By Koppy McFad
June 12, 2009 - 00:44
The new Kobra strikes out at the Justice Society, particulary Mr. Terrific who was also head of the superhuman spy agency, Checkmate. Their weapon of choice-- suicide bombers, which further reinforces the parallels between the Kobra cult and Islamic extremists of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. As I have said before, Kobra has been used as a more politically-correct way to show DC superheroes fighting terrorists without offending any Muslims out there. This issue is a good example of this as we see killers who will sacrifice their own lives for some twisted religious ideal.
But Kobra is a lot more subtle in his methods than the usual suicide bomber and the story soon becomes a battle of wits and wills between the mysterious villain and Mr. Terrific, a man who is-- spiritually at least-- the opposite of Kobra.
The villains of this story seem smarter and more treacherous than the usual comicbook baddies. They don't confront the heroes directly and use subterfuge and misdirection to achieve their aims. We never even see the evil Kobra in the story but only read his "thoughts" in the caption, and from what we can see, he has Mr. Terrific-- the so-called third smartest man in the world-- clearly outmatched.
The rest of the JSA are depicted well, particulary Power Girl who acts more like a leader in this issue than in the pages of the JUSTICE SOCIETY comic book itself. Instead of simply being bossy, she is strong-willed and determined, letting others take the lead when necessary but making decisions when needed.
Veteran JSA artist Kramer, has improved from his earlier stint on the team. His art is more rounded and his figures less stiffly posed. The inking and colours also help enhance the mood of menace without making it hard to understand what is happening.
It is also interesting to have a JSA story that is tied so closely into Checkmate when the two comicbooks barely had any tie-ins when CHECKMATE was being published.
Rating: 7 /10