JSA #68 Review

Story Title: JSA/JSA Chapter 1: Making History
Reviewer: Paul Sebert

Written By: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Don Kramer
Inks: Keith Champagne
Coloring: John Kalisz
Lettering: Ken Lopez
Editors: Stephen Walker, Peter Tomasi
Publisher: DC Comics

Ah time travel stories, a plot device that’s been used for decades within the medium. And for decades they’ve been a cause of confusing continuity, and headache inducing plot conundrums that make some fans just wish there was a permanent moratorium on stories using the device.

Yet fan favorite Geoff Johns apparently loves these kinds of stories. In the current “Titans Tomorrow” arc we’re seeing the Titans confront dark corrupted counterparts of themselves. Meanwhile in the latest arc of JSA we see the DC Universe’s oldest (and in my opinion best) team of superheroes confronting simultaneous threats from both the past and the present. This appears to be the third time travel based arc of Johns run on the title.

This is just an observation, not a complaint.

Our story opens up with Courtney Whitmore AKA Stargirl one of the youngest members of the JSA returning home to her family after a battle with Solomon Grundy. We suddenly jump towards the McCarthyism of the 50s as we witness the JSA being grilled by a foe they can‘t fight: the Superheroes of the Golden age are confronted House Un-American Activities Commission unaware that time-traveling Nazi nogoodnick Degaton is watching, and planning.

Back in the present Whitmore sits down to enjoy a nice breakfast with her family only to suddenly be ambushed by a group of gun-toting time fascists from the distant future known as the Red Morgue. After moments of violent unspeakable tragedy, Courtney and the rest of the JSA’s only hope lies with Rip Hunter”¦ Time Master to stop a plot to undo the team’s past and destroy their present lives.

The first issue of this first arc of the latest JSA arc pretty much exemplifies what has made this title such a success over the years and why it is still THE premier superhero team book on the market. The reader is bombarded with a non-stop roller coaster ride of action, drama, and battles with stakes far higher than anything the JLA has faced in the past 4 years. All this and a deep respect for the past and combined with a huge amount of artistic polish courtesy of Don Krame’s wonderful pens that makes even the most obscure of characters look and feel like A-listers. JSA continues to be a great title and this issue is a wonderful jumping on point.