Pros:Great art, nice to see the "other" side's story
Cons:Power Girl's story could have been drawn out longer
The Bottom Line: Once again, the JSA continues to have high quality stories written about it, highly recommended.
DC Comics began a couple different series, JLA: Classified and JSA: Classified. These were diffrerent than the regular on-going titles in that it allowed other writers and artists to write some stories for their respective teams. JSA Classified: Honor Among Thieves collects three of those stories.
The first story is a single issue story taking place during DC's Infinite Crisis. In Infinite Crisis, Power Girl is given a journal from Earth-2's Lois Lane to read and this is the story in which she reads it. She begins to discover about Earth-2 and how, when the JSA disbanded during the McCarthy Hearings, the Gentleman Ghost tried stealing files from their headquarters, being tharwted by Batman and Superman. This opens up Power Girl's eyes to the different histories that are out there.
The second, and main story, takes place shortly after the JLA trade, Crisis of Conience and before Inifnite Crisis. The story mainly focuses on the Injustice Guild, made up of Icicle, Tigress, Solomon Grundy, Rag Doll, the Gentleman Ghost, the Thinker, and the Wizard, who summoned them together to help him with a problem. Ends up some power is trying to use the Wizard to enter Earth's realm and they need a Key in the JSA HQ to free him. They devise their plan and set it into motion, raiding the HQ after diversons they have set up led most away. Stargirl, Wildcat, and Jakeem Thunder all try to stop them but fail and they steel the key and free Johnny Sorrow, a long-time JSA foe.
The third story deals with the Flash and Wildcat trying to get back the Spear of Destiny. During World War II, the writers of the Justice Society, in order to explain why they didn't go over and fight the Nazi's, came up with the idea that Hitler possessed the Spear of Destiny, the spear that pierced Christ's side when he was cruificed, and with it could control anyone with super-powers. The spear has fallen into the hands of the Dragon King, also from World War II and the Flash and Wildcat try to stop him without being controlled. Wildcat has a plan but it involves the Flash killing him. Wildcat was blessed/cursed with "nine lives" and once those are gone, he will be a normal human and he suspects he has one left. Needless to say, he is correct, they stop the Dragon King and a boy he was controlling scarifices himself at the end.
All three stories are very nicely done. Wildcat, I feel, is sometimes an overlooked character in the JSA so it is nice to see a couple stories featuring him. It is also nice to see a story that actually focuses on the villians. We get to see that they're not stupid, actually plan stuff out and do have friendships and loves. It's just not "every villian for himself". While there are some like that, there is, sometimes, Honor Among Thieves! I felt that while it was nice to be included, the Power Girl story really didn't fit in the overall theme of the collection. It also could have been drawn out a bit more, two issues instead of one possibly.
The art in all 3 stories is just great, very clean and very detailed. JSA, even the Classified series, has always maintain a high quality of art and it is good to see it continue. Sometimes artists aren't so clean or detailed in their attempt to be "artists" (see some current stuff of New Avengers) but DC tries to avoid that, which I like.
Overall, a great story. For those who don't keep up with the JSA, a little background reading might be required just to know who everyone is but it is not required to enjoy the stories.
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