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Justice Society of America #20

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
Justice Society of America #20

Ah, the classic misunderstanding-leads-to-conflict-and-eventually-resolution plot, a superhero classic if there ever was one! It’s the Justice Society of America we all know and love facing off against the Justice Society Infinity of Earth-2, which is based upon the legacy of the Golden Age Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. The conflict is over Power Girl, who is actually from Earth-2, but Earth-2 already has its own Power Girl, so one of them must be an imposter, right? And, so, fighting ensues.

Not the most original type of plot in the world and one that is dripping in Geoff Johns and Alex Ross’ Silver Age nostalgia, but it does have some redeeming moments. Since the Justice Society Infinity is made up of members of the former Infinity, Inc. of the core DC universe, the conflict here leads to some surprising moments like Green Lantern Alan Scott coming face-to-face with his daughter, Jade, who’s dead on his world. Or Obsidian fighting himself, showcasing just how much that character has changed over the years (and maybe not for the better). When some members of the JSA travel to Earth-2, Mr. Terrific has an understated yet emotional encounter with himself and his dead wife that, along with Scott’s encounter with Jade, sets up the final page of this issue.

Where the book falls flat is the resolution of the two Power Girls plot that has Brainwave uses his powers to confirm that both are really Power Girl. It’s such a simple resolution that not having it occur sooner makes the Earth-2 Society look like idiots, especially after they used Kryptonite to torture the supposedly fake Power Girl. It’s difficult to view these characters as heroic when they’ll use torture before a simple method like telepathy.

The use of artists Dale Eaglesham and Jerry Ordway is wonderful, with Eaglesham drawing the regular DCU, while Ordway handles Earth-2. The slightly retro look of Ordway’s pencils works for the slightly retro feel of Earth-2, but his work does overshadow Eaglesham’s a little. Comparing each artist’s composition and ability to depict so many characters, Eaglesham’s panels often looked crammed and awkward next to Ordway’s. As well, early in the issue, the JSI arrives via a portal of some sort that isn’t revealed to be opened by Starman until it is closing. Showing Starman powering the portal before that point would be less confusing. Otherwise, Eaglesham acquits himself well -— it’s hard to match up to a vet like Ordway.

The small character moments in this issue make up for the lackluster, cliched plot, although the two-page history of the multiverse by Starman stops the issue dead. The look on Mr. Terrific’s face upon seeing his wife alive, the problems between Huntress and Robin, and both Power Girls’ attempts to find out where they belong are just a few of the parts that make this comic better than its whole.