The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 4 (April 1983)

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I really hope David Michelinie is the new regular writer on this one. Like, really, really hope. I’ve never been a big Michelinie supporter before, but coming after O’Neil, he clearly gets Indiana Jones. Even with the expository stuff, Michelinie makes it seem like natural dialogue from an academic.

This issue puts Indy in London, which is full of anti-Nazi sentiment and war fears (see, Michelinie cares about the setting), working on something related to Stonehenge. The quest is secondary to all the action–there’s a fantastic chase sequence through the city. Michelinie and penciller Ron Frenz keep it all very exciting.

Frenz and inker Danny Bulanadi do decent work overall, but excellent when it comes to the action pacing. Frenz will slow down the funny moments and hurry through the boring stuff.

The cliffhanger doesn’t really work, but it’s easy to forgive. Michelinie’s enthusiasm makes Jones acceptable reading.

CREDITS

Getaway to Infinity; writer, David Michelinie; penciller, Ron Frenz; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom 2 (September 2012)

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While Cargo does give Cliff something he really needs–a stronger supporting cast–Waid’s approach is practically fanfic when it comes to the big reveal.

Cargo of Doom is a (sly) sequel to King Kong, where the bad guys are going to loose captured dinosaurs as a terrorist act. The chief villain–dressed like a pirate no less–describes the Kong events from the movie, but acts as though the world forgot them. Giant apes aren’t big news in Rocketeer land.

I’m a little shocked at Waid’s plot. It’s moronic. The Rocketeer versus a T. Rex? And IDW without a Kong license?

The other stuff, particularly Sally (Peevy’s niece) and Cliff bonding while Betty fumes, is good. The black federal agent is questionable given the time period, but official help for the Rocketeer isn’t bad.

It’s just the comic reads like a convention commission gone to series. Waid’s gone nuts.

CREDITS

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

Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan 3 (February 2013)

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In a lot of ways, Straczynski has turned Dr. Manhattan into a neatly disguised rumination from a fictional character questioning his relationship with his environment. Jon wants to change his personal narrative to make it a happy one, which turns out to end the world. One has to wonder why he didn’t just try to remove the costumed adventurers all together… as in our reality (all Straczynski’s quantum mechanics has got me talking like he does), there was no nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States.

It would’ve been too cute maybe.

Straczynski continues to write Jon quite well. He captures some of the isolation and melancholy from Moore’s characterization and expands upon it. The whole family history thing is fantastic.

This spin-off is probably the best thing Straczynski has written.

Great Hughes art (he wimps out on the detailed blue penis though).

Awful pirate backup.

CREDITS

Ego Sum; 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 Nine; writer, artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Chris Conroy, Camilla Zhang and Mark Chiarello; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 114 (December 1991)

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Nice art from Tom Mandrake and Kim DeMulder on a weird issue. Collins introduces a bunch of demonic pirates–there are ties to Cthulhu-like gods, something not in the previous DC versions of Hell as far as I remember–who go after Swamp Thing and family.

Except they have no real reason to go after Abby and TefĂ© except a coincidence–one of Alec’s romantic gestures backfires–and Constantine shows up.

For a while, it seems like Collins is going to pace it more gradually. The pirates wreck havoc while Alec and Constantine catch up. It’s been a while since he’s been around and a lot has happened to both. But, no, not a talking heads book. It turns into an action comic.

Mandrake and DeMulder doing an action comic with ghost pirates is definitely cool; it’s stylish and fantastic. But cool’s not enough to disguise Collins’s pacing problems.

CREDITS

Pirate’s Alley; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Tom Mandrake; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, DC Comics.

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