Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #22 (2009)

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #22 (February, 2009)
"One World, Under Gog, Part VII: Thy Will Be Done"
Story/Script - Geoff Johns
Story/Painted Pages - Alex Ross
Penciller - Dale Eaglesham
Inker - Nathan Massengill
Colorist - Hi-Fi
Letterer - Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor - Harvey Richards
Editor - Michael Siglain
Special Thanks - Mark Waid
Cover Price: $2.99

"Thy Will Be Done"  Okay, folks who had the bet that they'd use that title for this issue?  Oh, all of us?  Well, fair enough.

That's right... after a very long time, we're finally going to wrap up the Justice Society of America spectacular Thy Kingdom Come!

If you need/want to be caught up... maybe use the handy-dandy Search Box to the right that I'd forgotten was even there!  Here's a quick link: Thy Kingdom Come Search.  Hopefully that worked!


We pick up right where we left off last issue... Gog's ticked, and is in the middle of taking back all the gifts he'd given.  He decides, however, to give his herald Magog, one more chance to "come around".  He doesn't... but thankfully, by this point the cavalry has arrived!

Gog fights through the onslaught... and proceeds to mocks those he'd just taken from, including Damage.  Remember, he made Damage handsome again... well, not anymore.  At this point, poor begotten Citizen Steel steps to the plate...

... and punches Gog square in the shin!

This is, surprisingly, enough to get the big man off his feet.  The Society swarms!  Cyclone whips up a... er, cyclone to cover the baddie in rocks.  Alan ties him down with green energy, then Magog... er, decapitates him!  Looking at it quickly, I thought for a moment Alan had garroted him with a green-beam! 

Superman-22 hoists the severed head over his, um, head (picture included, because this is a pretty awesome shot).

Then, he and Starman take the head of Gog on a one way trip... to the Source Wall!  All the while, Gog lambastes Superman for leaving his Earth... and dooming it to die.

This makes Superman realize that... Gog's right!  He needs to return to Earth-22... he has to try and make things right.  He has to try and stop the bomb.  And so, using the Multiversal Map on Starman's costume... does just that.

He arrives on the battlefield, just after the United Nations' nuclear strike.  He sees the bodies strewn before him, including that of Kara.

Back on Earth, the Justice Society reconnoiters and licks their wounds.  It looks like most of Gog's "gifts" have been rescinded... Damage is ugly, Dr. Mid-Nite is blind... strangely, however... David Reid is still Magog!

On Earth-22, Superman heads to the United Nations building, and welds all of the exits shut... and he looks to be getting ready to topple the building with all the Delegates inside!  He is stopped by Norman McCay... you know, that old guy from Kingdom Come.  He appeals to Clark... telling him if he goes through with this act, he'll only be proving the U.N. right.  Further, he tells him he must first forgive himself if he has any hope of moving forward.

Superman thinks on it a bit... and realizes the old feller is right.  Just as he comes to this decision, he is reunited with the superheroes who did survive the bomb.

We wrap up our Earth section with Starman returning to the Justice Society and informing them that Superman decided to head back to his own Earth.  But not to worry for him, because Starman already knows that Clark Kent's future... and in just a matter of moments, we will too!

One year later, Earth-22 time, Clark turns Kansas into a memorial for all those lost.  He is joined by Wonder Woman, who gives him a pair of glasses to improve his sight.

Ten years later, the next generation is born.

Twenty years later, his best friend Bruce Wayne passes away.

One Hundred years later, Clark and Diana ship their son off Earth as civilization undergoes something of a... great disaster?  A hundred years after that... it's beginning to look a lot like Kamandi.  And finally... One Thousand years later, the Legion of Super-Heroes takes flight... and they appear to have one very special fan.


Now that's one heckuvan ending!  I apologize for being so picture-heavy toward the end there, but, c'mon... not only is it some beautiful work by Alex Ross, it also gives us over a millennia worth of story for the Superman of Earth-22.  It ties just a perfect bow on that timeline/Earth... and is a great way to let us just put it back onto the shelf.

I've said throughout our reread of Thy Kingdom Come that it felt like "decompression done right".  That is to say, there were chapters in which very little seemed to happen, however at the end of each one, I walked away satisfied.  I feel the same way here... and was beyond happy that the ending and epilogue were fit into a single issue.

So often these days we fill an entire extra issue with epilogue-matter.  Sometimes that's the right thing to do... but often it results in some sparse and empty-feeling issues.  I think of recent "epilogue" issues, and remember thinking that the first 2-3 pages were pretty spectacular... but the rest kinda just "happened".  I think if this were to come out today (or from Marvel) the Alex Ross bits would have been a standalone book... with a price tag of at least $4.99.

Enough about that... what of the story?  Well, Gog was dispatched with the quickness.  I feel like maybe they took him down a little too easily.  The entire fight only lasted a handful of pages... which after nearly a year's worth of build-up feels kind of weak.  Not that I wanted this entire book to be a giant (pun!) fight scene or anything... just expected a bit more than this.  Perhaps some emphasis on brains over brawn... ya know?

The real "meat" of the story is the second half though.  We were given some brief scenes of the Justice Society licking their wounds... which is fine, because they'll actually be coming back next issue.  The main focus is squarely put on Earth-22... and it's pretty great.  As mentioned above, this really feels like an Earth that can just be put back up on the shelf and left alone.  If a writer really wanted to revisit it... well, there are a thousand years worth of stories they could tell.  If nobody ever decides to?  Well, that's fine too.

Overall... brevity of fight aside, this was a pretty spectacular issue.  Excellent writing from Johns... and wonderful art from Eaglesham and Ross.  This is the kind of "single issue" I look at and become even more annoyed when I see people dismissively refer to them as "floppies" (can we please stop that?).  Highly recommended... Thy Kingdom Come is must-reading.


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