Battlefields 1 (January 2010)

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Ennis is off to a fine start with the second round of Battlefields, this time covering Australian fliers during World War II. All Battlefields are WWII, aren’t they?

Anyway, it’s a fine start, with some nice humor at the end. It’s a pretty straightforward story, which might be why he’s opening with it–a solid war story.

In fact, it’s so straightforward, so solid, I’m really not sure where it’s going. There’s nothing revolutionary to it so far. It’s about a rookie pilot joining an experienced bomber crew. Ennis narrates the story through the pilot’s letters back home to his father, which maybe foreshadows of some tragedy… but it’s too soon to tell.

It’s maybe the most “enjoyable” Battlefields issue, as there’s no real dread yet. I’m sure there will be.

Hogan’s art isn’t realist, it’s emotive–maybe comic strip influenced. I’ll bet it looks wondrous in black and white.

CREDITS

Happy Valley, Part One: From a Land Down Under; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Paul J. Holden; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man 95 (October 1984)

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I guess this issue is better than the last one. Milgrom’s directly continuing it, which will probably wreck havoc in the monthly Spider-Man continuity over in Amazing, and he keeps his recap of the previous issue brief.

The writing is still bad–in the case of Cloak and Dagger and the Black Cat, very, very bad–and the art is still exceptionally weak, but at least it all passes somewhat painlessly. There’s nothing idiotic this time, just a bunch of bad dialogue and plotting. The pacing isn’t terrible–the issue takes a while to read because Milgrom has maybe nine different characters who get thought balloons. Lots of villains appear. It’s lame, but it’s not breezy.

Suffering through these issues, I wonder how anyone made it through this period of Spectacular. Black Cat alone would have made me quit reading the comic.

Another bonus: Peter whines less this issue.

CREDITS

The Dagger At the End of the Tunnel!; writer and penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Jim Mooney; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Diana Albers; editors, Bob DeNatale and Danny Fingeroth; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man 94 (September 1984)

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What would I do without Al Milgrom? I’d never have been able to understand this issue, like when Cloak and Dagger talk to each other about their origin. Or when Peter thinks all about the problems he’s been having with the Black Cat and then explains their last adventure together.

But Milgrom is dealing with a beloved character and supporting cast so I guess he doesn’t actually have to be writing anything interesting. Or have any story developments–Black Cat is still a complete twit, who hates Peter Parker and only likes Spider-Man–wait, she’s mentally ill? Explains tons.

So, it’s a bad soap until the lame villain arrives (Silvermane?) and kicks Spidey’s butt.

Milgrom’s art is worse than usual. There’s one place where he reuses the same panel three times in unison (for powering on the alien costume).

The comic doesn’t have a point or any charm, eighties nostalgia or otherwise.

CREDITS

How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down at the Morgue After They’ve Seen N.Y.C.?; writer and penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Jim Mooney; colorist, Glynis Wein; letterer, Diana Albers; editors, Bob DeNatale and Danny Fingeroth; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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