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Subj: Re: JSA Annual #1 brief summary and comments
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 02:19:34 am EDT
Reply Subj: JSA Annual #1 brief summary and comments
Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 02:28:58 pm EDT

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So, Power Girl falls from the sky in Earth-2 (where she was sent by Gog) and is found by Huntress (Helena Wayne). After bringing PG in for treatment and revives, we find out that the Earth-2 Justice Society and Infinity, Inc. have merged into Justice Society Infinity (JSI), with mostly Infinity, Inc. characters, many of whom are dead on "New Earth". In the subsequent discussion, we find out that Karen went to look for the missing Superman and Lois several years back, and this is the first they've seen of her since. She tells them the bad news from the Middle Crisis, which they have no knowledge of.

However, they do remember the parallel earths and red skies from the First Crisis, and had thought all other universes had been destroyed in it (which they were, just not in the way that they think). Lyta Trevor-Hall (Wonder Woman's daughter on Earth-2) says "Thank the gods they weren't. Mother will be so pleased." A telling clue for later...

Spectre and Dr. Fate (the originals!) come across each other near the scene of PG's fall to earth, and realize that the multiverse has reared its head again, and fear the consequences.

Karen can't sleep and encounters Helena, who is looking for the Joker, who tried to turn DA Harry Sims (Helena's bf) into a new Two-Face (the old one is dead) and apparently killed Alfred as well. They find him. Helena gets ready to kill the Joker, but Karen steps in first and Joker is electrocuted by the feedback one of his gimmicks.

Afterwards, Helena confesses that just before the Joker had intervened, the DA had proposed to her at some type of party (shades of "Dark Knight"!) and she was about to turn him down - because she's really been in love with Dick Grayson (Robin) all her life. After some nice bonding moments - another Power Girl appears! This one verifies her identity as the "real" PG (who never found her cousin), and by the end of the story the entire active JSI (17 members!) is hunting down the New Earth version. To be continued in the pages of the regular JSA comic...

Comments: A telling moment was when Lyta mentioned her mom, because the Earth-Two (pre-First Crisis) Wonder Woman left our plane of reality, during the Middle Crisis. No, Earth-Two and Earth-2 (the current one) are two different Earths, and the Karen who has been on New Earth was from Earth-Two. Which means that the Superman and Lois of Earth-2 might still be alive...that, and the Huntress-Robin subplot are likely to be resolved during the JSA Earth-2 story arc.

Yeah...my thoughts are mixed on this too. 
* I hate the JLI thing...seems to me Infinity Inc. members would have just eventually rolled into the JSA as their mentors died or retired. The idea that Infinity Inc. just eventually bogarts the name of the JSA - the team all the members wanted to join in the first place - doesn't ring true with the continuity...and maybe doesn't even respect it either. 
* Love the comment elsewhere in this thread about Helena loving older men like her mom...so funny...and so far Johns best re-interpretation of the old Earth-Two characters. I'm betting I can re-read Roy Thomas' "Generations Saga" and have it fit fairly well.
* Loved to see Kent Nelson Doctor Fate. Loved to see the Jim Corrigan Spectre anchored in humanity and sanity again.
* The thing I hated most was I feel this Annual was merely an extended prologue to another long ass storyline when we're still nipple deep in the long ass - and, sadly, plodding - Gog storyline. Really...I didn't need to wait months to see the "return" of the heroes of my childhood in order to wait months more for them to get back to the thread Johns drops with today's release of the Annual.
* And then...well...it's obvious you CAN'T go home again. Old Fanboys like me (who are older than the author) were probably looking forward to the revelation - hoping against hope - that indeed this was our Earth Two. Whether you tag it with the numeral or spell it out didn't matter. What mattered was seeing the JSA 1982 still standing - albeit unrealistically - and doing what they do best. Magically altered Hawkman, Sandman, Dr. Mid-Nite and the rest still defying time and still kicking ass in the same idealistic fashion of the era they were created.  What I was hoping for, and maybe some of you, was we'd find that Kara, Jay, Alan, and Ted WERE their original Earth Two selves transplanted in this other Earth and not yet another parallel version of Flash, Green Lantern and so on.  If the last bullet point was the thing I hated the most about the story, this one is the one that made me saddest.
And can I say how much I think it sucks for this medium that the actual issues seem matter less than the trade paperback that will inevitably be collecting them six months from now?
I'm not a my-way-or-no-way type Fanboy...just one who cherrishs his childhood heroes like I think everyone else does.  The positive thing about this story is we're finally going to learn I think what the whole "the multiverse is back" thing is really all about and what it means to our funny books...and I got to see...sort of...versions of my childhood heroes again.

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