The Boys 36 (November 2009)


Once again, Ennis avoids the big question the flashback raises. Hughie and Mother’s Milk are still talking–I think Hughie went for coffee–and there’s a bit more back story. Not a lot. Ennis skips about fourteen years. He does get in a big fight scene, which Robertson draws quite well.

But the issue–as none of the Mother’s Milk stuff really matters–is about the plans to put up the Freedom Tower in New York. Or whatever it’s going to be called. Ennis is using The Boys to talk about it being a dumb idea; given the last page, one would assume he’d go for rebuilding the World Trade Center.

As Brad Pitt once put it… “But you make it one floor taller.”

It’s an interesting use of a periodical and a love letter to New York City from an aficionado. Shame there isn’t a compelling story too.


Nothing Like It In The World, Part Two; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Darick Robertson; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Hawkeye 2 (November 2012)


The second issue isn’t what I was expecting. Fraction doesn’t exactly give Clint a lot more personality–he’s from Iowa, to answer my question from last issue and he’s not playing protector of the downtrodden here. Actually, even though he hires an assistant, it’s unclear what Clint’s doing.

If he’s just playing good guy to the people who don’t usually get helped–he has a crime board after all, like a consulting superhero or something–it’s fine. Fraction and Aja have done something similar before (Iron Fist) and the character works for the niche; why not run with it?

And it continues to be a lot of fun. Fraction doesn’t go overboard with the quips, peppering them in mostly, until a big quip-filled conversation between Clint and his assistant (the female Hawkeye). Aja comes up with a checkerboard for their conversation and it all works great.

Hawkeye’s good fun.


Vagabond Code; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Before Watchmen: Comedian 4 (December 2012)


And another good one. Azzarello likes doing war comics; he should stick to them. Even though there are some confusing parts to the narrative–Azzarello fractures it without establishing the bookends–and the song lyric excerpts don’t work, it’s a successful issue.

Towards the end, Eddie and his gang drop acid before going on patrol. If Azzarello had structured the whole comic around the trip, it would have integrated much better. Instead, it feels like Azzarello’s just explaining a series of events. That approach is good since the writing’s good, but the fracture structure feels too forced.

And there are some changes to Eddie. Azzarello never goes into how the changes really effect him, but some are very obvious. There’s no judgment in Comedian. Following his movie inspirations, Azzarello just lets Eddie and company personify the insanity of the Vietnam War.

It’s not original at all, just darn good writing.


Conquistador; writer, Brian Azzarello; artist, J.G. Jones; colorist, Alex Sinclair; letterer, Clem Robins. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, Wide Were His Dragon Wings, Part Six; writer, artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Mark Doyle, Camilla Zhang and Will Dennis; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 123 (September 1992)


I think Eaton thinks he’s doing a Steve Bissette impression. If so, it’s not producing any good art. Lots of static panels and busy line work don’t make up for some actual movement.

There’s story movement though. Collins sends Chester away this issue–after Eaton’s practically turned him into an action hero, at least physically–and the evil Sunderland corporation is moving full steam ahead against Alec.

Except Alec knows about them, so why doesn’t he jump into a fern at their corporate headquarters? Because Collins makes him very, very weak except in the elemental action scenes. She’s pretty much spent all of her good momentum from when she took over. A three parter about a doctor moonlighting as a brainwashed assassin isn’t a good Swamp Thing.

The writing on Abby is getting weak too. With the nanny around, Abby’s become completely disinterested in her kid.

It’s dreadfully tepid stuff.


Punctures; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, DC Comics.

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