Comic Book Review: JSA Classified #10 (One Year Later)

The “One Year Later” storyline for the JSA is being told over in the main title. In JSA Classified, we catch up with Vandal Savage, and the rather rough year he has had.

Creative Team
Writer: Stuart Moore
Pencils: Paul Gulacy
Inker:Jimmy Palmiotti

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: Moore’s story finds Vandal Savage riding a comet back to Planet Earth, using his internal monologue to tell us what a rough year he has had to slum it around the galaxy, encountering everything from Thanagarians to Khunds. He is a bit worse for wear finding out by the end of this issue that he has no allies, no friends, no family, and no more than 11 days to live. Even his daughter, Scandal, will not help him, because, as the story explains, he needs her organs to live, and has never shown any restraint, no matter how close their father/daughter bond may be.

Interleaved with this main storyline are flashbacks to Vandal Savage’s past, including the invention of the wheel! Near the end of each brief flashback, he sees something that glows a bright green. After he is spurned, in the closing pages of this issue, by Scandal, Vandal Savage decides he has nothing left but revenge. He chooses Alan Scott, Golden Age Green Lantern, for his target “a man whose cursed emerald legacy has haunted me down throughout the ages”.

The Good: Vandal Savage is written well here. I know about Vandal Savage, for example, but I have not read many of his appearances, especially the ones that set up his need for organ banks and his unique dietary needs. Stuart Moore does an understated job of setting up the character for the uninitiated while keeping the story interesting and moving fairly quickly.

The art is understated but well done. The art serves the story well, instead of being just a lot of cover poses arranged into a story. Considering the different requirements of many of the scenes, from Savage’s comet ride to a Roman flashback to modern-day, the team of Gulacy and Palmiotti handle it with aplomb.

The Bad: Do not buy this comic if you are looking for Alan Scott unless you are a rabid completist. He shows up on the cover and ONE FRAME. Not worth a “featuring” credit on the front cover. Also, if the thought that Vandal Savage survives partially beating other sentient repulsive to the point of being sick, this book is not for you.