the scene.

Sandy appears from the Earth and tells the remaining JSA’ers that Matthews and their teammates were transported back to the temple in the Congo. That sandy have Mid-Nite the exact coordinates. Sandy says he will meet them there and sinks back into the Earth.

We cut to Matthews and Lance, Hawkman, Amazing Man, Steel, Mr. Terrific, Damage and Superman appearing back at the temple in the Congo. Lance then fires an energy blast at point blank range directly into Matthews’ face. Sandy then appears from the ground and asks Matthews what Gog wants. Matthews says that Gog wants to save them all. That there must be no others. No false gods. That Gog is their only hope.

Suddenly, the purple rocky face in the temple wall comes alive and says “Blasphemy.” The rocky face then opens its mouth and transforms Matthews into green energy and sucks him into his mouth. Then the rocky face comes rising out of the ground.

Sandy says that the Earth told him that the stone head did not belong. That it is thousands of years old but it is not from their world. We see the purple rocky face grow a body. We then see a giant armored figure towering over the JSA’ers. The figure says “People of Earth. I come in peace.” End of issue.

The Good: Justice Society of America #15 was a fantastic read. Johns is en fuego right now on this title. This issue was all about one thing: action. After giving us several slow and plodding issues, Johns more than makes up for it with some seriously furious fighting. Johns treats the reader to just an awesome brawl that stretches throughout this entire issue. The monstrous fight had such a wonderful flow to it and was masterfully choreographed. Johns certainly proves that he can dish out action scenes that are as good as what you will get from any other writer.

Justice Society of America #15 was a well paced read that was a stark contrast to the prior issues on this story arc. This issue is a fast read, however it never felt rushed. This issue was also a well plotted read. Johns progresses this complex story arc in a focused fashion. I appreciate that Johns is letting this story arc unfold organically and that each answer yields an even great question.

Johns does a nice job letting the new members of the JSA show that they belong on the team. And I like that Johns does so naturally without forcing the new members on the reader by jobbing out the older JSA members just to let the newer members grab the spotlight.

Instead, we see Lightning, Lance, Judomaster and Steel getting their shots in on Matthews. And we then see them taking a beating just like the older JSA members receive. This was an effective way of showing that these new members can be just as valuable in a brawl as the more experienced members.

I have to say that Steel was pretty bad-assed when he mixed it up with Matthews. I dig how Steel does his best Blob impersonation by telling Matthews that nothing can budge Steel. Johns certainly gets across to the reader that Citizen Steel is one of the JSA’s heavy hitters.

I also liked how Johns handled Lance’s character during this brawl. Lance shows that while he may be new to the JSA, that unlike some of the other new members of the JSA, Lance is no newbie to fighting. Lance is a soldier and he shows just that as he blasts away at Matthews. I have to admit that Lance is beginning to grow on me.

It was wonderful to see Sandy back and better than ever. Evidently, Sandy’s powers make him incredibly hard to kill. Sandy is hands down my favorite JSA’er. I completely dig everything about his character. Sandy has one of the best character designs that makes him so cool looking. Sandy also possess some of the most interesting and unique powers in the DCU. It was a blast to see Sandy back in action with the JSA.

Johns ends Justice Society of America #15 with an incredible hook ending. I was not expecting Matthews to get swallowed up by the rocky facing the temple wall. And then the dramatic “re-birth” of Gog was one attention grabbing way to end the issue. And you know that you can never trust anyone who claims that they have come to Earth in peace. I definitely cannot wait to learn more about Gog.

Johns then treats the reader to a cool teaser page at the end of this issue. The teaser page consists of four panels. The first panel suggest that someone male dies. We don’t know if it is a JSA’er or not. But, I would imagine that it probably is. We know that the dead person cannot be Dr. Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific or Jay Garrick. And that is good since I like all three of those characters.

The male JSA’ers that I wouldn’t mind seeing take a dirt nap would include Jakeem Thunder, which will never happen, or Wildcat 2.0, since I’m not that attached to him. I actually dig almost all of the male JSA’ers. Too bad it isn’t a female that Johns is offing. I would be more than happy to nominate either Stargirl or Cyclone to take a dirt nap.

The second teaser panel shows Power Girl reunited with her Earth-Two brethren. With the return of the Multiverse, you knew that this had to happen at some point. I am extremely excited for this plotline. It should be neat to see Power Girl’s reaction to seeing her Earth and her friends back and better than ever.

The third teaser panel shows that Magog from Kingdom Come is evidently slated to make an appearance. This certainly piques my interest and should lead to an action packed story.

The fourth panel, and quite possibly the coolest of the four teaser panels, shows us Black Adam with none other than Isis by his side. We learn that Black Adam and Isis are now in control of the Rock of Eternity. What a huge swerve! I love it. I am a big Black Adam fan and Johns has done such a wonderful job handling Adam’s character. And I’m psyched to see that Isis will be returning. I loved her character over on 52.

There is no doubt that Johns has some huge plotlines in store for us over the course of this year. Johns continues to amaze me by always striving to top himself on the JSA. This is exactly why the JSA remains one of DC’s stronger titles.

Eaglesham and Rollins dish out some artwork that is just phenomenal. Eaglesham continues to impress the hell out of me with his action scenes. Eaglesham gets the reader to feel like they are right in the middle of this brawl. The reader can actually feel the tremors and blows from this fight. Eaglesham does an excellent job conveying to the reader the massive scale of the battle between Matthews and the JSA.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Justice Society of America #15 was a brilliant issue. Johns continues to impress me with his work on this title. The story that Johns is weaving on the JSA is one of the more intriguing ones in the DCU. Justice Society of America offers the reader a pleasant balance of good dialogue and character work with plenty of action and adventure. If you dig DC continuity then you will adore what Johns is doing on the JSA. Even if you aren’t heavy into DC continuity, I think that you will still enjoy this title as Johns does his best to make the story as new reader friendly as possible.

JSA is such a balanced title that it should appeal to a large cross-section of comic book readers. If you still have not given the Justice Society of America a try then I urge you to do so. This title is well worth the cover price. If you don’t want to get the monthly issues, then I definitely recommend getting this story arc when it is released in trade paperback format.

2 thoughts on “Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #15

  1. One amazing issue! I have a whole three day weekend of comics ahead but I cannot imagine a title that will surpass JSA. JSA is the type of book I will go back and re-read the previous chapters before the newest installment. Not because I forgot what happened previously but because it is just such an enjoyable and rich narrative. There is always something I missed or didn’t realize how important it was for later (Starman offers great twisted “insights”).

    I don’t know why this book isn’t DC top seller. It deserves the widest audience possible. Have a great Memorial Day weekend and thanks for the much appreciated summary and commentary.

  2. Well, this book isn’t one of DC’s best sellers because it doesn’t have any of the top three, or even top ten, of their most famous characters appearing in it. The thing is, if you did bring in one of the big three, that character would likely take over the book and you would lose what makes the JSA so good.

    As long as it sells well enough to stick around, be happy that you have this alternative to the Trinity.

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