Justice Society of America (vol.3) #18 (October, 2008)
“One World, Under Gog – Part III: War Lords”
Story – Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Pencillers – Dale Eaglesham & Jerry Ordway
Inkers – Mick Gray, Kris Justice & Nathan Massengill
Colorist – Hi-Fi
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor – Harvey Richards
Editor – Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.99
Well… last time we checked in with our Golden-Age pals, Gog was “giveth-ing”… which is usually followed by another line. Will that other shoe drop here? Let’s find out!
We open with some warlords invading a Congolese settlement… which is a big no-no, especially if there’s a several story tall Gog in the area. He heads off to look into… and quell the situation. Upon arrival, he is “greeted” by a barrage of futile gunfire to his shins. The Justice Society inserts themselves into the proceedings, hopeful that they can maybe get the warlords to cool their jets before Gog decides to make a more permanent “statement”.
They are pretty successful in doing so, though at one point Hawkman gets a bit of a wild hair up his wing-helmet and goes in for the kill. Flash (the interim JSA Chairman) zips over to calm him down… telling him they are there to trying to stop a war… not ignite one!
While this is going down, we hop over to check out some Society-centric vignettes. We can see dreamy Damage trying to put the moves on Judomaster, Ma Hunkel putting Sandy to bed, and all the way on Earth-2, Power Girl being… ya know, pretty dang confused.
Back in the Congo, the gang breaks away to try to figure out what they ought to do about Gog. They also recount the “blessings” he’s bestowed over the past little while. Curing Starman’s schizophrenia, which might be more of a curse than anything… curing Dr. Mid-Nite’s vision, which too, might be a bit of a “monkey’s paw”. Most members of the team are a bit incredulous… however, Lance things Gog’s aces, after all… as of yet, he hasn’t actually done anything wrong. Citizen Steel is also a bit of a Gog-booster… but we know he just wants to be “blessed”.
While the Society chats, things get a bit contentious. Superman-22 tells Hawkman that they need to not resort to lethal force… which, as you might imagine, ain’t something Hawkman wants to hear… especially from someone he views as a “guest”. Green Lantern tries to reason with Carter, telling him that as long as they have a U.S. Marine on their team (Lance), they are representing the United States… and so, can’t be leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Speaking of Lance, it’s now that he volunteers to “walk with Gog.”
Suddenly, another squad of warlords begins attacking the tiny town. The Society rushes in just in time to see the baddies bodies start to contort. They fear that Gog has finally been pushed over the edge… to the point of murder. No, no, no… it’s actually kinda worse than that. He transforms the warlords into fruit-bearing trees… so that they can provide both sustenance and shade to those they had wronged. The gang sees this as a fate just as bad as death… after all, there’s no longer any brain function nor nervous system. Plus, I mean… who in the hell is gonna eat that fruit?
Mr. Terrific’s T-Spheres reveal that… well, more warlords are on their way… this is tantamount to an ambush. At this point, Lance completely loses it… and rushes into battle, gun-arm-lance-glowing thing a’blazing! That is, of course, until he takes a launched rocket at short range. He slumps to the ground… dead! Dr. Mid-Nite attempts to operate, howwwwwwever, with his sight “blessing” he no longer has his “special vision”… which renders him pretty blind as far a super-powered surgeon goes.
Superman-22 starts yelling at Gog… blaming him for the loss of one of their own. To which, Gog smiles… and “fixes” poor, dead Lance. Making him reborn into… Magog! Uh-oh.
We wrap up this chapter back on Earth-2. We meet Physics Professor Michaal Holt who is on the phone with his wife, who is expecting. Upon entering his office he is greeted by… Power Girl, who desperately needs his help!
Well, looks like Superman-22’s prophecy has just come true! We’ve finally got ourselves a Magog. Really liked the way they did this. The Society were following Gog (in part) to ensure he didn’t endow anyone with the Magog name, powerset, and destiny… and in so doing, they actually wound up delivering him the perfect candidate on a silver platter.
Let’s talk about the butting of heads that we saw here. Of the Society we had two definite Gog-boosters in Lance and Citizen Steel. As mentioned in the synopsis, we kinda get why Steel would be for the giant purple god thing… he’s in need of a blessing. Lance’s isn’t as well explained, but that kinda works. Lance is a marine, we’d have to assume he’s used to working under others and really only giving his opinion when it’s solicited. Eaglesham delivers some really great body language here, where Lance looks a bit pensive… but, staying in character, does not offer up his thoughts. His bloodlust toward the end did feel a bit out of nowhere… but, that’s okay, I can’t recall if we learn a bit more about him in coming chapters.
The cutaway scenes back to the brownstone were cute. Dreamy Damage trying to flirt with Judomaster via his English-to-Japanese dictionary was pretty funny. Sandy finally getting to sleep… in a bed, no less… was nice to see as well.
Let’s talk Earth-2. I still have not read Power Girl’s adventure in the Justice Society of America Annual, but will at some point in the next few days. From the bits we get here… it looks as though Earth-2 already has a Power Girl, which could get interesting. Also we get to meet the Earth-2 Mr. Terrific. We know that “our” Mr. Terrific is a widower, however this one is not only still married, but is an expectant father to boot! I’m looking forward to seeing how much this changes his character and perceptions of the world around him. Definitely some great breadcrumbs here!
Overall… like I’ve been saying, this is a wonderful (and dare I say, “must read”) series… buuuut, you’re probably going to want to do so via collected edition. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always going to prefer the single-issues, but even I gotta admit you’re going to experience a much more satisfying read getting it in one big “gulp”.