Home > DC Comics > JSA: Strange Adventures #2

JSA: Strange Adventures #2

September 13, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Ray Guns and Bug-Eyed Monsters

Lord Dynamo makes an intriguing offer to the people of Earth – and Johnny Thunder prepares to chronicle it.

Writer: Kevin J. Anderson
Pencils: Barry Kitson
Inks: Gary Erskine
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Peter J. Tomasi
Cover Art: John Watson
Publisher: DC Comics

The second issue of this World War II-era Justice Society adventure wasn’t quite as strong as the first, but it gets saved by a very good twist at the end.

Johnny Thunder has a new job – the official chronicler of the JSA in the pages of Amazing Stories magazine. As he’s having a story conference with the “real” writer he’s paired up with, a zeppelin of Nazi cyborgs swoops in for the attack, and the JSA goes on the offensive.

It sounds like a goofy premise, and the story itself is kind of goofy as well. Fun, but still goofy, and the fight scene in the first half of the book is a bit clichéd, but later Lord Dynamo, the evil genius who planned the attack on the team, makes the people of the planet Earth a very tempting offer. What he offers to Earth gives you a pretty good idea of his origins (if he’s telling the truth), and what he asks in return is pretty clever, something that can really be milked in future issues and propel the story forward.

Barry Kitson is great, one of the best superhero artists working in comics today, and on projects like Empire he’s shown a lot of skill at science fiction concepts as well. (I am literally giddy that he and Mark Waid will be taking over Legion of Super-Heroes in a few months.) This is a book that combines Kitson’s strengths – Anderson has created a very good mixture of old-fashioned superheroics and classic pulp fiction sci-fi elements, and if there are better artists to get that feeling across, I just don’t know who that is.

I didn’t quite love this issue as much s I did the first, but Anderson redeemed himself towards the end and he should be able to go even further in the next four issues. The JSA in World War II, when done right, is some of the most fertile storytelling ground in comics, and there’s lots of room here to grow.

Rating: 7/10

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