2000 AD 16 (11 June 1977)

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All in all, not a bad issue.

There’s actually danger in Dan Dare, for example, and a couple good pages in M.A.C.H. 1. A little makes a big difference with 2000 AD, apparently.

Invasion isn’t terrible. It’s mostly action, with Pino doing decent work on a shootout between the protagonist and a bounty hunter. Very busy pages, but competently done.

Flesh comes to what seems to be a shocking conclusion. Absolutely phenomenal art from Sola on a rampaging dinosaur, more than making up for the lame, big-headed human villain.

Even Harlem Heroes is okay (for it). There’s a team of ugly cyborgs the Heroes have to play. Not terrible.

Like I said, Dare has something new–Moore gives it an actually suspenseful cliffhanger. Plus recaps Dare’s origin.

Wagner writes both Dredd and M.A.C.H. 1, which probably explains why the latter’s so much better than usual. Dredd’s okay enough too.

CREDITS

Invasion, Bounty; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterers, Peter Knight and J. Swain. Flesh, Book One, Part Sixteen; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Sixteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Five; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Knight and John Aldrich. M.A.C.H. 1, Capitol; writer, John Wagner; artist, P. Martinez Henares; letterer, Aldrich. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Seven; writer, Wagner; artist, Ron Turner; letterer, Tony Jacob. Editor, Pat Mills; publisher, IPC.

Hawkeye 9 (June 2013)

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Apparently Clint isn’t irresistibly attracted to the redhead, he’s just a man slut. It’s also unclear if he’s fired from the Avengers.

His lady friends–Black Widow, Mockingbird, Spider-Woman–are worried about him. Both because he’s a man slut and because he’s in danger, only Fraction skips around to avoid looking at the in trouble part and sticking to the relationship stuff with Spider-Woman.

For the first time with Hawkeye, I don’t get it. I can’t see what Fraction’s trying to do. Aja’s artwork is amazing, but having Clint be this depressed guy who’s a fifth wheel in his own comic? And the redhead doesn’t even hang around. She leaves town–Fraction obviously has an internal logic to how the events occur, but since he–pardon the phrase–fractures the narrative, he’s asking a lot of the reader.

He doesn’t bring the goods this issue. It’s too bad.

CREDITS

Girls; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Tom Brennan, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 100 (November 2006)

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Eh.

So Gwen Stacy is Carnage. Yippee.

And Aunt May is pretty nasty. Bendis doesn’t redeem her much, even if she has been through a lot apparently. She hasn’t been lying to Peter his whole life, just the last few years.

It’s an interesting thing, making Aunt May unlikable. Has anyone else tried that gimmick before? Bendis gives her a heart attack at the end though, so she’ll eventually be forgiven.

And Peter Parker’s dad is an awful character. Not a bad guy, but a simpleton. Not at all believable as a genius. Bendis tries to insert this genetic engineering cold war between the CIA and SHIELD into the series and it’s just silly.

The art is so haphazard I thought they were using different pencillers. Dell goes overboard on Bagley, Drew Hennessy goes under. The result’s incredibly disjointed

Poor Spider-Man doesn’t even appear in his hundredth issue.

CREDITS

Clone Saga, Part Four; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, John Dell and Drew Hennessy; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Sheltered 1 (July 2013)

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What a strange comic. Ed Brisson’s setup for Sheltered is “ripped from the headlines”–survivalists holed up, scared Obama’s going to take their guns. These guns end up in the hands of teenagers and their responsible use of them suggests it’s unlikely Brisson’s actually doing a pro-survivalist comic.

He quickly establishes two cliches, outsider girls and insider boys. They don’t interact much; he must be saving establishing their relationships for later.

The adults–sometimes unintentionally I think–come off as lunatics. Artist Johnnie Christmas gives the camp leader this one crazy little panel and it really doesn’t fit his dialogue. Colors the scene an entirely different way.

The end is a bit of a surprise–it sets up the series, presumably. Brisson and Christmas pace it beautifully, even though it’s somewhat predictable. There’s one final, unexpected bit too. Brisson isn’t messing around.

Sheltered’s off to a good start.

CREDITS

Writer and letterer, Ed Brisson; artist, Johnnie Christmas; colorist, Shari Chankhamma; editor, Paul Allor; publisher, Image Comics.

A Voice in the Dark 1 (November 2013)

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A Voice in the Dark is a strange comic. Writer and artist Larime Taylor takes a try until it works approach. It’s also a very dense first issue–probably a fifteen minute read. Not a bad thing, but never what I expect.

He’s very ambitious. The most mundane thing about the comic has to be the structure–it’s a college freshman’s dear diary–but everything else is crazy.

His protagonist is a biracial eighteen year-old girl with an adopted (but rescued in her teens adopted) lesbian sister, coming from a poor family going to a prestigious college, with a gay cop uncle in the new town, who also is a wannabe serial killer.

Voice should collapse under all the weight, but doesn’t. Taylor’s sincerity and commitment come through, making up for a lot of the rough patches.

His cop dialogue, for example, flops, but his college dialogue is good.

In spite of its problems, Voice is surprisingly compelling.

CREDITS

Blood Makes Noise, Part One; writer, artist and letterer, Larime Taylor; editor, Danny Donovan; publisher, Image Comics.

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