The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul

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Nothing like a nice resurrection story to celebrate Halloween, eh?

You can never really assume a character is dead forever in comics. Countless times I’ve read the dramatic death of a character, only to have said character return in later years.  There’s always some sort of explanation given as to how they were able to cheat death, with varying degrees of believability.  That’s not to say that I dislike these events; on the contrary, I’m often incredibly happy that a character’s death has been reversed, especially if it never felt like the proper send-off (I’m looking at you, Stephanie Brown).  While certain resurrections, rebirths, or otherwise “returns” of any character are sometimes unexpected, there are others that are less a matter of if and more a matter of when.

Ra’s Al Ghul is one such death.  He has been such a seminal part of Batman lore for so long that it seemed impossible that he would remain dead.  I assumed that at some point, he’d make a return. That’s just the inevitability of comics.  What I wasn’t sure of was exactly how that return would come about.

The Ressurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul provides details on how The Demon’s Head was able to make a return.  I could go into detail about that, but I found it to be a less interesting aspect than the smaller details of the story.  Essentially, Ra’s’s resurrection was planned for centuries, and his ever-loyal subjects helped aid in his return.  More interesting to me though was what happened after Ra’s was brought back from the dead.

You see, Ra’s was back, but he wasn’t really fully alive. His spirit and memories were placed into one of his followers, but the body had been poisoned with radiation, and so was decaying rapidly.

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Ra’s knew he needed a better body to complete his resurrection; unfortunately, that body had to be a male blood relative.

Hmmm…I wonder where this is going…

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Ra’s informs Talia that this is always what Damien was meant for, but in an unexpected display of maternal instinct, Talia refuses to submit to her father’s wishes and escapes, hoping to keep her son safe.

You might notice a distinct lack of Batman in this post. Well, that’s because he just wasn’t as compelling in this story as other characters. That’s not to say that he was uninteresting in the least; I simply wasn’t as drawn to his character as to others.

The most fascinating element of the trade actually focuses on Tim Drake.  Tim is captured by Ra’s and extended an offer: Ra’s claims he can bring Tim’s lost loved ones back to life.  Understandably, Tim is torn by this, wondering if it’s even possible, and then struggling with his own morality as he decides whether it would be the right thing to do.

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Tim and Nightwing get into a pretty fierce battle, with Nightwing acting as the voice of reason in the scenario.  Tim seems determined to allow Ra’s to resurrect his parents, but at the last moment he decides it would be wrong.  Although only a sub-plot of the main story, I found this to be incredibly well-written.  Tim was incredibly sympathetic, and it raises the question of what any of us would do if presented with a similar situation.  Nightwing shows a great level of maturity in the scene, and I found myself actually glad that it was him and not Batman having this conversation with Tim.  The two are closer in age, they’re able to bond over their shared role as Robin, and they can both understand what it’s like to lose your loved ones (yes, Batman understands to a point, but he’s hit a sort of psychological break where he just seems both driven by and entirely disconnected from his parents’ deaths, all at the same time).  Tim’s story was especially well done, and I appreciated the realism behind his wavering beliefs.

For a comic supposedly all about Ra’s Al Ghul, I’m not really talking about him all that much.  I liked the fact that much of his past was written into this trade, and carried over from past storylines (I’m a fan of writers maintaining continuity within the story).  The focus was on finding Ra’s a suitable blood relative to inhabit. The finale, with Ra’s faithful servant being revealed to be his son, felt a little too “deus ex machina” for my taste, but it got the job done.  Ra’s doesn’t reveal anything about his plans now that he’s back, but I’m sure they will inevitably involve wiping out the world’s population (after all, that’s kinda what Ra’s does).

As I mentioned before, I’m not too surprised that Ra’s is back. He was far too good a villain to be gone for good.  His return had the proper level of drama and fan-fare one would expect for one of Batman’s top foes.  Although I only focused on certain details in my post, the entire trade was well thought-out and certainly interesting enough to keep me reading.  The storylines surrounding Batman and Co. seem to be ramping up even more than usual. With all of these new reveals and resurrected characters, who knows what will happen next?

-Jess

Batman: Batman and Son

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I knew I was coming up on Grant Morrison’s renowned Batman run. I know nothing about his storylines, or where he plans on taking the character, so I began this comic with excitement, wondering where Morrison’s mind would take our dark knight.

From the first issue, this series is unequivocally a Morrison comic. We open with a team-up by Batman and Man-Bat, as the pair unite to try to bring down an army of man-bat ninjas (how was this never a thing before now?) that someone has created.  Batman takes on a number of them within a charity art gallery, where the works on the walls are all based on the comics style and in the most subtly obvious, self-referential way play into the scene at hand.

It isn’t until a bit later in the trade that the story really picks up steam though. We learn that Talia has been behind this army of man-bat ninjas (I just love typing that phrase, so I’m going to use it as much as possible).  What’s even more surprising though, is the revelation that Talia has a young son, who is also Batman’s own.

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Hearkening back to the story in Batman: Son of the Demon, it is revealed that Batman and Talia’s child survived, and that Talia in fact raised young Damien within the League of Assassins.  With Batman tied up, Talia informs him of his son’s existence, and then disappears, claiming that Batman must care for the boy now.

Surprisingly, the comic doesn’t dwell on whether or not Damien is really Bruce’s child.  There is a very brief conversation noting that they’re not sure if Talia is telling the truth, but the story quickly moves past that and focuses on more pressing concerns. A part of me likes that; Grant Morrison doesn’t pander to his readership, forcing us through a long and drawn-out melodrama of “Is Damien really Batman’s son???”.  Of course he is; we’re allowed to skip all of the unnecessary drivel and get right to the story.

Batman brings Damien to the Bat-cave, but he’s far from impressed.  He’s a bratty, obnoxious little squirt who also happens to be a tremendously skilled fighter.  He incapacitates (and nearly kills) Tim, before donning a Robin costume and showing up to fight alongside dear ole’ dad.

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Damien verges on deranged, and it takes Batman getting really angry and yelling at Damien for him to finally respect his father.  Unfortuntately, just as Damien’s loyalty seems to be conflicted, in an epic showdown on a boat, Talia sets off a bomb, seemingly killing both herself and Damien.

…Yeah, okay.  I didn’t believe this for one second, and it felt a little contrived, at least by Morrison’s standards.   We learn a few issues later that Damien and his mother actually survived, so clearly we haven’t seen the last of them.  Their story is just beginning, as I’m sure Damien and Batman’s is as well.

Morrison’s comics tend to be a little hazy in the beginning. While I know he knows exactly where they’re going, we’re left a bit in the dark while we read issue after issue, until his vision finally becomes clear.  I’m hopeful that like his other stories, his Batman run will be just as brilliant, but I have no idea how it will affect Batman’s story or what sort of radical changes could come about as a result. It’s already a pretty huge revelation that Batman has a son, but I’m sure Morrison has so much more in mind for these characters.  I’m anxious to continue reading his run, and look forward to seeing what sort of bizarrely magnificent stories he comes up with for Batman. I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll be unique.

-Jess

Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns

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This post could go one of two ways.

1: I could write a detailed synopsis of everything that happens in this trade (different corps popping up all over the place, Sinestro stirring the pot, Hal Jordan having  to make some big decisions sooner or later, the list goes on and on), ultimately failing because there are just so many details and major occurrences here that I couldn’t possibly hope to accurately describe them all without simply reprinting the whole comic.

OR

2: I could write out a super rad list about all of the insanely awesome things that happened in this trade.

Guess which one I’m leaning toward.

Let’s start this list, and hope I can contain my excitement (unlikely).

  1. Sinestro is characterized brilliantly here.  Too often writers want to take the easy route and just make a bad guy a straight up villain; it’s easy, but it’s also a tad one-dimensional.  Geoff Johns (whose run on Green Lantern continues to impress me with every issue I read) doesn’t take the easy path, and instead crafts Sinestro as a truly despicable being who still maintains a twisted belief in the Green Lantern Corps.

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His version of events may be perverse, but Sinestro always believed in the power of the Corps and its ability to create order.  He may go about it all wrong, but we should always remember that Sinestro’s origins are in the GL Corps, and that he didn’t choose to leave; he was forced out; forced out for good reason, yes, but all of his criminal and unconscionable acts were committed under his own skewed belief that what he was doing was right. Johns handles these nuances of the character wonderfully, helping mold Sinestro into a truly villainous, yet still recognizably fallible, being.

2.  This comic finally starts showing the formation of the various Corps alluded to in previous issues, and it was even more epic than I could have imagined.

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Although I certainly wouldn’t want to be a member of the Red Lantern Corps, I loved they way their transformations were done, with their heartbeats emphasized on the page as the ring takes over their bodies, finally replacing their heartbeat with its power.  I’m loving the way in which each ring is personified with a given emotion, and how said emotion affects the wearer of the ring. In this case, the Red Lanterns are guided by rage, and as rage is a bit uncontrollable, the wearers of the red ring act out rashly and with little awareness of their actions.  Watching these various Corps members interact, especially when the rage of the Red Lantern meets the calm hopefulness of the Blue Lantern, was fascinating, and made me want to keep reading to see what personality traits stand out among the other Corps.

3. Speaking of the other Corps: I had mentioned in a previous post that I really hoped Geoff Johns wrote an oath for each Corps, because I find them incredibly fun and really want to memorize all of them. Well, looks like Johns didn’t disappoint. I geeked out way too much when I realized that yes, every Corps would have its own oath, and I reveled at being able to read them out loud, imagining being a member of each Corps. I can’t lie, a part of me is just a little annoyed that the Blue Lantern oath doesn’t have as many lines, and so doesn’t quite match up to the original Green Lantern’s meter of iambic tetrameter (why do I know that??).  Still, this minor issue aside, I’m excited to attempt to memorize each and every one, because this is the type of useless trivia I fill my head with.  That and information about meter, apparently.

4.Hal Jordan gets transformed, AGAIN. He’s transformed into something bad, AGAIN.

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This image closed out one of the issues, obviously meant to be a cliffhanger to make you want to buy the next issue (Joke’s on you, Johns, I’m reading this in trade form so…I guess you still got your money’s worth anyway. Okay, nevermind).  It was fun to see Hal in a rage-filled fog, but I was grateful that Johns had the wherewithal to keep this transformation brief.  After a Blue Lantern ring is placed on his finger, that ring is able to overpower the red ring and return Hal to normal.  All of this happens in the very next issue, so while we get to see an exciting fight as Hal struggles to overcome the anger and hate overtaking him, it’s over with quickly enough. This is much more preferable to the story being extended for 4 or 5 issues; It was a nice image, but after the shock factor wears off, we’re all ready to move on with the story at hand. A great inclusion and the perfect length, so I’m totally happy with it.

5.  One of the biggest reveals of the story is made when Sinestro is captured by the Red Lantern Corps, and they’re attempting to break his own will.  Sinestro haughtily claims that he is fear, and that he fears nothing.  Of course, it turns out that he does in fact have a very exploitable weakness.

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After this reveal, not much else is mentioned about this subplot. The story ends with all the Corps fleeing to their own corners of the universe to regroup, while Sinestro announces that he is traveling to see his daughter. Knowing Johns and his writing, it’s easy to guess that this little tidbit of information is going to play a part in the story at some point, I’m just not entirely sure how.  But then, that’s half the fun; nothing’s nearly as exciting when you can predict every moment, and I’m happy to say that these recent Green Lantern stories have been anything but predictable.  Adding family drama into the fold, especially for a character like Sinestro, just helps enhance the overall story while helping to keep Sinestro dynamic and interesting.

I can’t really praise this trade enough. The story was wonderful, and although its primary purpose is to serve as exposition to the obviously significant storyline “Blackest Night”, it can easily be appreciated for the brilliant story it is.  Geoff John’s run on Green Lantern may very well be my favorite Green Lantern storyline ever (I’m holding off on making that an official declaration until I actually finish the run).  I must admit, I’ve got pretty high hopes for this one, so hopefully I don’t wind up disappointed. If this trade is any indication of what’s in store with future trades, I think I’ll be suitably impressed.  Now somebody give me a Blue Lantern ring so I can *hope* I don’t have to wait much longer before reading another Green Lantern trade.

Oh yeah, I have a feeling I’m going to be making various Lantern Corps jokes and references for a while now.   I’d apologize, but let’s be honest…I love this stuff.

-Jess

Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Part Three

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I’ve reached the conclusion of the “Thy Kingdom Come” storyline, and as expected, Geoff Johns didn’t disappoint.  Keeping up the pace he set in the first two volumes, Part Three finishes off the story with the perfect amount of poignancy and finality.  I always wondered how the story would end, particularly in reference to Superman from Earth-22. After all, this is the Superman who watched all his friends die in Kingdom Come, and I wasn’t sure if this story would keep his happy ending in tact or retcon something else entirely.  His story, coupled with everything else going on in this trade, is wrapped up quite nicely, and created an overall satisfying story.

With the JSA divided, the group splits up; the doubters return to their headquarters, while those who believe in Gog’s power continue to follow him across Africa, watching him perform miracles.  Cracks begin to show through in his gifts though; Sand no longer has nightmarish visions of crimes, leading to a young boy’s death; Dr. Mid-Nite can see, but he’s lost the ability to detect invisibly dangers to the human body, which helped him save countless lives.  As the heroes try to come to terms with these new limitations, Gog’s true goals begin to shine through.

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Gog demands that his followers bow down and pray to him, saying that he will never forsake them as long as they preach his word. At the same time, we learn that Gog is literally rooting himself to the Earth, and if this is completed, he will destroy the planet if he ever chooses to leave.  The JSA is reunited as they battle Gog, trying to figure out a way to defeat him while also keeping him from fully bonding with the planet.

Luckily, it was earlier revealed (amidst Starman’s newly gained lucidity) that his star suit is in fact a map to the multiverse and that it, coupled with his ability to generate trans-dimensional black holes, lets him journey from one universe to the other.

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With the help of Earth-22 Superman, the pair transport Gog to the Source Wall, where they reunite him with other gods and entrap him within the wall itself.  Starman returns to Earth, where Gog’s gifts have been reversed: Damage’s face is  disfigured again, Dr. Mid-Nite is blind, and Starman is koo-koo for cocoa puffs (I must admit, this last one made me happy. Sane Starman was just so boring.  I much prefer his incoherent ramblings).

While Starman returns to this world, Superman chooses a different path, and with Starman’s help, returns to his own world.

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Interspersed throughout the panels of our Earth’s heroes dealing with the aftermath of Gog are images of Earth-22 Superman.  I was happy to see that they line up with the events of Kingdom Come perfectly; Johns chose to keep the original story in tact, and I applaud him for it.  Instead, we simply get a two-page spread of wordless panels, in which Superman’s future is laid out. We see as far as 1,000 years into the future, in a world where Superman is still alive (though considerably older) and has lived a full, long life.  Words would have been an unnecessary addition to this part of the story, and I’m happy with the ending’s simplicity.  It feels a fitting end for Earth-22 Superman, and reflects the timeless legacy he has already developed in less than 100 years.  His story is (hopefully) complete; I’d hate to think what another writer might try to do to this finished story.

As for the rest of the JSA, we leave them to process everything that’s gone on.  Magog still exists, the last remnant of Gog on Earth, with no explanation given as to why. I can only guess that he’ll play into a future storyline, likely reflecting the events that occurred on Earth-22.  While “Thy Kingdom Come” is technically finished, there is definitely more to this story.

I’m continually surprised by how much I enjoy reading about the JSA. At first glance, I’d think I wouldn’t find it all that interesting; a bunch of old-school heroes uniting to “teach” the new generation, a generation mostly consisting of heroes I’ve never heard of before.  Yet somehow it works.  The combination of action and down time feels real, and makes the characters much more likable.  I’m sure Johns’s writing has something to do with it, as each character has their own distinct personality, even if it isn’t showcased very often.  I finish this trade reluctantly, hoping I’ll get to read more about the JSA’s exploits soon enough. I’m sure they’ll pop up as side characters in other trades coming up on “the shelf”, but I’m going to miss reading about these heroes’ everyday interactions. I suppose that’s the highest praise you can give to a story: that it’s so good that you don’t want to leave.  I just hope I’m not away for long.

-Jess

Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Part Two

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Geoff Johns continues to impress me.  His run on Justice Society of America has grabbed me since his first issue, and he continues to write an engaging and well-crafted story here with part two of the “Thy Kingdom Come” storyline.

Picking up where “Part 2” left off, the JSA is still trying to decipher exactly who this mythical “Gog” is and what it is he wants. the team  battles a man who is infused with Gog’s powers and uses them to kill false gods.  This man is soon replaced by a being the JSA  never could have imagined.

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This being is the real Gog, and he quickly rises from the earth where he’s been laying in wait for millennia.  This being puts the entire team on edge, as the Superman of Earth-22 says that on his Earth, Gog was the precursor to a being named Magog, who would soon wreck havoc on the world and lead to the destruction of superheroes.  Believing they may suffer the same fate, the JSA watches Gog closely, certain that he is going to incite a war or cause untold damage. Instead though, Gog’s motives seem to be selfless and kind.  He provides those he encounters with their very hearts’ desires: returning Dr. Midnight’s sight, letting Sandman get a good night’s sleep, and even reversing Damage’s battered appearance.

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Gog appears to be a gift to humanity, leaving a garden of Eden in his wake, and improving the lives of everyone he meets.  The group is soon divided though, especially after Gog makes Power Girl disappear.  Nobody on Earth knows where she is, and when Power Girl wakes up, she realizes that she is on Earth-2, her home planet that she long thought to be lost.

Unfortunately, cracks begin to show in Power Girl’s world, just as flaws show through in Gog as well.  Power Girl realizes she doesn’t belong on Earth-2, as that universe had already provided itself with a replacement P.G.  Gog’s actions seem noble, yet they also cause problems, and soon every member of the JSA has taken sides.  Before an all-out war can erupt, Gog returns life to a fallen soldier, giving him a name that is all too familiar.

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Magog’s creation seems to confirm Superman’s fears, implying that this creature is going to spell the end for the JSA as well as all other superheroes.  The comic closes with Magog’s appearance alongside Power Girl looking for help on Earth-2, hoping to find a way back to our universe.

This is a surprisingly well-written comic. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, seeing as how Geoff Johns wrote it.  I’ve been consistently impressed with his writing, and particularly his means of crafting a well-thought out story.  I’m enjoying the progression of the story, especially as Gog’s first appearance conflicts with what the JSA had been expecting. I like watching them wonder if maybe they were wrong, as some of them follow this apparent messiah blindly while others hold back, still wary of his power.  There are obvious religious allusions within the story, but Johns doesn’t hit you over the head with them. Instead, he allows the story  to exist in its own right, while also allowing the reader to infer what they may.  Given Johns’s penchant for crafting incredibly stories, I’m confident I’ll enjoy the concluding trade.  I almost hesitate to write that, as I’m sure the time will come when I read something of his that I’m not a fan of; still, he’s wowed me so far, and if the lead-up story is any indication, this comic will have one hell of a finale.

-Jess

 

Tarzan (1999)

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This movie doesn’t really get the credit it deserves. Released after the end of the so-called “Disney Renaissance”, Tarzan feels like one of those films that is somewhat lost in Disney obscurity. We all remember seeing it, but it’s not one of the films people mention when talking about Disney classics.  Is it because there have been so many various versions of the Tarzan story over the decades that it feels somehow less unique? Was it somehow less marketable to children that the company simply didn’t get as strong a reaction to its release as with other films?  I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly, but there’s just something about Tarzan that causes it to be often overlooked. It’s really a shame because it’s actually incredibly well-done.

We all know the classic story of Tarzan: orphaned boy raised in the jungles of Africa by gorillas. When he encounters humans for the first time in his life, his eyes are opened to a vast new world of possibilities, while he must decide where he truly belongs.  In keeping with this basic storyline, Disney does a terrific job.  Tarzan’s history is set up in the opening scenes, shipwrecked with his parents before they’re killed by a jungle predator, only to be found and taken in by a gorilla who has recently lost her own son.  Tarzan grows up trying desperately to fit in with his adoptive family,  yet nearly everyone around him treats him like an outsider, forcing him to work twice as hard to fit in.  It’s a solid foundation for his backstory, and helps drive the remainder of the film.  It’s also a bit lengthier than some of Disney’s other backstory segments; they focus both on Tarzan as a baby and as a young boy before allowing him to mature to adulthood.  These pauses are necessary to allow the audience to relate to the character and to truly understand the nature of how alone and different he feels. These sentiments would have been lost had the film breezed through these opening scenes.

The story builds up steam when other humans are brought into the picture: Doctor Archimedes Porter, his daughter Jane, and their hired bodyguard Clayton. Each has their own distinct personality (with Clayton being to movie’s main antagonist).  My favorite though is Jane, who is allowed to be spunky and unique, despite the fact that the film is clearly set in the past.

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One of Jane’s earliest scenes is one of my favorites in the whole film, even though it’s only purpose is to facilitate the meeting between Tarzan and Jane. This could have been accomplished any number of ways, but the writers allowed Jane to have personality, attempting to outsmart a monkey who’s stolen one of her drawings, only to have the monkey’s entire family chase her through the jungle.  It’s action and comedy intertwined, helping Jane feel so much more real than had she just been a typical uptight “lady”.

The main crux of the story is Tarzan deciding where he belongs, in the jungle or in civilization with other humans, while also having to protect gorilla family from Clayton and his band of poachers.  The climactic battle scene is somewhat lengthy, but it helps add to the tension and drama as Tarzan must decide what’s right for him.  Ultimately he decides to stay in the jungle, but at the last second Jane and bewilderingly, her father, decide to stay behind as well.

 

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This is probably the one part that the film loses me.  It’s all well and good for Tarzan to stay. After all, he knows the jungle, he grew up there. Jane makes a GIANT leap by deciding to stay with him. Has she really thought this through? This is a major lifestyle change to decide on what appears to be a whim.  Goodbye showers, goodbye any modern conveniences you had (whatever those were in the 19th century).  There just isn’t quite enough soul-searching or addressing of the real practicalities of living in the jungle for my liking. She rushes into it a little too prematurely, and ultimately I don’t really like that message for young girls: hey kids, give up everything and just follow around a boy  you’ve only known for a short period of time! I get that Disney is just sticking to the source material, and that the story’s just going for the romance element, but the feminist in me just can’t overlook this.

Ending aside, this is a really well-done film.  People don’t seem to give it the same sort of attention as other films of the period though. In my mind it’s lightyears better than Hunchback of Notre Dame, yet it receives about as much attention as that far inferior film.  Is it because, unlike most other films of the time, this one isn’t a musical? Yes, it has a few songs, but they’re all played over montages; none of the characters sing.  Perhaps that has something to do with it, or perhaps it’s something else entirely.  Whatever it is, I’m glad I revisited this after so many years. It’s a surprisingly good watch, and definitely deserving of a repeat viewing.

-Jess

 

Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Part One

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It’s clear from this trade that Part One is just the set-up for this three-part saga in the Thy Kingdom Come storyline.  A lot happens here, but it’s also a lot of exposition.  That’s not a bad thing; it just makes it clear that I’ve barely cracked the surface with this story.

We open as the JSA is still working on expanding its numbers, while also continuing to train its new recruits.

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The newly dubbed Citizen Steel is one such recruit.  He’s still adjusting to his powers, as well as the idea of even being a superhero in the first place.  He’s fortunate to have such understanding teammates help him make the transition from normal citizen to hero.

The first half of the trade focuses no the Society, but the story doesn’t really pick up speed until the shocking arrival of a familiar, yet altogether difference, face.

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Superman from Earth-22, better known as the Earth from Kingdom Come, arrives on our planet, completely unsure of where he is or how he came to be there.  The requisite questioning follows, with the JSA enlisting the JLA to help prove that the man before them really is Superman.  After confirming this, everyone tries to come to terms with the implications of his arrival: that there may once again be a multiverse out there, with who knows how many different Earths.

Superman tries to adjust to life on this new planet. He confirms that he saw his entire home world destroyed, so he has no where to return to.  He’s still conflicted about what everything means, but he seems to be trying to find a place for himself in this new world.  The story shifts away from him though, as we instead focus on a series of murders happening across the world:

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Someone has been murdering people who dress up and/or claim to be pseudo-gods in a most violent manner, leaving a gaping hole straight through the center of their chest.  The JSA has only just begun to look into this. We actually see the new Mr. America spending more time on the case than anyone else at this point.  Storylines collide as Mr. America winds up at the JSA’s doorstep, asking if anyone’s heard of someone named Gog.  The trade ends here, with a clear line of what path this storyilne will be following next.

As an introduction to a bigger story, this was a great trade.  There are a handful of new characters introduced here, all of whom have been extended invitations to join the JSA. No one in the group has come up against a main adversary yet, but I’m okay with that. The story is taking its time, allowing the plot to be fleshed out slowly, while characters adapt to their new surroundings. I find this much more preferable to the non-stop action some comics employ; without a chance to catch their breath, the heroes of those stories lose some of their humanity, resembling nothing more than fighting machines.  I rather enjoy reading the down-home side of the JSA. I know that a major battle is always just around the corner, so I can appreciate these moments of calm as the members are allowed to interact as a family. In this way they’re more believable than the JLA, and even arguably make for better storylines.  I’m liking where the plot is going so far, and I’m excited to see what happens next.

-Jess