Black Vengeance

Author: Geoff Johns
Artists: Don Kramer and Dave Gibbons
Titan Books
RRP 11.99
ISBN 1 84576 256 8
Available 26 May 2006

The JSA find themselves hurled back in time, to a less enlightened America of 1951, where the younger members of the team learn that their predecessors faced evils more insidious than super-villains. Back in the present, the ghostly avenger known as the Spectre is without a human host. Now a spirit of pure retribution, he metes out a brutal, uncontrolled form of justice, encouraged by the new Eclipso. It falls to the JSA to stop their former comrade, one way or another...

In Black Vengeance, Stargirl's life is irrevocably changed when her adoptive family are murdered, part of a devious plan by a time travelling villain. The JSA must fight to save themselves from temporal annihilation, as well as stopping the assassination of the President of the United States.

Still another crisis develops when the Atom Smasher seeks readmittance to the JSA. Before a decision can be reached, the nation of Kahndaq's new ruler, the mysterious Black Adam, summons the atomic champion back to the Middle East. When the JSA follows, all are forced to question the very concept of what it means to be a hero.

Thanks to the fact that the majority of this story is told from an alternate timeline, one where the origins of the individual JSA members are being systematically erased from time, you do get the feeling that anything can and will happen. This helps to provide some much needed jeopardy - which is all too absent in most super hero collections.

Striking art, a great plot, and some surprising revelations make this a must read story for any serious JSA fan.

Nick Smithson

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