Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #9

Justice Society of America #9 is the set up issue to the new Kingdom Come story arc. For fans of Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come, this is the day that we have been waiting for. When the Kingdom Come universe collides with the regular DCU. This story arc should be nothing short of spectacular. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Justice Society of America #9.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Dale Eaglesham
Inker: Ruy Jose

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

Synopsis: We begin with Power Girl thinking about the events of Infinite Crisis and how she misses Kal-L and how she hopes that someday he will return. We cut to the Justice Society of America having a huge party at the Firehouse of the fire engine that got destroyed during the battled between Vandal Savage and the two Wildcats.

The Fire Chief thanks Alan Scott for the new fire engine and for hanging out at the Firehouse and hosting the big block party. We see Steel making pancakes for everyone as the Heywood kids cause a ruckus wherever they go.

We then cut to the main event fight between Wildcat and his son Tommy that is being held for charity to raise money for the fire department. Wildcat easily proves that he is the superior fighter by smacking around Tommy.

Suddenly, there is a call to the Firehouse about a huge fire in the area. The firemen get their gear ready and roll out with the members of the JSA heading out along with them. They arrive on the scene of a huge factory fire. The JSA members all go inside with the exception of Steel since his metal uniform would make him too hot to grab any people inside who need to be rescued. Nate looks really bummed.

The rest of the JSA enters the factory and begin rescuing the firefighters who were trapped inside. The JSA then comes across the source of the fire. They see the villain Goth dead with a huge hole through his chest. The fire consuming the factory is coming from the hole in Goth’s chest.

The fire is magical in nature and is affecting Alan Scott’s power ring. Alan says that he can feel the power coming from Goth through his ring’s green flame. That Goth’s power is about to erupt. Power Girl tries to go grab Goth’s body in order to throw it into orbit. However, the magical flames burn Power Girl’s skin.

Starman then says that his Legion flight ring protects him from the cold of deep space and the heat of the sun. That he can create a black hole and put Goth in it. Even though Starman has never actually created a black hole, he swears that he can do it.

Power Girl tells the rest of the JSA members to evacuate the factory and let Starman do his thing. Thom focuses his energy and concentrates hard to create a black hole. Thom succeeds in creating a black hole and placing Goth inside of it so the energy harmless erupts in the black hole. However, Starman passes out before he can seal up the black hole.

We see a shadowy figure step out of the black hole and say “Starman?” We cut to outside of the factory where the rest of the JSA is impressed that Starman put out the whole fire. We then see a shadowy figure emerge from the factory. It is Superman from Kingdom Come. He is holding Starman’s unconscious body. Superman asks “Where am I?” End of issue.

The Good: Justice Society of America #9 was a great set up issue for this potentially white hot Kingdom Come story arc. Johns turned in a pleasantly paced issue. No, it wasn’t fast paced and crammed with tons of action or snappy banter. This issue was slower paced and that is exactly why I thought the pacing was perfect. This issue was a chance for the reader to take a break and give a nice look at our heroes during a little bit of down time. Some of my favorite issues are the “day off” issues that you get every once in a while on a team title.

Johns crafted a well plotted issue. Johns bookends this issue nicely with the foreshadowing of Kal-L’s return in the beginning of the issue and then the return of the Kingdom Come Superman at the end of the issue.

Johns cranks out his usually well written dialogue. All of the members of the JSA have their own unique voice. Johns continues to engage in plenty of character work as this issue focuses on the JSA’ers during downtime. The JSA has fantastic chemistry between the team members. Johns has an incredible feel for the JSA and he understands that the JSA is not a team. The JSA is a family. And Johns gives us a great sense of how the JSA is a family. You see it in scenes like when Jay Garrick plays the role of the elderly father when the fireman is hitting on Stargirl.

The entire scene at the firehouse was enjoyable. This is what makes the JSA so special. The JSA is in our world. Their home base is a brownstone in New York City, not some super secret satellite up in the heavens. The JLA are modern day gods up on their modern Mount Olympus. The JLA is separate from us and our world. The JSA isn’t. The JSA lives with us. They interact in our world.

I dig the concept of JSA being good neighbors and getting a new fire truck because Wildcat damaged the old one and the JSA holding a charity event to raise money for the Firehouse. My favorite part of the scene at the Firehouse was Nathan fully assuming his role as the patriarch of the Heywood family.

Johns has such a great attention to detail. The little things in scenes tell you plenty about the different characters. For example, when the JSA runs into the burning factory, Steel has to stay behind due to his metal outfit and slow speed. It is only one panel and Steel doesn’t speak, but his body language shows the reader how Nathan is depressed that he can’t use his abilities to save the trapped firemen.

The pacing and intensity of this issue cranks up several notches as we arrive at the burning factory. This was a pretty cool scene since we got to see Thom strut his stuff and save the day by creating a mini-black hole. And then Johns drops a huge bomb on the reader with the arrival of the Kingdom Come Superman. I had a total geekgasm. Finally, DC has made the move to pull the Kingdom Come universe into the current DCU. I honestly thought we would never see this happen. Of course, I also never thought that DC would be smart enough to bring back the Multiverse.

Justice Society of America #9 served its purpose that all set-up issues strive for: to get the reader excited about the upcoming story arc. I am definitely pumped up and ready for this Kingdom Come story arc. I think that Johns has another masterpiece on his hands with this story arc.

Eaglesham and Jose provide plenty of their usual well done artwork. Eaglesham and Jose are remarkably consistent and always deliver a nice looking issue.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue at all.

Overall: Justice Society of America #9 continues to be one of DC’s stronger reads. Johns consistently cranks out complex and satisfying reads each and every month. This Kingdom Come story arc has the potential to be one phenomenal story. I definitely recommend picking up the JSA in order to enjoy this upcoming story arc.

1 thought on “Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #9

  1. It’s a good start, although some of the firehouse antics are bit on the cheesy side for me (the seemingly endless number of kids).

    There’s been a lot of speculation about where in Kingdom Come Superman is from; if he’s from before the story, or at some point during it. If during, the absence of a cape when he appears makes me think of the aftermath of his confrontation with Magog, or just after the climactic nuclear blast (although he seems way too rational for the latter).

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