Wednesday Comics 9 (2 September 2009)

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The art on Batman’s good. Risso’s aping Frank Miller, but it’s a stylish fight regardless. Kamandi continues to have story problems and poor Sook has nothing active to draw. Crap Superman. Nice Deadman. It might be Comics’s underdog strip.

It’s the best Green Lantern, which says little for the strip. Metamorpho‘s periodic table gimmick is so tired in its second week, Gaiman’s even bored writing it. I think someone told Berganza he was writing a kids’ cartoon for Titans, not a comic strip.

Good Adam Strange. Pope hasn’t topped his Earthbound Adam development so it’s kind of underwhelming.

Lame Supergirl (too wordy), okay Metal Men. Wonder Woman’s fine, Sgt. Rock’s not awful.

Oh, The Flash. Fletcher and Kerschl homage various comic strips. It’s fantastic. Best thing this issue except Baker’s Hawkman versus T-Rex panel.

And The Demon/Catwoman is awful again. Its quality’s plummeted.

CREDITS

Batman; writer, Brian Azzarello; artist, Eduardo Risso; colorist, Patricia Mulvihill; letterer, Clem Robins. Kamandi; writer, Dave Gibbons; artist, Ryan Sook. Superman; writer, John Arcudi; artist, Lee Bermejo; colorist, Barbara Ciardo; letterer, Ken Lopez. Deadman; writers, Vinton Heuck and Dave Bullock; artist, Bullock; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Jared Fletcher. Green Lantern; writer, Kurt Busiek; artist and colorist, Joe Quinones; letterer, Pat Brosseau. Metamorpho; writer, Neil Gaiman; artist, Mike Allred; colorist, Laura Allred; letterer, Nate Piekos. Teen Titans; writer, Eddie Berganza; artist and colorist, Sean Galloway; letterer, Nick J. Napolitano. Adam Strange; writer, artist and letterer, Paul Pope; colorist, Jose Villarrubia. Supergirl; writer, Jimmy Palmiotti; artist, Amanda Conner; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, John J. Hill. Metal Men; writer, Dan DiDio; penciller, Jose Luís Garcia-Lopez; inker, Kevin Nowlan; colorist, Mulvihill; letterer, Lopez. Wonder Woman; writer, artist, colorist and letterer, Ben Caldwell. Sgt. Rock; writer, Adam Kubert; artist, colorist and letterer, Joe Kubert. The Flash; writers, Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kerschl; artist, Kerschl; colorist, Dave McCaig; letterer, Rob Leigh. The Demon and Catwoman; writer, Walt Simonson; artist and colorist, Brian Stelfreeze; letterer, Steve Wands. Hawkman; writer, artist, colorist and letterer, Kyle Baker. Editors, Chris Conroy and Mark Chiarello; publisher, DC Comics.

Snarked 9 (June 2012)

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This issue is gloriously full. The cast arrives on Snark Island and Langridge sets them out exploring. But the captain has been to the island before, which leads to him remembering geographic features. Then there are the bickering lion and unicorn guards, then there’s the missing king….

It goes on and on, so much so the cliffhanger comes as a surprise. Langridge has already put his characters through two major challenges; one would expect him to let up a little.

There’s a lot of great character work in the issue too. McDunk magically becomes smart on the island, leading to some good dialogue exchanges, while the Walrus reveals more of his tenderness. And Scarlett has a big scene too.

Technically speaking, this issue is Langridge at his best. His storytelling skills–the way he paces the story, how he layers in the subtleties–are amazing. Snarked is a great comic.

CREDITS

Fit the Ninth: The Lion and The Unicorn; writer and artist, Roger Langridge; colorist, Lisa Moore; editors, Eric Harburn and Bryce Carlson; publisher, kaboom! Studios.

Before Watchmen: Minutemen 4 (December 2012)

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On one hand, this issue is the most how I’d expect a Watchmen prequel from Cooke to read (if it weren’t four issues in). There’s back story on the Minutemen after the war, including when Sally and the Comedian reunite. Cooke humanizes him quite a bit… even if he does rip off Full Metal Jacket and a handful of other war movies to do so.

And he turns Sally into a stronger character than expected. Nothing like how she reads in the actual Watchmen comic, but a better character in this series. Cooke has made a few things his own, including the Silhouette’s experiences in Germany in the thirties.

Sadly, he comes up with a contrived reveal for the end of it. It’s cheap and completely unbelievable if it plays out the way he’s suggesting here. It’s rather distressing.

Finally (as usual), Higgins’s pirate thing is a waste of time.

CREDITS

The Minute of Truth, Chapter Four: War Stories; writer and artist, Darwyn Cooke; colorist, Phil Noto; letterer, Jared K. Fletcher. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, Wide Were His Dragon Wings, Part Two; writer, artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Wil Moss, Camilla Zhang and Mark Chiarello; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 96 (June 1990)

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Interesting… Wheeler is able to sell the impossible here. He does another of his callbacks to Moore’s run–specifically the adorable alien, Pog–and makes it work.

Even more interesting is how it comes after an issue of questionable plotting in regards to Swamp Thing mythology.

Wheeler does a lot with the afterlife, with Arcane becoming a demon. He covers it–the last time Arcane was shown, his tormenters told him it’d go on forever–by saying the tormentors lie. They’re in Hell, after all.

It’s unsuccessful mostly because of the annoying “bug speak” Wheeler uses for one of the boss demons. It gets in the way of reading the issue.

But then Tefé disappears into the Green, following Alec, which prompts Alec’s trip into the afterlife.

Those parts of the issue work really well. Better than they should. So well I didn’t even notice if Broderick’s art is lacking.

CREDITS

Hell to Pay; writer, Doug Wheeler; penciller, Pat Broderick; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Karen Berger; publisher, DC Comics.

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