“Fates and Fortunes”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Mikel Janín and Jerry Ordway
Color Artists: Jordie Bellaire and John Kalisz
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Review by Kendra Smart
Justice Society of America #4 is finally upon us, dear readers, and our patience has been rewarded, as the issue was far and beyond worth the wait. Per Degaton’s moving forward with his attack of the linage of the JSA and the lynch pin to that plan is poor Helena Wayne. When last we left our girl in issue #3, she was getting information to the JSA while Bobo and Boston were visiting Madame Xanadu to learn more about the token snow globe.
Before we dive in, it would be remiss for me not to pause on the covers provided by Mikel Janín, Yanick Paquette with Nathan Fairbairn, and Tom Raney with Michael Atiyeh. Each cover sets an amazing scene and creates a whole mood when viewing them. There’s really no way to go wrong with the options before you.
Now, with that said, let’s dive in!
Enter Freely And Unafraid
The issue opens right in Greenwich Village at Madame Xanadu’s domain. Boston and Bobo are trying to gain insight on what’s going on with Helena and her time travel, as well as the snow globe and Degaton’s intentions. A burst of messages and foretelling leave Madame Xanadu in a weakened state, but even she is aware of the importance of Helena and the token.
Switching lanes, we meet up with what could be the fate for our beloved JSA, but in the middle of the face off with Degaton, Helena has a moment of clarity that involves not only herself but Khalid, Doctor Fate. How this theory will be used to defeat the nefarious villain and save their teammates remains to be uncovered. For Helena the questions go deeper, and her roots run back to Gotham, for better or worse.
Lurking Beneath The Surface
There’s so much going on in Justice Society of America #4. We get some much forward momentum this issue while still getting threads of other plots at play. I will say this, Geoff Johns is a Master talent as a writer, no doubt. Helena’s absolutely devastating narration, as the battle ensues, really hurt to read. Not because it was clichéd or because it was an old trope played out yet again, but because you can hear her as she narrates in your head. Her fears and her doubts watching the fight unfold and seeing these beloved heroes struggles are so painful because you’re rooting for these cherished characters.
Not to fall behind, but these scenes would not be nearly as hard hitting without an equal art team and in that respect Mikel Janín, Jerry Ordway, Jordie Bellaire, and John Kalisz step forward and shine. There are so many instances of amazing scene work, but I have to admit some of my favorite moments were around the JSA table. The attention to clarity and detail was all anyone could ask, for while diving in to a story and immersing in it.
Whether the JSA’s able to trap the villain that threatens not only them individually but the team as a whole. Justice Society of America #4 moved us closer to this ending and left us with a jaw dropping moment. I look forward to seeing how this story arc ends. See you next time!
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment