Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges take over the series this issue, and the transition is surprisingly seamless. The whole voice of this book has belonged to Geoff Johns for so long, I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy another writer's take as much, but these two guys have succeeded. What impressed me the most was how well the two writers have found the voices for the core JSA cast. Alan Scott sounds right. Star-Girl sounds like she always has. Even though most of the others don't get more than a line or two, they all sound the way we know they should. The one exception is Mr. Terrific, who comes across perhaps a little sterner than I'm used to, but I haven't really seen him interact with kids before. Maybe he just doesn't dig kids.
The two new characters All-American Kid and King Chimera are both pretty cool. I actually figured that Chimera would be a traitor, but at this point it is too hard to try and figure out exactly who is the real traitor. One of the main complaints about the JSA is that the sprawling lineup leads to unbalanced conflicts, but Willingham and Sturges turn that around by hand-picking a legion of villains who match up well against the Society. I did notice plenty of pet characters in the villain group. Willingham has Tapeworm from Robin and the dog-handler guy from Shadowpact. Sturges brings in his Doctor Polaris and his Hellhound team. I did like Blue Moon, she has a great power set, I'm going to have to research her to learn more about her. I was surprised to see Eclipso absorbed into a team with so many losers, but he comes off well so I don't have too much of a problem. The cliffhanger ending... hoo boy. There's no way that character will actually die. Right? Right?
Jesus Merino is Carlos Pacheco's long-time inker and you can see that here. He's got the same eye for detail and knack for super-heroics that Pacheco does. He's not as refined as Pacheco yet, but I see a ton of potential. Merino is a great fit for the title and I look forward to seeing his art get stronger.
As a side note, I'm really quite pleased with DC's output right now. I don't know if they've been saving their best stuff for Blackest Night or what, but the company is firing on all cylinders right now.