New Blood

I’m slowly but surely starting to feel better again. The weekend was plenty rough, but I seem to be on the road to recovery. So let’s get to a review.


Justice Society of America #12

Most of this issue is concerned with the latest JSA recruiting drive — in other words, new characters with some sort of legacy attachment to the Justice Society. We’ve already met the new Judomaster, a Japanese martial artist who has a power that makes her impossible to hit. Now we also meet the new Amazing-Man, the grandson of the original, a black community activist in New Orleans who can transform himself into any material that he touches; the new Mr. America, the former FBI partner of the Mr. America who was killed in the first issue of this series; Jennifer Pierce, one of Black Lightning’s daughters, who generates a spiky electrical field everytime she touches anything electronic; and Lance Corporal David Reid, a metahuman military man who generates plasma energy that he can fire with the aid of a metallic lance. On top of all that, Jakeem Thunder and the Thunderbolt rejoin the team, the Kingdom Come Superman continues to find his way with the team, and a new interdimensional threat is coming.

Problems? There are some. As Hannibal Tabu notes here, all of a sudden, Black Lightning has a second daughter? He has a strangely unnamed wife? Is Superboy Prime punching the universe again? Also, though I really do like most of these characters, the team is just way, way too large. They’ve currently got 23 members — you just can’t give that many characters the spotlights they all need in a monthly 22-page comic. Heck, when was the last time anyone even saw Sand? I think the creators have forgotten he’s supposed to be on the team…

Having said all that, I’m still giving this a thumbs up. I like all these new characters — they’ve all got good personalities, good storyline hooks, and I hope they keep ’em around for a long time, instead of sacrificing them all in “Final Crisis.” I particularly enjoyed the segments introducing Amazing-Man, which included a biography of the character from WWII that listed him as one of the DCU’s foremost civil rights leaders, and David Reid, whose family connection to the original JSA was completely unexpected. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

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