Tag Archives: Justice Society

Jay Garrick Loses a Good Friend – Robinson Departs Earth 2 and DC

20130520-063633.jpg As most fans are aware by now, James Robinson has announced in a series of Tweets that he is leaving Earth 2 and DC Comics. This marks the beginning of some uncertain times for Jay, Alan, Kendra, Khalid, Al and company. This has been a consistently excellent series, one near the top of my pull list for some time. The fact that it has done so well is testament to Robinson’s talent as a creator, and he will be sorely missed. There is certainly time for DC to try to make this right, as they previously have done wih Gail Simone on Batgirl…but just in case this is a good time to say a few words about James Robinson’s excellent run on Earth 2.

Earth 2 has been both a critical and sales success, with Robinson taking on one of the most difficult and controversial changes in the New 52 – the complete redesign of the Justice Society.  Robinson took the Golden Age Heroes who for years had literally been the elder statespersons of the DC Universe and made them young again, placing them on a parallel Earth for the first time since before the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths in the 1980s.  In doing so, he revamped both the look and origin stories for characters long cherished by DC fans, with many fans (including myself) waiting for the results with skeptical eyes.  What we got was something truly special, and something that has been one of the great success stories of DC’s lineup.

Jay Garrick in particular had caused some early concern.  The initial drawings released to the public didn’t cast the new uniform in the best light, and while the first issue allayed that concern with a very interesting new look it also cast Jay as a bit of a slacker who couldn’t keep his life together.  Yet, over the issues so far we have seen Jay grow as both a person and as a hero.  Jay Garrick didn’t ask for his powers, but he didn’t shirk the responsibility that came with them.  And, he is still growing and becoming both a true hero and a leader.  Jay as the everyman hero has become a great character in this series.

Even the change that generated the most news in the mainstream media, revamping Alan Scott as gay, was handled expertly by Robinson.  We find an Alan Scott who is noble, brave, truly heroic, and a strong leader who happens to be gay.  It is one part of who he is, not merely a stunt to generate controversy or sales.  In remaking these characters, Robinson has taken the best of their Golden Age and Silver Age qualities and reshaped them to fit the sensibilities and realities of today.

I could go on and on about the characters created for this series, from the great Hawkgirl to the wonderful new Doctor Fate, to the new Al Pratt and the new Mr. Terrific (who doesn’t seem so interested in “fair play” at the moment, if you are following the storyline).  This is a series that I didn’t want to like, didn’t want to believe in…yet James Robinson won me (and a lot of other fans) over with his excellent storylines and characterization.  He has proven that writing matters, that good writing can make most any character compelling, and that a good story is always worth reading.

I’m still holding out hope that something can be resolved a la Gail Simone and her return to Batgirl.  If not, DC will have the very difficult task of finding someone who can effectively continue James Robinson’s excellent vision for this team and this series.  Jay Garrick and company have lost an excellent friend…and so has the DC Universe.  Wherever you go, Mr. Robinson, we will anxiously await your next work.  Thanks for a great ride with Earth 2!

Jay Garrick and the new Doctor Fate…and the Tower of Fate! (review of Earth 2 #10)

earth 2 number 10Earth 2 #10 takes us into a mystical realm with Jay Garrick, his mother, and Khalid Ben-Hassin.  We learn a bit more about Khalid and Kendra’s past,  shocking news about the train wreck that Alan Scott survived, and we see the New52 version of the Tower of Fate!  This issue has a little bit for everyone, and it continues a series that has easily established itself among the very best the New52 has to offer.


Quick Thoughts: The New 52, Wave 2

DC has announced the second wave of the New 52, with more details at USA Today. They’ll be adding six new series in May, and dropping six after #8 to keep the total at 52. Update: CBR interviews Bob Harras about the focus of the new books.

First off, I don’t think keeping it at 52 is a great idea, because the first time they change their line-up to feature 51 books, or 52, or anything else, people will read way too much into it.

Anyway, the canceled books:

  • Men of War and Blackhawks. War books are a tough sell these days. No surprise.
  • Mister Terrific. A gamble from the beginning, and the only praise I’ve heard about it is from the skeptic community for portraying an atheist in a positive light.
  • Static Shock. After all the effort DC went to to get Static (the only Milestone character they seemed interested in), what went wrong?
  • Hawk & Dove. The series’ biggest selling point was Rob Liefeld. Make of that what you will.
  • O.M.A.C. This always seemed to me as a — I don’t want to call it a vanity project — but basically, a chance for Dan Didio to have fun writing something. My guess is they didn’t really expect it to sell, but positioned it as an ongoing just in case people liked it.

And the new books, after the cut. Continue reading

Flash Quick Hits: Fan Expo

A few bits of info have come out of Toronto this weekend.

The Justice Society returns in a James Robinson/Nicola Scott series set at an unspecified time period on Earth-2.

A the New 52 Panel, Francis Manapul explained that they want to make the new Flash series “introspective and at the same time, a kick-ass action book.” Newsarama’s report adds that he “came up with some incredible death traps for him to overcome, with more than just his speed.”

Francis Manapul and Yanick Paquette (Swamp Thing) also appeared on a Drawing the New 52 panel, in which Manapul talked about his approach to redesigning the Flash’s Rogues, explaining, “It’s about making the characters interesting, and also making them a legitimate [threat] to Flash. Not just about their powers.”

The DC Timeline, the Reboot, Zero Hour and Superman

One of the things that frustrated me about DC Comics’ post-Zero Hour “soft” reboot was the 10-year sliding timeline. Not that it existed, but that it crammed everything from DC’s Silver Age (1956) onward into a timeline tied to the first appearance of Superman, 10 years ago.

It always seemed to me that it would free things up if they’d just allow the characters to be different ages. Let (for instance) Barry Allen and Oliver Queen be a decade older than Superman, and let their super-hero careers have started earlier. They can still have worked together in the Justice League. Superman launched the age of super-heroes in the real world, but he doesn’t have to have done so in the fictional world. Especially when you have a whole Golden Age worth of characters who started their careers decades earlier.

Of course, the Golden Agers introduce another problem: If DC keeps them tied to World War II, but keeps the rest of the timeline sliding at 10 years ago or even 20 years ago, the gap keeps widening. It makes it increasingly hard to explain…

  • Why is the original Justice Society still alive and (relatively) fit? (Magic and the speed force have both been cited.)
  • Why are their children in their 20s and 30s? Did they all wait until they were over 60 to have kids?
  • Why weren’t there any major super-heroes between 1950 and 10 years ago? And more importantly, why weren’t there any major super-villains or cosmic threats during that time?

You can mitigate this a bit by rearranging some of the Silver Age characters to be older than Superman, as I suggested — or by letting Superman himself be older — but eventually DC would have to bite the (speeding) bullet and disconnect the JSA from one end of the timeline or the other.


Now that details of the Superman relaunch are out, DC has clarified a bit of their latest timeline juggling. Continue reading

Jay Garrick and Wally West MIA in the New DCU…For Now

DC has officially announced 48 of the 52 comics being relaunched in September. The remaining books are sure to include Action Comics and Superman, and covers have leaked featuring Superman, Supergirl and Superboy. It seems a safe bet that unless one of the younger heroes is headlining Action, that wraps up the 52 series.

Conspicuously absent from the DC Reboot (from a Flash fan’s perspective): Justice Society (of the JSA roster, only Mr. Terrific has appeared so far) and the second Flash book, Speed Force, announced by Geoff Johns last summer.

While Barry Allen headlines The Flash and Bart Allen appears as Kid Flash in Teen Titans, there appears to be nowhere in the initial wave for fans to read about Wally West or Jay Garrick.

Factor in the emphasis on younger heroes, the implication that Barry Allen is still learning the ropes in the new series, and the focus on keeping things simple for new readers to figure out, and you have to wonder whether Jay and Wally even exist in the new DCU.

I asked as much on Twitter, and The Flash co-writer/artist Francis Manapul replied:


It’s neither a confirmation nor a denial, but at least the writer working on the new book wants to keep them around, if the higher-ups allow it.

Reportedly there are more series planned for the following months. We know, for instance, that Batman, Inc. will relaunch in 2012 after a hiatus to allow Grant Morrison to work on another project, and we know that Batman Beyond will be back, though it’s not among the 52 books announced for September.

Are there plans for Wally West and Jay Garrick in a second wave of launches? Have they been wiped from existence? Are they still around, sitting on the back burner, waiting for someone to use them? Are their fans (OK, Wally’s fans) still willing to wait after years of false starts, broken promises, and generally being jerked around?

Update: Dan Didio has this to say about the Justice Society (thanks, @SpeedsterSite):

AS for JSA, we have decided to rest this concept while we devote our attention on the launch of the three new Justice League series. As for other characters and series not part of the initial 52, there are plenty of stories to be told, and we’re just getting started.

So it sounds like the “back burner” approach, at least with Jay and the JSA.