Comic Book Review – JSA Classified #32 (January 2008)

Writer – Junior Thomas

Artist – Staz Johnson

“Giving Thanks”

As I have previously mentioned in other comic book reviews, I have been sorting and cataloging comics to put away for safe keeping. Some books have caught my eye to put aside to read and review. One such book was JSA Classified #32 featuring Solomon Grundy, in all his hulking, monstrous glory, about to lay a hurting on Green Lantern Alan Scott.

Alan Scott visits the grave of his daughter, Jade, early Thanksgiving morning.  After saying a few words of love and remembrance in honor of Jennie, Alan flies off. A mysterious stranger watches Green Lantern disappear into the clouds high above the cemetery.  

Jay Garrick and ‘Wildcat’ Ted Grant are on a float in the Gracie’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as a Superman balloon flies overhead. Soon, Alan lands on the float to join his fellow JSAers. The trio are celebrated for their history of heroics and good deeds as the crowd goes wild. The Superman balloon pops, showering the crowd with pink dust, as Solomon Grundy makes his presence known. Alan tells Jay and Ted to attend to the onlookers and he will deal with Grundy. The fight between Alan and Grundy is intense and Jay gets knocked around as Grundy mocks the Golden Age hero. An angry Alan asks how a monster like Grundy could be resurrected numerous times, while good and innocent people (like Jade) remain dead, never to return to the land of the living and be reunited with loved ones. Alan lands a well-placed punch to Grundy, which causes the monster to soar in the air. Alan creates a construct of Santa’s sleigh and traps Grundy inside of it. Alan flies away with the villain in tow to the North Pole. After stranding Grundy in the vast wasteland of ice and snow, Alan hurries back to check on the innocent bystanders back at the parade.

Alan finds his two friends and they have a conversation. The pink dust hasn’t affected the crowd in any way, shape, or form. Alan wants them to take a sample back to JSA Headquarters to have it analyzed. Alan decides to hang back and help evacuate the crowd that is still lingering around. A woman cries for help as her young daughter becomes unresponsive. As Alan checks on the young girl using the power of the Starheart, he falls over, growing weak for some unknown reason. The mysterious stranger from the cemetery reveals himself as Vandal Savage. The pink dust is from the legendary city of Petra and it was used to leech the power of the Starheart from Alan. When Alan used his Starheart power on the young girl, it drained the lifeforce from the child, and it began to take human form. The form is revealed to be Jade, who is now in the clutches of the immortal Savage!

I’ll be honest: the last 2 pages of this comic were hard to follow and I had trouble trying to understand what happened and how it was possible for Jade to come back to life. I had to re-read it a few times before it finally sunk in. Other than that, I enjoyed this issue. I have always been a fan of the Justice Society of America and the cover featuring Grundy and Green Lantern piqued my interest. There aren’t a lot of Thanksgiving themed tie-in comics and I wanted to read and review this one in time for the holiday.

The scenes of Alan at the cemetery are heartbreaking. The holidays are always a hard time for those of us that have lost a loved one. Parents losing children is the hardest pain to endure. Alan only got to know Jade as an adult, but he always enjoyed their time together at home or side by side in the heat of battle.

Alan has a chance to be reunited with Jade once again, but it will cost a young girl her life. We know Alan will ultimately help the child in the end, but heaven help Vandal Savage because there will be a reckoning for what the villain has done to Alan.

I did chuckle at the Gracie’s store in the background of the parade. I also liked the panel where Wildcat grumbles, “why is Superman the only one to get his own big balloon?” Sour grapes make the bitterest of wines, Ted.

This comic runs the gamut of emotions, much like time spent with relatives over the holidays.

This issue ain’t no turkey and I give it 4 out of 5 pumpkin pies.

Next Issue – It’s Christmas in the DCU, and Alan Scott will be learning all about the Ho-Ho-Horror of the holidays from the immortal Vandal Savage! But in order to save the life of a child, Alan will to sacrifice his own happiness – as well as his daughter!