Review by: Blake M. Petit Blake@comixtreme.com
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: The Golden Age and
What can end the Golden Age?
Writer: Len Wein
Pencils: Scott Kolins, Andy Kubert & J.H. Williams III
Inks: Joe Kubert & J.H. Williams III
Colors: Mike Atiyeh, Brad Anderson & Dave Stewart
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Art: Andy Kubert & Joe Kubert
Publisher: DC Comics
Paul Lincoln was just a kid when the first mystery men of World War II appeared on the scene. As the Justice Society entered their golden age, Paul found himself standing up to the criminal element in his own neighborhood – but can one newsboy make that stand by himself, or is it the sort of thing that will take a Legion?
In the first issue of this miniseries, the book gave off a vibe very much like Marvels, that of the outsider watching as the emergence of heroes changes the world around him. With this second issue, however, that feeling is starting to change a bit. Marvels was very much about the Marvel universe itself, with Phil Sheldon’s character not having much of a personal arc until that last issue. The interaction between Paul and Jimmy Mahoney, however, is making this series more like Astro City, a story about characters who happen to live in a world of superheroes, and how that world changes them. That comparison is meant to be complimentary, by the way. Astro City is a fantastic series, but there’s a different flavor when you apply that same formula to the DC Universe. It’s a lot of fun to see old friends like the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion in action, and the knowledge of what happens to the Justice Society thanks to the Congressional Un-American Activities Committee gives a sort of tarnish to all the excitement and joy our young viewpoint character gives us as he marches forward in time.
Again, seeing Joe Kubert’s inks over Andy’s pencils is a real treat. It’s a perfect synthesis – Andy gives the book a modern feel in terms of layout and choreography, and Joe’s finishes give the book a classic look that’s highly appropriate for these legendary characters.
This issue’s second feature puts the spotlight on the original Seven Soldiers of Victory. An old foe challenges them to a battle, and the soldiers split up to take on his minions. Here we see that Len Wein has taken the old formula – heroes split up, get together at the end – and given us a quick story told in snapshots. What’s really impressive here is J.H. Williams III’s art. Each of the “snapshots” of the Soldiers in solo or dual action has its own different look and feel, as if each panel was created by a different artist altogether. There seems to be a deliberate attempt here to invoke what Grant Morrison did with his revamped version of the soldiers, and it works pretty well.