The Young, The Powerful, and the Confused-DARKHAWK!!!

In the 90’s, there was very little more tantalizing than the barrage of advertisements that permeated every last issue of every last superhero title I would read.  Whether it was Mile High Comics, East Coast Comics, Dynamite, and more, these ads were everywhere.  They really whetted the appetite of a young man plunging headfirst into superhero lore.  I would find ads and just stare at them, mentally circling what I wanted, doing fruitless arithmetic to figure up the shipping & handling prices for orders I would never make.  Marvel also did house ads around this time for all sorts of merchandise from bend em figures to posters to all things in between.

The first time I ever saw Darkhawk was in an ad for a t-shirt in a Marvel comic.  I loved him from that instant.  One reason I got him into him so quickly is that I was starting to get into comics, and he was new.  Paul O’ Connor of  has said that 12 years old is the Golden Age for anyone, and Darkhawk is a shining example of that.  Since he was new at the same time I was new to comics, he felt like mine.  I expressed a similar sentiment on my article on Jack Kirby’s Bombast; that work may have paled in comparison to the King’s grand work, but I will always love Bombast and the rest of the Secret City Saga because they are mine.

The other reason I instantly loved Darkhawk is because I was 13 years old when I encountered him for the first time and I was struck by that visual.  He just looks damn cool, and if you know anything about 13-year-old young men, you know that stuff that looks damn cool and looking damn cool themselves is the most important thing in the world to them.  So when I saw that shirt and then this card, I was awestruck!

darkhawk card
I like how it says that his powers give him “the edge he needs in the fight against crime” as though before he got these powers he was in the FBI or something.


Darkhawk owes a great deal to the Spider-Man mythos in many ways.  To start with, many Spider-Man villains will be around for the first few issues.  Hobgoblin and Tombstone both appear within the first twelve issues and Venom shows up not very long after that. Danny Fingeroth, one of the creators of Darkhawk, was an editor on the Spider-Man titles for quite some time, and maybe even at this time, and that would explain his ability to use the Spider-Man mythos with seeming impunity.

Darkhawk is also a teenager, just as Peter Parker was when he became Spider-Man.  Marvel seemed to be trying very hard to recapture that in the 90’s.  We have Chris Powell, who becomes Darkhawk through an accident, which messes up everything about his life; Rick Sheridan, who winds up with Sleepwalker in his brain via an accident, which messes up everything about his life; and the New Warriors, which had a similar motif.  I will be covering Sleepwalker and the New Warriors here soon!  How excited does that make you?!?  Whoa, that’s a little too excited…maybe reel that in a bit.  Or get excited for Darkhawk’s first appearance!

Dawn of the Darkhawk #1 - Page 1
Isn’t he too dark to have a dawn?

The other element of Darkhawk that is owed to Spider-Man is the supporting cast.  Very similar to early Spidey stories, Chris Powell is surrounded by a group of folks like his girlfriend, his little bothers, his mom, his video pals, and his dad.  You can tell that they wanted that Spidey feel where everyone sort of knows everyone else.  Sort of like Cheers, but with less cash spent on alcohol rehab.  I like much of the supporting cast, but I will say that some of them are woefully underused in a cast that keeps getting bigger.   I only saw his pals a couple times, including one named Headset, who gets shot.  Other than his girlfriend and family, these guys disappear for issues at a time only to resurface when you have almost forgotten about them entirely, which is highly similar to the memories you have of dates you went on in high school, although Chris’s pals seem to show up when he needs them while your memories of those dates show up when you need them least.

Chris’s family, though, is a big deal.  His dad is a cop, while his mom is an assistant district attorney.  Chris ain’t the only hero in the family!  His little brothers are twins, and they are very annoying in the way twin little brothers of a teen would be in any delightful 90’s sitcom.  This being a 90’s superhero comic, a little of those twins goes a long way for me.  Cheryl is Chris’s girlfriend, and in true teenager superhero-Spidey trope fashion, Chris has a very hard time balancing his super hero activities with his love life.

Another telling element of Darkhawk is the combination of the Spidey mythos with just a touch of Wolverine.  Chris Powell becomes Darkhawk when he finds an amulet in an abandoned amusement park (where he caught his cop dad taking a bribe from the mob), so Darkhawk starts his series with a mysterious past that he does not understand, and while the triple-claw on his right hand also works as a grappling hook, there ain’t a good enough liar in the world to convince me it doesn’t owe at least a little to everyone’s favorite Canadian mutant.

But these disparate elements amalgamate into what wound up being a fun, if sometimes confusing, read.  I really think that Marvel wanted this to work, hence the firm insertion into the Spider-Man web (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) and the rest of the Marvel Universe.  Darkhawk would join both the New Warriors and the Avengers West Coast during his 90’s run, and he also participated in the Infinity Gauntlet, War, and Crusade.  While this ultimately failed to get Darkhawk to catch on in the MU, it was a good move on their part, and I recall always being excited to see Darkhawk show up in other titles, just as I imagine Spidey fans were excited to see Darkhawk batting Hobgoblin in issue #2.  First though, he had to master the necessary superhero trick of busting in through a window and issuing a strong command.

Goblins Prey #2 - Page 2
I wish more things in life made the noise “skraaaash.”

A good thing about the panels above is the fact that they demonstrate almost everything Darkhawk can do really quickly.  He has super-strength and grapples into places, shoots a force beam out of his chest, glides on his wings, and can make a force field.  While we see neither gliding nor the force field here, we do see the fact that normal folks can’t hang with the ‘Hawk!  Too bad he will now have to fight Hobgoblin.

Goblins Prey #2 - Page 6
Nothing could possibly be better than that bow Darkhawk is taking in the last panel; I understand why because one must always mind one’s manners in the presence of news choppers.

Within two issues, we have had a Spidey arch-foe and the trappings of the Spidey mythos, so issue #3 is definitely time for the man himself.  Of course, this wasn’t a big deal by this time.  Spidey was appearing everywhere from Silver Sable to NFL Superpro to Sleepwalker, so while his visage may have increased sales, it did not do much to increase excitement.  He was so ubiquitous at this time that I bet he even had at least a cameo in this one too.

The only time the pope has been in a comic book other than Chick Tracts, where he was being, you know, called The Antichrist and stuff.

In this case, however, I feel that having Spider-Man in the title wasn’t just to boost sales, but it serves to sort of pass the torch of teenage hero with problems to Chris Powell.   Marvel did the same thing over in Sleepwalker around this time, and as I stated earlier, it really seemed like they wanted to re-create that sort of paradigm for the 90’s.  Of course, they also just wanted to put Spidey on a cover.  I guess we can be thankful it wasn’t Wolverine, but I can’t help but wonder about Darkhawk and Wolverine going claw-to-claw sometime.  The kid can grow out of the 90’s, but you can’t take the love of the idea of 90’s clawfights out of the kid.  Also, here’s a Darkhawk cover.

Powerplay #3 - Page 1
Darkhawk’s armor is apparently made out of the same thing that comprises funhouse mirrors.


Spidey and Darkhawk manage to save the day, but of course, this being the 90’s, Darkhawk has to at least toy with the idea of killing his enemies.  People who bemoan 90’s comics often talk about how tiring it is that so many 90’s characters were killers, and while I understand that, I found it much more tiring how so many characters had to hem and haw about it, as though the willingness to consider killing was something that every hero had to consider.  Darkhawk chooses not to kill, which is good because anyone who almost loses to a fire because of hubris should probably not be taking lives.

Powerplay #3 - Page 4
That fire extinguisher seems woefully inadequate to put out such a blaze.  THAT CAR JUST BLEW UP!

Darkhawk isn’t just dependent upon Spidey’s rogues for fodder; Fingeroth does a decent job establishing a few villains exclusively for Darkhawk.  Philippe Bazin is a major crime lord who has extensive ties to Chris’s dad.  His named-after-an-allergy-medicine daughter, Allegra, later becomes a love interest for Chris.  His first villain that really made me take notice is Portal, a guy who looks quite similar to Darkhawk, but he has the ability to teleport and look cool fighting Darkhawk on a comic book cover.

Fury From Beyond #5 - Page 1
I want a trench knife from the future like Portal has here.

We also learn in this issue that under Darkhawk’s helmet, he looks grotesque.  So grotesque that he not only recoils from it in the mirror, but he looks so hideous that this later becomes a weapon for him to use.  For real, in a fight, he takes off his helmet and the other guy is so horrified that Darkhawk is able to get the drop on him.  Good thinking, but it is a shame seeing his terrifying visage was the price to pay for this weapon.

Fury From Beyond #5 - Page 2
Poor dresser. It didn’t deserve to get BRAAAM’D.  Also, why is Dracula’s creator’s name a sound effect now?

Portal and Darkhawk have a very epic fight, and we learn Portal is Native American.  He apparently first appeared in Avengers, which was news to me then.  I was picking Darkhawk up sporadically, and I recall being asked about Portal by someone in my class.  I triumphantly and confidently announced he had been created for Darkhawk.  I wish that were the only thing I had been wrong about in 7th grade; I also thought this girl was my girlfriend for two weeks after I had been dumped.  The same guy who asked me about Portal was supposed to tell me that she had broken up with me.  Maybe he knew I was wrong, and this was his revenge.  Whatever happened, Portal is a Native American and he is not fond of breaking stuff in museums.

my people
(Portal goes from not caring about wrecking the museum to caring immensely about wrecking the museum once he knows his people’s stuff is in there.

Darkhawk manages to catch Portal, but all that does is lead us into the second crossover of Darkhawk’s young career!

Triad #6 - Page 1
They actually just team up on one guy.  That guy is Portal, but his teleporting ability doesn’t seem to be impressive enough warrant such a dire byline.

The team-up here really drives home why I like Darkhawk so much.  As the fight commences, we get to see that Chris Powell may have the powers of Darkhawk, but he is still a neophyte at both life and superhero business.  ESPECIALLY THE SUPERHERO BUSINESS.  I love how Fingeroth doesn’t let us forget either of those elements of Powell, whether it is him making awful decisions in his personal life to alienate his pals, taking a bow during a battle, or just good old-fashioned hero worship!

Daredevil does the best Frankensteiner since Scott Steiner himself.

Fingeroth does a great job keeping it real, and the art is great.  Later in the series the coloring will get brighter and it loses something to me.  This coloring sets a great mood for the confusion that Chris Powell feels as both Powell and Darkhawk.  His world has gotten topsy-turvy in every which way, but again, like a true teenager, even when there is trouble and turmoil all around him, cool stuff remains cool stuff, and there just ain’t much cooler than not just fighting shoulder to shoulder with Captain America, but also have Captain America “Thank Heaven” that you are there.  I love that sort of little touch.  These are the nuances that often get overlooked and lost in superhero comics.  That’s a shame too because the next few issues are completely bereft of subtlety and nuance.  In fact, we get arguably the least subtle character in comics very soon after this.

Honer Among Psychotics #9 - Page 1
Yes, I am aware that I will work Punisher in anywhere I can.  Deal with it.


Here we get another major original villain of Darkhawk, Savage Steel.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise behind the concept of the villain, but it is pretty sweet.  Savage Steel is an armor-clad vigilante intent on eliminating the criminal element permanently.  He is basically like Punisher except he brandishes more armor and fewer skulls.

Of course, these two psychos can’t stand one another, and Darkhawk gets in the middle.  This is where Darkhawk is exposed to murder and continues the whole “AM I A KILLER OR A HERO” trope that I mentioned earlier.  Later in the series, he gets cocky during a hostage situation and a gentleman he was trying to protect dies.  That interests me, but this whole “should I kill” thing us about as exciting as a 479-page book detailing the history of your local DMV.  Killing is a big deal, and I just can’t imagine even a teenager taking it so lightly.  But other than that, the book is pretty solid.

We even get Tombstone and Venom from the Spidey mythos, both of whom I like, but I especially love Tombstone.  He looks cool, acts cool, and does cool stuff, like ripping Darkhawk’s chest off.  For real!


At the moment Tombstone rips out Darkhawk’s amulet, he looks like some weird vampire.  It is truly the worst I have ever seen him look.

That’s some Quentin Tarantino-level brutality right there!  Gotta love the 90’s!  For the next few issues Darkhawk cannot change back and forth between his Darkhawk and Chris Powell forms.    This means he cannot heal, so he walks around with some bandages around his chest for several issues.  During his quest to get his amulet back, Darkhawk not only has to cross paths with Philippe Bazin again, but this time he does so on a Caribbean island that the crime lord owns.  First though, he must face another Spider-Man villain.  In fact, he has to face the most 90’s Spider-Man villain of them all.

Heart of the Hawk Pt4of6 - Journey  Venom #13 - Page 1
Venom is apparently the only entity in the Marvel Universe who wasn’t scared of Darkhawk’s helmetless visage.

Of course, one could make the strong argument that Carnage was more 90’s than Venom, but that’s an argument for the comments section (HINT! HINT!)  The battle between Darkhawk and Venom definitely reinforces the fact that Darkhawk is a piece of the Spider-Man mythos, as this is Spidey villain #3 in 13 issues!  I think this may have hurt Darkhawk in the long run, but the stories were good, and it almost had a Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out feel in that Darkhawk was Little Mac, a newcomer with promise taking his skills to much larger and much larger-than-life opponents.

That’s where I plan to leave you for now, folks.  Scope out the Friday Follow-Up for more on Darkhawk’s origin.  All in all, I like the book.  I find it to be fun, and while I think there was an overreliance on the Spidey villains and guest stars, you’d have been crazy not to take advantage of the exposure if possible.  Darkhawk has remained a cult classic hero since this time, but he is higher up for me.  He’s one of my top 75 heroes ever, because of his look, his human self, and the fact that he and I were young and in comics at the same time!  Join us next week for Angel Hayes’s return to The Unspoken Decade!


Thanks for joining us here for the Friday Follow-Up!

Today we will be looking at some awesome but random images of the Justice Society of America!  I am also including the cover of the first appearance of Power Girl because I love her and the Super Squad!  I wish they would have stayed together longer, just her, Robin and the Star-Spangled Kid.  Alas, they did not, although Infinity Inc. did feature two of them prominently.  As if I wasn’t already being good enough to you, I found a sweet pin-up of the JSA by my favorite artist of all time, (except Kirby), George Perez!

As it is, enjoy your Friday, enjoy your weekend, and enjoy some great JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA!!!!!







Finding Love in a Hopeless Place-The Justice Society of America

To enjoy the Justice Society of America as much as I did at the time I did is to be almost as big an anomalous anachronism as they are.  I suppose on the surface, a WWII team that was still active in the 1990’s seems silly, but somewhere in that silliness lay magic.  Even beyond that silliness, within the JSA was sternness beyond reproach.  I respected and revered the JSA for reasons that I did not and still do not fully understand.

Part of my adoration has to be their connection to WWII.  I recently wrote a guest blog for  about the All-Star Squadron, another title I love that features the JSA.  In that article, I talked about my reverence for WWII, both as a young man obsessed with the maps in the encyclopedia that told the story of WWII, and I am also an ardent antifascist (to the point where you can find me on twitter as @theantifascist), which enables me to identify with the brave men and women who stood up against blatant oppression and repression so that the world might be a slightly freer place.

Another reason for my reverence is my unrelenting passion for things I get interested in.  As was noted in the first entry here at The Unspoken Decade, I must learn everything I possibly can about anything I am into.  I must know the history, and I must know it fast.  When it comes to superhero comic books, they really do not get much more historic than the Justice Society of America!

Of course, no amount of obsession with history could have made me more interested in the JSA than, say, A FUCKING FANTASTIC COMIC!  Which is what the Justice Society of America comic released in the 1990’s totally is in every possible way.  Don’t believe me?  Choke on this, hater.

Maybe if Hawkgirl and Hawkman fly around that monster long enough they’ll defeat it.
Maybe if Hawkgirl and Hawkman fly around that monster long enough they’ll defeat it.

I recall vividly the very first time I laid eyes on a copy of this series.  I was in Springfield, MO.  My Dad had just killed himself. (BUZZKILL,)  We were in town for the funeral, and needless to say, I was quite distraught.  I did my best to keep it together, and all things considered I did a good job.  I was about a year into collecting comics at this time, and to make a shitty situation better, my parents (Mom and Stepfather) had promised to take me to a “big time” comic book store.   Despite the pallor of the trip, I could not help but be excited for this.  Our town had a great comic book store, and in hindsight I love it even more than I loved it then, but I was enchanted by a bigger store with more back issues.  My local store was also a used bookstore, and most of the space was dedicated to the books.  While my 13-year old self occasionally wandered into that section to snicker at the double entendre titles adorning the romance books, I hungered for what I believed a “real” comic book store to be like.  Now that I think about it, what the hell could that even mean?  Did I think Goddamn Stan Lee and Frank Miller were gonna be playing catch with an NFL Superpro football or something?  I haven’t the slightest.

We would not get to that comic book store until the very end of the trip, in what was a hilarious horrorshow that I will save for another article, but during our sojourn, we stopped at several convenience stores in Springfield.  These stores were like magic to me because unlike the backwoods gas stations we had down south, these stores had COMIC BOOKS!  Of course, I was mesmerized at every stop, and I always found some excuse to go in and gaze at the comics.  That’s where I was first introduced to the greatness that is Mike Parobeck’s art.

We finally get the answer to the question of who would win a fight between a balding guy and a guy with bad haircut.
We finally get the answer to the question of who would win a fight between a balding guy and a guy with bad haircut.

(We finally get the answer to the question of who would win a fight between a balding guy and a guy with bad haircut.)


I was, and still am, a giant Guy Gardner fan.  He’s still one of my favorite Green Lanterns, mostly because he is the only character in superhero history that got super powers who isn’t all the way good or bad.  He’s an asshole, but he isn’t evil.  He’s like a cop who actually plays by the book, but that same cop likes letting everyone know just how good he is, how bad they are, how lucky they are to know him, and you get the joke by now.  Of course, that cop-stache ain’t going to go well with that do.

Speaking of Guy’s haircut, I find it sort of spectacular he had that haircut because it is the sort of bad haircut most assholes had, but just two years later, this haircut was all the rage.  Even I had one, although all pictures of said haircut have been destroyed…

But the point is that the cover with Guy drew me in, and then I couldn’t really stop staring at it.  I actually got in trouble for looking at it when we stopped at a gas station at night under a street light for the few seconds we would be there.  I just could not stop looking at it.  Then, I read it.  Then, my life changed.


Justice Society of America V2 #9 - Page 15
If anyone ever tries to tell me folks with rings that do anything they will fighting each other isn’t cool as hell then I will refer them directly here and immediately accept their apology and firstborn in restitution.

I just loved it.  I loved the art, but I also loved how much I cared about folks much older than me.  I had heard of the Justice Society prior, both through comic book cards and through the issues of All-Star Squadron I had thumbed through at the flea market.  I was interested, but this was the first time I was captivated.

Len Strazewski does a tremendous job of getting Green Lantern over immediately as not just a formidable ringslinger, but he also makes him cool.  Like, he is cooler than the cool grandpa you wish you had.

Justice Society of America V2 #9 - Page 18
Alan Scott, Golden Age Green Lantern, calls Guy Gardner a Looney Tune, then dispatches him like one. That’s how it’s done!

The dialogue is also spot on.  Some folks have denigrated it as “old-fashioned,” but imagine that, some guys who fought in WWII talk differently than other folks in the 1990’s.  I don’t find it to be “old-fashioned” at all, though.  I think it is straight-forward, as people of that era often were.  These are folks who just do not mince words, and that happens to be a massive part of their appeal to me.  The JSA came to me during what was a rather tumultuous time in my life, as referenced earlier.  Their strength and matter-of-fact attitude helped me feel and stay safe in a world that for me was changing fast.

I loved that comic so much, that the comic book part of the trip was grand.  I had found a treasure in a bad part of my life in a place I never thought I’d find it.  Of course, that just meant that the next day I would find another issue of Justice Society of America in a different gas station!

Justice Society of America V2 #8 - Page 1
Only bad thing about this cover is you can’t see the cool eye logo they wear on their hoods.

I felt like some sort of Texas oil man who had struck two gushers in as many days!  My good fortune was much needed at this time, and again, I just read it over and over again. I loved the introduction of Jesse Quick.  The idea that these identities would be mantles to be passed in legacy was sacrosanct to me.  I wanted to believe in such a thing, especially at this time.  I wanted to believe in legacy; even if I hadn’t, the Justice Society of America would have convinced me otherwise anyhow.   There isn’t a damn thing this series gets wrong.  For Christ’s sake, look how it starts!


Nice Sign, #8...
Nice Sign, #8…

The JSA has returned in all of their glory!  This is from Issue #1, and the splash page is beautiful.  Mike Parobeck did such an amazing job with all of these guys, and really on everything he touched.  I also don’t want to underestimate the coloring in this book.  The colors pop in a way that matches the never-say-die attitude of these members of The Greatest Generation.  Many times over the course of this title, the JSA triumphs seemingly with just their grit and determination!   Strazewski and Parobeck do a great job of making almost everything they do inspiring.  Even a subplot about Wildcat and The Golden Age Atom wondering if they are too old or too depowered to help, they inspire.  When Hourman struggles with addiction to Miraclo, the drug that gives him his power, his struggle inspires.  This title never loses sight of the fact that the JSA were a beacon of hope to many in the DC Universe, starting with Superman practically worshipping them in issue #1; the guest appearance that really hammers home the relationship of hope and legacy, though, is the appearance of The Flash in #5.

(Ultra-Humanite looks like a cross between an ape and a sad old man.  That Hulk Hogan hair just isn’t working in this picture.
Ultra-Humanite looks like a cross between an ape and a sad old man. That Hulk Hogan hair just isn’t working in this picture.

Despite having been overwhelmed by the Ultra-Humanite, and despite being seemingly outclassed, the JSA tackles and defeats Ultra-Humanite en masse, with a joviality and determination that could be reserved only for the best of friends!

Wildcat can't believe it's not butter.
Wildcat can’t believe it’s not butter.

I love how their camaraderie may be their best weapon.  Their ability to fervently believe in each other and always have each other’s backs makes saving the world not just cool to see, but it comes across as cool for them to do.  Basically, they are the most effective and fun-having extended family since Full House.

For real though, no matter how dire the situation, and no matter how serious the threat, the JSA never loses their swashbuckler attitude, and why should they?  No matter what the threat was, if I was the fastest man alive or if I wielded the magicks of the Lords of Order then I would also constantly be having the time of my life as well, although I’d be slightly more selfish than these guys.  I’d totally use those magicks to make a giant pie that I would then shove into the “face” of a planet.  I’d also do the world saving stuff, but I am just too much of a scamp to never indulge the great interstellar pranks I could do with, say, a power ring.

Unfortunately, the fun and adventure in this title would not last long.  Despite good sales, the brass at DC decided that the JSA didn’t fit into their plans.  Len Strazewski (who I am interviewing on my radio show, Compton After Dark on 5/4 at thinks that Mike Carlin is the man primarily responsible, but whoever it was very short-sighted, as the JSA still had lots to offer.  I find it very telling that unlike other titles that were canceled at this time (many of them canceled for much worse sales than JSA had) got twelve issues to fill out their stories.  This instance of Justice Society of America only got ten.  Black Condor got 12!  Primal Force got 12!  Black Canary got 12!  All of them, and I like all of them and plan on bringing y’all articles on each one of them in the future, had worse sales than JSA.  Why cut this title two issues earlier than was the standard paradigm at the time?  I have no idea other than what Len says, which is that there was enmity against the title within the front office.

Enmity or not though, the Justice Society of America goes out with a bang!

Justice Society of America V2 #10 (1993) - Page 1
I love how angry they all look. They must know they are being cancelled. Especially nice is how angry Sandman is able to look DESPITE WEARING A MASK.

 Since issue #1, we have been dealing with a sub-plot involving everyone’s favorite ornithological archaeologist couple, Hawkman and Hawkgirl.  They’ve been in Egypt, unearthing some sort of bizarre GIANT MUMMY.  Caps are there just to let you know how giant it is.

Unfortunately for the Hawks and the rest of the JSA, this mummy is actually Kulak, a little-used Spectre villain who showed up here to plague the JSA!  The fact that Kulak, former high priest on the planet Brztal, had hardly been used since the Golden Age prior to this is some sort of insult to everything great about comic books.  He uses magic, has a GIANT EYE as his symbol, and went toe-to-toe with The Spectre!  Naturally, he has everything it takes to essentially enslave the Hawks and have Carter Hall turn the entire world against the rest of the JSA!  He also had the ability to be super creepy as he intimates doing the nasty with Hawkgirl.

Justice Society of America V2 #10 (1993) - Page 6
I wish the panel where Hawkgirl holds that whip and moans while Kulak licks her with his oversized tongue was more suggestive

Sadly, for the last time, we see the JSA’s indomitable spirit enable them to rise to the occasion and defeat a foe who had them badly on the ropes, and once again some of the members who possess the least powers are the ones that rally the team and remind them all that no matter what the odds are, they can prevail; at least, they can prevail provided they are fighting Wotan or the Ultra-Humanite, but against the powers of a DC Comics editorial mandate they are helpless.  Of course, they really didn’t get to fight too fairly.  Can you imagine a DC Editor telling Dr. Mid-Nite no?

Justice Society of America V2 #10 (1993) - Page 15
Golden Age Green Lantern is very whiny considering he has a magic ring that can do ANYTHING while Dr. Mid-Nite is just a blind guy who can see.

The Hawks get freed, and the JSA finds a way to save the day.  Everything feels really rushed, and I wonder if it is because the cancellation came on quickly.  I will definitely be asking Len on my show May 4th about that!

This series came to me at a time in my life when I really needed something like this, and I could not be more thankful.  That having been said, this book would be wonderful to me no matter when I would have discovered it.  Good story, great art, and a sense of spirit that few comic books ever have.  This book is inspiring without being preachy about it; there’s a sense of pride and determination that I took away from it.  I think many others do too.

I am going to leave you with the last shot of the book and the comments Len made in the last LetterCol in JSA.  Even in their last moment, the JSA seems so regal, as though even though they know that this book is going away, nothing will ever really dampen the legacy they built.  No matter what the company that owns them does with their name and with the characters, the Justice Society of America will always persevere, and no enemy will ever hold them down for long, unless that enemy is the Golden Age Green Lantern arch-enemy Sportsmaster.

He is evil and good at sports? So that makes him, who, Barry Bonds?

Don’t forget to listen to my radio show, Compton After Dark, Sunday, May 4th, 2014, as we will be interviewing the writer of this book, Len Strazewski!  It’s at 11:30 PM EDT on!  Enjoy the pinup and Len’s thoughts below, and join us here at The Unspoken Decade next week when we tackle Darkhawk!  Not literally.



The Gimmick Era Has Never Been Covered So Well.

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