Jon Sable: Freelance #3


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Jon Sable: Freelance #3


  • Words: Mike Grell
  • Art: Mike Grell
  • Inks: Mike Grell
  • Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
  • Story Title: Blood Trail Part 3
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 10, 2005

He may be getting older and a little slower, but Jon Sable is determined to follow the blood trail in this latest adventure.

I am a huge fan of Mike Grell and once I heard IDW was publishing a new Jon Sable series I was in seventh heaven. I really enjoyed his original run on the series dating back to the early 80’s published by First Comics. That series lasted 56 issues and many of the stories chronicled were first rate and focused on relentless action and intrigue. This time around Mike Grell has brought us an older and much slower Jon Sable, but the former soldier of fortune-turned-bounty hunter is still tormented as ever.

This time around the story opens with Jon in harsh times, as his fledgling side career as a popular children’s novelist (B.B. Flemm) is in the dumps. To make matters worse Jon has severed his relationship with Myke Blackmon, and has been drinking quite heavily. He definitely needs a cause to break him from the doldrums, and as if on cue old friend Jacob shows up with a job offer he can’t refuse. It seems Jacob (who’s now an Ambassador) is being stalked by an unknown assassin, and he wants to hire Jon to find the man and kill him first. Of course Jon accepts, despite constantly dealing with the tormenting memories of the death of his family. He figures this job will help him forget, only no matter what corner he turns the memories still linger quite deeply. He can’t escape them and it appears his destiny will lie in the darkest realms of Hell itself.

Most of the plotting for this issue is slow and deliberate, and like a fine wine Mike Grell has savored each and every moment of Jon’s decline. He really has a good handle on the character and that’s what makes this book so damn interesting for me. Much of it is a character study, but the story is balanced well with the action and political intrigue. Even though it has been years since a Jon Sable comic has been published, it doesn’t seem like Mike has skipped a beat with this new adventure.

His art here is top notch, and Mike has always been able to carry a delicate sense of drama and action with his penciling work. I decided to do a comparison of his older work on the series to this new story and I couldn’t find one fault. Just like his character, Mike Grell’s artwork has aged gracefully. It’s a great feat for a hero who’s about 25 years old and still in the grip of personal torment, but that’s what I find so refreshing here. This is indeed an original take on a genre that sorely lacks originality, and Mike has always had a unique voice in the world of comic books and superheroes.

So if you are looking for something different but yet still quite familiar then I suggest you give this new series a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed at all, and a four dollar investment is well worth it. Mike Grell is still one of the best creators working in the field today so I suggest you follow the blood trail…and believe me you won’t be disappointed.

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