Marvel Super Special 18 (September 1981)

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Adapting Raiders of the Lost Ark into a comic book ought to be a no-brainer, especially with a strong creative team. And Walt Simonson’s script does have occasional highlights–he tries hard to make the stunts seem reasonable, using a lot of interior monologue for the cast–but not as many as it should. More than anything else, actually, the comic shows how movie and comic action differs and why adapting one to the other isn’t simple.

Simonson includes includes a lot of action bad for comics (car chases?) but he also ignores characterizations. Indy’s a vaguely generic lead, Marion gets the same treatment… no one else makes any impression. A comic adaptation is a piece of marketing, sure, but it doesn’t have to be a bad piece of marketing.

John Buscema and Klaus Janson do okay on the art. Nothing special.

It’s disposable and pointless, but not terrible.

CREDITS

Raiders of the Lost Ark; writer, Walt Simonson; penciller, John Buscema; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Michele Wolfman; letterer, Rick Parker; editor, Archie Goodwin; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Fatale 10 (November 2012)

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Brubaker and Phillips come up with a great conclusion. Not so much for the present day part–Brubaker’s cheap with the present day stuff–but the flashback story closes beautifully.

While there’s a lot of good action, the issue excels because of the characters. Brubaker provides deeper insight into his protagonists during the issue’s busyness. They’re little insights, very quiet, but Brubaker gives them significance without too much emphasis. If that description makes any sense at all. It’s neat.

There’s not much explaining. Not in the present or the past, which gives Fatale an otherworldly tone even though there’s nothing fantastic in this issue. Even with the seventies cult resolution, there’s nothing uncanny either. It’s a very grounded finish to the arc.

Except for the present day stuff. Brubaker rushes it because it’s a cute resolution for the modern protagonist–whose name I have, in fact, forgotten.

Still, great comic.

CREDITS

The Devil’s Business, Chapter Five; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist and letterer, Sean Phillips; colorist, Dave Stewart; publisher, Image Comics.

Bloodhound 9 (May 2005)

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Eddy Barrows takes over the pencils. Kirk’s absence is definitely Bloodhound’s loss. About the only thing Barrows does right is show Clev as a giant. Otherwise, he’s mediocre. Except maybe his panel composition; it’s weak.

He does manage to do the small town stuff pretty well though. He doesn’t ruin that aspect, let’s say.

The mystery continues–though Jolley pretty much gives it away by the end, which makes no sense (it’s separate from the main narrative). There’s a little more development between Clevenger and Bell, but a lot more with the angry townsfolk.

There’s also the guest appearance from Batman villain Zeiss, who’s rather annoying. Jolley has a lot to tie together next issue and the Zeiss knot seems like it’ll be the hardest. The guest appearance screams corporate synergy.

Still, Bloodhound has enough going for it to survive the art and the guest star. Jolley’s handling it.

CREDITS

Demons; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Eddy Barrows; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth 3 (March 2013)

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Well now… Kristensen saves the issue’s biggest laugh for the final page. It’s a small panel, but it’s Todd’s panel and Todd isn’t in the issue much and it’s a damn good joke. It’s kind of a dumb joke, but the way Kristensen tells it is smart, which isn’t the way Todd usually goes, but here it does and it works.

Kristensen splits the issue between Todd, his mom and his dad and the police chief. The police chief is fighting the serial killer, which is hilarious; the mom and dad are both having extramarital encounters. The mom’s is sad and depressing, but the dad’s is Kristensen telling Scientologist and Internet jokes.

The change in tone–and pace (the issue seems to take place over an hour or so)–makes Todd entirely unpredictable. The beautiful, preciously careful Perker makes the comic even more of an oddity.

Todd continues its excellence.

CREDITS

Writer, Ken Kristensen; artist and letterer, M.K. Perker; colorist, Cemal Soyleyen; publisher, Image Comics.

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