Dark Horse Presents 67 (November 1992)

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The issue opens with an idiotic story about an annoying character called Zoo-Lou. Hedden and McWeeney usually do great work. The art here’s excellent, but the writing is an absolute nightmare. Dark Horse really loves poking fun at themselves… and usually it comes out awful, like Zoo-Lou.

An Accidental Death comes to its conclusion here. No one does this kind of angst and suffering like Brubaker. Everything he does these days is a waste compared to what he could be doing. Brilliant work from Shanower too.

Duffy and Sakamoto have an awful story called Nestrobber. It’s just atrocious.

The Predator story is weird–it’s based on an Andrew Vachss story. Not bad, just too soon to tell.

Campbell’s got a funny Alec, then Russell closes with an Oscar Wilde adaptation. It’s a brilliant piece of work, but it really needs color to make the fairy tale element work.

CREDITS

Zoo-Lou vs. Editor; story, art and lettering by Rich Heddon and Tom McWeeney. An Accidental Death, Part Three; story by Ed Brubaker; art and lettering by Eric Shanower. Nestrobber, Money for Nothing; story by Jo Duffy; art and lettering by Maya Sakamoto. Predator, Race War, Part One; story by Andrew Vachss; adapted by Randy Stradley; pencils by Jordan Raskin; inks by John Beatty; lettering by Clem Robins. Alec, A Pub Far Away; pencils, inks and lettering by Eddie Campbell. The Selfish Giant; story by Oscar Wilde; adaptation, art and lettering by P. Craig Russell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

The Immortal Iron Fist 21 (February 2009)

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This issue might be Swierczynski’s best. It’s one of the done in one other Iron Fist issues and Swierczynski does something a little different. He does a future story. It really nicely fits the mythology Brubaker and Fraction established, while some descendant of Danny’s becoming the youngest Iron Fist.

But the Iron Fist of the future isn’t the protagonist, it’s a young girl growing up on a really lousy planet, apparently colonized by the Chinese (they know to call K’un-L’un for help). It’s an all action issue, with a lot of tension, and Swierczynski does a fantastic job with it all.

It doesn’t hurt he’s got Green on the art. Green’s able to mix future landscapes, Kung Fu and robots into something totally organic looking. It’s lovely to see.

Swierczynski’s also being subtle here. The ending is almost entirely given away early, if one does his or her math.

CREDITS

Wah Sing-Rand and the Mandate of Heaven; writer, Duane Swierczynski; artist, Timothy Green; colorist, Edward Bola; letterer, Artmonkeys Studios; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Dark Horse Presents 66 (September 1992)

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Obviously, the major attraction is the second chapter of An Accidental Death. The pace changes throughout; it opens with the body being hidden, then Brubaker moves to summary, then to scene again. The final scene–the discovery–comes after the two boys (the protagonist and the murderer) start to discover where they really live. Reality, in more ways than one, rushes in on them. But Brubaker’s writing is nuanced, never obvious. It’s just lovely.

Then Dr. Giggles, hopefully, finishes up. I don’t think I’ve mentioned how inept Coto is at plotting this narrative. The plot developments get stupider and stupider. At least it’s over.

The Concrete story is a little overwritten… lots of narration, but it’s amusing and Chadwick and Hotchkiss do a great job with the art.

The issue ends with two one page Alec comics from Campbell. Both are quiet, wonderful and somewhat profound. It’s such good work.

CREDITS

Concrete, Byrdland’s Secret; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Dr. Giggles, Part Three; story by Manny Coto; art by Alan J. Burrows; lettering by Willie Schubert. An Accidental Death, Part Two; story by Ed Brubaker; art and lettering by Eric Shanower. Alec, Genetic Defects and Overheard While I Was Supposed to be Working; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 65 (August 1992)

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An Accidental Death opens this issue. It’s been a while since I’ve read it. The most immediate thing is Shanower’s art. It’s finished and precise; I’m sure Dark Horse Presents has had artwork as good, I just can’t think of any example. But then there’s Brubaker’s writing–and the way he presents the moral ambiguity of being a teenager. He’s able to make the naive behavior create sympathy… then the danger arises. It’s great work.

The Dr. Giggles story has awful writing from Coto. He didn’t get any better between issues. Burrows has some really gross visuals here and they work. It’s just sad Dark Horse used Presents to hawk their crappy movie tie-in. Unfortunately, it’s not even the worst thing they published to this point.

Hedden and McSweeney contribute a story without dialogue or narration. The reader gets to cut and paste. The art’s fantastic, but it’s pointless.

CREDITS

An Accidental Death, Part One; story by Ed Brubaker; art and lettering by Eric Shanower. Dr. Giggles, Part Two; story by Manny Coto; art by Alan J. Burrows; lettering by Bill Spicer. Interact-O-Rama; pencils by Rich Hedden; inks by Tom McWeeney. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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