Friday, March 30, 2012


Days of Valor
Credits: Len Strazewski (writer), Mike Parobeck (penciler), Mike Machlan (inker), Bob Pinaha (letterer), Glenn Whitmore (colorist)

Summary: While on their way to a JSA meeting, Atom and Wildcat stop two thugs from beating up an Ultragen protestor. After joining Green Lantern and the Flash for the meeting, a videoscreen conversation with Hawkman and Hawkgirl convinces the Atom that the JSA still has a role in today’s society. Green Lantern receives word that a riot has broken out across the street, leading the JSA to protect more protestors from Ultragen’s aggressive guards (who have been heavily armed by a mysterious source). Later, the JSA returns home to discover a shadowy figure in their headquarters.

Irrelevant Continuity: The JSA are given more of a specific age, with Wildcat claiming that they’ve “plateaued at sixty or so.” Plus, Hawkman and Hawkgirl have a son who died in the early issues of Sandman.

Total N00B: Apparently, Wildcat was recently in a wheelchair. Precisely how he recovered isn’t addressed. I also don’t know how the Atom has the ability to use his fist like Iron Fist’s, since I was under the impression that he was simply an unusually short man who challenged himself to reach his physical peak.

Review: Strazewski is still slowly rebuilding the team, as two more members rejoin while we receive a few excuses for why the others can’t make it to the meeting (Sandman has the best one -- stroke). I’m sure if he knew the series was doomed to a ten-issue run, Strazewski wouldn’t have opened with such a slow burn. By the time the team is fully assembled and ready to begin whatever mission they decide to embark on (they’re currently debating if they’re too old to be active superheroes), I have a feeling we’ll be on issue #10, or close to it. Even if the plot is a little slow, Strazewski is able to write the cast as a likable group of old friends, and his characterization of Atom as an insecure elderly man who’s awkwardly easing back into superheroics uses the book’s premise well.

I think using two mystery men in separate plots is overkill, though, even if the identity of the intruder is sure to be revealed next issue. There’s also the massive coincidence that has the mystery foe from the last issue arming the security guards of a no-doubt evil corporation in this issue…a corporation that just so happens to be located across the street from the JSA’s secret headquarters. Perhaps this is a tongue-in-cheek nod to some of the convenient plotting that often showed up in Golden Age superhero stories, but it’s the kind of idea that really doesn’t work in a modern context.

1 comment:

wwk5d said...

"Plus, Hawkman and Hawkgirl have a son who died in the early issues of Sandman."

Interestingly enough, he comes back in the 2000s JSA revival as Dr. Fate...then dies again later lol

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