Thursday, June 21, 2007

Amy Reads the Week (of June 22nd, 2007)

It’s a Comic Book Fangirl’s Dream Come True this week, Gentle Reader, and all I can say, really, is thank you, DC, thank you, Mr. Meltzer, for making me the Happiest Fangirl in the World. I teared up yesterday reading JLA #10, and… well, who am I kidding, Friends? I cried, outright.

No one likes a Spoil(er)Sport, so I’ll refrain from mentioning the specifics of the Utter Fantastic-ness of JLA this week. Rather, I’d like to call your attention to the companion piece to this saga: the JSA crossover.

I
’ll admit, Friends, that my knowledge of the JSA is only in reference to the JLA. I’m a JLA girl at heart; Wonder Woman is a member, as is Batman, and Flash, and my other favorites. Mr. Reads and Several Of You have mentioned to me, again and again, how wonderful the JSA is, and frankly, I’ve ignored you, forgotten your suggestions, and just Out and Out waved you off. For that, This Humble Author humbly apologizes. You were right; I was wrong. Never let it be said that I am afraid to admit my failings.

I’m amazed, utterly amazed, at the Quality of Writing, of Characters, of Character Development evident in the JSA. I enjoy the JLA, too, of course, and find the Quality high there, as well. But reading the JSA was like meeting new characters, for the very first time. There really is no other way to express my utter joy over Liberty Belle, over Stargirl, over Power Girl.

Power Girl is a character with whom I am passingly familiar, but not immediately friendly. That is to say, I *know* who she is, and I *appreciate* her, but I don’t believe I’ve ever read a truly compelling presentation of her. Enter JSA. Enter Geoff Johns’ writing of her. Enter Strength, and Beauty, and Power, and Humor, all in one.

When they ask her to serve as chairwoman, she not only says yes but says, Hell, yes! That kind of enthusiasm, the understanding she has of her role in this organization is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Further, the immediate friendship between Stargirl (although I confess, Friends, that I keep wanting to call her Star-Spangled Kid) and isolated outcast Cyclone is charming and poignant, all at the same time. Further, as a scholar who works on literary presentations of fashion (it *is* the Dissertation, Gentle Reader!), I found the Giant Room Of Costume Parts to be perhaps the most adorable and *right* comic scene in comics to date. That is to say, of *course* there is a giant room of costume pieces and parts, considering how these costumes get ripped and torn on a daily, and indeed hourly, basis!

But there are other things, too: the complexity of these characters, of their relationships with each other, with other Super Heroes, with the JLA, in fact, and how they know each other, of course, but also *know* each other. They know their strengths, their weaknesses, that even The Batman can be swayed by rare editions.

Separate, they are intriguing characters part of interesting groups. Together, they are utterly fascinating, compelling, and beyond all else, Completely Heroic. This crossover event gave me a chance to meet new characters, fall in love with old ones again, and most importantly, add another title to my pull-list.

While Mr. Reads has read the JSA for Some Time Now, and in fact had given me the entire backlog to read, I hadn’t. Time, perhaps, or blind allegiance to the JLA. Wonder Woman was there, after all. But I’m a convert, albeit a recent one, and I am thrilled to be so. I for one can’t wait to read more about, say, Liberty Belle, whom I knew from Flash, but now know on her own merits.

I’d love to Read the Week with you more, Dear Readers, but as far behind as I was on JLA, I am even Further Behind on New Avengers. And as I have a few minutes of free time—as one cannot be expected to work at 9:00 at night, no?—I am going to take advantage of them.

4 comments:

Scott said...

You're in for a treat with JSA. I think it ties with Flash for Johns' best work on an ongoing book. He's done an exceptional job writing Power Girl, which made reading her Classified arc and her appearances in Infinite Crisis a huge payoff.

Also, lots of great Black Adam stuff too.

SallyP said...

Ah, I'm so glad that you've been converted to the goodness of the JSA. Try and find some of the older issues from its last incarnation if you can. The Christmas and Thanksgiving books are a hoot.

Amy Reads said...

Hi Scott,
You're in for a treat with JSA. I think it ties with Flash for Johns' best work on an ongoing book. He's done an exceptional job writing Power Girl, which made reading her Classified arc and her appearances in Infinite Crisis a huge payoff.
Also, lots of great Black Adam stuff too.


The Black Adam storyline has bugged me a bit since the Death of Isis, because, well, I adored Isis as a character. Now he's a one-way ticket to Bad Batdom--you know, the kind of Bats we'd have without Robins and Alfred and Supes and Diana.

But I think Johns is my most underappreciated writer. I *adore* him and I *adore* everything he's written. I just forget that he's written all the things I love! From now on, no forgetting. Nothing but Geoff Johns love from here on out.

His work on The Flash has really made Wally my second-favorite character, next to Diana. And that's saying a lot.

Yay JSA!
Ciao,
Amy

Amy Reads said...

Hi Sallyp,
Ah, I'm so glad that you've been converted to the goodness of the JSA.

You and me both! I swear, I need to listen to y'all a bit more often...

Try and find some of the older issues from its last incarnation if you can. The Christmas and Thanksgiving books are a hoot.

Will do! I believe that Mr. Reads has the entire run waiting for me to read, and has had it for Some Time Now. I need to get started on that before the Amazon Fairy next delivers again; we just ordered all the graphic novels for New X-Men.
Ciao,
Amy