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Mild Mannered Reviews - JSA Comics

Justice Society of America #18 Justice Society of America #18

Justice Society of America #18

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 27, 2008

Cover date: October 2008

"War Lords"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Dale Eaglesham
Inker: Mick Gray, Kris Justice, Nathan Massengil

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Over Carter Hall's narration, Gog approaches guerilla forces in the Congo. They attack him, and he quickly dispatches them.

The battle continues, and Hawkman attacks the guerillas savagely, nearly killing one. Jay stops him.

Back home, Damage tries to find a way to ask Judomaster out and Sandman sleeps. Power Girl contends with Earth-2.

As the heroes debate Gog's actions, Damage talks to Judomaster about a movie and his new face.

Gog finds more soldiers, and instead of killing them, turns them into trees to provide those they've wronged with fruit and shade. The heroes debate the fact that Gog has killed these men, essentially, and Hawkman insists that they leave it be.

David Reid attacks some guerillas, killing them. As he does, one of the soldiers hits him with an RPG, killing him. Dr. Mid-Nite fails to save him, because he has his vision back and can't scan the injuries. Gog takes Reid's body and resurrects him, turning him into Magog. Kingdom Come Superman is predictably upset looking.

Power Girl goes to see Michael Holt on Earth-2.

4Story - 4: More could have happened here, and the point of Gog's intentions was belabored quite a bit by the heroes, to the point of where it was almost like a plot bat, but beyond that, everything was, true to the last few issues, utterly incredible.

The moral dilemma of what to do when confronted with a benevolent god continues to tear the reader in both directions, from the fact that Gog essentially kills (BUT THEY'RE SCUM!) to the fact that he cures those in need (BUT THEY POWERS ARE NEEDED!). Both warring views are sharp and shouted in the most subtle way by this script, and I've rarely seem a better big moral dilemma in comics, to be completely honest. This is about on the Maxwell Lord level for me.

It moves a little slow, and at times seems to pace a bit, but the big payoff, with Magog, made it worthwhile. It was pretty easy to see coming, but now I wonder where this is going with as much passion as I did when I learned that Gog was essentially beneficent.

I love this story, frankly.

4Art - 4: There were a few clunky moments where the art seemed odd, most notably when Superman came up to Gog with his finger pointed out, his ribs seemed very weird with his shoulder. Other than that, it's keeping with the style of the story so far. Gog is incredible, as is the scope of what's going on, rendered here very well.

One oddity. Why the heck does Judomaster work out in uniform?

4Cover Art (Gog) - 4: Now here's a good way to contrast colors, compared to what he just did with Superman #679, where everything appears to be under a red light.

Gog looks rad, as does the mist behind him. Bracket that with the letterbox coloring, bingo! Instant great cover. THIS is what Ross is admired for.

2Cover Art (Reid Dead) - 2: A pretty much stock image of a dead guy under a tree. Not much compelling here, and certainly no reason for the vertical letterbox. Odd little cover, and I'm not sure why anyone would pay extra for it.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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