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Monday, April 3, 2017

The Complete Jon Sable Freelance Volume 3

By: Mike Grell 

Publisher: IDW Publishing (November 22, 2005)

Softcover  176 pages

Finished 4/2/2017

Amazon Listing  





          Collecting issues 12 – 16 of Mike Grell’s independent series from the 1980s. Originally published by First Comics, Jon Sable is a freelance operative with a tortured past. A Vietnam Vet and former Olympic athlete, he was in Munich during the 1973 Olympic massacre. He met his wife, a former gymnast, and went to live in what was then called Rhodesia in Africa. They had two children and lived happily, until the family, except Jon was murdered in standard hero vigilante style, leaving him a bitter mercenary shell.
Author and artist Mike Grell
          The character was inspired by all of the great private eye and spy brooders of the past, Spillane’s Mike Hammer, James Bond, and so on. Sable differs from these characters in his personal struggle against depression and emptiness, filling the void with constant action only to have it reclaim him. He is a mercenary, but does not have a mercenary nature. He can’t help caring, which often leads him into disaster. Despite some of the farfetched scenarios presented, Jon Sable himself feels very real.
 Grell’s artwork and the use of shade and color often underline his hero’s inner sadness to brilliant effect. He expertly moves between scenes, panels flying up before us, knowing when to talk and when to show. He is a true master of the craft.
          This volume contains the acclaimed MIA two part story where Sable and some former comrades head back to Vietnam to attempt to discern the fate of a downed airman from the war. There he tackles old demons as well as live communist NVA threat. Then he flies over the Berlin Wall to smuggle out a Russian ballerina and reunite her with her husband who had defected earlier. In the third story, Sable joins an illegal archeological expedition to Nicaragua (also in the hands of Communists) to discover a lost temple, which the leader believes to be the lost tomb of Jesus Christs. As they battle communists, the expedition makes an interesting discovery. Last, we see the return of Maggie the Cat, a notorious jewel thief. Catwoman to Sable’s Batman. He joins her to recover a chemical formula stolen by a dishonest college professor and his students. 

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