"Honor Among Thieves, Part 3"
Writer: Jen Van Meter
Artists: Patrick Olliffe (p), Drew Geraci (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: With their escape compromised by another society, the Injustice Society must find a way to save a friend, escape the JSA, beat down the League of Assassins, and stay together. The tensions rise and by the end of this adventure the Injustice Society will be changed forever.
Commentary: I want an Injustice Society book.
After the brilliant two issues prior this, I was worried that "Honor Among Thieves" would end on a low point. Instead, my worries were cast out the window, and I got an exciting story with some of my new favorite characters. Jen Van Meter delivers one of the greatest arcs in comics in a long time. This is how the bad guys should be written. I have now thrown out my copy of Villains United, so I can keep this as my definitive villain story.
The story is divided into two acts. The first is the fight between the Societies, and the second is the fallout of the caper, and its effects on the Injustice Society. I don't want to spoil any specific part of the story for you guys, so I'll talk about the characters, the best part of this arc. Once again, Van Meter flushes out these characters to superb brilliance. Icicle is still narrorating, and once again symbolises the sense of family in the Injustice Society. His love for Tigress really gives him a heart. Tigress, in turn, lets her tough girl exterior drop when she is with her lover, and she comes off as extremely human. The Wizard is still the master planner, and his father-like role with Icicle really is touching. Ragdoll is still an amusing little creep, and Solomon Grundy has elevated himself, in my eyes, from Alan Scott's sparring partner to a loyal zombie willing to die for his friends. Speaking of Grundy's zombie status, the witty and ever-so-amusing Gentleman Ghost had the single greatest line in the comic: "[Grundy] still dead, dear, but not so dead as all that."
As for the opposition, Van Meter brought a tremendous smile to my face. As she did with the Calculator last issue, she makes Talia al Ghul interesting again. She finally has the nobility and personality Dennis O'Neil created back in the seventies that was lacking in Villains United. As for Nyssa al Ghul, well, I had never been a fan of Death and the Maidens, but Van Meter gives a great personality to the new Demon's Head: arrogant and ignorant. Brilliant move, and I am sure that it will have a negative effect in the character's future.
Once again, Olliffe and Geraci provide some of the greatest, realistic art I've seen in a while. The former has an art style not unlike Don Kramer or Leonard Kirk, yet still manages to maintain its own distinctiveness. The expressions on the characters are vivid, and the fighting is fluid. Ragdoll remains slightly cartoonish, yet the usually Hulk-like Solomon Grundy looks human, while still remaining faithful to the established appearance.
Final Thoughts: To the Injustice Society! After three issues we have a team of thieves with a family tie. Van Meter and the artists have provided one of the most enjoyable story arcs of both 2005 and 2006. If you are interested in bad guys, want a JSA story, or just want to read a geniunely brilliant story, pick this up. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go petition for a Injustice Society comic.
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