Sunday, August 25, 2013

The quest for lost comics: JSA: Classified.

I LOVE the Justice Society Of America. They are my favorite superhero team (well, them or the New Warriors). The history of the team, the members, the most of the stories, I just love the JSA. And the fact that my favorite superhero Power Girl is a member of the team doesn’t make me like them less.

For those of you that do not have the slightest idea of who the JSA is, here is a quick introduction:

During WW2, the president asked the heroes of America to unite against the forces of Germany. After being caught in limbo for years, the JSA return to the world, but now as old men. The few of the old generation, that can still be part of the good fight now guide the new generation of the JSA that is made of their successors.

Now, let’s talk about the first JSA comic series I read: JSA Classified.

It’s a JSA-spinoff series. Instead of telling stories about the team, JSA Classified tells stories about the members of the team. And it is the first comic book series, not collected in TPB that I started to collect, even before I became a collector of “lost stories”. Let’s take a look, shall we?

The first four issues of JSA Classified are collected in the TPB “Power Girl” that collects not only JSA Classified, but also her origin in Showcase Presents 97-99 and her second origin (DC had a remake of their universe in the 80s, and it were decided that Superman should be the only survivor of Krypton, so Power Girl, who were his cousin, had no origin). I highly recommend this book, and it seems to me that you can’t call yourself a Power Girl fan without it on your bookshelf.

The second TPB collects JSA Classified 5 to 9, and is named Honor Amongst Thieves. But it’s actually not about any of the members of JSA, but about a team of villains; the Injustice Society (I know, just go with it). The story is about a bunch of bad guys, that may be rotten dirt bags, but they stick together, duo to a combination of practical need, loyalty and (dare I say it?) friendship. There is also an extra story about two of the senior members of JSA; the Flash and Wildcat. Read it, you won’t regret it.

The rest of the issues aren’t collected. I do not owe them all, but let’s take a look at what I have.
Issue 10 to 13 is about the JSA oldest villain; Vandal Savage. He is an immortal caveman who is just as smart as he is ruthless and evil. He is about to die, after losing his lab with spar organs, and, in desperation and insanity, makes a nonsensical vendetta against the JSA hero Green Lantern. I didn’t like the story, though it was too long.

Issue 14 to 16 is about a fight club arranged by a couple of bad guys, with kidnaped JSA members as the fighters. Stargirl, the youngest member of the team, must team up with the two heroes Vixen and Gypsy (former Justice League members) to save her team. I consider this story downright bad. And it doesn’t get better by the fact that the story is more of a JLA story than a JSA.

Issue 17 to 18 futures the second generation Hourman. By injecting a pill called Miraclo, he can be superhumanly strong for exactly 60 minutes. In this story, he gets contacted by the villain Bane who is about to die and therefore needs Hourman’s help to survive. Pretty good story, I enjoyed it.

Next we have, in issue 19 to 20, a story about this eras Doctor Midnight, an extremely talented doctor, who after losing his normal sight, gained the ability to see perfectly in pitch-black darkness. And he is perfect for this story, that I consider the third best JSA secret files story, about the mystery of stolen body parts from super humans. I will make some Halloween recommendations in August, but this might as well count as one. It may not be that “scary” but it is flipping nasty!

If anyone tells you that Hawkman is just a guy with a pair of wings, slap him in the face. Hawkman is BADASS, and issue 21-22 is one of the many proofs. But the story is, sort of, a tie-in to the event comic Ran-Thanager War, so it would be better if you read it first.

23 and 24 is the last issues I owe. Doctor Midnight is the main character again, where he this time have to find a serial killer who operates with a vampire theme. The story is… good, but not as good as the first story with Midnight, and the art could be better.

You know, I’m glad I reread these comics again. Some of them are better than I remembered. Still, in my search after not-collected comics, it’s still the last name on my list. You would probably enjoy the series more, if you know a little about the JSA, but I would still highly recommend the TPB Honor Amongst Thieves. But if you want a good place to start reading JSA, you should start with the TPB named JSA: Justice Be Done.

I’m Waezi2, thank you for wasting time with me.

1 comment:

  1. The JSA certainly has a rich history. I think it is cool that Wally Wood of EC Comics fame helped create Power Girl.