Review: Justice Society of America #5

“Past and Present” 
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 #5 delivers the final chapter of this story arc. When last we saw Helena Wayne, she’d made it to Gotham to confront her Father and advise him of what was and still is happening in their respective worlds. Meanwhile, Per Degaton is moving closer toward his ultimate goal, the elimination of the Justice Society of America. Forever. 

Readers are treated to three different cover choices this time around; first of all, we get an instant throwback-style cover from Mikel Janín, one that brings to mind the covers from classic JSA stories where each character is masterfully given a moment to shine.

Next, the variant cover by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn is a wonderful feature of Jakeem Thunder and Thunderbolt. As for the 1:25 variant by Álvaro Martínez Bueno, it’s a jaw-dropping image of Degaton reigning his win over a Justice Society that’s as broken as their table. The color palette chosen sets the tone of desolation and despair brilliantly.

In A Shard Of Time 

High on a rooftop in the rain, Helena gives us a recap of how she made her way here to this moment. She’s laid everything out on the line, including letting her emotions out in a much-needed hug, one that rightfully stuns Batman. The rest of the team joins them and we find out exactly what the snowglobe is, just in time for Degaton to arrive and for the final fight to begin. 

The villain’s not alone, however, and to win this fight it will take all of the Justice Society’s might. The past, present, and the future… even beyond, all join to save the world from the reality that Degaton is only too happy to bring to life. Everyone has something or something to fight for but there are questions that can’t be answered by the simple algorithm of right and wrong, or good and bad. Now that the timeline has changed, what will happen to Helena?

All Wrapped Up In A Bow

With this issue the arc concludes, and what a ride Geoff Johns has taken us all on! Mikel Janín, Jerry Ordway, Jordie Bellaire, John Kalisz, and Rob Leigh give this issue their all and you can see it on every panel. The most haunting image for me is the one that has Madame Xanadu showing our heroes what Degaton’s world would look like.  There’s a scene featuring Degaton and his other versions torturing Superman. It’s a grim future, and this image is raw and extremely painful to see.

Conclusion

With Justice Society of America #5 we’ve given an issue that opens more doors than it closes. Helena Wayne has made her choices and must now live with the after-effects, but she won’t be alone in her endeavors.

Those who look for the light will always find it, but we’ll have to wait and see what unfolds for Helena and what her new place in the DC Universe will be. 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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