Or – “Black Adam!Â Black Adam!Â 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!”
My Name Is Teth-Adam.Â You Killed My Isis.Â 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.Â “I helped FOUND this team!Â I LED this team longer than any of you!”Â 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.)Â He stalks away and Flash reminds everyone that Hawkman always returns (although, didn’t he die in Final Crisis?)Â 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.Â The walls cave in before he can do anything, though, and he is suddenly throttled by a huge magical ham-hand.Â “I’m not going to make this quick,” snarls Black Adam.Â “That, I promise.”Â 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…Â 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.Â 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.Â Atom-Smasher suddenly arrives, warning them that Adam is back, and that he wants Damage’s spot on the team.Â 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.Â He manages to make his way to the Bromfeld home (Mary Marvel’s adoptive parents) and summoning his old teammates.Â 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.Â “I used to be Captain Marvel, leader of the MarvelÂ Family…”Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â The developments with Isis and AdamÂ feelÂ very natural (butÂ 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.Â I’m kind of hoping to see some redemption of Mary Marvel after her pervy S&M turn in F’ Continuity Final Crisis.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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…