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JSA: Darkness Falls (book 2) by Geoff Johns
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JSA: Darkness Falls (book 2) (2002)

by Geoff Johns

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951194,982 (3.59)None
Written by David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns; Art by Stephen Sadowski, Michael Bair and others A team made up of heroes from the present and legends from the past, the JSA finds themselves fighting their history and their future, as they face off against the mad Obsidian, son of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern and member of the Justice Society. and just as Starman, Hourman, Star Spangled Kid, Black Canary, Atom Smasher and Sand begin to recover from this emotional and physical battle, they find themselves pitted against their old foes, the Injustice Society, and the time-warlord Extant, the man responsible for the death of several members of the original Justice Society.… (more)

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Found this volume to be weaker than its predecessor. More than a dozen heroes--some classic heroes, and some young "legacy" heroes--come together over the course of these ten issues to battle big bads with connections to the JSA's past. Alan Scott's schizophrenic son keeps them busy in the first half of the book, while Hank Hall (the former hero Hawk) returns as a timeline-rewriting villain named Extant in the second half.

The classic heroes are stalwarts of the genre: Flash (Jay Garrick), Sentinel (Alan Scott), and Wildcat (Ted Grant). The "legacy" heroes are really hit and miss though. Starman (Jack Knight), Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders), Dr. Mid-Nite (Pieter Cross), and Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore) are standouts, but the rebooted Hourman, Black Canary, and Sand (nee The Sandman) are duds. Hourman looks like some glam rock guitarist, Black Canary is well-written but seems to have no powers save martial arts, and Sand...

Sand is the worst of the lot, which is unfortunate as he is elected the chairperson of the Society and gets a lot of face time. How ridiculous is it that a man who can turn his body into sand, pass through stone, and control earth elements, ALSO carries a gas-gun with sleeping gas in it? The classic Sandman was COOL. This guy's a tool. (And how exactly DOES that gun go with him when he passes through stone? Or his clothes, for that matter?) And Batman ain't got nothing on this guy for scary: between his green sweater, shoulder holsters, and modern gas mask, he looks like a cross between Darth Vader and a British commando. Let's just hope he gets written out fast.

The stories aren't the tightest things in the world; despite their swelling numbers, the JSA often finds victory at the last minute thanks to help from some OTHER hero or ally, which begins to feel a little tiresome. The "we're all in this together" attitude is what makes the book more than just the JLA with second-rate heroes, but sometimes the clubhouse feels a little too crowded. The end of this volume sees the authors cleaning house a bit, although I wish one who left had stayed, and a couple who stayed had gone.

As a side note, the budding relationship between Dr. Mid-Nite and Black Canary is really well handled, and the women in this book, on the whole, are treated as far more than mere eye-candy. A big part of that is the character of Courtney Whitmore, whom Johns created for Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. as both an homage and memorial to his sister, who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. ( )
  GratzFamily | Feb 3, 2010 |
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