Highland Laddie 4 (November 2010)

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Ennis backtracks on quite a bit here with Annie. It appears she was never really the good Christian superhero Ennis wrote her being. Instead, she’s always been aware she’s a corporate product and a successful one.

If he always meant to do this revelation, he sure didn’t write for it. There were a lot of times Annie had her own story arcs in the main series and things don’t fit anymore.

Besides her telling Hughie all about herself, there’s a little with the bad guys. Those scenes are kind of pointless, especially since Ennis is working on the flunkies being unreliable. The flunkies aren’t characters, so they give them a subplot all their own?

All of a sudden Highland Laddie has become a Boys arc. Not a bad thing to be, but very unfortunate since the series started out as something completely different.

The weak art continues to hurt it.

CREDITS

A Young Man’s Fancy; writer, Garth Ennis; artists, John McCrea and Keith Burns; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Prophet 36 (June 2013)

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So New John is just Newfather now. Very easy. Oh, and nice cameo again–Graham really seems to enjoy the winks. He’s able to put them in and move right along. It helps Old John’s crew is so personable. Wouldn’t work without them.

There’s a little on Diehard’s crushing again this issue. Nothing ominous but it’s hard to say how it’ll work out. You can never guess with Prophet.

Graham now has Newfather set up his own crew. They’re not as personable–they are just clones after all–but he’s making the juxtaposing between the two Johns more similar in delivery while maintaining difference in texture. Very cool. They’re on the same mission too, so a meet-up is inevitable.

The Care backup is positively distressing this time. The art’s grossness hurts the strip big time. One fixates on the ick factor, not the delicate profoundness of the actual story.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Roy, Giannis Milonogiannis, Matt Sheehan and Malachi Ward; colorists, Joseph Bergin III, Roy, Sheehan and Ward; letterer, Ed Brisson. Care, Part Three; writers, artists and colorists, Sheean and Ward. Publisher, Image Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 108 (July 2007)

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And here’s a Bendis misstep. Most of the issue’s spent in Moon Knight’s head–there’s nothing about Iron Fist selling out, because Bendis has found a way to make Moon Knight bad.

Ultimate Ronin is a new personality of Ultimate Moon Knight–a bad guy. He beats up Kitty, he kidnaps Peter.

Problems abound. First, Mary Jane is now the seventies–as in, television–Lois Lane. She does a story about Flash (set two weeks after his attack) when Bendis already jumped further ahead than two weeks for the TV movie joke.

Maybe continuity reset a little after issue one hundred.

There’s a lot of avoiding. Kitty and Mary Jane almost have a scene, then Bendis avoids it. Aunt May never gets a mention, Iron Fist never gets a mention.

He’s dragging things out, which doesn’t necessarily mean things are back to falling apart, but it’s not a good sign.

CREDITS

Ultimate Knights, Part Three; 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.

Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril 2 (October 2013)

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Whew, it’s a six issue series, not four. I was wondering what the heck Hogan at the end of the issue if he only had four. It’s a good enough issue–Tom and Val get to Terra Obscura, find it decimated by plague (or something) and hang out with a couple of the world’s science heroes–but it’s all just nicely done exposition.

But Hogan’s got six issues so he’s got plenty of time.

Hogan’s got a lot of amusing dialogue and a lot of touching dialogue. He could be foreshadowing big revelations to come later on with the guest stars this issue, he also might just be using them as the best vehicles for the exposition. It never feels forced, which is nice.

There’s also some lovely art from Sprouse and Story. They do plague decimated New York City something special, but the quiet stuff’s great too.

Still Strong.

B+ 

CREDITS

Masks and the Red Death; writer, Peter Hogan; penciller, Chris Sprouse; inker, Karl Story; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Jessica Chen, Kristy Quinn, Ben Abernathy and Shelly Bond; publisher, Vertigo.

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