mattdemers's Justice Society of America #50 - Episode One: Cornerstone; Episode Two: Infinitum; Episode Three: Truth & Justice; Episode Four; Inaugural review

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Fifty issues in: is JSA looking towards retirement?

Justice Society celebrates its 50th issue with new narratives and old story threads; however, is the book starting to show its age?

The Good

Guggeinheim really seems to be relishing this "Jay Garrick as mayor" storyline; it's a good fit for Jay because his age brings respect. Hopefully this won't turn out to be like Oliver Queen's mayoral run, or Batman's attempts to get Gotham help during Cataclysm without donning the mask. Those storylines tend to end with the hero realizing that they aren't good at the job, and giving it up. If there's one this that we know about Jay Garrick, it's that he doesn't quit, and hopefully this mayoral thing will work out for him, especially since he doesn't have a dual identity to go back and forth to.

I'm guessing Degaton's ominous warning to Jesse Quick has something to do with Flashpoint; we're going to have to wait and see.

The Bad

It's getting increasingly annoying that whoever writes JSA titles can't let us forget about the whole "USA turned on the JSA in the fifties" thing. I'd love to go back and read the 1999 JSA title and tally how many books are devoted to flashbacks or alternate timelines dealing with this event. Yes, I know, it's an anniversary issue, but please, put the issue to rest already: we know that the JSA were unjustly persecuted by their government, and we know that they had the moral fibre to say "screw you" to the government. This issue, coupled with the return of that same Senator from over 50 years ago as a villain is just boring me to tears.

I do not like Howard Chaykin's art. At all. His faces disturb me on the same level as Frank Quitely's; this occurs both in this issue and an Immortal Iron Fist Annual from a couple years ago. I'm not going to go too deep into it because he didn't pencil the entire issue, but sometimes I think he should just stick to writing.

Does anyone else think that Alan Scott's whole "paralyzed and forced to wear a lantern-powered exosuit" storyline is incredibly lame? Especially when coupled with the fact that Justice Society's story arcs have been very Sentinel-centric for awhile, it just seems like they need to lay off him for awhile.

I mean, they even included his old costume on the cover to this issue. Can we take bets on how long it'll take before he gets healed? Anyone?

As always, the inclusion of too many characters is a problem for the JSA. Ever since this new volume launched the writer's can't seem to agree on a set roster, and the inclusion of new heroes like Red Beetle just seem a bit forced. With only so much space in an issue, how are they expected to flesh them out?

The Verdict

Despite what I've said above, this issue had its strong points; however, I find it a bit troubling that the problems I've noted (especially about the inflating team roster) have been around since issue one of the new volume. Here we are, 50 issues later, and they're still prevalent. What's it going to take for someone to find a groove with this team?

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