The New Golden Age #1 – Geoff Johns, Writer; Diego Ortolegui/JP Maier/Scott Hanna, Jerru Ordway, Todd Nauck, Scott Kolins, Viktor Bogdanovic, Brandon Peterson, Gary Frank, Artists; Nick Filardi, John Kalisz, Matt Herms, Jordan Boyd, Brad Anderson, Colorists
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Geoff Johns has been writing the Justice Society of America for over twenty years now, but the original DC super-team has been gone for continuity for almost ten years now—not appearing in its classic form outside of a few small appearances since the New 52 began. Sure, some characters made their way back, but it was a long trek through continuity to get here. And now that it’s time for a comeback, there’s only one man DC would call for the job. This is Johns’ third JSA relaunch, and it all begins here—an oversized art-jam issue that will spin out into new titles for both the JSA and Stargirl in the coming month. And in this issue, it becomes clear that this story will be about much more than a heroic comeback.
Why does every segment of this issue have a different artist? Because every segment takes place in a different timeline. We get stories set in the JSA’s original era, the 1970s, the present day, the far future—and even one set before the JSA ever met for the first time. Johns is obviously the king of deep-cut DC continuity, and he pulls in characters including obscure Alan Scott sidekick Doiby Dickles. But the heart of this story is two characters—Doctor Fate, who spans the generations and is haunted by a persistent vision of horrors to come; and young Helena Wayne, who is born ten years in the future and spends most of her life chasing her parents’ legacies and seeking the answer to one creepy question—who’s watching her?
Because this story doesn’t just introduce our heroes—it gives us a terrifying new villain who seems to defy the laws of time themselves. There are about forty pages of story in this issue, and Johns makes the most of all of them. In addition to the overarching JSA plotline, it focuses on characters from the Time Masters and the Watchmen, spinning out of both Flashpoint Beyond and Doomsday Clock. Maybe the most intriguing part of this issue is the dossiers in the back, introducing us to a host of DC heroes we’ve never seen before—the lost children, all removed from time and making their way back. One is the daughter of a famous character, another is so highly classified I’m sure we’re in for a huge reveal. One way or another, this issue took me back to just how good Johns’ JSA was—and I have no doubt that’s about to continue.
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