The JSA Girls

DC sent out a five-page preview of Justice Society of America #1 that I found very helpful, because it confirmed for me that this is another comic that will annoy me more than entertain me.

You’ve likely already seen the cover, which as usual focuses on Power Girl’s boobs but takes it a step further by obliterating her face, completely hiding it under her hair.

JSA #1 cover

And what’s going on with that picture of Wonder Woman? Is that supposed to be her shoulder? What’s with the odd strip of flesh attached to her back?

Then I saw the introduction of an old favorite, Liberty Belle.

Hourman and Liberty Belle

Hourman gets to pick up a car; Belle gets to … caress his head? Why? Wouldn’t he find that distracting from his task of holding up a ton of metal directly over them?

I’m not very good with the graphics, but I do find it interesting that whatever compression I’m not doing quite right makes the artist’s highlights more obvious. The bright spots on her boobs and crotch aren’t that visible in the original… but it is interesting to see where he wanted to focus the highlights, isn’t it?

Belle was never that well-built, but it’s a new era in superhero comics. Sigh. Is the belt supposed to be around her waist? Why is it so skewed? Why have a belt on skintight spandex, anyway? I suppose no one remembers that those used to be riding jodhpurs.


24 Responses to “The JSA Girls”

  1. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    I know it’s not really a defense, but:

    Example One
    Example Two
    Example Three

    It would seem that belts aren’t just for holding one’s pants up anymore.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I like the quote from that site (always a fun read):

    Indeed, the random deployment of belts is never appropriate, no matter how terribly trendy it is, because when done incorrectly all you can see is the belt itself.

    The problem I have with Libby’s belt is that it appears to me that the artist didn’t bother to think through what it would look like if she stood normally — it would still be skewed because of the extreme angle he put on it.

  3. Rob Barrett Says:

    I actually think that Dale Eaglesham’s illustration here is doing story-work (in addition to being cheesecake). Interviews about the forthcoming Justice Society series have indicated that Damage had/has a thing for Jesse Quick (the new Liberty Belle). Stressing her connection to Hourman (Rick Tyler) by having her embracing him is basically reminding Damage that he’s lost out.

  4. Don MacPherson Says:

    Re: Liberty Belle’s belt

    Back in All-Star Squadron, Belle’s belt buckle was a piece of the actual Liberty Bell, and it provided her with extra strength whenever the bell was rung.

    This doesn’t detract from the points you make about the depiction of women in these pages.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Rob: That’s an interesting take, but if so, now I think the character is obnoxious as well. :)

    (And thanks for reminding me that they took two female characters I like and smooshed them into only one.)

    Don: Complete with many fan jokes about vibrations, yes.

  6. Rob Barrett Says:

    Johanna,

    A) At least Libby Lawrence is still alive in DC continuity. :)

    B) Obnoxious? I’d pick Rick Tyler over Damage too.

    An interesting thought: now that Jesse is publicly identifying as her mother’s heir, we have a heroic lineage centered on a woman. Black Canary seems to be the only other example I can think of at the moment (i.e., daughter inheriting her mother’s mantle instead of her father’s).

  7. Johanna Says:

    a) true, true.
    b) I think it’s obnoxious to rub someone’s face in “I’m with THIS guy, not YOU”. That’s just immature and rude.

    Your last point is an excellent one, though, although in both cases, there are slight whiffs of “gotta keep the women young, so just replace them with their daughters when they aren’t sexy any more”. Male lineages like Green Arrow/Arsenal or Atom/Damage or Batman/Nightwing/Robin keep the characters more distinct. Are there any same-named father/son pairings I’m not thinking of right now?

  8. Rob Barrett Says:

    Follow-up to (b). I don’t know the history between Damage and Jesse Quick well enough to know if Jesse is aware of Damage’s attraction to her. If she isn’t, then she’s just a young newlywed in love. If she is, then we’re definitely moving toward “obnoxio”-land.

    Hourman. :) Both times that Rick has replaced Rex as Hourman, it’s because Rex has gotten “too old for this s**t” (as opposed to the more standard “taking the place of the dead father” trope).

    Oh, and Sanderson Hawkins has apparently gotten rid of (a) the lame “Sand” name and (b) the lame “Sand” costume to become the new Sandman . . . which is what he should have been in the first place.

    So there are at least two.

  9. Johanna Says:

    They’re MARRIED?!?!? Sheesh.

    Hourman: Oh, duh. I knew there was going to be an obvious example as soon as I posted.

    You know, I used to really like the JSA because of this generational stuff that they had the freedom to do. Now it just confuses me.

  10. Rob NotBarrett Says:

    Oh, how sad, what they’ve done to Liberty Belle. (I remember her from All Star Squadron.)

    Johanna, what are you using for image compression? If these started out as jpgs, and you are using photoshop’s save for web, try increasing the number of colors in the color pallate, and decreasing the JPEG “quality” a lot. It looks like you have a small color pallate specified, the way you would if you were compressing GIFs or PNGs.

  11. david brothers Says:

    Starman is another male lineage. Ted Knight grew up, got old, and bowed out. One son followed directly in his footsteps and ended up dead, the other kind of took off in his own direction and starred in the ’90s series.

    Would Wonder Woman count? I don’t know the details, but I could’ve sworn Hippolyta was in the JLA for a while when Diana died (or something?). It’s daughter/mother instead of vice versa, though.

    This may not count at all, but Arrowette is another mother/daughter lineage. It was mostly played for laughs in PAD’s Young Justice and Waid’s Impulse. I think Waid and Humberto Ramos created her. Arrowette I was an obscure Silver Age Green Arrow character, more or less his Batwoman (“Stop fighting crime! You’re a lady!“). She quit due to carpal tunnel in the modern age and then proceeded to train her daughter Cissie to be the next Arrowette. She’s retired now, though.

    Just as an aside, there’s a good bit of fan speculation that Arrowette is yet another one of Ollie’s kids. That makes Connor Hawke, Shado’s child, Arrowette, and then Arsenal and Mia as adopted children. I think he’s got the Bat-family beat.

  12. Johanna Says:

    Rob NB: Thanks, that’s probably it. I will have to experiment with my settings. (It’s a catch-22: I’m not very good at it, so I don’t use a lot of images, so I don’t get better at it. Something for me to work on.) I’m using Graphic Converter on a Mac.

    David: thanks for the examples. That Oliver!

  13. david brothers Says:

    I would watch “That Oliver!” a wacky sitcom about a retired superhero couple named Dinah and Ollie and their house full of ninja-kicking, arrow-shooting kids. Ollie Queen is totally a sitcom dad. He even used to be a hippie!

  14. one diverse comic book nation » THE SHORT STACK: Diversity On The ‘Net - December 4, 2006 Says:

    [...] The JSA Girls – Johanna from Comics Worth Reading is annoyed by the female anatomy she sees in the Justice League of America preview (from Comics Worth Reading) [...]

  15. Barry Says:

    Just looking at those two pictures makes me instantly dislike this book.

  16. kevhines Says:

    really? Liberty Belle is Jesse Quick?

    The head of a company who barely had time to be a hero. One of the more interesting super speedsters in some time is now just hourman’s arm candy?

    sad.

    Also the Flashes seem to be indisitnguishable – though I guess they aren’t replacing each other due to age so much as death. But Wally got more Barry-like as time went by, and now Impulse sounds like younger Wally. It might not be the same thing, but its all starting to feel pointless.

  17. Chris Galdieri Says:

    Looking at the full page the image of Liberty Belle came from, I think the pants are supposed to be some sort of weird, minimalist riding jodhpurs — there’s a strange, narrow puffy “lining” on the sides of the thighs. It actually makes things look worse than plain old tights would have been.

  18. DaveA Says:

    Impulse now sounds like younger Wally?
    NO way, go back and read the early Flash issues where Wally takes over.
    Those were interesting.

    And when the heck did Jesse and Rick get married?

  19. Rob Barrett Says:

    Jesse and Rick apparently get married during the year that “52” is chronicling.

  20. Michael Grabois Says:

    Air Wave is another father/son hero lineage thing. The father was active in the Golden Age and the son was active in the revival of the Green Lantern book in the late 70’s.

    I’m not quite sure, but I think the original Air Wave was retconned to be Hal Jordan’s cousin (without explaining how he was active on Earth-2).

  21. Ragnell Says:

    See, now I was THRILLED to see Jesse Quick reclassified as a strength hero. She was the weakest speedster before (and gee, the only girl!), and her extra powers seemed like a halfhearted way to compensate for that. Now superspeed is the addition, and she’s a maternal legacy.

  22. Chris Galdieri Says:

    “I’m not quite sure, but I think the original Air Wave was retconned to be Hal Jordan’s cousin (without explaining how he was active on Earth-2). ”

    Second cousins?

  23. Fascination Place » This Week’s Haul Says:

    [...] Another decade, another revival of the Justice Society of America. Nothing’s quite equalled the 1970s run of All-Star Comics, although Roy Thomas’ All-Star Squadron in the 1980s was very good at times. On the other hand, the recent JSA series won plaudits from critics for its strong characterization, which baffled me since I thought the plotting meandered around without really going anywhere, and the characterization was nonexistent. This new series starts out on a better foot: Writer Geoff Johns is not the superstar that DC seems to think he is (he’s no James Robinson, for instance), but he’s pretty good, and he introduces a number of interesting threads, including several rather messed-up characters such as the new Starman, the revamped Damage, and the overexuberant (I presume) young Red Tornado. Dale Eaglesham’s layouts are good, and he has a good sense of form and motion, but as Johanna Carlson points out, his handling of anatomy is pretty iffy. I also think Art Thibert is not a good match as Eaglesham’s inker. Anyway, it has promise. We’ll see. [...]

  24. caleb Says:

    The Wonder Woman legacy is much more confusing than all that. Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mom, travelled back in time to World War II to join the JSA, thus retroactively making Diana Wonder Woman II (this happened during Byrne’s run, but was referenced heavily in the early JSA days, Our Worlds at War, The Justice Society Returns!, JLA, etc).

    Then, when Diana died and became a goddess for a while, her mom replaced her in the JLA for a few story arcs.

    Me, I’d LOVE to see a time line of Wonder Woman history…

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