DC Comics
JSA All-Stars # 4
By Koppy McFad
March 5, 2010 - 23:34

DC Comics
Writer(s): Matthew Sturges
Penciller(s): Freddie Williams II
Colourist(s): Richard and Tanya Hopie
Letterer(s): Pat Brosseau
Cover Artist(s): Freddie Williams II
$3.99 US 40 pages


The JSA All-Stars-- the team of Justice Society newbies-- engages the Injustice Society in battle, just in time for the Lovecraftian King of Tears to emerge into our world.

This is a pretty light-hearted, lightweight story, which is rather surprising considering the plot with a Cthulu-lookalike threatening the world-- and with the apparent death of one team member (yeah, sure...) But all the characters concerned seem to take all the dangers in stride, merrily exchanging banter and punching each other out even as the monster's tentacles engulf them.

It seems the villain, Johnny Sorrow, needs Stargirl for his own nefarious purposes and Stargirl is willing to sacrifice herself if it means stopping the King of Tears. The rest of the team seem surprisingly short of options to stop the bad guys and make little effort to stop Stargirl from giving herself to a creepy, older guy. Yes, that does sound rather suggestive but it is accurate.

This team seems to thrive on chaotic combat with each member going off and pounding the bad guys in his own unique way. Perhaps this reflects the fact that they are so inexperienced that they rely on fighting to solve most of their problems. In real life, this would be a major liability but it does make for fun comics.

The art style is unique and enjoyable-- in most cases. Williams is finally drawing characters with pupils in their eyes and that helps convey the emotions involved. The characters also look good when they are in action, with their bodies tangled together violently.

However the art still falls short in storytelling. Characters-- particularly Stargirl, seem to be popping up all over the place, one moment beside one character-- the next moment, several feet away.

The back-up story, with Hourman and Liberty Belle trying to recover an ancient book ahead of Icicle and Tigress, still isn't coming together. Are they trying to make it a superhero-version of Nick and Nora Charles? Well, the plot is too muddled and the story too tame, especially when compared to the action-packed main feature. The story doesn't even feel very exciting since the good guys and bad guys seem to be taking it easy on each other.

Rating: 7.5/10

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