Geoff Johns bids farewell to the team that helped him mature as writer. This issue is a slice of life in the world of a teenage girl who just so happens to be a member of the Justice Society of America. Oh yeah, Stargirl's parents know all about her activities in spandex and have invited the entire crew for a surprise birthday party.
The scope and setting of this issue really give Johns and Dale Eaglesham a chance to virtually hug their friends and creations as they let go, leaving the JSA to whoever happens along next. Amazingly, the duo manage to give virtually every current member of the team a chance to speak out, if not shine, one last time.
Courtney Whitmore has been a therapeutic tool for Johns, the one character he can point to with great confidence and claim as his addition to the DC Universe sandbox. Johns started with her in his first writing gig for DC, and Johns has come back to the character on a number of occasions. She has served as a creative recharging station for Johns, empowering him to step forward with wind in his sails.
Eaglesham certainly delivers on this issue as well. Throughout his run, Eaglesham has made this book his own. As Johns added to the sandbox, so has Eaglesham, from his smartly redesigned Liberty Belle to Cyclone's penchant for a slightly "wicked" costume, as he discussed with CBR's Jeffrey Renaud.
This issue may not be high on drama, but it is certainly an impressive watermark for characterization. If you didn't know Courtney much before this issue, you'll have a better idea by the end.
That's not to say that this issue of "Justice Society of America" is the be-all and end-all. It's a nice interlude that gives the characters a moment to be human and to relate to one another, deepening the bonds rarely displayed in the pages of a comic book. This tale is a throwback to the flavor and message of the "Teen Titans" during the glory days of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez.
I normally tradewait "Justice Society" largely due to its erratic shipping schedule, but this issue drew me in. I may not have a clue what proceeded this issue, as that volume has yet to be released in trade, but this issue doesn't require encyclopedic knowledge of the very second before you open the cover.
This issue does, however, make a strong case for Johns to revisit the concept of a series (or mini) starring Stargirl. Certainly, given Johns' current popularity the book would be a little more widely noticed the second time around.