In the tumultuous times of the mid 2000s in the DCU there were myriad storylines taking place, many of which were end-of-the-universe types, which is rather commonplace in comics. But rising from the ashes of Infinite Crisis was the re-launch of DC Comics’ stalwart team: The Justice Society of America.
Placing the title in the very capable hands of Geoff Johns, who had already written more than a half-dozen JSA novels, the first storyline was appropriately entitled: The Next Age. Set in the aftermath of World War III the elder-statesmen of the Justice Society – Flash, Green Lantern and Wildcat set to putting together a new team filled with the best of the next generation.
The three old warhorses settle, unanimously, on Power Girl as the leader of this intrepid new team of upstarts, and some established characters, which features: Mr. Terrific, Liberty Bell, Hourman, Stargirl and Dr. Mid-Nite. Though, it’s a society, so like the Legion of Superheroes of the far-flung future (though they keep popping up in our time, don’t they) it has the feeling that the team will continue to grow and grow throughout the issues.
This initial storyline, which spans the first four issues, institutes the new main characters and their historical relevance to the Society including Wildcat’s unknown son, the new Damage and Red Tornado’s granddaughter. As this new team is forming they are immediately drawn into a plot to destroy the progeny of historically great heroes (essentially – them).
While these attacks are carried out by the vile and vicious Fourth Reich, a neo-neo-Nazi group of super villains, they clearly lack the mental capacity to do anything more than pure thugary. The mastermind of this plot is revealed at the end of issue three and may come as a shock to those of you not all that familiar with the elder DCU characters.
Johns does a good job of establishing the new team and immediately draws you in to this universe. Reading this book it becomes clear that Geoff operates on a level above most writers. So many plots, sub-plots, stories and alternate stories are running throughout each panel and page. Those of you who tend to gloss over when reading comics may find yourself a bit lost at points so I recommend taking a step back and really looking at the bigger picture of it all.
After The Next Chapter Johns uses issues five and six to build a bridge to the first major arc of the series which spans issues seven through twenty two, which I will be covering in the next Bin Fodder installment. Issue five introduces more Legion characters and issue six involves a JSA/JLA team-up that leads to a fake battle, staged by the Legion members. Like I said, plots upon sub-plots.
In the next arc, The Kingdom Come…you can imagine where the story takes us. Until then, I’ll see you on the interwebs.
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Till next Wednesday…