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I feel a Rush song coming on...
Jason Schachat's
Occasional Breakdown
12/13/05 page 2
page 1 here

We’ll also have to wait and see what the full ramifications of JSA #80 will be, but it’s looking like a few of the members won’t be coming back any time soon. Sure, the fight in the fifth dimension wreaks havoc with our heroes, but the solutions are easily reached: if your enemy is a friendly genie who’s been enslaved by a madman, just get the genie to assert his free will.

Cuz, you know, that’s how it always works in genie stories... honest...

During the battle between Thunderbolt and Jakeem, Saradin sidles around and binds the evil genie, extracting Qwisp from Jakeem and then keeping him for his own amusement.

Meanwhile, Mordru and Dr. Fate (well, the inhuman part of Dr. Fate residing in his helmet) tussle throughout multiple realities, constantly reaching a stalemate. Infinite crises are witnessed, old miniseries are plugged, and a good time is had by all who don’t get their faces punched in.

But then we get the big happening of the issue: Hector and Lyta Hall forever leave our reality and journey into the realm of Dream. For anyone familiar with Sandman, this is a fitting if rather sudden exit for the couple. However, just about everyone else will be disappointed in every way. Hector’s time as Dr. Fate was surprisingly interesting, and the re-invention of characters involved in that story was quite an accomplishment. But Lyta didn’t get to do much of anything. She popped back into the DCU for the first time since her chilling journey in “The Kindly Ones”, hung out with Fate a bit, and now she’s gone.

Honestly, what the heck was the point of bringing her back then? One of the things that made JSA great was the nearly countless number of threads Goyer and Robinson wove into it. At times, the story could prove challenging to keep up with, but it always sucked you in and probably promoted more DC Archive sales than any series before or since.

But, when Geoff Johns took over, the story thinned out, the stories got smaller, and characters were just cast aside. That’s not to say he hasn’t pulled off some nice storytelling, but it’s been a long time since we saw anything on par with the constant and imaginative retconning of those early years.

When JSA started putting “Infinite Crisis Crossover” on their covers, I’d hoped we get to hear the stories that weren’t told in the Countdown books. We get a whole miniseries about C-list magic heroes taking on the Spectre, but Dr. Fate and Thunderbolt don’t get more than a few pages against him?

...well, okay, I can see how hard it would be to write, but it still would’ve been worth seeing. This last arc on JSA has been amusing, but it’s an all-too-strong reminder that characters resurrect and die all too easily in comics, and the battles that get them there usually aren’t as epic as we’re supposed to believe. How will all this impact the JSA in the future? I don’t know, but I’m also a lot less sure that I care.

page 3: Y The Last Man #40, Gotham Central #38...

Jason Schachat

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