Black Orchid 2 (December 1988)


Based on the first issue–and maybe even the first half of this issue–I wasn’t expecting much, but Gaiman writes a darn good comic here.

After wrapping up the last issue’s cliffhanger and giving Lex Luthor some unlikely page time, he sets Black Orchid and a younger Black Orchid off into the world. For a while it seems like the strange adventure of two clones. Gaiman’s only moderately successful with it–he gets better as he goes along.

But then the issue becomes more traditional superhero. Batman pops in (not particularly good writing on him though), Black Orchid goes to Arkham. There’s a lot of good cameos; it’s odd Gaiman’s weak on Batman, as he’s so good on his villains.

McKean gets all sorts of wonderful, daylight and twilight things to paint. The flying scenes are truly magnificent.

Black Orchid really comes together. Again, its successes are quite surprising.


Going Down…; writer, Neil Gaiman; painter, Dave McKean; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Karen Berger; publisher, DC Comics.

Hawkeye 4 (January 2013)


I love the way Javier Pulido does superheroes. The issue’s mostly supervillains and not many costumes for them (except Madame Masque); Captain America does show up for a bit. Pulido somehow retains his style, which isn’t particularly realistic (at all), but makes the superheroes seem to be realistically visualized.

It’s very interesting to see.

The issue’s great, though Fraction assumes the reader is a lot more familiar with Hawkeye history than I am. Apparently he assassinated someone for SHIELD and there’s a tape of it. Pretty sure modern Marvel continuity starts after the death of VHS–especially for camcorders–but whatever. Fraction’s doing it retro. It’s a fine touch.

Clint keeps getting himself in trouble. Fraction delights at having a not too smart protagonist too. It’s not masochistic because Pulido’s art isn’t grim enough… but it’s close.

The soft cliffhanger is wonderful too. Fraction’s doing great work on this one.


The Tape, 1 of 2; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Before Watchmen: Comedian 6 (June 2013)

BW COMED Cv6 solicit

I’ve got to give Azzarello credit. He doesn’t just let Comedian get a little loose. He runs it entirely off the rails; with integrity, though. Definitely with integrity. Even when Rorschach and Nite Owl show up, Azzarello never lets the comic become a cheap tie-in.

Jones, on the other hand, probably never has a worse moment than those two guest stars. He does a terrible, terrible job with the scene. He does bad work throughout the issue–the end’s particularly confusing–but the guest star scene is inept beyond words.

It’s too bad Azzarello didn’t pull Comedian off. He got way too ambitious… if, by ambitious, one thinks of “Quantum Leap” as ambitious. In other words, his plotting is cheap, easy, predictable. But his writing of the scenes is so strong, one can almost forgive him.

But not with this finish. It’s just too damn slight. It’s a shame.


Eighties; writer, Brian Azzarello; artist, J.G. Jones; colorists, Alex Sinclair and Lee Loughridge; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Mark Doyle, Camilla Zhang and Will Dennis; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 125 (November 1992)

16095 1

It’s an anniversary issue and Collins brings back Arcane. She makes him somewhat comical, as he possesses baby TefĂ© and has her running around resurrecting his “evil dead.” I couldn’t believe they used that phrase. Clearly Sam Raimi doesn’t trademark well.

Abby and Alec freak out, the dead jazz guy shows up to help them, it goes on and on. There’s more of the Alec narration–not a lot, thank goodness. Collins doesn’t seem to understand the place of Arcane in the series. In Alec’s narration, he blames his battle with Arcane for not discovering his true elemental nature.

Maybe I read a different Swamp Thing but I’m pretty sure everyone used Arcane sparingly. Until he got to Hell; then he became good comic relief.

The cliffhanger–a soft one–foreshadows Arcane’s new body to inhabit. It’s not much of a surprise.

Collins has run out of ideas. It’s unfortunate.


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

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: