The Boys 33 (August 2009)


I really wish I could remember the name of the Wonder Woman analog because Ennis does some great stuff with her this issue. He also does something interesting with the Homelander–setting him up to attempt being a superhero. But those developments are on the Seven side of things….

On the Boys side of things, Butcher goes against the rest of the lame heroes, rather viciously. These guys aren’t particularly reprehensible so at times it seems excessive, until one remembers what they’ve done (Ennis never directly references it, just makes the scenes long enough the reader does it on his or her own).

Hughie and Mother’s Milk regroup and plan out their next steps too. The next issue needs to be a doozy.

John McCrea and Keith Burns take over on art, which gave me slight pause. But they go ahead and keep up the violent intensity without any humor.


The Self-Preservation Society, Part Three; writer, Garth Ennis; pencillers, John McCrea and Keith Burns; inkers, Burns and McCrea; colorist, Tony Aviña; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain America and Black Widow 638 (December 2012)

Captain America and Black Widow Vol 1 638

You can tell the Black Widows apart by their belts. I hadn’t realized that detail. My bad.

Once again the Francavilla art is good. He’s stronger on the distance shots than he is during the close ups. Not to knock him–he’s good all the time but there are a couple fantastic long shot panels this issue.

It’s another all action issue. It takes place over twenty or so minutes, approximately five times longer than it takes to read the comic.

There’s a tiny bit with the bad lady and her duplicates. The scene features Bunn’s best writing. He’s not good for the existing character stuff. He needs to be generative, not repackaging Steve and Natasha exposition. The other best writing bit, for example, is the two Black Widows talking. The bad one’s much more compelling.

It’s a technically competent issue; it’s a waste of time in the important ways.


Writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterer, Cort Petit; editors, Jake Thomas and Lauren Sankovitch; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 3 (November 2012)


Well, Straczynski doesn’t spend too much time with Rorschach this issue, just enough to remind everyone he’s around. He also doesn’t continue the narration from Dan. Why? Because Straczynski doesn’t go for any kind of narrative continuity; Nite Owl’s an editorial disaster. I guess no one told Straczynski to at least be consistent in his lameness.

And, except the art (which is often quite bad), Nite Owl’s more lame than anything else. Straczynski treats Dan like a bit of a tool, introducing the costumed madam as a way to show off how little Dan has going for him. Because, after reading Watchmen, everyone wanted a comic about Dan Dreiberg losing his virginity to a vaguely condescending madam.

Straczynski also makes the juxtaposing of Dan and Rorschach crystal clear. Lovely to read someone who treats his readers like illiterate boobs.

The Higgins pirate thing is especially bad here too.


Thanks for Coming; writer, J. Michael Straczynski; penciller, Andy Kubert; inkers, Joe Kubert and Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Nick Napolitano. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, The Evil That Men Do, Part Six; writer, artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Mark Doyle, Camilla Zhang and Will Dennis; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 105 (March 1991)


What is the deal with Hoffman’s art? If his style–which occasionally reminds of sixties and earlier comics–is unintentional, he’s incompetent. But if he’s intentionally doing this issue’s war comic scene like Swamp Thing is an old war comic, it’s fantastic.

And Hoffman’s Swamp Thing looks a lot like the Wes Craven movie costume. And if that choice is intentional, Hoffman’s giving this book a whole different layer.

However, it’s possible he’s just crap.

Wheeler’s story sets up this space opera fight against evil for the Green (Alec’s rescuing members previously captured by the evil Grey). Still, it could be worse. The development of Tefé being able to resurrect people is a neat one and it makes perfect sense.

When Abby and Tefé are in danger, Alec isn’t paying attention and easily could have been. Regardless of Wheeler’s intention for Alec’s ignorance it builds suspense.

It’s a strange issue.


Living Sacrifices, The Quest for the Elementals, Part Two; writer, Doug Wheeler; artist, Mike Hoffman; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, DC Comics.

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