The Boys 34 (September 2009)


And the Ezquerras are back for the finish. It’s an awesome finish for with the Super Nazi going down–though, really, Hughie getting queasy over them attacking a super-powered Nazi is a real problem. Maybe with a vaguely sympathetic superhero it’d be different, but not this guy. I assume Ennis knows what he’s doing with it.

Vasili (from Russia) pops in for a bit and it’s good to have him back in the book. He puts Butcher and Mother’s Milk pleasantly off-guard, which they never are otherwise.

Great resolution with the Female too. Even if Ennis doesn’t want to concentrate on her, he sure does know how to use her for a good laugh.

The unfortunate part is how contrived the non-Boys storyline is getting. Ennis is always coming up with convenient turns of events to speed things along. It’s too commonplace.

The rest makes up for it.


The Self-Preservation Society, Conclusion; writer, Garth Ennis; penciller, Carlos Ezquerra; inker, Hector Ezquerra; colorist, Tony Aviña; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain America and Black Widow 639 (January 2013)


Apparently, in some realities, Captain America is a dick. Bunn gets how to write Steve’s honesty and morality. It helps here, but doesn’t fit with Bunn’s style otherwise.

I also didn’t get the guy in the Doc Ock arms was the Lizard. My bad. I just thought it was some creature. But no, it’s Curt Connors and he’s not too terrible a guy in this alternate reality.

Decent art from Francavilla. It’s mostly talking heads. The alternate Black Widow talks at length (as usual) about the multiverse. The big action is in the background or in extreme close up, so Francavilla never really shines . I guess I’ve gotten used to how he does the close up conversations.

Bunn giving Steve a promise to help people in the garbage planet dimension makes the comic immediately more interesting. Of course he’s getting home, but will he be able to keep the promise.


Writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, John Denning and Lauren Sankovitch; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 4 (February 2013)


Once again, I’m left wondering if there’s some intentional misogyny in these Before Watchmen series just because it would horrify Alan Moore.

This issue we learn Nite Owl has this costumed madam–something Straczynski never makes feasible–in love with him and he’s in love with her but he later mocks her in Watchmen to Laurie.

I’d forgotten that particular detail from the original series, but wow, Straczynski really harps on it. I like how Hollis gets a pass, how Rorschach gets a pass, but not the madam. Unless Straczynski’s whole point is to make Dan unlikable and to make people dislike him when rereading Watchmen.

As I doubt anyone would reread Nite Owl. I’m not even sure the editors read it.

It’s shallow, trite and mean. Lame tie-in to the original series at the end too.

Kubert’s art is awful but I think his dad had just died.


From One Nite Owl to Another; writer, J. Michael Straczynski; penciller, Andy Kubert; inker, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Nick Napolitano; editors, Mark Doyle, Camilla Zhang and Will Dennis; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 106 (April 1991)


I still can’t decide about Hoffman’s art. When he does the scenes of Alec interacting with the other plant people, it really does seem like he’s going for a particular style. When he’s drawing Abby, he can’t manage perspective or proportions. It’s all very confusing.

The issue itself is rather lame. Wheeler isn’t writing any worse, he’s just padding out a weak plot.

Abby’s been freaking out about Tefé’s new powers since the last issue–six weeks–and little else. It’s unbelievable, as Wheeler’s got Abby running away from Tefé.

Then Alec goes off to rescue some more of the elemental prisoners and runs into the absurd guest star. Alec and the guest star have a long scene with goofy exposition and one again remembers Wheeler’s inability to write real people.

He fills the issue with silly ideas instead.

Swamp Thing is getting to be more than a little tiring.


Dead Tribes and Forgotten Souls, The Quest for the Elementals, Part Three; writer, Doug Wheeler; artist, Mike Hoffman; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, DC Comics.

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