Current Reviews


JSA: Classified #5

Posted: Friday, November 25, 2005
By: John Hays

Writer: Jen Van Meter
Artists: Patrick Olliffe (p), Ruy Jose (i)

Publisher: DC Comics

What’s it like being a villain in the DCU? We find out right here, as Icicle takes us on a guided tour. It seems that the Wizard is having personal issues, and needs the Injustice Society to reform in order to steal something from the headquarters of the JSA and help him rid himself of his problem. However, even if the villains can be enlisted, will they be able to pull off the job?

This was a really fun issue. It’s never a simple task to follow Geoff Johns on a title, but Jen did an excellent job here. Each time a new villain enters the scene, you are immediately introduced to them, but in a very natural way by having Icicle narrate the entire issue. In fact, you not only learn who these characters are, but you even begin to like them and possibly even root for them in the endeavor. I enjoy seeing the realistic depiction of the Thinker, in that he must be reconnected every few minutes so as not to draw attention to the group. One thing I would keep in mind with regard to the Wizard…he’s still a villain, no matter how apparently sympathetic, and all may not be as it appears. Just a thought.

The art is solid here. It reminds me a bit of the "Crisis of Conscience" storyline in JLA recently, which also featured the Wizard. I like how each character, as they are introduced, gets a larger section of the page as a sort of mini splash image of them. I look forward to seeing Olliffe’s interpretations of the JSA characters not seen yet.

Good read here. While I wasn’t expecting much coming off such a big story in previous issues, I was very pleasantly surprised. I learned a bit more about villains I was only somewhat familiar with, and can now look forward to seeing them interact with the JSA in future installments. After reading this, can anyone question the need for an ongoing villain title? I don’t think so.

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