About „The Justice Society of America Omnibus Volume 1“. Or: Hopalong Cassidy Rides Again…

The Justice Society of America Omnibus Volume 1
Writers: Geoff Johns, David Goyer, James Robinson, et al.
Artists: Stephen Sadowski, et al.
1,280 pages
DC Comics, 2014

This is not a full scale review of the comic book but rather a quick comment for comic book nerds. To the reader of this comment it might occur that the author of the following remarks did not in particular appreciate the book. The author however would like to emphasize that the quality of paper, colors and printing is actually quite good. Given the heaviness of the book the binding is a flaw but the author has seen worse. The contents, however…

The JSA Omnibus’ intention is to reboot some second or third league super heroes of the US comics‘ “Golden Age” (e.g. 1930ies and 1940ies) and to bring their so called “Legacy” into our modern times.

You may or may not have heard of the ‘Hopalong Cassidy’ Western movies series of the 1930ies. It was about the adventures of a clean cut Western hero (and his horse) who didn’t smoke nor drink. Who didn’t have any sex or the desire for it. Who didn’t use swear words and always spoke accent free English, albeit American style. It goes without saying that he was a white guy and certainly no fag (for God’s sake). Luckily, the horse was no fag, too.

Well, when reading the JSA Omnibus, a massive 1,280 pages collection of the DC comics series originally published in 1999 – 2003 I noticed that the group of superheroes described herein actually has quite similar characteristics like good ‘ole Hopalong way back. Same breed. Same narrow-mindedness when it comes to the world we are actually living in. To the problems we are still facing: Starvation. Racism. Religious lunacy. Terrorism. Environmental disaster. Political corruption. You name it.

It seems quite obvious, that DC Comics sees our world in a different way. Makes me remember the late 1960ies when at a time of Napalm & Vietnam Captain James T. Kirk and his Enterprise crew easily could solve all the problems in outer space with a quick fist fight.

Silly. Dull. Ignorant.
Period.
Nuff Said.

Well, maybe not. I would like to exclude James Robinson’s run on the series (roughly the first quarter of the book also with contributions by writers Mark Waid and Chuck Dixon) from this criticism. This part of the stories by and large deals with WWII and addresses the ambiguity and hypocrisy of modern warfare for instance at the example of the bombing of Dresden in February 1945.

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