Saturday, July 29, 2017

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #9 (2007)

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #9 (November, 2007)
"Thy Kingdom Come, Prologue"
Writer - Geoff Johns
Penciller - Dale Eaglesham
Inker - Ruy Jose
Colorists - Jeremy Cox & Hi-Fi
Letterer - Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor - Harvey Richards
Editor - Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.99

It's the weekend... and it seems like I talk about the Justice Society on weekends.  Not something I planned, just something I've noticed.  I guess the old-timers from Earth-2 really put me in a weekend-y mood.

Today we're going to discuss an issue that featured one of my first "jaw drop" moments as a DC Comics fan.  Let's get to it.


We open up with Power Girl standing at the gravesite of Kal-L... that is, the Superman of Earth-2 who died during (the recently-ended) Infinite Crisis.  The narration keys us into Kara's origin(s)... and suddenly an arm reaches from out of the grave, revealing this scene to be... a dream!  Kara sits up in bed and thinks on it... Kal-L died reminding the heroes what they ought to be, and as Chairwoman of the Justice Society, she will keep his words alive.

The next morning, in Brooklyn... the Justice Society is taking part in a ginormous pancake breakfast at the Fire Station.  It's quite the scene!  The Chief thanks Green Lantern for supplying them with a new fire engine... if you'll recall, the other one hit a wild Vandal Savage.

In the back Citizen Steel is whipping up a massive stack of pancakes while surrounded by children who'd rather pummel each other with the ingredients than make breakfast with them.  He's ultimately successful... and the kids manage to make one helluva pancake.  I mean, it takes like four of them to carry it.  I have trouble making anything bigger than a silver-dollar, how in the world did they flip this thing!  I'm guessing it's pretty mushy in the middle... and burnt around the edges.  Why am I still going on about a pancake?  It's morning, and I'm hungry.  Anyhoo, Power Girl informs the crew that "the fight" is about to begin, and so...

We shift to a boxing ring where Wildcat is about to face-off with... Wildcat!  It's a father and son boxing match for charity... and it's occurring in a ring erected in the middle of the street!  In a somewhat shocking display, Wildcat (the first) teaches his son a lesson in the ring.  I was totally expecting the young "whippersnapper" to totally school his old man... that's usually how these things go.

Ted tells Tom that he's telegraphing his next move with his tail... to which, Tom says he's cheating.  Ted's all, "you think supervillains play fair?".  I have it on good authority that no, no they don't.  We only get one round in (which Ted wins on points) before the fire bell sounds... before we know it, the F.D.N.Y. and the J.S.A. are off to fight a fire... and save some trapped firefighters!

Upon arrival, Power Girl tells Citizen Steel to hang back... since he's mostly made of metal, he'll be of little use in this rescue mission... after all, he'd get far too hot to save anybody.  Inside, the group comes across the dead body of... Goth?!  Oooooh boy... Goth was a bad guy during Devin Grayson's run on Titans back in the late 90's... and was basically Marilyn Manson (his introduction in Titans Secret Files and Origins is literally a tracing of the album cover for Manson's Mechanical Animals!).  He was a rock-singer who could control his audience on sort of an exponential level... like, first he'd control one... then two, two became four, four became eight... and so on.  Anyhoo... he is now dead, with a hole in his chest.

Turns out that much of this heat is emanating from whatever power it was that Goth possessed this time around... it's so powerful that it's effecting Alan's ring... and burning Kara's skin!  At this point Starman has the idea that he might be able to create a black hole... and send the fire into it.  Power Girl makes the executive decision to let him at it... and takes the rest of the group outside, as to not get sucked in themselves.

From outside we see that the fire has been extinguished... and a man begins to lumber through the smoke.  It's definitely not the man anyone was expecting to see, however...


And that sound you just heard was the me of ten years ago's jaw hitting the ground.  Having been a post-Crisis kid... actually, having been a Marvel kid, and a post-Crisis teen... I didn't really get to experience a whole lot in the way of seeing multiple (or infinite) Earths.  (Outside of Zero Hour anomalies) I think the closest I ever got to seeing someone who didn't quite belong was during a Superman storyline where WildStorm character Mr. Majestic popped in... so seeing the Kingdom Come Superman lumbering through the smoke was just wild!

It had been hinted that Kingdom Come was going to be folded in via Starman's ravings earlier in the series, but actually seeing that Superman... I dunno, just felt so wrong and right... and really makes you feel like everything is on the table.  I loved it... and, I'm not even that big a fan of Kingdom Come itself!  Though, to be fair... I read it when I had far less affinity (and knowledge) of DC Comics, I'm very likely due a reread.

For the rest of the issue... I love that the Justice Society is taking part in a pancake breakfast/luncheon.  It just seems like something they would do.  While I always look at the Justice League as co-workers, and mayyybe friends... the Justice Society is all about family.  I couldn't see Batman in the back making pancakes unless it's being played for laughs.

The Wildcat/Wildcat bout was fun to see as well.  I was really expecting the younger to dazzle the older with his moves, and was pleased that was not the case.  Too often the younger heroes get the better of the older despite not having nearly the experience.  I was glad to see Ted teach Tommy that experience and tactical prowess actually means something in battle.  His line about the bad guys not playing fair was well taken as well.

Power Girl... gets to make one of her first big decisions as Chairwoman... and, it could be argued that it was a bad one!  I love this!  She has no time to think about options, and allows one of her own to remain in a burning building while trying to concoct a black frickin' hole.  On paper, that sounds like a terrible idea!  They're treating her leadership position as one she will need to grow into... which, not to get too controversial, is definitely not how she would be written had this issue come out today.

Power Girl, despite her pedigree and longevity, has never truly led the team before... it stands to reason that she would make a mistake or two... or make a few questionable decisions.  I appreciate that Alan deferred to her (as he should at this juncture), and really appreciate that her decision was more a lesser-of-two-evils than "the perfect plan".  Now, as luck would have it, the decision she makes to allow Starman to work his hoo-doo was the right one (or was it?)... but it very easily could have went the other way.

The art continues to amaze... I swear I could read an entire book that consists of nothing but Dale Eaglesham two-page spreads.  Somehow when he does it, it never looks like a waste of space or filler.  Just incredible work here!

All this, and we even get to throw a horrible (dated as all hell) villain (literally) on the fire.  What's not to love?  I say it every time we cover the Justice Society... but, ya gotta read this run.  Ya just gotta.  It is available digitally, and has been collected as part of Thy Kingdom Come, Part One (available at a pretty deep discount at InStockTrades).


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