Justice Society of America Special #1 isn't a JSA book at all. It's a book about a character who really should have never left the cautionary story he was spawned in.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by SCOTT KOLINS • Art and Cover by SCOTT KOLINS
"Kingdom Coming" concludes as Magog, the Justice Society of America and the JSA All-Stars are forced back together when all signs point to the events of KINGDOM COME coming to pass! But Magog refuses to rejoin either team and finds himself fighting for his life AGAINST the JSA!
The Justice Society of America has been one of my favorite teams since discovering the Geoff Johns' trades six years ago. Since then, I've managed to either collect or read large parts of the Golden Age heroes' stories, whether through Golden Age showcases, Crisis on Multiple Earth collections, picking off Infinity Inc. back issues and hunting down the origin stories of the latest incarnations of the team. I've even begun to pick off single issues off my wish list, further adding to the deep love that I have for DC's most storied team.
One issue that I have no desire to add to my JSA collection is the Justice Society of America Special, written and drawn by Scott Kolins. Kolins, who took on the unenviable task of writing the short-lived Magog series, attempts to wrap up his plots from that series in one muddled, messy, confusing issue that's frankly one of the worst comics I've ever read.
The plot revolves around the Justice Society hunting down Magog, who's under the control of a cult-like paramilitary group who worships Gog, the Old God who gave Magog his powers. The Justice Society intervenes and a good old-fashioned fight ensues, with explosive results. The story really does nothing but bookend the Magog series and wraps up the plotlines so it's thirty-eight fans can rest easy at night. The dialogue is stiff and contrived and seems as if it were added as an afterthought to the art. Everything about this comic reminds me why making Magog a character in the DC universe was a horrible idea. Magog is dislikable, his supporting characters are laughable, and his villains are literally a hick version of Kobra. It's astounding that DC actually approved the Magog series in the first place. It's as if the powers that be forgot what Magog represented in his first appearance in Kingdom Come.
The one bright point in the special should have been the fifty six pages of Scott Kolins art. However, even the art is sloppy and rushed, which is disappointing because Kolins is one of the more dynamic and unique artists under DC's current employ. My only conclusion is that Kolins wanted to rush through this book as quick and possible to move on to bigger and better things. Of course, even twenty two pages of Krypto licking himself would be bigger and better things compared to this issue.
Justice Society of America Special #1 isn't a JSA book at all. It's a Magog book, wrapped in a JSA cover. It's misleading marketing and DC knows it. It's obvious that DC wanted to milk the Justice Society name to get readers to buy the final issue of Magog before he marches off to his hopeful demise in Justice League: Generation Lost. Honestly, after suffering through this comic, I hope that Magog dies the slowest and most painful death imaginable and then is never mentioned again. Hopefully, DC will even find a way to erase him from past JSA issues and erase the blemish from an otherwise spectacular team.
Review by: Christian Hoffer