The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 13 (January 1984)

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What a difference a penciller makes… Ricardo Villamonte really doesn’t cut it. Indy’s always got a befuddled look.

Still, Villamonte isn’t responsible for the lame story. Michelinie send Indy out west on a field trip from the university. He and his students are on a dig, he runs awful bad guys. The plot contrivances are lame for even a done-in-one licensed comic; Michelinie wastes all his opportunities.

Michelinie opens with Indy’s female students talking about him being cute. One might think the issue would explore his professional life… But, no, it turns into this boring desert investigation thing with a truly silly explanation.

The comic actually shows the most life when Indy’s on the phone talking with the regular cast. Michelinie tried something new and it clearly didn’t work so much he had to remind the reader it’s not the norm.

It’s too bad, he usually does fine.

CREDITS

Deadly Rock!; writers, Archie Goodwin and David Michelinie; penciller, Ricardo Villamonte; inker, Sam de la Rosa; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 104 (March 2007)

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Good thing the X-Men don’t have a fast jet because they might get there in time to see Peter and Mary Jane get their romance back on. I really hope Bendis comes up with some better result to this lame arc than them reuniting.

There’s still Aunt May, there’s still an evil U.S. government out to get Nick Fury, there’s still Richard Parker.

Wait, no, there isn’t. Because Bendis wraps that one up nice and clean. Had he made it dirty and told the issue around it, he would have had a great comic. A singular one. Had he been willing to commit to the sensationalism for more than four issues, however, he would have put Ultimate Spider-Man somewhere entirely new.

Instead, he promises a return to the norm. With some changes, but definitely a return to the norm.

It’s unfortunate; Bendis never lets the comic grow.

D 

CREDITS

Clone Saga, Part Eight; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, Drew Hennessy and Matt Ryan; colorist, Andy Troy; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, John Barber and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Dream Thief 4 (August 2013)

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You know a comic is good when the writer can introduce an unbelievable amount of characters names in the first three pages and you still love it.

Maybe it’s just because Nitz did a poker issue. It’d be hard to mess up a good poker issue. The lead–I think his name’s John but it doesn’t really matter–ends up in a dead mobster and eventually heads to Graceland (yep) to play in a high stakes poker match.

Nitz goes through some of the games play by play. Smallwood doesn’t exactly have anything to do, but the scenes still come off beautifully. It was during the lengthy poker games I realized how great an issue they produced here. It’s the best Dream Thief, even if it has almost nothing to do with the overarching storyline.

The concept lends itself to episodic installments; it’s upsetting the series isn’t an ongoing one.

CREDITS

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

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