Justice Society of America (vol.3) #41 (September, 2010)
“The Dark Things, Part Two”
Writer – James Robinson
Penciller – Mark Bagley
Inker – Norm Rapmund
Colorist – Allen Passalaqua
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Associate Editor – Rachel Gluckstern
Editor – Mike Carlin
Cover Price: $2.99
The Dark Things rolls on… and, well… that’s about all we can really say.
How many days does May have in it?
We open with… Miss Martian reporting in that she doesn’t think she’ll live much longer. Hmm… well, that’s random. Don’t worry it’ll all make sense soon enough… I can’t promise it’ll be interesting, but we will wrap back around. We then shift to Dr. Mid-Nite, Sebastian Faust and Jay Garrick in Opal City. Ya know, since this is a James Robinson comic. They’re here to chat up the Shade… again, since this is a James Robinson comic. What they find instead, however, is the corrupted pair of Dr. Fate and Obsidian!
After four pages of fighting, the heroes are abducted and taken into a portal. Dr. Mid-Nite, who managed to sidestep the fracas voluntarily hops into the black portal.
From here we get a few more vignettes of our heroes combating corrupted magis and elementals… including Devastation, JSA All-Star Cyclone, Livewire, and… Yellow Peri?! How ’bout that! I’ve missed her. Another great pull from the past!
We shift over to Alcatraz, which has apparently been reopened in order to contain super-powered baddies. Not sure when that happened… and, I’m not sure it matters. Anyhoo, inside… several more JSA All-Stars Lightning and Mr. America (and no, that’s not me sarcastically referring to them as “All-Stars”, that was the name of their team) are fighting off a prison guard named Burke. Just an ordinary dude who has been corrupted by the Starheart situation. This serves to illustrate that it isn’t only a “meta problem”.
Anyhoo, they fight off this prison guard for four pages before being jettisoned from “the Rock”. Lightning grabs Mr. America and helps him safely land on a chunk of rock jutting out of the bay. It would appear that there might be some romance a’brewin’.
We jump ahead to the demolished Justice League Watchtower, where the amalgamated League plans their next move. Turns out Miss Martian was enlisted in order to telepathically relay Mikaal’s thoughts to the group. This is where they learn about our gem-nyoinking cliffhanger.
And so, Miss Martian continues to relay Starman’s thoughts… and this is where we circle back to the open, where she says “I don’t think I’ll live much longer”. See, told ya it’d make sense… I didn’t promise it would be interesting or satisfying… just that it would make sense. Suddenly, Miss Martian transforms into a terrible beast, who threatens the heroes… for a single panel before being kayoed by Power Girl. Why was she corrupted? Is Mars an element now?
Anyhoo, as we draw to a close, Dick then splits the group assembling a team of six heroes who are the least likely to fall to the Starheart’s corruption… Donna Troy, Jade, Mr. America, Jesse Quick, Hourman, and himself… Batman. They’ll be the ones headed to the other side of the Moon.
Well, you know as well as I do that you can’t march into danger with only SIX soldiers… and so, we close out with the introduction of our Seventh… Mister Miracle, Shiloh Norman. Because… ya know, Seven Soldiers… that was a clear reference, no?
Not gonna lie… this is pretty dull. In fairness (I guess), this is very clearly being written “for the trade”, which means… we’ve got pages to kill!
We get not one, but two four-page fight scenes… which really, we could’ve done in one. If the Stargirl/Yellow Peri fight only gets a single panel, Mr. America and Lightning fighting a possessed prison guard didn’t require much more than that.
Robinson, like many writers, has his habits… some, I love… like digging up and utilizing obscure characters (Yellow Peri!). Others, I tolerate… like over-using The Shade. We get it, the Robinson run on Starman (vol.2) is legendary. Ask any DC Comics fan to name some of their favorite all-time runs, Starman will very likely be on it. But dude, enough with the Shade. Especially if you’re only using him to job him out.
Now some important (and progression-facilitating) things did happen here. We learned that humans (or lower-metas) can be corrupted by the Starheart, which raises the stakes exponentially. It’s still not interesting, but it is more dangerous. We learned that Mikaal Tomas can survive having his gem forcibly removed from his chest. And we introduced Shiloh Norman as the Seventh Soldier of Starheartory.
Overall… well, it still looks pretty great. The story, however, is moving way too slowly to keep my interest… and we still have three more chapters to go! Love Robinson as a writer, but I’m thinking that he and the Justice League just weren’t a good fit.
|Hints about “what the future holds for the DCU”
Conspicuous by their absence… Fifty-Two new #1’s!
|For once the poor focus isn’t my fault!|