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JSA #63

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2004
By: Shawn Hill



ďInsomniaĒ

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Jerry Ordway and Wayne Faucher

Publisher: DC

Plot:
The team has decided itís time to rescue Sand, but first they must work past a variety of personal issues in order to begin that project on a variety of fronts.

By the Numbers:
There are many reasons to enjoy this strong issue, such as:

1. Great cover by Ethan van Scivier, who is surpassing the promise he showed as a fill-in artist on New X-men.

2. Interior art by Jerry Ordway; this is in many ways the ideal title for Ordway. His penchant for realistic detail meshes beautifully with this most historical of DC teams, and with Johnsí willingness to freely mix and match characters from all parts of DC continuity. In the panel where Jay, Lyta, Brainwave, Stargirl and Kendra are put under a spell, the relative ages, genders and attributes of each character are lovingly delineated in full-figure. Faucherís solid, dramatic and precise inks augment his work well; in fact, Iím getting a very All-Star Comics feel from this art, which seems to be channeling Wally Wood, Joe Giella and other Silver Age greats.

3. Lyta Hall is back in action, fighting alongside her husband Hector and wearing Fury colors again. I was greatly disappointed when the rescued but comatose ďLytaĒ turned out to be Dove under a glamour, disappointed enough to quit reading the book save for holiday issues. So I have no idea where or how they actually found Lyta. But Iím very glad to see her back, especially in an issue that references (if very indirectly Ė I thought her son, the new Lord of Dreams, was the one character of the Endless that Gaiman created expressly for use in the rest of the DC universe, but his presence is very coy in this issue) her memorable stint in Vertigo.

4. Seeing Nabu finally get whatís coming to him. Iím right on board with Johnsí apt comparison of the spirit that haunts Fate to Mordru, and find it all too fitting that his present fate involves being judged and corralled by all the souls heís caught under the Dr. Fate mantel over the years. Making Hector the current Fate was a stroke of genius that continues to pay off in good story.

5. The plethora of dream landscapes filling this issue; Dr. Fate and the JSA, like the larger DC-verse that inherited their legend, is a weird mix of science, magic and psychological symbolism. Johns seems to revel in that playing field, wielding some of the most colorful toys with style and purpose.

6. Itís fun to see Cave Carson again, in a story that perfectly befits his talents.

7. Finally, this is the way a team book should be done, with attention paid to every character and a humanistic, lively tone to the proceedings. While there is a signature Johnsian cliffhanger splashpage, this one substitutes whimsical mystery for the violence to which his epilogues are often prone.



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