Or – “Black Adam!  Black Adam!  Wherever I Go, Heee Goes…”


“Offer me money. ..”
“Power, too, promise me that.”
“All that I have and more. Please…”
“Offer me anything I ask for.”
“Anything you want…”
“I want my father back, you son of a b!+ch!”

JSA1.jpgPreviously, on Justice Society of America:



My Name Is Teth-Adam.  You Killed My Isis.  Prepare To Die.




We open with Hawkman (Carter Hall) smashing his mace into the JSA’s legendary roundtable, enraged at his comrades, who have come together to discuss his removal from the Justice Society.  “I helped FOUND this team!  I LED this team longer than any of you!”  Mr. Terrific points out that they didn’t tell him he was being thrown out, but that a leave of absense seemed to be in order after the tests that God put them through over the last seven-hundred and fifty six issues (or at least is seemed that long.)  He stalks away and Flash reminds everyone that Hawkman always returns (although, didn’t he die in Final Crisis?)  Meanwhile, Felix Faust continues to enjoy the lovely body of Isis, in ways that I don’t care to imagine, when he realizes she’s been using what little power she can muster to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.  The walls cave in before he can do anything, though, and he is suddenly throttled by a huge magical ham-hand.  “I’m not going to make this quick,” snarls Black Adam.  “That, I promise.”  Faust frees Black Adam’s wife to spare his own life, and the twosome make quick work of Felix, with Isis showing unusual darkness and vengeful behavior in a rather…  anatomically painful fashion.

The JSAers continue their meeting, discussing the recent schisms in their ranks, and I realize that Jerry Ordway does the cutest and most heroic Stargirl I’ve ever seen.  They discuss that fact that most of the new kids have left the team (the Alex Ross characters, mostly, including Thunder, Citizen Steel, Magog, Amazing Man ((Awww…)) and Starman) and the thorny question of Damage comes up.  Atom-Smasher suddenly arrives, warning them that Adam is back, and that he wants Damage’s spot on the team.  Adam and Isis make their way to the rock of eternity, kick the crap out of Billy Batson, and use talismans stolen from Faust to bounce him back to Earth, where Billy finds out that his magic word no longer works.  He manages to make his way to the Bromfeld home (Mary Marvel’s adoptive parents) and summoning his old teammates.  They’re all confused by the presence of this kid who seems to know Captain Marvel’s access codes, and Billy finally tells them the truth.  “I used to be Captain Marvel, leader of the Marvel Family…”  Meanwhile, back at the rock, a mysterious woman in a black leather cheerleader outfit agrees to join Adam’s Black Marvel Family.

This issue is a pretty good one, but it’s oddly placed soming after the 18 years of Goggery.  In a way, this issue feels more like a continuation of the earlier JSA series, of 52 and of Power of Shazam than it does of this JSA volume, and that’s not a bad thing.  The art of Jerry Ordway is always a treat to see, even when it doesn’t feel as detailed as it normall does, and Johns and Ordway turn in an interesting script here.  The developments with Isis and Adam feel very natural (but I’m a little amazed to realize that 52 was almost four years ago) and it’s good to see Billy being Billy Batson again, rather than being the wizard Shazam stuck on a rock.  I’m kind of hoping to see some redemption of Mary Marvel after her pervy S&M turn in F’ Continuity Final Crisis.  Still, even with creators, characters, and a continuation of stories I like, this issue has a strange edge to it, something that doesn’t quite sit right with me.  Maybe it’s the thing with Hawkman, or perhaps the quick way that the new characters are sideline-shuffled, or maybe just the fact that it’s really a Black Adam book, but for some reason, I can’t love this book as much as I want to.  Justice Society of America #23 earns a well-balanced 3 out of 5 stars, and I expect it’s going somewhere wonderful, but for some reason it didn’t entirely click for me…


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Lou
    February 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm — Reply

    I agree that this issue is different from the past year or so, but I think at least some of that is the fact that this is a “Faces of Evil” tie-in. It really did have an “evil” feel to it. I did not read “52” so I don’t know much about this version of Isis (but I am old enough to have seen the Saturday morning TV shows that starred her. She was wicked in this one. I will continue to read JSA. In fact, it is probably my top read currently.

  2. February 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm — Reply

    It’s still a good book, don’t get me wrong. And your point about it being a FOE tie-in is a good one. Maybe I’m just dealing with Valentine’s disappointment…

  3. February 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm — Reply

    Is Johns still writing Black Adam like a viable anti-hero despite having massacred an entire country?

  4. mugsgame
    February 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm — Reply

    So Mary MArvel and Hawkman are still around and not effected by Final Crisis?

  5. Ricco
    February 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm — Reply

    @Mugsgame: expect for Batman’s death nothing really happened in Final Crisis that stayed changed after the reboot at the end, think of it as an expenssive dream sequence. Both because it was mostly meanigless and that it made little sense, just like a dream…

    I think the only comic to actually reference Final Crisis directly is the “Batman and The Outsiders Special”

  6. mugsgame
    February 15, 2009 at 12:30 am — Reply

    Well that’s fantastic. Everything from now on should just be Elseworlds. They can kill Batman every issue, make Superman gay, pretend that other heroes besides Batman, Superman and Green Lantern mean something, whatever they want. It’ll be fine and everyone will like it. Contact the New York times everyday and say that Wonderwoman’s liver is going because she had a one night stand with Tommie Lee and now has Hep C.

  7. ykw
    February 15, 2009 at 1:33 am — Reply

    @ all: This book takes place pre-FC. (All regular DC books are still pre-FC. With the exception of those — I’m looking at you, Bat-titles — that are currently outside of continuity altogether.) That’s why Mary is still in fetish gear.

    Also, regardless of what we saw on the pages of FC #7, whatever happened to the “tunnel” to Earth-51 didn’t kill the Hawks — if you’re buying what several DC writers have been selling both during and after NYCC this month, anyway.

  8. Albert
    February 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    LOL! Beautiful Princess Bride reference! Anyway, the issue was good, too.

  9. February 15, 2009 at 8:27 pm — Reply

    It’s the Mandy Patinkin face on the cover that set me off…

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