Dark Horse Presents 74 (June 1993)

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I think Madwoman would read better as a single narrative, instead of sectioned off into installments. Jordorowsky makes a major plot addition this installment–the protagonist hallucinates his younger self as an advisor when it comes to being inappropriate with one of his students–and it just changes the tone completely from the last entry. The content might more fit Moebius… but the writing is nowhere near as strong.

Then there’s The Chairman, from Moore and Robinson. Robinson is not ready to be illustrating professionally. His figures are loose, his action is awful… Dark Horse has been publishing good artists in Presents (or at least recognized ones) for quite a while. Robinson is step back. Of course, Moore’s writing is really dumb, sci-fi stuff; they just don’t care.

The Eudaemon story finishes here. Nelson’s art will have these fine panels, then terrible ones. But the writing… wow, it stinks.

CREDITS

The Chairman, Part One; story by Charles Moore; art by Andrew Robinson; lettering by Pat Brosseau. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Five; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. The Eudaemon, Night of Fear, Part Three; story and art by Nelson DeCastro; lettering by Steve Dutro. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 73 (May 1993)

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The Madwoman is growing on me. Moebius’s artwork is solid throughout, maybe not the best thing for a talking heads story, but Jordorowsky keeps getting better. The story–and the reason for the title to include Madwoman–is becoming more and more clear. It’s no longer a boring academia story, it’s now a quirky academia story. I’m not sure how many installments are left, but it’s getting good.

Hopefully, Dominique ends this issue. Balent’s losing the ability to properly show perspective–the first page of the story is almost incomprehensible, as he also is making his male characters appear female. Not intentionally, just out of laziness. It’s wrong to blame Balent for Dominique being awful though… the writing is at fault. Charles and Lisa Moore are inane. The story couldn’t end fast enough.

As for Nelson’s Eudaemon? It’s just as dumb as ever, with lots of lazy art. Icky bad.

CREDITS

The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Four; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Dominique, The Hardest Part, Part Three; story by Charles Moore and Lisa Moore; script by Charles Moore; art and lettering by Jim Balent. The Eudaemon, Night of Fear, Part Two; story and art by Nelson DeCastro; lettering by Steve Dutro. Edited by Randy Stradley.

The Immortal Iron Fist 27 (August 2009)

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Swierczynski’s Iron Fist goes out with a whimper. He mimics Fraction’s last issue on the title. I’m not sure Swierczynski should have gotten to close, since he was just following Brubaker and Fraction–not to say his writing wasn’t occasionally quite good, it was just never original.

Foreman goes back to inking himself (I think) and it looks a little better than usual. It’s a dark, emotive style. Until the Lapham pages. They look out of place and, worse, lazy.

Swierczynski is more concerned getting Danny to the last page–expecting a baby, financially ruined–than doing it in any realistic manner. One has to wonder about editorial mandates, how much was about getting Danny set for his next series or whatever.

It’s too bad Swierczynski did ten or eleven issues on the series and never made an impression on his own. It’s still too much Brubaker and Fraction’s series.

The Immortal Iron Fist 26 (July 2009)

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Oh, come on.

I think Foreman’s the bigger problem, but Swierczynski really does completely fail when it comes to a good conclusion. He has a dramatic cliffhanger, but it’s a confusing one (one the previous page implies is unlikely).

But worse, he fails to deal with K’un-L’un. He changes the status quo again and abandons it. He really has no idea how to pace an issue. He goes for dramatic effect with brief, intense moments… then leaves them hanging. He doesn’t follow through to make them solid.

But, like I said before, the real problem is Foreman. Even with someone like Palmer on inks, he just can’t do a good mass action scene. I could barely follow it–is Cobra still alive? It’s a shame because the series was always so good looking, it’s unfortunate it got ugly when Swierczynski started.

Whatever Swierczynski’s problems, he doesn’t deserve confusing art.

CREDITS

Escape from the Eighth City, Conclusion; writer, Duane Swierczynski; pencillers, Travel Foreman and Juan Doe; inkers, Tom Palmer and Doe; colorists, Matt Milla and Doe; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Immortal Iron Fist 25 (June 2009)

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As usual, Swierczynski manages to pull the story around after a weak move. Here, he reveals the old impostor to be nothing but a temporary ruse, something to distract Danny (and the reader). Then we get the full story.

Then the Immortal Weapons start kicking butt.

Swierczynski is best when he utilizes the Immortal Weapons, so it makes little sense why he keeps them on the back burner for most of his issues. Danny’s a strong protagonist, but Swierczynski can do only so much with him. He’s still resolving old plot threads, he can’t go forward. So giving him people play off helps.

Not to mention the other Immortal Weapons are often a lot of fun.

Then we get the final page, which reveals Davos’s true mission. Hopefully Swierczynski will take the time to sell it; this issue, it seems another way to prolong the arc.

So, problematic, but good.

CREDITS

Escape from the Eighth City, Chapter Three; writer, Duane Swierczynski; pencillers, Travel Foreman and Juan Doe; inkers, Tom Palmer and Doe; colorist, Matt Milla; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Immortal Iron Fist 24 (May 2009)

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What a cheat.

Swierczynski can write the fill in issues–with the past Iron Fist adventures–just fine. So how does he follow up one of his lamer issues?

With a charming fill in issue with Kano art. Genocide aside, it’s delightful.

This Iron Fist is a pacifist–whose pacifism eventually costs the lives of millions, so I guess we know where Swierczynski stands on that issue–and it provides a different kind of Iron Fist story.

The majority of the issue is spent preparing the Iron Fist. He only gets the job, basically, because everyone else is sick. Swierczynski also does a little bit of retcon as to why an Iron Fist is chosen. Here, K’un-L’un needs a champion whenever the gates open… not because someone’s good enough to challenge the dragon or because the dragon’s grown. It’s all conveniently scheduled.

Convenient or not, it’s a fine issue.

B+ 

CREDITS

Li Park, The Reluctant Weapon vs. Unstoppable Forces of Evil; writer, Duane Swierczynski; artist and colorist, Kano; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Immortal Iron Fist 23 (April 2009)

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I think I’ll start with Foreman. He usually does an all right job, but he ends this issue on a terrible full-page panel of the (supposedly) first Iron Fist. He’s got this old guy warped to fit in the panel, his body proportions and perspective a complete mess. It’s terrible finish to the issue because it’s supposed to be scary. Instead it’s weak.

The issue opens with the revelation Davos is untrustworthy. It’s not clear if it’s just him or if it’s the Thunderer too. Swierczynski has a very strange storytelling method for Iron Fist. He contracts things Brubaker and Fraction introduced. For the most part, he sucks the potential out of them. He’s not predictable, he’s simply unoriginal. His Immortal Iron Fist feels like a copy of a copy of a copy. It’s dulled.

Every time Swierczynski seems to be getting better, he drops even further than before.

CREDITS

Escape from the Eighth City, Chapter Two; writer, Duane Swierczynski; pencillers, Travel Foreman, Tonci Zonjic and Timothy Green; inkers, Tom Palmer, Mark Pennington, Zonjic and Green; colorist, Matt Milla; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Immortal Iron Fist 22 (March 2009)

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This issue features the second time Swierczynski has taken some leftover Brubaker and Fraction thread and determined everyone knew about it except Danny.

The Eighth City? The Thunderer knew about it all the time–he could have told Danny about it, back when Danny told him what he was about to do.

This issue Davos shows up to send Danny and the Immortal Weapons to the Eighth City on a mission from the Thunderer. As the Thunderer forgot as well he and Danny had already talked about this quest.

But there’s a bit of a problem with the Eighth City, even as it fits into Swierczynski’s continuity–people can only go in, not come out. Well, it seems like bad guys have been coming out. So that doesn’t make much sense.

It’s a padded issue. Swierczynski’s Danny narration isn’t bad, but the plot’s just nonsense so far.

This series frustrates.

CREDITS

Escape from the Eighth City, Chapter One; writer, Duane Swierczynski; artist, Travel Foreman; colorist, Matt Milla; letterer, Artmonkeys Studios; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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