JSA All-Stars # 5
By Koppy McFad
Apr 17, 2010 - 1:09
Writer(s): Matthew Sturges/ Jen Van Meter
Penciller(s): Freddie Williams II/ Travis Moore, Dan Green
Cover Artist(s): Freddie Williams II
$3.99 US, 40 pages
A strange mystery-woman comes to the rescue of the Justice Society All-Stars but does she pose a greater threat to the team than the villains do?
On one side, we have Stargirl and Atom-Smasher stuck in some magical dimension where they feel compelled to fall in love. On the other side, the rest of the team is still on Earth, fighting the Lovecraftian King of Tears. Enter, the magic-wielding Anna Fortune (or Miss Fortune as one character calls her), who looks like a teenaged bag lady but who apparently has the magical cure for all the JSA All-Stars ailments. It all looks too good to be true, so not surprisingly new twists are thrown our heroes' way before the issue ends.
This issue really takes the story on a detour with a major new character, new situations and a strange change of pace. Everything seems strangely off-kilter: the way Stargirl and Atom-Smasher are pushed together, the ease in how Miss Fortune tackles world-destroying problems, the Justice Society's quick acceptance of this new woman and even the weird speech patterns of Miss Fortune, which make it hard to tell if she is putting on an act or is really trying to help the heroes.
Is this abrupt change in the story's direction a sign of surprises that the creative team has in store? Or is it a sign that they had written themselves into a corner and had to resort to outlandish plot-devices to help them heroes out? The sudden changes in this issue do seem intriguing but they also look a bit forced. Hopefully, the story will have a satisfactory conclusion where all the sudden twists will finally make sense.
The stylised art adds to the whole sense of unreality, of the events in the story being unnaturally set up by an outside force. But at least the characters are all very powerful-looking and dramatic, which makes the book interesting to read, even when the protagonists are just standing around talking.
The back-up story however continues to underperform. It is a caper story with Hourman and Liberty Belle teaming up with Icicle and Tigeress in search of some magic stick. But there is no conflict or even suspense in the tale, despite the fact that the heroes are working with a pair of villains who normally would kill them on sight. This story has gone on for too long and it still isn't going anywhere. The relaxed, emotionless art does not help matters.
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