From the first super-team to the 31st Century, everything you thought you knew is in flux. But the good news is, the Justice Society is returning from oblivion! Your Major Spoilers review of The New Golden Age #1 from DC Comics awaits!
THE NEW GOLDEN AGE #1
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Diego Olotegui/J.P. Mayer/Scott Hanna/Jerry Ordway/Steve Lieber/Todd Nauck/Scott Kolins/Viktor Bogdanovic/Brandon Peterson/Gary Frank
Colorist: Nick Filardi/John Kalisz/Matt Herms/Jordan Boyd/Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Andrew Marino
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 8, 2022
Previously in The New Golden Age: In the aftermath of Flashpoint Beyond, those heroes and villains will have their lives turned upside down. The DCU’s future (and its past) will never be the same again. But how are Mime and Marionette connected to this? Why are Rip Hunter and the Time Masters the most unlikable heroes in the DC Universe?
And who or what is… Nostalgia?
THE ’40s ARE BACK!
Ten years in the future, Helena Wayne is having a perfectly normal day making snow angels when she notices the red-haired stranger who always watches her from a distance. It’s creepy, but she’s actually quite used to it, as he has seemingly always been around, and she realizes that things started much further back than she ever thought. Cut to the 1940s and the first meeting of the Justice Society of America, where The Atom starts prodding Doctor Fate to use his powers to guess how many kids he and his girlfriend will have. Fate checks up on the future, only to find a terrifying truth: There ISN’T one. In the 31st Century, three young heroes calling themselves Doctor Fate, The Atom, and Green Lantern manage to excavate the ruins of old Gotham City to find the JSA brownstone, only to be murdered, one-by-one. In the present, a new Doctor Fate peers into his future to find there isn’t one. In 1976, Kent Nelson worries that he’s dying as he is once again confronted with an uncertain future.
Oh, and the Time-Masters are searching for young Clark Dreiberg, the inheritor of the powers of Doctor Manhattan.
AN EXPENSIVE COLLECTION OF FRAGMENTS
This comic is honestly exhausting. While the multiple art teams do a great job of showing us which space/time vector we’re in at any given time, switching from Gary Frank to Todd Nauck to Jerry Ordway is a very disconcerting experience. There’s also the matter of the Who’s Who in the DC Universe pages that end the issue, providing glimpses of legacy characters who no longer exist, including real-world issue numbers of their “first appearances.” The biggest win in these pages is finally making Thaddeus Brown (the original Mr. Miracle from Kirby’s 1971 first issue) into an actual Golden Age hero, but most of the issue serves as nothing more than a series of vignettes, dragging us back and forth in time to address no fewer than seven plot threads. Johns’ scripting is heavily invested in continuity, referencing specific issues of All-Star Comics, but existing in a post-Flashpoint reality where that continuity is less than meaningless. All of the art teams provide good work, but I’m quite partial to Jerry Ordway’s take on the early jSA. Still, even Gary Frank’s portion of the story looks good, though the coloring throughout the book is not to my taste. It feels garish like someone turned up the vibrance a little too high during the coloring process.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT BAD, BUT NOT 5 DOLLARS WORTH OF GOOD
There was a time when Geoff Johns taking on the Justice Society was cause for great excitement, but twenty years down the line, The New Golden Age #1 feels out-of-step, trying to bring back a continuity that has been retconned away and trying to rebuild a past that the New 52 erased and a future that was just revamped under Bendis, earning a still better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. There are a lot of concepts presented in this comic that feel like they might have legs, but overall, it’s an overpriced package that doesn’t fill me with confidence for the new JSA series it’s previewing.
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THE NEW GOLDEN AGE #1
The part of the DCU that actually acknowledges Doomsday Clock ever happened is on full display here, and while there are some seeds of interest in these pages, it reads awkwardly and feels like just another Elseworlds.