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The Justice Society
Returns!


All-Star Comics (1999) # 1: "Time's Keeper"    
Writer: James Robinson/David Goyer     
Penciller: Michael Lark    
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger/Doug Hazlewood
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis: 
Hourman is duped into capturing the mystical members of the JSA as part of a spell by a group of Nazi agents. Unfortunately, the spell doesn't summon the being the Nazis expected, but rather a Death God called the Stalker. Hourman escapes and assembles the JSA. They learn about the Stalker's origin and his quest to destroy all life. The JSA engage him in Washington and inflict sufficient damage to force him to withdraw, but not before creating disciples and unleashing them to destroy Earth's population! 
   
Jay's Notes: 
  • First appearance and origin of the Stalker.
  • Enjoyed the '40s setting which what appealed to me the most about this series. I'm not a huge fan of the surviving JSA members in the 'present' DCU.
  • The first person narrative through Hourman was effective.

National Comics # 1 (1999): "Fair Play"    
Writer: Mark Waid     
Penciller: Aaron Lopresti   
Inker: Aaron Lopresti
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis: 
The Flash and Mr. Terrific make their way to Dresden, Germany amid the massive bombing campaign. The Flash engages one of Stalker's disciples who is absorbing the power of each bomb. Meanwhile, Mr. Terrific is drawn into the terrible plight of the residents of Dresden as they try to survive the bombing. The Flash defeat the disciple while Mr. Terrific learns that the bombing is an attempt to strike at Germany's morale through its people. None to pleased with what is happening, Mr. Terrific takes it up with the allied command and gives them a piece of his mind, but he knows his protests won't change anything.. 
  
Jay's Notes: 
  • Cameo appearance by Americommando, and possibly his death.

Sensational Comics # 1 (1999): "Womanly Deeds and Manly Words"    
Writer: James Robinson/David Goyer 
Penciller: Scott Benefiel 
Inker: Propst
Jay's Rating:
JJJ1/2
Synopsis: 
Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl make their way to the Pacific Ocean and meet up with the USS Eldorado which has a ring-side view of the one of Stalker' disciples' display of water control. Armed with the Trident of Poseidon they engage the disciple and are defeated. Hawkgirl, taken captive, taps into the human side of the disciple while Wonder Woman prepares a second attack. Their simultaneous attack is successful and the disciple is destroyed. 

Jay's Notes: 

  • A lot of eye candy, but not much meaningful interaction between the heroines.

Adventure Comics # 1 (1999): "Stars and Atoms"    
Writer: James Robinson/David Goyer     
Penciller: Peter Snejbjerg   
Inker: Keith Champagne
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis: 
The Atom and Starman make their way to Los Alamos, New Mexico where the Stalker's disciple has already struck and powered himself up. Starman comes up with a uranium bullet which he builds into his cosmic rod and hopes to destroy the disciple with it. Unfortunately, he is defeated and it's up to the Atom who pushes through a nuclear sandstorm and destroys the disciple. However, the Atom isn't destroyed in ensuing nuclear explosion. He survived due to his earlier exposure to nuclear poison from Cyclotron. 

Jay's Notes: 

  • Great Atom story with the usual underdog tone.
  • Nice touch of resentment and regret from Ted (Starman) Knight about his involvement with the Manhattan project.

Thrilling Comics # 1: "No More Tomorrows"    
Writer: Chuck Dixon     
Penciller: Russ Heath 
Inker: Russ Heath
Jay's Rating:
JJJ1/2
Synopsis:   
Hawkman and Wildcat make their way to Angola and seek out the whereabouts of the disciple's headquarters. Unfortunately, Hawkman is captured in the process, but Wildcat is joined by the Manhunter and Tigress. The disciple reveals his plan to destroy the African continent to Hawkman. The other heroes come to Hawkman's rescue. They destroy the disciple and foil his plan. 

Jay's Notes: 

  • Great feel to the Heath art that hits the setting and characters dead on.

Smash Comics # 1: "Name Your Poison"    
Writer: Tom Peyer      
Penciller: Stephen Sadowski   
Inker: Michael Bair
Jay's Rating:
JJJ
Synopsis:   
Hourman and Doctor Midnight make their way to a remote Scottish island where an army base is hidden. They allow themselves to be captured in an attempt to learn the base's secret project which turns out to be germ warfare. Unfortunately, one of the disciples has begun to tap into the super anthrax virus. With some help from a Miraclo-powered Hootie, Doctor Midnight's owl, they defeat and destroy the disciple. 

Jay's Notes: 

  • Still trying to decide whether or not I liked the 'friendly' banter between Hourman and Doctor Midnight.
  • Stephen Sadowski will be the regular penciller for the new JSA series.

All-American Comics # 1 (1999): "Cold Heart"    
Writer: Ron Marz     
Penciller: Eduardo Barreto 
Inker: Eduardo Barreto
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:   
Johnny Thunder and Green Lantern make their way to Yalta in the Crimea to the talks between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. The disciple, tapping into the cold of Siberia, attacks, but GL and the Thunderbolt successfully stand in his way. They rescue the heads of state and defeat the disciple. 

Jay's Notes: 

  • Barreto's art does a wonderful job at empowering GL.
  • Marz does a decent job at using the first person perspective of a US soldier to tell the story.

Star Spangled Comics # 1 (1999): ""    
Writer: Geoff Johns     
Penciller: Chris Weston   
Inker: Chris Weston
Jay's Rating:
JJJ
Synopsis:   
Sandman and Sandy are caught up in a riot caused by the disciples mind-altering influence which continues to increase with more and more victims. The Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy join in on the action. Their first assault on the disciple is a failure which takes Sandman and the Star Spangled Kid out of the battle. Sandy and Stripesy, with some help from the master of disguise King, bring down the disciple and free the victims of his influence. 

Jay's Notes: 

  • Weston's art did an amazing job with the look and feel of World War II America.

All-Star Comics # 2 (1999): "Time's Arrow"    
Writer: James Robinson/David Goyer      
Penciller: William Rosado 
Inker: John Dell/Ray Kryssing
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis: 
Dr. Occult assembles the JSA after they've successfully defeated the Stalker's disciples and they discover Stalker's headquarters in the Antarctic. The JSA make their way there under Green Lantern's power and split up to systematically take out Stalker's operations. The Atom, Flash, Hawkman, Hourman,  and Wonder Woman engage Stalker directly. Meanwhile, Dr. Occult and the Thunderbolt tap into his absence of a soul which provides Hourman the opportunity to toss his hourglass at Stalker. It shatters and devolves Stalker back through his own timeline. 

Jay's Notes: 

  • A great job at passing the Hourman mantle to the current Hourman, despite my dislike for the character himself.
  • Atom adopts a new costume and begins to manifest his new super-human powers.
  • Nice to see Hawkman take his rightful place among the heavy hitters.
  • The new JSA looks promising especially with the inclusion of the current Starman, and a new Hawkwoman!

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