By Koppy McFad
Feb 20, 2010 - 1:24
This issue takes place before the events of the latest JSA Annual # 2 and ties directly into that comic. Yet it comes out after that comic which makes things a bit confusing.
Basically, the team is still training but Magog, who is too vocal about his intentions to kill his opponents in battle, pushes things to far. His sparring session with Power Girl finally turns into a real fight which has him walking off... to pursue his own agenda.
Talking about 'pushing'-- the creative team seem to rushing things too much, making Magog as unlikeable and violent as possible, so that even though he may make some good points, he still comes off as a near-lunatic. There seems to be no subtletly in Magog and his interactions with the rest of the team. Not surprisingly, the character has been pretty unpopular. That seems to be DC Comics' intention as though the readers are being challenged to like him.
The rest of the characters are still being fleshed out but at least they are showing different aspects of their personality instead of just being one-note fanatics like Magog.
A few new subplots are also introduced, but disappointingly, they all seem to involve mystical menaces of some sort. Since the JSA is already facing a mystical menace, you have to wonder if the creative team is repeating itself.
The art still takes some getting used to but at least it is becoming clearer and easier to follow. Many of the characters actually have pupils this time instead of looking like Little Orphan Annie.
There is a back-up feature involving Liberty Belle and Hourman in some sort of light-hearted caper with Tigress and Icicle. Frankly, it doesn't really add much to the book and it actually diffuses the sense of danger in the main story. In one tale, we have the very same characters acting like super-heroics are just some joke. Yet in the main story, the very same characters are ready to kill each other. It just makes the backup feature look superficial and tacked-on.
Rating: 7.5 /10