JSA #57 Review

Reviewer: Mathan Erhardt
Story Title: N/A

Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Don Kramer
Inked by: Keith Champagne
Colored by: John Kalisz
Lettered by: Bill Oakley
Editor: Peter Tomasi

This issue opens with Black Adam and his team basking in the applause of the citizens of Kahndaq, and Atom Smasher is eating it all up. Meanwhile at JSA headquarters the team debates their change in leadership. Y’see, over in Hawkman, Carter Hall usurped Chairman duties from Mr. Terrific. Now the team is pretty evenly divided on who should lead the team. But Hawkman makes a pretty convincing case.

Back in Kahndaq Atom Smasher is haunted by voices questioning his recent actions. He goes to find solace in a teammate, but make a discovery instead. Elsewhere Black Adam and Brainwave discuss the upcoming battle, and allude to a shared agreement. While en route to Kahndaq the JSA talk about their feelings on the apparently unavoidable battle. And Dr. Fate appears to have an internal conflict.

Once entering the Kahndaq airspace, the JSA is ambushed. The flying heroes battle a squad of Feitherians, who have now mutated into a Kingdom Come-sequel race. Hourman is overwhelmed by Kahndaqis. Mr. Terrific and Dr. Midnite are taken down by Atom Smasher. Man, I have to wait an entire seven days for the next installment?

Johns is doing a great job of building the storyline. He adds a few subplots (Midnite’s mission, Adam and Brainwave’s pact, what do those Kahndaqis want with Hourman) and also has some action thrown in for good measure. Alan Scott is growing more and more into that elder statesman role. I appreciate how Black Adam is much more complex than a “villain.” I am really curious how things will end up. Johns is really holding his own, and JSA continues to be a “must read” book.

Kramer hasn’t gotten a fair shake. I’ve read that some people don’t like his work. I see nothing terribly wrong with it. It isn’t perfect, but it captures the feel of the book. He does a very good job on a team book. That is a challenge. I applaud his efforts.