The Superteams Give Thanks
Response To JSA #54
smiled? He smiled twice! Batman hasn't smiled since Frank
Miller sucked the joy out of the character in The Dark
Knight Returns (he added life to the character but he
removed all the joy) back in 1986. Geoff Johns is an amazing
writer. In JSA #54 he accomplished two things that
I had thought I would never see in a modern comic.
as previously mentioned, was seeing Batman smile again. The
second was the scripting of an almost battleless cross-over
between the JSA and the JLA. This is the book that I have
wanted to read since my very first JLA/JSA x-over (the original
Mr. Terrific was killed by the Spirit King in issue #171)
way back in 1979.
Johns the stories for these get-togethers always began at
the "end" of the party. I always felt as if the
other readers and I had been cheated out of an interesting
opportunity to understand how these characters thought and
what motivated them to be heroes.
someone just write a story were "nothing" happened?
I know that the combined forces of the JSA and JLA are going
to defeat Per Degaton. What I really wanted to know was whether
or not Green Arrow or Wildcat got drunk at these shindigs.
Apparently at least one of them does. Why did we never see
Batman ask the adult Robin from Earth-2 how to deal with the
rebellious teenage Robin of Earth-1? Wouldn't Kal-El have
asked Kal-L what it was like to be married to Lois Lane? Did
Supergirl ever drop in to advise Power Girl to relax? When
Carter Hall was in the same room with Katar Hol did they swap
tips on how to keep their wings clean? Were the JSA members
uncomfortable around the Martian Manhunter? Did Dr. Fate give
the JLA the creeps? These are the questions I wanted answered.
that showed up for these conflicts were always superfluous
(for every time they teamed up to fight Darkseid there was
an issue when the heavy might as well have been the villainous
Elliot S! Maggin) when the real story should have always been
about how these characters interacted with each other.
Johns is the first writer to understand this. The "villains"
in this book didn't even show up until page 18. Although it
was amusing, it did almost seem like a cop-out, as if someone
at DC issued a mandate that there must be a fight scene in
a mainstream super-hero book.
I really just want to see a book with nothing but heroes talking
to other heroes. I will, however, accept the appearance of
the "Super-Villains" if used simply as a plot device
to allow Batman to smile again.
Batman really smiled.