Tuesday, March 4, 2003

JSA: The Unholy Three #1: A Review

Somehow, I missed JSA: The Liberty File. I can’t recall exactly why, though I suspect it may have been because at the time it came out, I was living in the sticks of Texas and going to a local comic store which did not do special orders or requests. Except for that fact, I can think of no reason why I would NOT have read it.

First of all, the artwork was done by Tony Harris who was also the original artist on Starman, which I have… more than a passing fondness for. I like the JSA and the Golden Age of comics in particular. Finally, I’m a sucker for any Elseworlds tale that creates a team of heroes in an interesting alternate reality.

So it was with no small amount of glee that I opened up a copy of “The Unholy Three”, hoping to see what I had missed. Missed is right! Harris’ gorgeous, shadowy artwork is as good as ever and I can only assume that the only reason he isn’t doing regular monthly duties on some book somewhere is because he’d rather be doing mini-series like this.

And the story matches the artwork in quality. It is full of intrigue, action and equal amounts of spy-thriller elements and two-fisted action. The plot involves two government agents, The Bat and The Clock (Bruce Wayne and Rex Tyler) who are sent to track down two Soviet agents who are killing down other government operatives (based on various other Golden Age heroes) in Europe. They are accompanied and put under the command of new agent Clark Kent (a.k.a. The Super-Man), much to the dismay of the two more experienced agents.

My one complaint though is that the story, at times, seems to assume you have read “The Liberty File”. A fair assumption, since this is a sequel to that story, but a little bit more back story might have helped ease those who are not as familiar with the general characters and history of the JSA as I am into the story.

Nonetheless, this is one of the best Elseworlds to come down the pike in quite a while and is well worth the high price of admission.

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