- Booster Gold #8, by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund (DC)
- Countdown to Final Crisis #3 of 52 (backwards), by Paul Dini, Sean McKeever, Keith Giffen & Freddie Williams II (DC)
- Justice Society of America #14, by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross, Dale Eaglesham & Prentis Rollins (DC)
- Nova #12, by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Pelletier & Rick Magyar (Marvel)
- Echo #2, by Terry Moore (Abstract)
- B.P.R.D.: 1946 #4 of 5, by Mike Mignola, Joshua Dysart & Paul Azaceta (Dark Horse)
- The Complete Peanuts 1967-1968, by Charles M. Schultz (Fantagraphics)
- Locke & Key #3 of 6, by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
I don’t get the cover to this month’s Justice Society: It shows all our heroes either walking away (from what?) or standing around (why?) while the face of (presumably) the villain appears in the clouds in the background. But this has nothing at all to do with the issue, although its composition seems to indicate that it does! Basically it’s a typical “The heroes have been so defeated that they’re giving up” cover, the sort exemplified by the famous cover to Amazing Spider-Man #50.
Yet it has nothing at all to do with the issue, whose story goes like this:
Anyway. It’s not so much a bad issue as a “well, let’s get this out of the way” issue. Basically, John and Ross have let us down as far as building dramatic tension and bringing it to a climax goes. In other words, regardless of where the story “They Kingdom Come” is going, it’s going there very slowly and is being boring while it’s going there.
It seems like when I have little to say about the rest of the haul, Nova always stands out and makes me smile. Nova’s quest to rid himself of the Phalanx technovirus comes to an end, and he and his allies have to face a powerful adversary. Abnett and Lanning also cleverly manage their characters, setting up expectations for how things will turn out for all of them, and then arranging things so they works out differently. This story has gone on a little too long, but Abnett & Lanning managed to pack some more stuff into it to keep it from dragging, and they managed to deliver a satisfying payoff – really exactly the opposite of how JSA is going.
And it turns out that it’s been dragged out this long because now Nova’s going to loop back to where this story started in the conclusion to Annihilation Conquest. Which might seems self-indulgent, but since both series have been plenty of fun, I don’t really mind. (This also explains why Nova’s 4-issue involvement in Annihilation Conquest last year ended so anticlimactically – it was just the set-up for this longer arc which would then tie back in to the mini-series. I guess I shoulda had more faith!)
Oh, and there’s also a hint at the end of the issue that Drax is starting to revert a little to his “big dumb destroyer” form. I wonder if he cycles from weak-but-clever to strong-and-stupid and back again every few years?