REVIEW: ‘The New Golden Age,’ #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The New Golden Age #1

The New Golden Age #1 from DC Comics is a busy story that sets the stage for the upcoming Justice Society of America and Stargirl: The Lost Children series. Geoff Johns scripts this illustrious tome. The list of artists and their work in this one-shot is impressive. Diego Olortegui, J.P Mayer, Scott Hanna, Jerry Ordway, Steve Lieber, Todd Nauck, Viktor Bogdanovic, Brandon Peterson, and Gary Frank.  They are almost matched in number by the colorist squadron of Nick Filardi, John Kalisz, Brad Anderson, Matt Herms, and Jordan Boyd. Then Rob Leigh enters as the sole superhuman to tackle letters and SFX. This packed issue finally gives DC fans what we’ve waited years for the return of the Justice Society of America.

It’s been years now. There was a glimmer in Doomsday Clock; then the JSA showed up at the end of Dark Nights: Metal. A bit more came in the Stargirl: Spring Break Special #1, and more silence. But when would they shine in their series again? Well, this issue begets the immense tale that will bleed into Justice Society of America #1 later this month and the Stargirl limited series. And boy, does it have a lot to say. There’s a mystery afoot, wandering hand-in-hand across the DC timeline with murder.

The New Golden Age #1 is an ambitious issue predicated on the past, present, and future. Johns’s intimates will soon collide as a villain moves back and forth, obsessed with removing the Justice Society from history. I love this idea, even though I find time travel stories overdone. First, this sets the JSA as exceptional and critical to the DCU. Decades have given that prominence to the Justice League since they became the premier superteam during the company’s first revamp in the 1950s. Johns never writes it to be confusing. The story jumps around but maintains a solid flow, the pace is even, and narration from a few characters helps define them. It’s been some time since we’ve seen Dr. Fate, much less are allowed to get inside his head. The addition of Helena as a child in the future, a future JSA team. Fans of their lore will be inebriated, while those unfamiliar with the first superteam in comics will get enough to know the time.

Honestly, this team deserves it. They have a more extended, richer, more lore-driven backstory than any group in comics, and perhaps this engrossing story will get them much-needed attention to keep them in print. It’s bringing back classic characters (Hawkman! Hawkwoman! Hourman!) and is audacious enough to throw in over a dozen new ones that will play a role down the road. Johns isn’t just selling the JSA but also the importance of DC’s comic book heritage.

I didn’t see a listing of which artist/colorist graced which pages, so let me say this: while on occasion I could catch Nauck’s animated vibe, Frank’s graceful work, Ordway’s solid forms, and so on, I have to say not a single panel is done wrong. So many styles and colors flow through this issue, but it continues without interruption. Every page is gracious and illuminated, as artists detail the brightness and stoicism of the Golden Age and beyond in their styles. Leigh never missteps laying down words and even goes the extra mile; the wavy speech bubbles that mimic the Golden Age style make a terrific callback. New character designs are amazing. I felt like a kid in the library again, reading Giant-Sized  All-Star Comics #3, dated the winter of 1940. It brought me a secondary form of time travel.

The New Golden Age #1 has taken some significant strides I hope the series following it live up to. This is an excellent introduction to the Justice Society and DC Comics lore and is a visual treat. We have the JSA again, but what form will they take after all is said and done? We’ll have to dig into their series to find out. Welcome back, Golden Age. May you gain 1 million new fans. 

The New Golden Age #1 is available now wherever comic books are sold.


The New Golden Age #1
5

TL;DR

The New Golden Age #1 has taken some significant strides I hope the series following it live up to. This is an excellent introduction to the Justice Society and DC Comics lore and is a visual treat. We have the JSA again, but what form will they take after all is said and done? We’ll have to dig into their series to find out. Welcome back, Golden Age. May you gain 1 million new fans. 

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