Review: Justice Society of America #10

by Matthew Lloyd
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Review: Justice Society of America #10
[Editor’s Note: This review definitely contains spoilers]

Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Mikel Janin and Marco Santucci
Colors: Jordie Bellaire, Ivan Plascencia and John Kalisz
Letters: Rob Leigh

Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd




The Legion of Substitute Heroes deliberates on stopping the Justice Society from inducting Mordru into their ranks, but another team shows up to stop the JSAers!


So often nostalgia is a huge factor when enjoying a comic book.  That nostalgia can simply be the appearance of a character you loved who’s been missing for a while, or it can be the small details in the writing that cleverly connect the dots and utilize the substance of the fabric of the fictional universe to bring an issue to life.  Justice Society of America #10 engages in both.  It’s hard to say how much the something of a surprise appearance at the end of the issues means.  If you’ve been following the promotion, you know the classic Legion of Super-Heroes appears on the cover to Justice Society of America #11.  However, they make a full appearance in the closing moments of this issue and the double page spread nearly brought a tear to my eye.  Illustrated by Marco Santucci, it is glorious.  The classic Legion of Super-Heroes hasn’t been seen as a full team since the New 52 era.  Despite the classic version of Saturn Girl appearing in Doomsday Clock, the Legion were replaced by a new version that did not land with fans or critics by Brian Michael Bendis during his infamous tenure on Superman.  It’s not entirely clear at this point if this means that Bendis’ Legion is gone from continuity or relegated to an alternate universe, but for the moment, it’s simply amazing to have the classic Legion back.

Geoff Johns also includes the Legion of Substitute Heroes in the issue which is exciting, as well.  Further more, it’s not only that the Legion returns, but they play an integral part of the Mordru plot.  Johns also moves Helena Wayne’s story forward as she and the Justice Society attempt to recruit the Gentleman Ghost to the team.  It’s a short, tense and explosive meeting that leaves Hawkman VERY angry.  It’s an insightful moment that touches on the emotional aspects of Hawkman’s reincarnation cycle.  Additionally, Helena begins to realize that she may be making a mistake in her attempt to recruit all these villains for reform and inclusion on the team.

Positives Cont’d

Mikel Janin and Marco Santucci share art chores on this issue with Janin doing the cover and the first half of the book and Santucci handling the second half.  Janin’s cover homages Adventure Comics #300, the comic that gave the Legion it’s first starring feature.  Janin communicates some of Helena’s misgivings and Hawkman’s surprise as he used against his will by Mordru as they attempt to stop the Gentleman Ghost’s escape.  Santucci renders the Legion of Super-Heroes with specific features and individual identity which is no mean feat considering almost all of their faces remain uncovered.  They’ve each got a personality and a look which Santucci delineates wonderfully.  He also gets to show Hawkman’s anger AFTER his surprise!

It should also noted that Power Girl gets a bit more dialogue in this issue and Johns has her sounding pitch perfect.  Even though she’s wearing her newest costume, she feels and looks like the Karen Starr we know and love and not the imposter “Paige Stetler” running around in Power Girl.  Power Girl fans have to find their moments as there is much suffering for them in her own title, so this issue is a place for us to feel like the world hasn’t turned upside down.


The fact that Johns is leaving the series after #12 remains a negative.  This run has been supremely enjoyable.  However, the issue is short.  Perhaps, too short as it reads even more quickly than the 18 pages of story.  By comparison, a 17 page story from the Bronze Age has more “writing” that makes an issue feel longer and more substantial.  This doesn’t detract from what we do get in Justice Society of America #10, it just leaves us wanting more.  MORE!


Justice Society of America #10 brings some of the various plot elements together as Johns does appear to have something in mind for his finale with issue #12.  There are lots of elements in this run that can and deserve to be explored further.  No matter how much Johns leaves on the table when he departs, what he has included has been an example of how to write good comics by touching on history with substance and making it fun.  The art by Santucci and Janin compliments the writing perfectly.


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