Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #11

The Revolution really enjoyed the last issue of Justice Society of America. I liked how Johns handled the Superman from Kingdom Come and his adjustment to his new Earth. I’m confident that Justice Society of America #11 is going to be another excellent read. Johns has been firing on all cylinders on this title and I’d be surprised to see him misfire with this issue. Let’s go on and hit the review for Justice Society of America #11.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Pencils: Dale Eaglesham
Inks: Ruy Jose

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: We begin with Jay and Wally on the Cosmic Treadmill arriving at the location for the old Earth-2. For a moment we see brief flash of Robin and Huntress. When Jay and Wally arrive at the location for the old Earth-2 there is nothing but black emptiness. The Cosmic Treadmill then overheats and falls apart as Jay and Wally return to New Earth.

We cut to the JSA brownstone where the combined forces of the JLA and JSA are running tests on Superman from Kingdom Come. Wonder Woman puts her lasso on Superman and says that he is telling the truth about being from an alternate planet. Dr. Mid-Nite and Mr. Terrific run a bunch of tests on Superman. Hal Jordan and John Stewart use their power rings to scan Superman to confirm that he is Kryptonian.

The combined JLA and JSA members comment how one old Superman visited them to condemn them and now this old Superman is visiting them and praising them. Batman mentions that they need to get Superman back to his Earth. Starman says that it will be hard to do that without a map. Starman then breaks the fourth wall and asks if anyone has a map of the Multiverse. (What does it matter? The Multiverse keeps getting smaller and smaller with each month as Didio “blows shit up.”)

Superman then comments that he can’t go back. That as he was being transported away from his Earth, he saw it blow up in a huge explosion. That his Earth is dead. (Sarcastic “yay!”)

We cut to Power Girl mourning at Kal’L and Lois’ graves. Power Girl sobs that she doesn’t want to be alone anymore.

We hop back to the JSA brownstone where the JSA is letting Superman stay with them for as long as he wants. We see Superman walking around New York in civilian clothes. Superman sees the JSA rushing to a huge fight in New York that has broken out between a girl named Sonia Sato, who is the new Judomaster, and the members of Ketsueki-Senshi, The Blood Soldiers, who are killers for the Yakuza. The Blood Soldiers are led by Tiger who was the first Judomaster’s protégé. The other members include Seppuku, Kamikaze, Kung the Obake and Samurai.

We learn during the battle that Judomaster has the unique ability of not being able to be hit. Superman arrives on the scene to help back up the JSA. We see Judomaster take down the Blood Soldiers. The fight causes massive collateral damage to the surrounding area.

The police arrive on the scene and want to arrest Judomaster. The JSA try and persuade the police to let the Judomaster go and that they will take care of her.

We cut to Power Girl arriving back at the JSA brownstone. Superman approaches her and mentions that he knows his appearance causes Power Girl pain. Power Girl comments how Superman looks so much like her Kal-L. Superman says that Power Girl found a new home on this Earth and that is what he is trying to do as well. Superman says that they may not be family, but he hopes that they can learn to be family. Power Girl smiles at Superman.

We hop over to the murder scene of Chroma in the sewers. The FBI is combing the place for evidence. We see that the FBI has called in the help of the new Mr. America. Mr. America stares at the scene and thinks that today the hunt begins. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: I’m surprised. Justice Society of America #11 was a decidedly pedestrian read. I expect better from Johns than what we got with this issue. Having said that, there were several aspects of this issue that I enjoyed.

As usual, Johns crafted some solid dialogue. Johns has such an impressive feel for the various characters. The reader can tell that Johns feels very much at home on this title. What makes Justice Society of America such a joy to read is the wonderful casual dialogue that Johns is able to create between the various JSA members. This helps to create strong chemistry between the various characters. It also helps to further flesh out the personalities of the various characters. Even little throw away lines gives the reader a good sense of the particular character’s personality.

I loved seeing Jay and Wally on the Cosmic Treadmill. It gave me warm and fuzzy feelings of the DCU prior to the first Crisis. It appears that by the time the heroes in the DCU discover the new Multiverse it will have already been destroyed by Superman-Prime.

I enjoyed the quick appearance by the Blood Soldiers. And that is no surprise given my love for any and all things Japanese. I’m curious to see if Tiger and his band of villains make further appearances on this title down the road. I hope so. These are some unique looking characters that could provide for an entertaining story arc.

I liked the scene between Superman and Power Girl. These two lost characters desperately need each other if they are to truly rebuild their lives on New Earth. It is nice to see that Power Girl may finally be able to work through her grief by leaning on Superman for support.

I was psyched to see Mr. America at the end of this issue. I have always thought he was a pretty cool character. I dig his classic mystery man design.

Eaglesham and Jose combine to deliver plenty of solid artwork. Their style of art is a nice match for an old school group like the JSA.

The Bad: Justice Society of America #11 was a slowly paced issue. We creep along from start to finish. This issue reads like pure filler. The reader gets the unfortunate feeling that the story lacks any point or purpose in this issue. The story lazily meanders around without any direction.

And worst of all, the reader ends up at the exact same place that we were at the end of Justice Society of America #10: the crime scene of Chroma’s murder. I hate it when a writer burns an entire issue wasting time and then places us practically in the same place and time as we ended the previous issue. It smacks the reader in the face that this was a wasted issue.

It appears that the Kingdom Come Earth has gone the way of Didio’s mandate to “blow shit up.” That is lame and unfortunate. What a total waste of a great Earth with tons of potential for entertaining stories in the future. This is just more of the same that we can expect between now and Final Crisis. Yippee.

I found the new Judomaster to be a pretty boring and uninteresting character. Of course, the fact that she doesn’t talk certainly didn’t endear me to her character. I also don’t see the need for adding more members to the JSA’s already overcrowded roster. I’ll keep an open mind, however, since Johns has gotten me to like characters that I never thought I would. Kid Devil and Ravager are two excellent examples of that.

Overall: Justice Society of America #11 was a time waster. This issue was nothing more than pure filler. Johns used this issue to kill some time before the next major story arc. I’ll forgive a momentary hiccup in what has been a fantastic read ever since Justice Society of America #1. Even dependable and strong titles like Justice Society of America throw out a clunker issue every once in a while.

3 Comments

  1. My first thought when Mister America turned up at the crime scene was that he was trailing his long cape through the sewage.

    I have to say, I was really looking forward to this story, but it’s not really working for me yet. There are way too many characters with too little to do; Johns can usually juggle them to give each some little moment, but the operative word is little. And we’re apparently getting even more members next month.

    There’s a huge amount of potential to bringing KC-Superman into the current universe, but so far (and it’s been only two issues, so this can pick up), he’s not really interacting with any of the characters I’d be really interested in seeing him with (which is partly because the characters in question, Superman and Wonder Woman, aren’t members of the JSA; I imagine we’ll get some significant Superman/Superman interaction, but I’d also really like to see KC-Supes talk with Wonder Woman, who’s a less-cynical version of his future wife; on the other hand, Wonder Woman is one of the few DC characters that Johns can’t write properly to save his life, unfortunately).

    Oh, and KC Earth isn’t blown up, I don’t think; Ross said he was from a specific point in the story, and will return to it later and resume his old place; from all appearances, KC-Supes is from the point right after the bomb went off in the final battle, and he thinks all the other heroes are dead.

  2. My hope for the Justice Society is if it continues to add members at the rate it does now, then they’d be smart enough to use just a portion of the roster from issue to issue. I don’t really mind a large membership base as long as they can utilize different combinations and different personalities effectively.

    I admit, the story is just plodding along in this issue. All we really established is Kingdom Come Superman is really Superman, he wants to be friends with Power Girl, and oh look–there’s the new Judomaster. But my hope is that the next one will make up for it.

  3. by building the roster one they could gain the ability of bringing out a second JSA book with each book focusing on different members of the JSA. Kinda like how marvel does x-men

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