Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Justice Society of America #3 Review


Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Mikel Janín, Jerry Ordway
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire, John Kalisz
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Mikel Janín (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: March 14, 2023

Justice Society of America #3 unveils Per Degaton's origin, starting in World War II, and how his penchant for time manipulation has brought him to the present JSA... just in time for their destruction.
Is It Good?

I love the JSA. You love the JSA. We love the JSA, so let's enjoy a JSA adventure together. So I mean this with all sincerity, Geoff Johns needs to calm the $%^& down with the time-hopping.

There's a fun, timey-wimey adventure inside Justice Society of America #3 waiting to show itself. Still, Johns gets too mired in cameos, tangents, and time-hopping shenanigans to let the story settle and just breathe.

When last we left the (future) Huntress, she got zapped into a back-and-forth seizure of time jumps after the current Dr. Fate touched her to discern the truth of her claim of coming from the future. The spasmodic time-jumping is now lessened, but the narrative flips from Per Degaton's origin story during WWII and an encounter with Sgt. Rock's Easy Company, to a jump forward where Per Degaton adopts a new mission after realizing the Axis powers lose, to a flip back where Per Degaton spies on the moment of Sgt. Rock's death, to a flip to the present where the current JSA fights off an army of Bizarros under the control of Angle Man, to a jump a little farther forward with a current JSA meeting that ends on an unexpected cliffhanger.

Oy! My head hurts.

Betwixt the see-saw plot, Johns peppers in little nuggets that may or may not need to be necessary. For example, what does the mysterious snow globe do? Why are Superman and Batman repeatedly referenced but never shown up? The last page suggests that Per Degaton is not the only villain to worry about, so what else is happening?

Right now, the down point of this issue (and series) is that there's no clarity about what's going on. Mysterious, confusing things are happening, but it's all random, without any apparent direction. When a plot is either missing or directionless after three issues, expecting readers to keep going is too much to ask.

This issue has multiple artists working on pencils, inks, and colors, which is usually a red flag for a time crunch. Thankfully, the art quality doesn't suffer in the least. The line work in WWII past and present is different but suitable for each time period. The colors look great, and the action scenes are well done.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Justice Society of America #3 makes it difficult to keep reading this title because there appears to be little plot or direction to ground the story. There's an intriguing mystery at the heart of the series, but excessive time jumps, random scene transitions, and a general lack of focus keep the mystery buried under a lot of noise.


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