The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 3 (March 1983)

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There’s not a single woman in this issue; it helps O’Neil’s writing immensely.

The plot itself isn’t too bad. Indiana Jones saves a kid from getting lynched, then discovers the kid is really (or attests to be) 200 years old and his grandfather has the secret of immortality. Indy fights with the older one and there are a lot action set pieces. O’Neil really packs the issue with action scenes, can’t complain about him there.

But he sets the issue somewhere in the United States. Indy’s fighting Deliverance rednecks on one side and warmongering U.S. Army goes on the other. And O’Neil never reveals the location, even though Indy asks someone. Probably trying to cover a dumb answer.

O’Neil’s narration for Indy shows his continued disinterest in the comic; I’m being polite, he’s either disinterested or incompetent.

The multiple artists do decent work.

For period adventure, it’s nearly passable.

CREDITS

The Devil’s Cradle; writer, Denny O’Neil; pencillers, Gene Day and Richard Howell; inkers, Mel Candido and Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Janice Chiang; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom 1 (August 2012)

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In Cargo of Doom, Mark Waid does the most unexpected thing ever in a Rocketeer comic. He takes the focus–at least as far as females go–off Betty. He does it so much, I don’t even remember if Chris Samnee’s version of Betty is in the Stevens vein or his own thing.

Because for once, Betty doesn’t get to be the most important thing.

The lead female character is Peevy’s niece, who’s a pilot herself and has a major Cliff crush. There’s a great little scene with her and Betty talking and the niece very confused why Betty can’t shut up about the Rocketeer when she has Cliff.

Waid paces the issue well. There’s some action, a few dialogue scenes (more than it seems) and the entire bad guy subplot too. Unsavory folks are smuggling a mysterious creature into L.A.

As for Chris Samnee? He does great work.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Chris Samnee; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Shawn Lee; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan 2 (December 2012)

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Straczynski and Hughes aren’t satisfied with just playing with Watchmen here–Hughes does a lovely montage featuring imagery from the prequels and the original–they also feel the need for a 2001 reference. Dr. Manhattan is interesting because of that ambitiousness.

For example, Straczynski’s writing is concerned with being smart and thoughtful. The series is an informed layperson’s rumination on quantum physics. He’s designing the whole comic around the idea Jon can unmake the universe based on how he choses to perceive it. That idea’s a big one–and Hughes is the perfect artist for the fantastic reality of it–but it’s not necessarily tied to Watchmen.

Instead of wrapping himself around the original’s mythology, Straczynski takes some characters and details and goes off in an entirely independent direction. Even when he does tie into the other prequels, it feels organic.

It’s nice.

The pirate backup even looks quite good.

CREDITS

One Fifteen P.M.; writer, J. Michael Straczynski; artist, Adam Hughes; colorist, Laura Martin; letterer, Steve Wands. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, Wide Were His Dragon Wings, Part One; writer, artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Chris Conroy, Camilla Zhang and Mark Chiarello; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 113 (November 1991)

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Collins goes for humor again. Not a little humor either, but full pun humor. It’s like “I Love Lucy” all of a sudden. Except bad people still get killed.

It’s a very strange mix of things. Collins is concentrating on making the characters fun to read–Abby and Chester trying to escape the press hounding them, Alec giving a press conference, TefĂ© being cute. It’s weird.

Meanwhile, besides the purple bayou monster, there’s not much going on. And the bayou monster’s only after bad people anyway so it’s not a threat. Collins foreshadows a neo-Nazi Republican gubernatorial candidate is plotting against Alec… but come on. He’s not a particularly threatening villain.

Yeates and Hendrix continue to be an awkward pairing on the art. It’s sort of bland.

Except Alec, he’s very detailed. Lots of moss.

It’s fun and well-produced, but some seriousness would be nice. It’s too lighthearted.

CREDITS

Fear and Loathing on the Bayou Trail; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Tom Yeates; inker, Shepherd Hendrix; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Albert DeGuzman; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, DC Comics.

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