Batman: The Widening Gyre 6 (September 2010)


Maybe DC did the whole “New 52” thing so they’d never have to address the terrible developments in Widening Gyre.

I’d respect them for that motive.

It’s just not a bad finish, with Smith killing off a familiar DC character, but a bad issue overall. Batman breaks into the Fortress of Solitude for a date with Silver. He’s got on his goofy white snow Bat-suit. Smith writes him actual banter with the goat head guy.

Then there’s the callouts to Frank Miller–Smith reveals Batman wet himself in Year One and the idiot shrink from Dark Knight shows up. It’s almost like Smith set out to write a comic to show how not to write Batman.

Oh, I forgot. There’s even banter with Deadshot. Batman ties him up for making a joke, not for committing a crime. It’s hideous.

Smith excessively congratulates himself for his singularly atrocious Batman characterization.


The Blood-Dimmed Tide is Loosed; writer, Kevin Smith; penciller, Walt Flanagan; inker, Art Thibert; colorist, Art Lyon; letterer, John J. Hill; editors, Janelle Siegel, Mike Marts and Dan Didio; publisher, DC Comics.

Stumptown 4 (December 2012)


Oh, wow. I think this issue might be the worst independent comic I’ve ever read. At least put out by a recognized publisher. Rucka embraces television standards all right, as in “A-Team” stupidity.

Most of the issue is a car chase, with Southworth doing double page spreads. The only thing worse than a lazy digital artist? A lazy digital artist doing double page spreads, with a lot of color no less. Actually, he might have brought down the visibility on his line work just to show the color. Or I’m just trying to find the artistic possibility.

There are some pages where the cars are racing in front of their speedometers. It sounds okay, but it doesn’t work. At least not how Southworth does it.

Stumptown is a bad comic book. I’m not even sure I recognize all of the ways. My brain’s probably hiding some of them from me.


The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case, Part Four; writer, Greg Rucka; artist, Matthew Southworth; colorists, Rico Renzi and Southworth; editor, James Lucas Jones; publisher, Oni Press.

Swamp Thing 141 (April 1994)


Morrison and Millar open this issue with the Alan Moore Cajun dude stand-in getting killed. The new, mindless Swamp Thing kills him. Cajun Alan Moore dies protecting his family.

Mindless Swamp Thing is after Abby next. It’s kind of hard not to read into what Morrison and Millar are doing–violently refreshing the series. An indeterminate amount of time has passed since the Collins run ended too–little TefĂ© is old enough to call Abby on the phone.

Wish there’d been a panel of a pay phone in the Parliament of Trees.

The writers take a very black magic approach to the series. Nothing gets explained–it’s either wanton violence, mystical mumbo jumbo or Alec Holland’s internal blathering about his scientific research.

Good art from Hester and DeMulder–there’s not a single mundane panel in the whole issue–and the weirdness carry it. The writing is just over complicated.


Bad Gumbo; writers, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar; penciller, Phil Hester; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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