2000 AD 1 (26 February 1977)

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There’s definitely some weird stuff in the first issue of 2000 AD. Quite a bit of silly stuff too. Pat Mills wrote–either solo or with a partner–every story in the issue so the lack of creativity on some of the series might just be exhaustion.

The first one, Invasion, is the strongest. Great art from Jesus Blasco. It’s about some Eastern European country invading Britain; very methodically told. Looks great.

Flesh is about dinosaur hunters from the future. Joan Boix’s art has more personality than quality. It’s likable enough, as it’s cowboys and dinosaurs.

The Dan Dare is lame. Massimo Belardinelli has problems with figures, the writing’s dull.

Nothing’s as lame as M.A.C.H. 1 though. It’s a “Six Million Dollar Man” knockoff. Enio’s art is pretty weak.

Harlem Heroes is the nuttiest–a future version of the Globetrotters. Young Dave Gibbons on the busy art.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Resistance, Part One; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Jesus Blasco; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Flesh, Book One, Part One; writer, Mills; artist, Joan Boix; letterer, Nuttall. Dan Dare, Part One; writers, Ken Armstrong and Mills; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Nuttall. M.A.C.H. 1, Vulcan, Part One; writer, Mills, artist, Enio; letterer, Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part One; writers, Tom Tully and Mills; artist, Dave Gibbons; letterers, Gibbons and Nuttall. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

Stumptown 5 (January 2013)

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I get Rucka’s enthusiasm for Stumptown. It’s his thing, he’s proud of it, he wants everyone to be excited for it so he does this silly final issue where he wraps things up and sets up the next story.

But he doesn’t do those things well. Rucka’s been in comics more than long enough and has worked with the guys Southworth is supposed to be aping (Michael Lark and Stefano Guardino)–Southworth comes off like a middle school fan of them, but whatever–so Rucka should know it’s not coming together. If he likes Southworth fine, but don’t write for someone else.

Southworth’s art is bad–he’s going for a digital paint style now, always good to change art styles during a limited series–but the comic reads fast.

The last few pages are all cute, either literally or plot-wise, which is annoying. Rucka should be embarrassed of Stumptown.

CREDITS

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

Swamp Thing 142 (May 1994)

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Well, Morrison and Millar sort of explain how Alec Holland ended up separated from the Swamp Thing but not really. At least not to anyone who has been reading the comic for a while. And it’s not a particularly visual sequence, so it comes off perfunctory. They wrote themselves into a corner and have to get out.

The Swamp Thing monster doesn’t have a lot of scenes; Alec gets on its trail eventually. Abby has some scenes–she’s on the run–but the writers don’t give her much to do. They try to be very writerly, actually, with this awkward moment with a chauvinist pig.

Most of the issue is talking. Not quite talking heads–Hester does get some good stuff to draw–but it’s the Traveller (a new, long haired mysterious guy versus the Alan Moore stand-in who had a beard) telling Alec about the world.

Just okay.

CREDITS

Soul Train; 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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