:jsa_book_club: Princes of Darkness Part 1 :jsa_book_club:

This month we here at the @JSABookClub are celebrating the return of the JSA to print. To start things off this session will be featuring the Princes of Darkness storyline from the JSA series. Hold on to your hats folks it’s gonna be a wild ride. But before we can get to that we must have…


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@JasonTodd428 & @Aurora

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  1. The JSA had their hands forced by Kobra in the first issue of this story. Do you agree with Atom Smasher and Black Adam that they should have just killed him when they had the chance or do you feel as Alan and the others feel?

  2. Obsidian has sent his father, Captain Marvel and Stargirl to the Shadowlands. What would you do if you got stuck there?

  3. We have a triumvirate of Darkness. How long do you think they will be able to work together?

  4. Hector meets up with Nabu and some of the other Fates whilst trapped by Mordru. What do you think of their intervention?

  5. Billy is forced to reveal his identity to Stargirl. What did you think of their dynamic in this issue?

And continuing the celebration our next session will feature a tale from the Justice Society of America series …… See you all there in a few weeks.


Yay, my second favorite storyline


Cool. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it.


Found this earlier art with a different roster.

1 Like

45- Starting with the cover I noticed Atom Smasher is the only one not successfully hitting back foreshadowing that he will be the one most hurt by Kobra. I think Mordru slowly gains control of Dr. Fate, since he slowly gets angrier and angrier.

I guess that beer bottle was the last straw for Al.

Even without current events the part about right to protest is interesting, especially since World War 2 vets were known for not liking the Vietnam War protestors. I just know the part about the crashed plane hit Johns hard (even if this issue is clearly more Goyer’s work).

The line about Bones is making me picture a normal guy sitting down and then Mr. Bones just sits next to him.

Power Girl looks weird without her belt and cape. Too much white now. That smile from Kobra is the icing on the cake.

Power Girl was looking to Atom Smasher for help showing she has not been paying attention to him lately.

Got to hand it to Sandman for staying so calm here.

46- It feels so weird the openings keep excluding Star when she is probably the deuteragonist here. I know it is because this came out the same time as JSA All-Stars meaning they cannot name her.

There is a big deal here about the legacy continuing. This is answered here (and by Stargirl in an earlier issue) as the legacy as the first superhero team prevails as long as superhero teams exist. They were the first back in 1940, and they have been a staple ever since.

I think this is the first ever time Stargirl was drawn with gold hair instead of yellow.

I remember the first time I read this opening fight and how depressing it is. It was so hard keeping track of who was still fighting, what happened to Sand, and a team up of three guys who can challenge the whole team by themselves in this series. The only bright side is Green Lantern slicing up Mordru, and that does not stick. Still that is one of my favorite Green Lantern moments.

To make it worse for Alan he seems hopeful that Obsidian is there to save him.

Jakeem, you are not using that time travel to its full potential.

Nice singing job Obsidian.

47- That is odd with Jakeem’s Michigan shirt. Johns graduated from their in state rival… Goyer did not go to school there, but he was born in the same city as the University of Michigan. Is Jakeem from there too? Did Guy gardner give him that shirt?

First read through I kept finding Alex really boring. I sure did not see that twist coming.

Wait, how did the villains know they could use the Black Diamond? They knew to count on Kobra, Obsidian, and Mordru in their axis of evil, but not Eclipso. Did they just plan on winging this and then got lucky?

You can see from the shadow field that Eclipso and Mordru seem to trust each other pretty well. Honestly shame on them for not checking what Mordru and Kobra are up to. Especially jarring since Obsidian was right int he past to not trust Ian, and he betrayed Ian first. Maybe they had their own plans the writers never had to reveal.

I like the little details how they can only see what the staff is pointing at.

48- This write will probably be long since I really love this issue.

Billy is trying to impress his crush, and is upset he cannot. He then tries to impress her with all his titles, and it does not work. I enjoy these details how he acts different as Billy or Captain Marvel.

In the Shadowlands Thorn desires that she killed her twins. I presume this is Alan wondering if it would have actually been best for them instead of living with powers without meeting their father for so long.

I really like seeing some of the old school Stargirl action with more focus on shooting stars and gymnastics over the staff.

I always find it interesting analyzing the part where Star and Billy debate whether a superhero should be held to a higher standard or not. Star says he should be seen as human and gets a pass for not knowing, and this is a clear contrast to her dad who knew and stayed away from her. If even Green Lantern does not get a pass for parental problems then she has to accept her father is hopeless. Billy counters that he is a superhero and did know about it. I presume this comes from his parents being archaeologists who can figure things out. This came out the same time as JSA All-Stars where Star is worrying about being too similar to her father, and Billy has unknowingly given her a big emotional blow.

I think Hector has a good point about death. How is he supposed to accept it when everybody keeps coming back. We know the Dr. Fates are not always illusions since most of the team was there in The Hunt for Extant. This scene is him fighting with himself and coming to the realization he has to move on from Lyta’s death. His problem this whole time is that he is constantly doing side quests instead of his main job.

Stargirl wants to grow up and be seen as an adult. It makes sense she is really interested in how Billy’s powers work. Some foreshadowing for their future problems is when Billy calls Black Adam “was a bad guy” with Stargirl questioning the past tense.

Stargirl finds nightmares very romantic. On a more serious note she is attracted to his new vulnerability and ability to accept his problems, and Billy is happy to be loved as Billy instead of as Captain Marvel.

I am surprised Stargirl has not already visited the Statue of Liberty. Maybe Alan meant to visit it as Courtney, not Stargirl, and wait in the line. I like how they had different definitions of where to find light. Billy thought Green so plants (life). Stargirl thought light as the way. I think this ties in to the legacy theme. The legacy is not over with death if it still provides guidance, like an example for others.

I just realized on the last page the tiny visible piece of Star’s belly is miscolored blue instead of skin color.

Time to see if I missed any of your questions while writing up this essay of 1077 words. I missed two.

I skipped my thoughts on Black Adam since that is really not important until the next big storyline. Superheroes who kill are too dangerous, but it is likely allowed if he is just found guilty of the death penalty or something. The real importance here is they have abandoned their team at a bad time.

In Virtue and Vice Stargirl and Green Lantern combined their power to do dimensional travel, so finding Green Lantern is probably the best method even if you did not have a duty to rescue him. I would not have looked for the light but for terrible places in his history thinking he would be there. Thus I would have wasted all my time looking at places like Todd’s childhood home.

To add to question 5 Billy later worries he is just Star’s rebound guy. They did only get together right after Al left her right before a murderous sorcerer really wanted to kill her. I think she is attracted to him for very different reasons than Al. She sees Al is the big great hero and Billy as her damsel in distress (I am convinced he is doing that on purpose, as she has to save him constantly when he is around).


I’m pretty mouthy and criticize the older heroic generations for a lot of things. However, when it comes to the issue of killing, I’m very old school (or, at ,least, 1954 and onwards school). Superheroes don’t and shouldn’t kill. Especially not the JSA. Even when the villain probably deserves it, even when it looks like the only way of stopping them, superheroes should always find a better way. This can be frustrating, so I get where Atom Smasher and Black Adam are coming from, but they’re ultimately wrong. By killing all you do is snuff out the chance of redemption and perpetuate cycles of retaliatory violence. I would always expect the JSA to rise above this (except in WWII when they definitely didn’t, but… you get what I’m saying).

You mean other than run down my phone battery by using it as a flashlight? I don’t know… Moth in the Shadowlands would probably be no bueno. I’m thinking that Alan is probably lucky that he has Courtney and Billy in there with him. They’re young but that might be an advantage in the Shadowlands. Obsidian’s shadows have a way of bringing out the worst in people. They latch onto your worst traumas and fears to bring out your demons. Because they’re young and relatively innocent, Billy and Courtney have a better chance of getting through that experience. Me? I, admittedly, have a tenuous hold on my personal demons. I’m not exactly sure that I’d get through the Shadowlands without being overcome by them. It would likely not be a fun time.

I’d give it less than a week. Mordru wants to usurp the creator and be the new master of reality. This will eventually put him into conflict with Eclipso who has a bad track record when it comes to getting along with creators. Todd has been overwhelmed by his own personal demons, but, deep down, he is actually a good guy and will eventually realize what he’s doing is horrific. Even if they manage to create a few good hits, this band is destined to break up.

I was glad to see Kid Eternity!

Otherwise, as interventions go, it was pretty mid-tier. They eventually got Hector to admit that Lyta was gone, but it was kind of easy. I expected a more emotional confrontation and a more passionate denial. I guess Hector knew it but just hadn’t been ready to say it out loud.

Holy moley! That was cute. As a big fan of the old Fawcett comics, I love Billy. As a fan of DC comics from the late-90’s/early-2000’s, I love Courtney. So, what’s not to love about the two of them getting closer? That being said, there are two possible issues with this. First, Courtney was also getting close to Atom Smasher and, I believe, in one possible future they are supposed to end up married. Second, when they’re teammates, Billy is in his adult Shazam (Captain Marvel) form. That could lead to an… uncomfortable misunderstanding.


You are not using your moth abilities right. Moths are attracted to the light and find it. You will naturally find and go to the light, and we just follow you (and catch you before you go into it to your death).

In JSA 15 a flashforward shows them being married with at least two children.

Sadowski said the girl with the cloaked figure is their daughter.

Granted I believe in “death of the author” so the last one is not canon. Still Stargirl/Starwoman marrying Atom Smasher in the future is canon.


Oh, I’d find Alan. But, as your clip illustrated, the result might not be pretty.

Poor Billy… Of course, he could always hope for a Hypertime switch in timestreams…