I have already given this beautiful cover a “cover of the month” award. I am finally getting around to reviewing it now, though. The cover was done, obviously, by the inimitable Alex Ross. And is somewhat of an homage cover to All Star Comics #3 from 1940 and the variant is an homage to All Star Squadron #1 (1981). The 1940 All Star Comics cover was done by Everett E. Hibbard.
The 2007 issue was written by DC Comics’ star writer Geoff Johns. The issue starts off with the three big superheroes of DC (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) approaching Wildcat, Flash, and Green Lantern of the Society after WWIII. The “trinity” say that the planet needs the Justice Society and that the Society is more like a family and a moral compass than the Justice League is. So, on the second page of the issue we are already given some of the baseline concept for this volume of the Justice Society of America.
There are two main stories going on in this issue. One is Green Lantern, Flash, and Wildcat acting as leaders of the JSA and selecting veteran members. They select to draft Stargirl, Power Girl, Liberty Bell, Dr. Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific, and Hourman. And then, these members go out to recruit younger members who have some connection to the old JSA. Wildcat, grumpy as always, reminisces on the old days and is reluctant to help Green Lantern and Flash. Wildcat feels alone and isolated – until the end of the issue when Green Lantern and Flash show Wildcat that he has a teenage son named Tom. The second story running through the issue deals with Mr. America, an ex-FBI agent who is still tracking down and punishing criminals.
The characterizations are excellently done. Each character is different – and the reader can tell that Johns spent time giving each of his characters personality, identity, attitude, and background. I particularly enjoyed the pages introducing us to Maxine Hunkel and Starman. These sections were really interesting and fun and, in a way, played the flip side to the solemn and gritty Mr. America storyline.
The interior art was done by Dale Eaglesham and it’s fantastic. The art makes the story easy to follow. It is uncluttered and yet dynamic. The facial expressions are dead-on and the personality of the characters shines through. The framing of the art is well-done, which is not something I find myself saying very often. But overall the art has this sort of “classic” JSA / superhero book feel to it – but done in a fresh, colorful manner. If this was 2007, and I read this issue, I would tell you this series will run for as long as the quality remains near this level. After reading the first issue, I certainly wanted to read the next and I think this issue far exceeds issue #1 of Justice League of America (2006).
It’s Wednesday. They’re serving sloppy joes tonight. Do you like sloppy joes as much as I do?” – Starman