By Koppy McFad
July 31, 2009 - 02:31
The Justice Society of America (JSA) is trying to outsmart fanatical, religious terrorist Kobra-- with a "K" -- from carrying out some new insidious plot. But the JSA aren't even sure what that plot is and are largely just stumbling in the dark.
The second part of this miniseries nicely contrasts the methods of the two opponents. The JSA, spearheaded by the coldly atheistic Mr. Terrific, moves logically and methodically, while Kobra seems guided by faith, fate and other abstract powers. While the JSA try to act humanely and save lives, Kobra's followers try to maximize the deaths they cause, sometimes merely to frighten and distract the good guys.
There is a gripping realism in this story, because the bad guy does not directly confront the hero in a dramatic face-off but instead keeps his motives and his movements hidden so that the hero-- and the reader-- only sees as much as the villain wants him to see. While it isn't as emotionally-satisfying as an old-fashioned superhero punch up, it is highly suspenseful and genuinely frightening.
The parallels between the JSA's struggle with Kobra and the real-life war with Islamic extremists is not played up but those familiar with current events will easily see the similarities between the two. The heroes, for all their smarts and courage, can be overwhelmed by a villain who strikes at him assymetrically.
The art is also very good. Kramer has improved, giving his human figures more realism and emotion. His Power Girl is also looking pretty good. In the past, his females were not depicted as well as his men but that is clearly changing.
The biggest flaw in this issue is the small number of actual JSA members involved. The team now has a gigantic roster, where many members barely do anything in some issues of the regular JSA book. In this issue, they could have easily scattered team members all over the place to keep Kobra's destruction to a minimum.
Rating: 8 /10