Just a quick update to the latest column, courtesy of Matt Brady: "While they’ve been tapped as the artists of the first and last issues of the forthcoming JSA: All Stars miniseries, pencil and inker team Sal Velluto and Bob Almond will warm up on the JSA by penciling March’s #46 and May’s #48, parts one and three of the “Princes of Darkness” storyline. Current JSA inker Keith Champagne will co-ink the issues with Almond."
Interesting news. That art team have come over from Marvel's "Black Panther", and while I'm disappointed that we're missing out on Leonard Kirk's work for two months, I am certainly interested in seeing what Sal and Bob can do on JSA.
Wow....has it really almost been 50 issues of a series that no-one thought would ever get off the ground? And back to the original column.....
Whoops......I've been too busy with other things to add the two exciting additions I promised in my last column, but they're coming soon, I assure you all. The interview is with a real stellar guy, I might add......
Well, JLA/JSA Secret Files came out this week, to mixed reviews. I'll draw your attention to the review at "The Fourth Rail" by Randy Lander, who does a great job, with an ever-intelligent opinion accompanying each review. Lander basically sums his thoughts up with: "The lead story is quite good, based on some fun interaction between the members of the two teams, but I'm afraid that most of the rest of the issue didn't do much for me", further citing that the remaining stories seemed more like naked marketing ploys.
He further enjoyed the Hedden/Winslade Metamorpho story, and thought the Aquaman intro was "cute enough", though was surprisingly disappointed by D.Curtis Johnson's "Telephone". Finally, Lander was also lacking in praise for JSA Jim's "Stormchasers", questioning the purpose of it, and further describing it as "a little too pat and familiar."
So I encourage you all to read the review I linked to above, as IMO, Randy Lander gives accurate and fair opinions, and along with Don MacPherson, provides an excellent comic book review website, with great insights.
Also, JSA #42 has arrived, though I'm yet to receive it. Expect my own thoughts on that issue in the next week. Opinions online seem to be a bit mixed, though I'm sure the JSA's popularity may pick up closer to the "Princes of Darkness" story that builds up to #50. Here's hoping we get a bit more JSA, and a little less "Captain Marvel (and those JSA guys)" in the meantime, though.
Random Thoughts (and if anyone has a serious or humourous answer, feel free to e-mail me with it):
Now that Geoff Johns is writing a new Teen Titans book, whilst remaining on JSA, Hawkman, Flash and Avengers, will his writing quality be affected from such a workload? Or will he just progress onto Godhood?
Will we ever get a much-wanted Dr Mid-Nite & Mr Terrific mini-series? Or instead, will we just be subjected to more and more Marvel Family?
Do some JSA plot threads run for far too long? At least we'll only have waited 46 issues for the resolution to Hector's story....
Are you reading New X-Men? Damn, it's good.
And finally, aren't you gonna miss David Goyer, after #50?
Your thoughts are welcome: - firstname.lastname@example.org
Well.........firstly, apologies for the delay. I've practically been unable to connect to the net these past few weeks, due to a faulty phone line that couldn't be repaired until yesterday. So now that that problem has been nixed, things should hopefully be back to normal here.
I finally got around to reading JSA #39-41, and I was pretty impressed by the issues. The Powergirl issue (#39) was better than I thought, and obviously deliberately tongue-in-cheek at times. Although, admittedly, if the creative team are taking a whole issue out to spotlight one character, it might've also been beneficial to try to address SOME of the questions regarding her origin, history, powers, etc. Just an idea, really.
As for #40 & #41, as comics they were great; as JSA comics they were good. I enjoyed the focus on Dr Mid-Nite in #40, and the handling of the Shadower was quite eerie, despite the slightly hokey solution to the problem. The focus on Captain Marvel was a little too much at times, but the contrast between his adult and younger self could certainly make for some interesting moments in future issues, especially regarding Courtney. As for that last page......... it was slightly chilling. And very interesting, as we build to #50.
And like I said, #41 was also enjoyable, albeit slightly limited by the writers restricting themselves to a 'time limit'. Despite the book becoming more like "CAPTAIN MARVEL......(featuring the JSA)" at times, that last page more than made up for it. Mr Terrific and..........Mr Terrific?! Bring it on, fellas.
And on top of the regular JSA issue this month, there'll also be a JLA/JSA Secret Files and a JLA/JSA Hardcover, which I'm sure you all know about. If anyone would like to send in short reviews/comments of the said issues, I'll try to print the first five or so opinions in an upcoming column. I'm interested in hearing other fan's thoughts, so feel more than welcome to pass them on to me for all to see.......(see the e-mail link at the bottom of the page).
Finally, I encourage you to check out a particular JSA Group, known as JSA: The Next Generation. The moderator, Ax Knight (aka QK Smith) is a top guy, and has a strong passion for all things JSA. So if my website goes on the blink, and you need your JSA fix, or you're just looking for some relaxed JSA conversation and can't get a word in at other places, try JSA: The Next Generation. Ax Knight's a great guy, and he'll make you feel more than welcome, without spouting at you how great his club his.
I'll do that for him ;)
And two things to look forward to in the coming week........A new section of the website, courtesy of some very hard work by Ben Morse. And an interview with a top JSA celebrity. Who is it? Find out soon...........
First up, some info on the back-up story of JSA: ALL STARS #2, by Michael Chabon: "I agreed to do it because they gave me a chance to write one of my favorite costumed super-hero characters, Mr. Terrific......If you don't know about Mr. Terrific, and I'm not making this up, he has no powers. He has no powers. But he is really good at stuff. On his chest instead of the usual symbol, he has the words, 'Fair Play.' It's kind of a Wes Anderson kind of a character. So I asked if he was taken - because this is sort of a book where there are different writers for different characters -- and when they said he was still available, I said I'd do it. What I wrote about was Mr. Terrific's younger brother, who was not so terrific, and what it's like to have Mr. Terrific as a brother."
Chabon's story will appear in the second issue and will be drawn by Michael Lark. *Courtesy of Comics Continuum.* Sounds quite interesting, too. I'm personally pleased that one of my favourite Golden Agers is getting some much deserved focus. And that pretty much goes for most of the JSA: ALL STARS series, which in itself, is an excellent opportunity to focus on lesser-known (albeit, popular) JSAers. I'm especially pleased about the one-shots for Mr Terrific, Dr Mid-Nite, Hourman and Dr Fate - four modern characters who really deserve some comics spotlight.
So keep your eyes and ears peeled for more info on this 2003 series, along with some upcoming stuff on a Dr Fate mini-series.......
Onto the JSA/JLA Hardcover......I'm not actually buying it. Well, to be exact, I'm waiting for the Softcover version. Why DC chose to make fans wait numerous years for a 'proper' JSA/JLA crossover, and then expect us to fork out a lotta cash for a 96-pg book is, in my eyes, a little unfair. And I know there're many others I've talked to who agree. But according to DC bigwig Paul Levitz, DC are more concerned with bringing in the $$$, as opposed to selling the most individual comics (as discussed in a recent article at Newsarama). As such, us JSA (and JLA) fans must decide whether to shell out, or sit out.
Well.....or wait for the Softcover. :) That's what this JSA fan will be doing. As much as I'd want to enjoy the HC, the money saved could go towards another Starman TPB for little ol' me.
Speaking of which, if you haven't read the article about the new Starman TV series, that I linked to on the front page, make sure you do. I hope to discuss more about the project in a future column.
Last thing on my mind (for now): the new members of the JSA, namely Captain Marvel and Hourman. Now....I never liked the character of Rick Tyler much before his JSA debut, but Goyer/Johns have me hooked. His visions, and visitations (to his Dad) are innovative and relevant additions to the character, and it seems that 99% of fans have welcomed Rick into the JSA with open arms. And deservedly so. He makes a fine addition to the team, and any focus on Rex Tyler is also appreciated.
As for Captain Marvel.....eh. For several years, the writers claimed that Cap had no JSA legacy and, as such, wouldn't be included in the JSA as a team member. Fans argued with the writers (and with each other), but Goyer/Johns stood their ground. Until "Stealing Thunder". So now....all of a sudden.... Captain Marvel is a JSAer. And personally, I don't really care - nor do I think that JSA is the comic that he should be 'shoe-horned' into. But, perhaps the writers have a long-term, relevant plan for the character in JSA, so I'll sit back for now, and watch. I encourage you all to do the same.
Til next week........
Your thoughts are welcome: - email@example.com
Well.........it's been a while. But I'm back. Firstly, apologies to everyone waiting for decent updates over the last six months, and I truly hope I can make it up to you over the next six months :) And for those of you who still visit daily (which, as Geocities tells me, is still a decent amount of you)........Thankyou. You guys make my work over the past few years, worth it.
Now, as for why there haven't been updates, there're a few reasons. And I'll try to explain them without sounding like I'm standing on a soapbox :) But basically, I haven't really been enjoying JSA.
There. I said it. It's no longer my favourite comic, nor one that I particularly rush to read when I buy it, anymore. Speaking of which, I've had #39 sitting next to my bed for a month now, and have only flipped through the first few pages. I haven't even purchased #40 yet. I'll probably get it sent to me in a week or two, when the next issue is out. Probably. Maybe. Perhaps.
And I could use this opportunity right now to profess to you the sheer brilliance of Grant Morrison's work on NEW X-MEN, the intelligence humbly conveyed through the storytelling of Alan Moore in LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN Vol.2 or even the wackiness evoked through a Milligan/Aldred issue of X-STATIX - three comics that I can't wait to read each month. But I'll stop right there, for the sake of conciseness.
Going back, in the last year or so, I found my interest in updating my website to be waning. To be honest, updating a website can be a thankless job, and it can regularly feel like a burden, moreso than a benefit, to be constantly updating a website for fans who may or may not care. Furthermore, at the same time, I was realising that the "upcoming stuff" wasn't really interesting me. "A Powergirl spotlight issue!!" - blah. "Captain Marvel joins the team!" - Eh. Whatever.
And as well written as these stories may be, they just weren't grabbing me, like the first 25 issues did. And it was early this year that I realised that JSA wasn't really holding my interest anymore. So I decided to take a break from this website, hopefully get a bit of motivation and/or interest back. So I could relax from being a fan, in order to enjoy being a 'fan'. Make any sense?
Also, I didn't want to shut my website down, or make a big, dramatic 'exit' and tell everyone that one day I may RETUUURRRRNNNNN. I just wanted to take a leaf outta Mid-Nite's book, and slip into the shadows for a while. Until now.
My interest in JSA is starting to rise again, lately, and I'm pretty sure it's attributed to a few things: the excellent work that James Robinson and Geoff Johns are doing on Hawkman, the upcoming team-up with Dr Fate, the 4-issue Mr Terrific time-travel story coming up in JSA, and the one-shots from JSA All-Stars that will give some much-needed spotlight to some well-liked characters (to name a few). And I decided I wanted to be in the middle of all these things again, reading and enjoying them. And here I am.
So once I get myself through this Powergirl spotlight, I'm looking forward to what's ahead. Not that I haven't enjoyed what's 'been' in the last year or so, because the book has still run on the high quality that it's known for. It's just that my interest changed or matured - but nevertheless, I'm now finding myself back on the road to JSA. Hope to see you all again, along the way.
NEXT UPDATE: I'll discuss some upcoming JSA projects, including the JSA/JLA Secret Files and Hardcover, JSA: All Stars creative teams and some of the latest roster additions.
Your thoughts are welcome: - firstname.lastname@example.org