Detective Comics 788 (January 2004)


This issue doesn’t just have bad writing. Bad writing the art and pacing could probably surmount. Mike Lilly’s pencils aren’t the greatest, but Sean Parsons and Dan Davis give them a nice inking and it all moves pretty well visually.

But Paul Bolles’s script? It’s exceptionally incompetent. He writes all this third person narration, very hard-boiled (at least as he’s concerned) and it makes Batman laughable. Maybe because Bolles buys into the faceless avenging night demon thing, or at least excepts the reader to buy into it.

And for what? Some Blockbuster on the rampage story not even starring Blockbuster.

I had never heard of Bolles before reading this comic; I’m hoping I never do again.

Sadly, not even Rick Spears and Rob G.’s backup can cleanse the palate. It’s predictable–though Spears writes a good Joker–and disappointing. But far better than the incompetent feature, of course.


The Randori Stone, Part One; writer, Paul Bolles; penciller, Mike Lilly; inkers, Sean Parsons and Dan Davis; colorist, Jason Wright; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Michael Wright and Bob Schreck. The Dogcatcher, Part Four; writer, Rick Spears; artist, Rob G.; colorist, Guy Major; letterer, Janice Chiang; editors, Nachie Castro and Matt Idelson. Publisher, DC Comics.

Hawkeye 10 (July 2013)


Are the goods back? They’re on their way, it certainly seems. Francesco Francavilla does the art this issue, which feels like Fraction took a page out of the Brubaker play book. He follows around the clown faced villain, who goes after Kate.

It’s unclear why the villain goes after Kate, except maybe to be an even worse villain who torments the heroes.

The villain’s not a bad choice, he just feels like a Garth Ennis Punisher villain. Eastern European, dead family, not supervillain costume but something disquieting. The bigger issue might be just out of teenage years Kate Bishop being all hot to trot for him.

And then Fraction jumps back to the previous issue and explains a couple things about Clint’s thought process. It’s a shocker… and Fraction’s finally not playing Clint as the heel this issue.

I still don’t know why Fraction’s fracturing the timeline, except for effect.


Writer, Matt Fraction; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterers, Chris Eliopoulos and Clayton Cowles; editors, Tom Brennan and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 101 (December 2006)


Thank goodness Hennessy takes over as the only inker. He does a good job with it. Not sure what was going on when he was splitting the duties with Dell.

There’s a lot of implications this issue. The Fantastic Four comes in to save Peter from Fury, who’s been planning on killing him (and his clones) for a while now. Thus, one can guess Fury’s known about the clones for a while.

It’s unclear what’s going on with Mary Jane, Richard Parker and Gwen Stacy. But Carnage apparently infected Gwen or vice versa. Not much of it matters because Bendis is able to sell the issue on anger. Peter’s anger, the Fantastic Four’s anger. Maybe a little on Fury’s regret.

It reads way too fast, of course. Bendis is cashing in a lot of long term hints and so on and it sort of begins to pay off.

Well, maybe.


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

Star Trek 15 (November 2012)

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Very interesting approach to doing the Mirror, Mirror adaptation. Instead of adapting the original episode–so far, Johnson just does a story set in a similarly dark alternate reality but one in the new movie continuity.

Spock’s the captain of the Enterprise, Kirk is his first officer. They’re warring against the Klingons, but there’s still the matter of Nero (from the first new Star Trek) to deal with. It’s a little late in the series, actually; it probably should have come earlier on… unless Johnson does tie it into the regular reality.

There’s some weird, kind of painted art from Erfan Fajar. He gets the likenesses in broad strokes, which is neat. He doesn’t try too hard. The visual flow is good, even though there aren’t a lot of action scenes. Actually, his action scenes are probably his best work.

Johnson, free of adaptation constraints, has some real fun here.


Mirrored, Part One; writer, Mike Johnson; artist, Erfan Fajar; colorists, Ifansyah Noor and Sakti Tuwono; letterer, Neil Uyetake; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Sheltered 2 (August 2013)

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Have to say, this issue moves way, way, way too fast.

Brisson fleshes out the two fugitive girls–Hailey and something else, I can’t remember if Hailey’s the lead or the friend even (Brisson doesn’t make the names distinctive enough). He does a good job with them. They’re basically in an action issue, but there’s enough emotion.

Unfortunately, Brisson doesn’t spend anywhere near as much time establishing the bad guy. There’s some development for the bad guy’s stooges… but the bad guy himself? He comes off as pure evil.

A lot of Christmas’s art is excellent this issue. He keeps up the action pacing, he draws a mean survivalist camp in the snow too. Sheltered definitely looks good through its twenty-some pages. It just reads in about three minutes.

Brisson is already starting to show some of his hand; I just hope it’s not as slight as it looks.


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

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