Batman: The Widening Gyre 2 (November 2009)

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More flashbacks, more guest stars… and some fat jokes. The child murderer at the open is practically a lookalike for Silent Bob. Batman keeps thinking of him as the fat guy, but he doesn’t actually catch him, someone else does.

Then Silver St. Cloud shows up. I’m skipping some of the lame narration to get to Flanagan and Smith having a disconnect. Once Silver shows up, Smith’s got Batman going on and on about his age–and Silver’s. Except Flanagan draws them both basically as twenty somethings. Certainly not as people in their late thirties or forties. It’s unclear what Smith’s going for.

Smith writes Silver worse than he writes Batman. He also writes Gordon poorly. Maybe Alfred isn’t terrible. Superman is all right, I guess. But there’s more than enough bad Batman to make up for the rest.

The cliffhanger is a success though, Smith manages a good surprise.

CREDITS

The Falconer; writer, Kevin Smith; penciller, Walt Flanagan; inker, Art Thibert; colorist, Art Lyon; letterer, Jared K. Fletcher; editors, Janelle Siegel, Mike Marts and Dan Didio; publisher, DC Comics.

Battlefields 6 (May 2013)

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Ennis wraps up Battlefields this issue. Not just Anna’s story, but the series in general–he puts a close on how he’s been telling these war stories. He might be able to pick it up again, but it’ll have to feel different.

He jumps ahead again–Anna and Mouse are in a prison camp for ten or twelve years, wasting away while their nemesis has become their jailer. There’s a lot of back and forth between Anna and the jailer. This issue’s a lot about gender. Ennis does great with it, but Braun wins for the scene where Anna finally loses her cool.

And the ending. It’s long, unpredictable, sad, tragic, glorious. It feels very Russian, at least how people think things are Russian when they mean it as a compliment. Throughout this arc, Ennis has consistently written himself into impossible corners and deftly brought himself out.

It’s wonderful work.

CREDITS

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

Swamp Thing 138 (December 1993)

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I’m not sure Collins’s version of adult relationships would even work in a kids cartoon. Odd place to start, but she really does expect after Abby running off with ponytail guy–willfully abandoning Tefé as a freak–Alec would all of a sudden make house with Lady Jane?

And then there’s Constantine pointing out if Abby really does care about her kid, she’s not really worth much. Except Collins wrote Abby’s adventures with her as the sympathetic protagonist.

Oh, and the hair. Alec gets rid of the grey Swamp Thing look and goes back to the normal one. But then for the finish he grows big long green rock star hair. It’s idiotic.

This issue’s Collins’s last one, thank goodness. Her run started so strong and then got so unbearably bad.

There’s nothing to recommend this issue–though Eaton’s better than usual–except how speedily it reads. It’s simply awful.

CREDITS

And in the End…; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Tim Harkins; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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