Batman: The Dark Knight 1 (March 1986)

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Miller establishes he’s telling The Dark Knight [Returns] in twelve panels a page, four columns, four rows. He quickly breaks this layout, but always for emphasis. I’d never realized how beautifully he designs the comic. It’s very cinematic, even if the actual content often isn’t visual.

He implies most of the action. Batman’s return is mostly implied, the issue’s fight scene finale is all implied. Miller even implies big plot developments instead of just showing them.

The result is being either inside Batman’s head–and Miller goes out of his way to show how psychologically disturbed he is from the first page–watching a newscast or, very briefly, being with the supporting cast. The supporting cast scenes Miller uses to setup a good Batman scene.

The issue’s about aging, forgetting, recovering and failing. It’s rather touching at times.

It’s fairly impressive, but Miller’s too dependent on his “future story” gimmick.

CREDITS

The Dark Knight Returns; writer and penciller, Frank Miller; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Lynn Varley; letterer, John Costanza; editors, Dick Giordano and Denny O’Neil; publisher, DC Comics.

The Muppets 3 (November 2012)

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Langridge gives Pops his own issue. Or most of one. Pops the doorman is going to have to retire and the Muppets have to figure out how to keep him. Langridge is only able to use that plot line for one sketch (and the closing music number), so he comes up with a secondary thread to run through–or at least get mention–in the other sketches.

He does an homage to Dream of the Rarebit Fiend with Rizzo (and gorgonzola). The sketch itself isn’t as funny as its followup scenes, which have some very funny references to it.

For Pops’s plot line, Langridge does a charming flashback to Pops’s days in the army. The principal (male) Muppets appear as his fellow soldiers. It’s just a page and a half but it’s great.

There is one confusing joke at the end. Langridge–presumably unintentionally–goes for a baffling visual punchline.

CREDITS

The Four Seasons: Fall; writer and artist, Roger Langridge; colorist, Kawaii Creative Studio; letterer, Litomilano S.r.l.; editor, Antonello Donola; publisher, Disney Comics.

The Boys 23 (October 2008)

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Well, Ennis gets to ripping on Marvel and, wow, does it ever go well for him. He goes for the X-Men, which I didn’t expect. There’s a lot about their popularity and the number of teams and so on. It’s all quite well-done.

There’s a definite change in tone (from DC to Marvel)–the Boys have a different kind of target. It’s nice Ennis is able to toggle between the two companies. I hadn’t expected him to cover the X-Men at all, much less so deftly.

There are a couple good subplot starts–these scenes are the issue’s more seriously–but the last page is simply amazing and makes one forget about everything else. Ennis goes for a big laugh and gets it; the rest of the issue just has smiles. Maybe he was building up.

Robertson’s art’s good. He gets to do both funny and gross.

CREDITS

We Gotta Go Now, Part One; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Darick Robertson; colorist, Tony Avina; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

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