By Koppy McFad
June 26, 2010 - 03:44
The Justice Society and the Seven Soldiers of Victory face the end of the Golden Age in this miniseries re-telling the history of the DC universe.
This issue brings us to from the early-1940s to the early-1950s, showing how superheroes sprung up everywhere, only to disappear in a few years. We get mostly a broad overview of comic book history as the story is narrated by an ordinary person who first ran into the superheroes when he was a kid. Basically, we get a glimpse of the Justice Society of America (JSA) and all the other superheroes, followed by the story of how the JSA folded up under the threat of government investigations in the 1950s.
This miniseries basically just fills in the blanks in DC continuity for those who came in late. It also tries to leave out a lot of the historical context, perhaps so readers won't notice that people like Alan Scott and company should be in their ninties by now. There is no mention of World War II at all-- which is shocking considering how the war probably inspired so many heroes. The government commission that grounds the JSA is not explicity linked with the McCarthy witch-hunts either. Those wishing to get a feel of the actual era when these events took place, will have to satisfy themselves with vintage clothing and backgrounds.
The back-up is an amusing story showing the Seven Soldiers of Victory-- now revamped to include TNT and Dyna-Mite in place of Green Arrow and Speedy. Such stark changes to accomodate "post-Crisis continuity" are always jarring especially since the original stories are now widely available, showing something completely different from what we see here.
The stories are entertaining but don't quite move or inspire the reader the way such an epic story should. An era comes to an end, yet there isn't enough sense of sadness. Perhaps this is because we know that the superheroes will be back but we should still feel a deeper sense of loss when these giants just disappear.
The art, in both the main story and the Seven Soldiers back-up feature, is the high point of the book, giving a retro-feel while still being pleasing to the modern eye. The only quibble is the way Kuberts make all the superheroes look so angry and hostile. That is something we might see from modern comics but the Golden Age heroes tried to look up-beat and inspiring. Look at all the all old DETECTIVE COMICS of that period and you will see Batman and Robin always smiling at us.
Rating: 7.5 /10