Jon Sable, Freelance: Bloodtrail
by Mike Grell
IDW continues their revival of First Comics from the 1980s by bringing back Mike Grell and his signature comic Jon Sable, Freelance.
Jon is a children's book author by day and a mercenary by night (figurtively--he operates both identities during all times of the day), but as the story opens neither career is going very well. Haunted by his past and unsure of his place in the present world, Jon is sleepwalking through life, drunk and alone, until threats to the life of an old friend jolt him reluctantly back into action.
It's clear from reading this that Sable is--and always has been--a men's adventure novel in comic book form. Sable is a man's man, even when he's down on his luck. And the women, well, they're basically props to the story. But there are guns to shoot and knives to wield and bad guys to kill and demons from the past to overcome. It's straightforward genre writing.
Grell's art is attractive and full of energy, though sometimes the action seems a bit stiff. The pacing is dense at times, and Grell has a way of making a page or a spread seem both wide-open and busy at the same time. It certainly is a good looking book, and has a retro-80s First Comics feel; it's as though Grell is picking up where he left off.
Those looking for a blast from the past and/or a high-action men's adventure tale will find much to admire and enjoy from this new Jon Sable tale.
Rating: 3 (of 5)