The Boys 45 (August 2010)

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Actually, it wasn’t a soft cliffhanger last issue; Ennis takes the reader through Annie telling Hughie about her superhero life and Ennis and Braun show Hughie’s thought process in glorious detail.

There’s a little humor with Frenchie and the Female as they infiltrate the superhero religion convention. Not a lot, but enough–with visual gags–to get through all the boring plotting Homelander does the rest of the issue. He’s got some master plan, which Ennis is way too obscure about in the dialogue; I’ve got no idea what to expect.

Otherwise the issue is mostly just Hughie freaking out and Butcher finally having a little talk with him. Not even one where he says anything, because Ennis is keeping the deep conversation for later (if ever).

It’s okay enough, but after racing into this issue’s situations, Ennis is slowing down. He’s laying out new subplots while delaying others’ resolutions.

CREDITS

Believe, Part Two; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Tony Aviña; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

The Gathering 14 (2012)

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The Infinite Abyss clearly refers to happiness and joy, because there are no upbeat stories in this black and white horror compilation and only a few with any humor.

Marc Lomardi and Leonardo Gonzalez do have a great punchline in their zombie story and Tatiana Christian and Courtney Thomas are occasionally humorous in their story of soul-sucking mirrors… but otherwise, the jokes are just mean-spirited.

The mean-spirited nature eventually makes it hard to read the comic. It’s just too much in a row; awful, awful thing after awful thing. Jason Snyder and Mikey Sumski’s “wouldn’t it be neat to be a serial killer” is maybe the most off-putting just for their idolization of their lead. Erica J. Heflin and Amanda Rachels, on the other hand, just have super disturbing content.

Some of the stories remind of classic horror comics. Others are just repugnant for repugnance’s sake.

C 

CREDITS

Prepared; writer, Marc Lombardi; artist, Leonardo Gonzalez; letterer, Erica J. Heflin. Doppleganger; writer, Tatiana Christian; artist and letterer, Courtney Thomas. The Devil & Bobby Jones; writer, Brad Nelson; artist, Brian Defferding. Portrait of a Serial Killer; writer, Jason Snyder; artist, Mikey Sumski. Bump in the Night; writer, Ray Goldfield; artist, Chris Page; letterer, Heflin. The Outsider; writer, Arcadio Bolaños; artist, Juan Alarcón. The Tunnel Home; writer, Jon Westhoff; artist, Bobgar Ornelas. Undead Again; writer, Matthew Louden; artist, Jazel Riley. The Glass Eye; writer, Erica J. Heflin; artist, Amanda Rachels. Hospital Visit; writer, Glenn Matchett; artist and letterer, George Amaru. Preserved; writer, Elena Andrews; artist, David Aspmo. Editors, Matchett and Andrew Foltez; publisher, GrayHaven Comics.

Hawkeye 6 (February 2013)

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I don’t understand half of what’s going on this issue. I think there’s this gang of toughs who have a sickly old man for a leader and they’re going to kill everybody in Hawkeye’s building if he doesn’t leave. And he can’t beat the gang because he’s only one guy and he refuses to call anyone for help.

Except when he wants Tony Stark to hook up his DVD player and when he wants to give up the Hawkeye mantle to the girl Hawkeye.

So it makes no sense, at least if one is looking for logical behavior. Fraction doesn’t worry about logical behavior. He and Aja instead concentrate on making an awesome reading experience. It’s hard to even call Hawkeye a comic… it’s a reading experience.

Between Aja’s page design and then his actual art and Fraction’s pacing and dialogue, it’s fantastic.

It’s just a hostile read is all.

CREDITS

Six Days in the Life of Hawkeye; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 97 (September 2006)

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Okay, great, John Dell has help from John Sibal and together they don’t ink Bagley well. I couldn’t even tell the guy in the Scorpion outfit was a Peter Parker clone. He just looked way too bland.

Otherwise, the issue’s okay. Bendis is doing his rushing thing to get rid of Kitty Pryde, just like he rushed breaking up Mary Jane and Peter. Contriving stuff for the villains is fine, but now he’s contriving the regular cast’s arcs and it’s getting painful at times.

For instance, why is Mary Jane so buddy buddy with Peter all of a sudden. Bendis even accelerates it more this issue.

And Peter’s callousness when it comes to Kitty is a surprise. He never acted callous before with Mary Jane, so what’s the point of this new romance? Sales bump from crossovers?

Oddly, the lengthy, meticulous action sequence is the best thing in the comic.

CREDITS

Clone Saga, Part One; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, John Dell and John Sibal; colorist, Richard Isanove; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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