The Unwritten 35.5 (May 2012)

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Interesting, now Carey’s using the final .5 issue to set up something else forthcoming. He introduces the reader–for the first time–to a peon in the Cabal. The protagonist this issue, Danny, is a thoroughly underwhelming English major who ends up working in the big reading room for the Cabal. Lots of the big events in the series occur, giving the reader a sense of the time passing.

There are a couple major bumps–it ties directly in to the story arc Carey finished the previous issue–and it’s a fine setup. It’s a little too much of a setup, but Carey does give the character an interesting story and perspective on this world. He’s entirely believable as a dimwit college student. It’s interesting to see the mundane in the Unwritten world.

Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s art is good. The settings all feel very British.

It’s a thoroughly good comic.

CREDITS

Gospel Creatures; writers, Peter Gross and Mike Carey; artist, Gabriel Hernandez Walta; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Joe Hughes and Karen Berger; publisher, Vertigo.

Battlefields 4 (February 2013)

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The war in Europe’s almost over and Ennis brings back Anna the pilot to do a story about that period.

She gets shot down in the first few pages and ends up in a prison camp. Ennis keeps it all incredibly simple. The scenes are during her recovery, the only other character the medic. He’s a British Jew. There’s a lot of talking about the war and the different countries.

It’s a talking heads book masquerading as a war comic. The two heads talking have to be interesting and Ennis carefully presents both his actors. Anna occasionally has unexpected reactions, while the Brit is patient and polite to the last.

Then Ennis finds an unexpected hard cliffhanger. Even though he foreshadows to it–and Anna should, it turns out, know what’s coming–it’s a surprise. There’s only so much horror one wants to imagine for the characters.

Very good stuff.

CREDITS

The Fall and Rise of Anna Kharkova, Part One; writer, Garth Ennis; penciller, Russ Braun; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Swamp Thing 136 (October 1993)

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I assumed Collins would handle the return of Arcane, Alec’s embrace with Lady Jane and everything else this issue rather poorly. But she outdoes herself. It’s even worse than expected–possibly because Arcane reveals himself here, which seems somewhat early. But there are a lot of suspects for Collins’s worst move.

First, Alec and Lady Jane get busy. Alec thinks about how much better it is than with Abby. Meanwhile–a day or two after leaving her family–Abby’s going out on a date with some guy. Now, an implication could be neither wanted the romance (and Collins directly suggests it in a flashback) but just got thrown into it.

Then, you know, they had a kid. Except both ignore the kid to get busy with members of their own species and bad things happen.

Russell Braun’s pencils don’t help things either. All his figures are stunted.

It’s entirely dreadful.

CREDITS

Cross Pollination; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Russell Braun; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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