The Unwritten 31.5 (January 2012)

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Carey–with plotting assistance from Gross–internally spins off Unwritten with these .5s. I’m guessing, anyway; this one is my first .5. Carey uses Wilson Taylor’s journals investigating the Cabal’s history.

Michael Kaluta handles the art on the first story, regarding Pullman silencing some monks in ancient China. It’s a decent story with a good twist at the end, but it lacks any wow factor.

The second story, however, has the wow. Rick Geary perfectly illustrates the tale of a newspaper cartoonist who has to face the realities of being a storyteller. It’s quietly frightening, especially the postscript. Carey again utilizes a twist. It’s less showy than the first, but more successful.

The third story–beautiful Bryan Talbot medieval stuff–has the best twist because the reader’s in the dark about it for a page. The story progresses before the revelation.

The issue’s an excellent exercise from Carey and company.

CREDITS

Men of Letters. 1: Here is the Man of Virtuous Words; artist, Michael Kaluta. 2: No Honest Man Need Fear Cartoons; artist, Rick Geary. 3: Copy Errors; artist, Bryan Talbot. Writers, Peter Gross and Mike Carey; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Joe Hughes and Karen Berger; publisher, Vertigo.

Godzilla: The Half-Century War 2 (September 2012)

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Wow. Stokoe does great work here. Except for the ominous soft cliffhanger, this issue of Half-Century War speedily surpasses what I thought was possible for a Godzilla comic.

This issue is set in 1967, in Vietnam. Though Godzilla (and possibly other giant monsters) roam the planet, the U.S. is still trying to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. They just have to do it around Godzilla and Anguirus.

Stokoe does get in some giant monster fighting–probably three or four full pages of it–but he’s got lots of human stuff. There’s the funny scientist who makes the silly weapons to fight Godzilla. He introduces the idea of trying to bore through his hide to cause damage makes a lot of sense; I’ve never heard it before.

The protagonist doesn’t have a lot to do. Stokoe’s just using him for narration and that move’s perfectly fine.

CREDITS

Vietnam, 1967; writer, artist and letterer, James Stokoe; colorists, Stokoe and Heather Breckel; editor, Bobby Curnow; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Before Watchmen: Moloch 2 (February 2013)

Straczynski turns Moloch into the martyr of Watchmen. And he gets away with it. Moloch’s such a broken soul, it’s feasible he’d bend to Adrian’s will. As for Adrian, who practically gets more page time here than Moloch, Straczynski seems to recognize what he and Moloch have in common… they’re both illusionists. Adrian’s convincing Moloch he’s doing the right thing, which includes killing lots of people.

The issue covers the time Moloch leaves prison–Adrian gives him a job fit for a member of the Red-Headed League–up until his death. Because Straczynski is so concerned with explaining another side of Adrian’s master plan, Moloch doesn’t really get to do much. He’s broken and sympathetic, nothing more. It’s too bad, since Straczynski writes him pretty well. He’s almost lovable.

Oh, and the pirate backup finally finishes. Higgins uses a lot of color for it but it’s still utter crap.

CREDITS

The Eleven-Thirty Absolution; writer, J. Michael Straczynski; artist, Eduardo Risso; colorist, Trish Mulvihill; letterer, Clem Robins. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, Wide Were His Dragon Wings, Conclusion; writer, artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Camilla Zhang and Mark Chiarello; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 128 (February 1993)

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Abby gets busy with the mindless clone Alec left–apparently all he programmed it to do was get busy, as it does nothing else all issue (and Collins’s understanding of Alec and Abby’s sex life is totally different from Moore or Veitch’s).

There’s a lot of narration from Alec about the Green and pollution and other malarkey. It’s all pointless, all questionably written, all a waste of time. Collins’s writing is stale at this point. She clearly didn’t have the mileage for an ongoing; it’s quite unfortunate as she started strong. Maybe editorial was just bad.

Eaton has some bad art this issue I’m sure, but the rest of the comic’s so lame it doesn’t matter.

Collins is doing whatever she can to make Abby the bad guy, even when Alec is wrong too. There’s no communication between them anymore. Collins unfortunately just uses their dialogue to propel the plot.

CREDITS

Toxic Shock; 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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