Thursday, February 07, 2008

Justice Society of America #12

Three Short and One Long Thought on Justice Society of America #12.

1. I am intrigued by the seemingly unlimited source of new Black superheroes that are "Black Lightning's Previously Unmentioned Children." I am picturing Russian Nesting Dolls of Pierce girls, all prepared to take on a career of superheroing as soon as they graduate from college, from "Thunder" at the top, all the way down to the baby, "Static Cling."

2. This issue was billed as "The Return of Jakeem Thunder." That did, in fact, happen. As far as Jakeem is concerned, though, all he did was "return."

3. Did Judomaster not speak English in Birds of Prey? She was kind of quiet, but I don't remember her not understanding what the others were talking about.

4. Usually you go on a recruitment drive when you are down some members. The JSA is already filled to the gills after last year's recruitment drive, no one has left or died in the interim, and there has even been a stray Wildcat or Citizen Steel or Superman thrown in during the intervening year.

I don't object to any of the new recruits in particular. "Lance" seems interesting, as do the others (at least in theory -- they each get two pages), but to quote Michael Chabon in "Wonder Boys" (or, at least, to paraphrase Katie Holmes' character in the movie, which is the next best thing) "Writing is about making choices, and it looks like you didn't make any." Either Obsidian is in the JSA, in which case he should sometimes get a job or two, or else he should go retire or move to Los Angeles with Manhunter or marry Damon or whatever. One line per year from the guy on "wallpaper duty" is not making choices.

In fact, I think "Not Making Choices" is becoming the new Comics Cop Out. And possibly a direct result of loud fan complaints.

Cancel Manhunter? Fans scream. Renew Manhunter? Fans cheer. Cancel Manhunter, then announce you will renew it, and then never actually put out another issue? Fans are silent.

Is Connor Hawke dead or not? The didn't make a choice there, and the fans just sit and wait.

Is there a memorial for Misfit? Kind of in the Robin Cave, or in Batman's Dream, or maybe Stephanie isn't really dead. What was I rallying around again? I forget.

Is Obsidian in the JSA? Yes! Of course he is! There he was with Kingdom Come Superman just a few months ago having a conversation that didn't move the plot along!

The way to keep people from criticizing your decisions is to just not make any decisions. It shouldn't work that way, but it does.



Blogger Shelly said...

I agree with most of your points, but I think there's a plan for Conor Hawke, and that story hasn't finished playing out. So, until it is, I don't have a problem with it.

I would like to see Obsidian do something. I'd love to see Manhunter. Right now, I'm betting against myself as to which will appear first: the return of Manhunter or WildCats 2.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Ragtime said...


You're right, of course. The "No Choice" option for Connor is just one possibility, and the one that I'm expecting. But Connor's my favorite "Arrow Family" character, so maybe I'm just getting worked up over nothing.

If it's not the "No Choice" choice, the other two choices are:

A. eventual death, which is completely pointless. Is it more dramatic to die slowly over 7 issues than immediately in 1? (On the other hand, I remember there being 3 different "Dr. Green's Last Episode"s) on ER back when I watched it.


B. return from what we thought was death, which is (1) completely redundant, since we just had the same plot lines with Mia (One Year Later) and Ollie (at the wedding), and (2) under the circumstances seems too much like a political statement on Terry Schiavo.

The longer you take making your choice, the more constrained (and worse) your choices eventually become.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Nice point on maing decisions i agree with you completely. but i'd really like to see obsidian stick around i like the idea that he is the gaurd of the brownstone and i'd love to see an ish where he gets pulled form gaurd duty to stop a threat. or some one comes and tries to take the brownstone and he just completely scares the bejeesus out of them. intheory i think his role on the team will give him interesting dynamics if the writers use it.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Scipio said...

Excellent observations. I'm glad you identified this phenomenon, and shown how rampant it's become.

7:50 AM  

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