Justice Society of America (vol.3) #21 (January, 2009)
“One World, Under Gog, Part VI: Saints and Sinners”
Story – Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Pencillers – Dale Eaglesham & Jerry Ordway
Inkers – Nathan Massengill & Bob Wiacek
Colors – Hi-Fi
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor – Harvey Richards
Editor – Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.99
It’s been a long time since we covered the Justice Society… partly due to my having moved in late October… but also, because I didn’t (and still don’t) have one of the Kingdom tie-ins.
Well… I’m tired of waiting, so we’re going to soldier on through. Also… what better way to ensure the issue I’m missing finally surfaces, than to review what came after it, right? Ya know, it’s like finding ten-thousand things when all you need is some other thing… or something.
Either way, let’s get to it!
We open just about where we left off… Gog is still looming large, and importantly, it’s been seven days since he arrived… or, emerged… or whatever it was that he did when be burst out of that mountain. He’s surrounded by worshipers, including half of the Justice Society… a few of whom he had given “gifts” to. Suddenly, the rest of the Golden Agers arrive to pull the civilians to safety.
Safety? From Gog? Well, yes… Sand helpfully explains that during one of those tie-ins, it was discovered that Gog was “rooting” himself to the Earth… a process which takes, get this, seven days! After “permanently linking” to a planet… he will be able to destroy it.
Gog appears to find the resistance adorable… and vows not to leave. He maintains that he is here for the betterment of Earth and her people… but the heroes ain’t buyin’ it. He scans the field before him and spots a weakness… Citizen Steel. Gog finally offers to grant Nate his wish. After thinking on it, Heywood tells him to pound salt.
The Society uses this brief distraction to launch a full-on assault on the giant god. Gog responds by blasting Jay Garrick with a bolt of lightning… and the intention of turning the Flash into living lightning strong enough to power an entire continent! Just like he changed those warmongers into trees… Gog is still adamant that his first priority is Earth and her people.
At this point, Superman-22 decides he’s seen enough and literally punches Gog’s lightning bolt… which is a pretty amazing visual.
The Society again launches an attack… but this one is far more successful. They’re beating him so bad he starts vomiting Kirby Krackle! I don’t think I’ve ever been beat up so bad… but it looks delightful.
Well… now Gog’s ticked. He looks at the Justice Society as a group of ingrates… and proceeds to revoke his earlier “blessings”. Dr. Mid-Nite’s blindness returns… Starman’s insanity acts up… Sand’s nightmares flare up… Damage’s face gets all blistery… and for good measure, Gog decides he’ll fill Citizen Steel with intense pain.
Off to the side, Superman-22 and Magog are duking it out. Superman manages to get the upper hand… and forces David to see what his “god” is doing to the Justice Society. Magog knows this ain’t cool… and approaches Gog about his behavior…
… at which time, the giant undoes his blessing as well!
Man, I’ve missed this series!
Now, as we approach the end of this arc, the other shoe finally drops. Despite all of his power, Gog is nothing more than a parasite! The most interesting thing about this is… I dunno, it’s sorta morally ambiguous. Gog is not unlike Galactus in that he’s just doing… what he does (unless of course, I missed something in the tie-ins).
Sure, he “sells it” a bit better… but, despite how ominous and sinister he is… it still isn’t clear that he has bad intentions. His “gifts” as they were, are legit. Mid-Nite’s vision did come back… Damage’s face did go pretty… Thom’s mind did clear up… David did come back to life… I mean, that all happened. Galactus wouldn’t waste any time with such things, sure… but his intentions (maybe like Gog’s) aren’t vindictive, but born out of necessity/nature.
It’s weird upon reflection… it feels as though this issue had a lot going on… and at the same time, not a whole lot. It’s just one of those issues. Still really good… still beautiful to look at… still highly recommended. I’m trying to remember how I received this the first time around… especially since we had a bit of a break with the tie-ins (that I didn’t buy back in 2008) and the Power Girl/Earth-2 story. I wonder if having a few months “off” from the main Gog story hindered my enjoyment/satisfaction with what this issue brought to the table.
Overall… like I said, definitely recommended. We’re heading toward the conclusion… and I really can’t wait to re-experience it. Mostly because, I forgot how it all rolls out.