28 March 2011

Book Review Number 63: JSA: Justice Be Done



I've never read any of the JSA comics before, but I decided to pick this one out of the library on a whim.  I didn't know much about it, only that the JSA was the precursor to the JLA and I'd probably recognize more than a few of the characters.  What I didn't know is that I would be brought back, in many ways, to the first graphic novel I ever read.

The novel starts out with Wesley Dodds, formerly the crime-fighter known as Sandman, speaking with his friend, Speed Saunders, in Tibet.  Dodds sends Saunders off on a mission to Dodds' former sidekick, Sandy.  Not long after Saunders leaves, someone else arrives, wanting something from Dodds.  But rather than giving this person what they want, Dodds chooses death by falling from the mountain.

That is the starting place for this fantastic graphic novel.  Former members of the JSA, the children of former members and people that have stepped into the shoes of former members gather not only to say good-bye to Dodd but to be sent on a mission that could have the Fate of the world hanging in the balance.

One of the things that I loved best about this graphic novel was, as I said above, how it brought me back to  Neil Gaiman's wonderful Sandman series.  Of course, this story revolving, in part, around the original DC Sandman, it makes sense to have some homage, but some pieces still took me by surprise.  The appearance of Sandman/Daniel was the first.  I won't mention any more because I want to leave some surprises for any Sandman fans that choose to read this.

While the story did seem to wander a bit for me, taking me places that didn't quite seem to mesh, I found it an overall good book.  The artwork was fantastic (particularly Sandman/Daniel) and it brought to me both a feel of the Golden Age and a feel of now.  It was a very good melding in my mind.