From the future comes the daughter of the Batman, looking for a little bit of revenge. Or is that PRE-venge? Your Major Spoilers review of Justice Society of America #2 from DC Comics awaits!
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Mikel Janin/Jerry Ordway/Scott Kolins
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire/John Kalisz
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Andrew Marino
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 24, 2023
Previously in Justice Society of America: Huntress has arrived in the present day, but the Justice Society of America is not what she remembers. Can she get to the bottom of what’s happened to the world’s first superhero team? Will the helmet of Fate hold the answers Huntress seeks?
A HUNTRESS THROUGH TIME
Having seen her father die, Helena Wayne found herself thrust back in time, awakening in the infirmary of the Justice Society circa 1940. The team is intrigued by the stranger in their midst, but when Doctor Fate attempts to use his mystical powers to ascertain the truth of her story, he instead finds himself in his own body more than a year in the future. As he tries to figure out who Salem, The Witch Girl, and Mister Miracle are, he bounces back to 1940 and tries another tack. This one works, but also forces The Huntress to watch her mother die in her own native timeline, targeted by the mysterious man who has been stalking Helena all her life. The resulting energies push Huntress/Helena back into the time stream, passing through several important moments (including the “death” of the JSA during Zero Hour and her mother as a prostitute during the events of Batman: Year One, which is creepy as all hell), landing in the here-and-now of the DCU… right at the feet of Justice League Dark.
THE DOWNSIDE OF ENDLESS REBOOTS
Counting The New Golden Age #1, this is the third issue of Johns’ big JSA reboot, and honestly, it feels like nothing much has happened other than a LOT of foreshadowing. This issue gives us the first glimpses of Salem, Doctor Fate’s sidekick, in action as she and Fate cross paths with Solomon Grundy, which leads to the most exciting moment of the issue: The reveal of Jack Kirby’s original Mister Miracle, Thaddeus Brown, as a superhero! Sadly, this too is just a tease, revealing the existence of Justice Society Dark and referencing a mega-obscure Fawcett Comics mystery man. The time-travel aspect of the story is the most confusing part of it all, both visually and in terms of the script, as Helena’s journey at the end of the issue involves moving from a Scott Kolins-drawn page to a Mikel Janin-drawn page without much in the way of transition points, requiring three reads to get what’s going on. Sadly, aside from a flash-forward to the Boogeyman (revealed to be Per Degaton, to no one’s surprise) killing the future Justice Society, it’s really just a collection of conversations full of references to stories that haven’t been written yet.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL FEELS LIKE A PRELUDE
That lack of development causes much of my dissatisfaction with Justice Society of America #2, adding more twists and turns to an already byzantine collection of characters, moments, and unconnected time periods, with well-done art from all three pencillers that just DOES NOT mesh well in the final product, making for a disjointed 2 out of 5 stars overall. No matter how much detail and brilliance you pack into your creative process, you also have to be able to convey those ideas in a satisfying manner, and three issues in feels like too far along to still be building our premise.
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JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #2
It's great to see Ordway in comics again, but the script is still playing far too coy and the storytelling juxtaposition of Janin and Kolins might as well be different dimensions for how awkward the transition points are.