Saturday, January 29, 2011

DAMN Good Comic of the Week -- JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #47

If any mainstream comic is flying under the radar at the moment, it's probably Justice Society of America.  Over the past few months, the new creative team of writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Scott Kolins have been trying their best to breathe new life into this series in the storyline "Supertown."

It started when Scythe, a super-powered terrorist (Yeah, think about that, Department of Homeland Security) destroyed most of the new DC Universe city of Monument Point, located thirty miles outside of Washington, D.C.  The JSA shows up to stop Scythe, getting the original Green Lantern paralyzed in the process, but eventually they manage to subdue him.  But instead of simply walking away and moving on to the next supervillain slugfest, the original Flash declares that the team is staying until they can get the devastated city back on its collective feet.

It's certainly a different direction for the world's first superhero team and the Flash in particular, who is stepping up and calling the shots for a very refreshing change.  Of course, there are some complications thrown in to make Monument Point's road to recovery even harder.  The main one is a new supervillain called Dr. Chaos, a bad guy who sounds like he's a weird genetic hybrid of Dr. Evil and Professor Chaos, but he's giving the heroes some much needed menace.  Decked out in a vintage doctor's mirror headband, of all things, the clever Dr. Chaos is proceeding down his "To Do" list (Yes, he has an actual "To Do" list) that includes threatening the JSA, killing JSA member Lightning, killing the Mayor of Monument Point and blackmailing JSA member Mr. Terrific.

Guggenheim's apparent plan to give the Justice Society some genuine threats, something they haven't had since Gog appeared in the "The Kingdom Come" storyline, is paying off so far.  The team is fractured, wounded and struggling to keep up with an enemy smarter than they are, especially with Mr. Terrific losing I.Q. points by the hour.  It's compelling stuff, and the kinetic art by Scott Kolins combined with some stylish coloring by Mike Atiyeh only adds to the impact of everything taking place.  The latest issue ends with a classic "Uh-Oh" cliffhanger of the JSA having to face both Dr. Chaos and Scythe at once, so it looks like the team's beatdown is far from over...and as a reader, I couldn't be more glad about that.

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