2000 AD 4 (19 March 1977)

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Pat Wright takes over the art on Invasion and it’s immediately less interesting. Gerry Finley-Day’s writing isn’t terrible, but without dynamic art, the cracks show a lot clearer.

Flesh still has great art from Sola. Ken Armstrong’s writing is even worse than usual, especially the dialogue. And they rip off Westworld whole sale. It’s a chore when dinosaurs aren’t on page.

Gibbons has a great opening splash page for Harlem Heroes. Tully concentrates on making the game seem real; while not exciting, the dedication to the concept is something. They could have cut a lot of corners and they don’t.

Dan Dare is lame. I guess Belardinelli does do well with gross alien creatures. Not a lot of space shots either.

Pat Mills is back writing M.A.C.H. 1. Artist Enio’s apparently scared to make the Arab villains look too Arab. It’s awful.

Dredd’s fun. McMahon compacts his visuals well.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Resistance, Part Four; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Pat Wright; letterer, Tom Frame. Flesh, Book One, Part Four; writer, Ken Armstrong; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Four; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Four; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Jack Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, To Kill a President; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Enio; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, The Brotherhood of Darkness; writer, Malcolm Shaw; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Nuttall. Publisher, IPC.

The Superior Spider-Man 8 (June 2013)

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Well, Slott recovers this issue. Big time.

He must have watched “ER” too–all you need to make something touching is a sick child, add a megalomaniac like Otto being touched by said sick child? One’s sympathies for the story and its characters go through the roof.

There’s also the big Avengers fight, which is funny afterwards because all Otto’s ramblings of them being morons are accurate. Ramos proves the right artist for it too. He draws everyone like a giant baboon.

The resolution with Cardiac is outstanding too, though Slott still isn’t addressing all his ongoing subplots. He also addresses the Ghost Peter thing–which is a big surprise this early–and uses it for his hard cliffhanger.

And so I have to eat a little crow. Slott does know what he’s doing, though this issue and last would’ve been better as a giant-size instead of two issues,

CREDITS

Troubled Mind, Part Two: Proof Positive; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Humberto Ramos; inker, Victor Olazaba; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Swamp Thing 145 (August 1994)

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And now Millar’s changed his approach. Alec’s not really the protagonist anymore; for his half of the comic–Colonel Strong, the monster hunter, gets the other–Alec’s just the biggest name in a disaster movie. Millar sets up a lot of little characters, quite well too, before putting everyone in a bad situation.

While that bad situation is precisely executed, it’s obvious he’s spending more time on Strong. There’s a distinct flashback, a lot of lead up to its revelations; Millar’s creating a supervillain. Though it’s unclear how much Alec’s the hero anymore. Besides his concern for human life, the human appearance makes him somewhat unrecognizable.

A lot of the strangeness is from Hester’s pencils. Swamp Thing is not a beautiful book about plants and mystical mysteries anymore… it’s dark and scary. Every page has some disturbing detail. I’m not sure Hester draws a single smile in the whole issue.

CREDITS

Big Game; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Phil Hester; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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