Detective Comics 786 (November 2003)


For the finale, Bruce does some detective work again. Gordon’s missing so Batman tries to retrace his steps, with Alan Scott along to see how detective work is done. Brubaker sends them on a different line of investigation than Gordon had, which makes sense in terms of creating an interesting narrative… but Gordon’s was better. Shouldn’t Batman been able to duplicate it?

Maybe Brubaker just wanted to give Zircher the opportunity to do some cool fight scenes. Batman and Green Lantern actually pair quite well visually. And Brubaker does a fine job writing Alan Scott, even if he doesn’t get any character moments.

Gordon gets a nice one, then Bruce gets a nice one, right at the end. It’s a good little story.

The second part of the Joker dog backup continues to impress. Spears has a lot of humor in it and a great protagonist. And Rob G.’s good.


Made of Wood, Conclusion; writer, Ed Brubaker; penciller, Patrick Zircher; inkers, Aaron Sowd and Steve Bird; colorist, Jason Wright; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Michael Wright and Bob Schreck. The Dogcatcher, Part Two; writer, Rick Spears; artist, Rob G.; colorist, Guy Major; letterer, Janice Chiang; editor, Matt Idelson. Publisher, DC Comics.

Harbinger 10 (March 2013)

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Now here’s a great issue. Dysart manages to turn the all-action issue into something with some content, probably because he’s got enough characters doing different things it can be a rewarding reading experience.

He opens with narration from Peter, but splits the issue between him and Faith. They have to do a rescue mission, only Faith’s the one who’s got to do the superhero stuff. The way Dysart splits the responsibility between them is part of the issue’s brilliance. His plotting here is exceptional. It’s so good, the issue can even withstand the awkward finish.

Dysart tries hard to reestablish Peter as the lead in the comic and he only partially succeeds. He still hasn’t made Peter function on his own, he always needs to be playing off someone. And the character works great with that constraint.

The art’s okay (credit should go to M. Hands).

Great, great issue.


Writer, Joshua Dysart; pencillers, Matthew Clark, Álvaro López, Dimi Macheras and Brian Thies; inkers, Clark, López, Macheras, Thies and Stefano Gaudiano; colorist, Mouse Baumann; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Ultimate Spider-Man 75 (June 2005)


Not quite a great seventy-fifth issue. It’s not bad, but Bendis is now ripping off Fight Club. He doesn’t get good mileage out of it either.

There are a couple big things this issue and not Harry always having been goblin-ready. First is Peter and May having a blow out about him going out in the middle of the night. Even though they’ve moved, Bendis hasn’t really given May any page time. She doesn’t get a lot here, but enough to reestablish herself as a force in the comic.

Then there’s the talk with Mary Jane. Yeah, Bendis is really making her out to be a twit. He’s taking away at least half her intellect, which is cheap and bad. She doesn’t even have motivation anymore; Bendis is being very wishy-washy. It hurts the comic.

The big reveal at the end–the Tyler Durden moment–is awful.


Hobgoblin, Part Four; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Jonathan D. Smith; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, John Barber, Nicole Wiley and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Dream Thief 1 (May 2013)

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I’m not what I’m supposed to think of Dream Thief. Not to spoil too much but the protagonist kills his girlfriend–the day after cheating on her–because she’s just mistakenly killed someone she suspects of breaking into her house and tying her up and threatening to kill her.

It’s unclear if Jai Nitz wants the reader to identify with the guy. He’s a pothead piece of crap–also not sure if Nitz has ever smoked pot. Not a lot of potheads go out and plot major thefts. Pretty sure they don’t.

The art, from Greg Smallwood, is pretty darn good. It’s all realistic until the flashbacks and hallucinations, which he doesn’t do as well as the realistic stuff… but not bad.

At the end of this issue, it’s unclear how Nitz is going to approach the comic’s morality. As long as he makes a firm decision, it should work.


Writer, Jai Nitz; artist, colorist and letterer, Greg Smallwood; editor, Patrick Thorpe; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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