The Unwritten 33 (March 2012)


Something’s off about the art this issue. I can’t tell if it’s Gross or Perker, but something’s definitely off. Tom looks like a bland underwear model.

This issue features Tom’s assault on the Cabal. Lizzie and Richie both tell him he’s going too fast, which is also advice for Carey. There’s quick montage of Tom invading the headquarters–as the Cabal prepares their counterattack (based on Pullman’s obtuse advice)–but it’s rushed. No one seems like they’re enjoying themselves, particularly not Carey.

The issue gets some mileage out of Tom beating up the bad guys with magic–which Carey’s been hinting at for thirty issues–but the issue runs out of gas long before the finish.

Carey’s disinterest suggests the arc itself is for bridging, not just the issues. He needs to get Unwritten somewhere else and he’s not enjoying taking it there.

Even worse, Carey totally forgets Frankenstein’s Monster.


Tommy Taylor and the War of Words, Part Three; writers, Peter Gross and Mike Carey; pencillers, Gross and M.K. Perker; inker, Perker; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Joe Hughes and Karen Berger; publisher, Vertigo.

Godzilla: The Half-Century War 5 (April 2013)

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Adequate is probably the best word for this issue. Stokoe doesn’t actually do much with the idea of space monsters. It’s just a big monster fight issue–Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Ghidorah and Gigan–with a little of the protagonist. He pilots Mechagodzilla, which should work but he’s too busy fighting monsters to narrate.

And Stokoe doesn’t do much interesting with the art. Giant monsters fighting in Antarctica actually doesn’t give him a lot of opportunity for his level of super detail.

Still, Half-Century War is now the stick by which to measure Godzilla stories, comic or otherwise. Stokoe cracked the formula. Danger and fear. He doesn’t even worry about scale–why would Stokoe’s somewhat realistic Mechagodzilla have glove attachments instead of the systems being internal?.

As for the ending… Stokoe goes for cinematic and doesn’t have the pacing. He wastes pages, doesn’t have good time progression.

Like I said, adequate.


The End of the World, 2002; writer, artist and letterer, James Stokoe; colorists, Stokoe and Heather Breckel; editor, Bobby Curnow; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Swamp Thing 131 (May 1993)


I don’t remember Swamp Thing ever having a costume change before. Except for special occasions, like when he went through space or time. Collins and Eaton give Alec a costume change, complete with rock star hair and spikes… it’s awful and it’s dumb. Even though Alec can travel from place to place, he can’t grow his body in some other way.

More of Collins’s convenient power limitations for the character.

Most of the issue is spent getting Alec well again after the toxic waste. He meets some elves and they use magic to fix him up; he looks funny because of the elf magic. Collins’s pacing of the issue is atrocious. The introduction of a strange race reminds of the old Wein clockmaker children issue except Collins grossly misspends the issue’s time.

And these days, it’s always bad when Swamp Thing reminds of older issues. Collins’s stuff is never better.


Folk Remedy; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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