Written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges
Art by Jesus Merino
In most comic arcs that are read issue to issue, instead of in trade form, the third chapter is usually the weakest one. This month’s issue of Justice Society of America is no different. It’s not a bad issue…it’s just that not much happens within it aside from some important plot points and a shocking ending that will no doubt be rectified once the arc comes to a close.
The issue starts with Magog and the elder Wildcat coming to blows over a disagreement over how the group should be run. Meanwhile, Dr. Mid-Nite is frantically trying to save the life of Mr. Terrific, with the help of Alan Scott and Dr. Fate. Jay Garrick finds the surveillance tape of the attack on Mr. Terrific, and the JSA finds out that the assailant is one of their own members. This leads to even more bickering within the team, as Magog claims that the Society’s “open door policy” toward its members left them vulnerable and that they need to improve their security. We then get a few more clues as to who hired the group of villains from issue #29, though we are not told who it is or why they didn’t want Stargirl harmed.
This was a very dialogue-heavy issue, with not much action aside from the brief fight between Magog and Wildcat and an even shorter tussle between some of the villains who weren’t taken prisoner by the Society. The splintering of the JSA is obviously going to be the result of this arc, and Willingham and Sturges continue to do a great job of advancing the plot to this end. Jesus Merino’s art is as solid as ever. The issue is so plot-heavy that it isn’t as strong of a read as the first two issues of the arc, but it works within the confines of the arc and will no doubt read better in the trade. The book gets 3.5 out of 5 Ram’s Head Helmets.