Detective Comics 790 (March 2004)


Batman and Batgirl make an odd pair. New writer Andersen Gabrych sets up a strange situation. Batgirl is concerned for Batman, but doesn’t really know how to talk to him about it. He’s upset because it’s Jason Todd’s birthday, but he really doesn’t know how to talk about his feelings. They shouldn’t make a good pair, but they do.

Gabrych has Pete Woods on the pencils and Cam Smith on the inks. They make a muddy Gotham City where Batman’s racing around to break a designer drug ring. He actually investigates the crime, interviews witnesses, the whole thing. It’s cool.

The only place Gabrych can’t make it work is when Bruce has to open up to Cassandra. The interior monologue before that last scene does work, but Gabrych can’t sell the finish (especially since it’s so tied to the Spoiler in the dialogue).

Still, nice try.

Awful backup, just awful.


Scarification; writer, Andersen Gabrych; penciller, Pete Woods; inker, Cam Smith; editors, Michael Wright and Bob Schreck. The Tailor, Part Two; writer, A.J. Lieberman; penciller, Jean-Jacques Dzialowski; inker, Dan Green; editor, Matt Idelson. Colorist, Jason Wright; letterer, Clem Robins; publisher, DC Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 112 (October 2007)


Immonen takes over the full issue and, wow, it’s definitely pretty. Wade von Grawbadger’s inks undoubtedly have something to do with it, but Immonen’s style pretty clearly separates the high school life of Peter Parker and the superhero life of Spider-Man.

The superhero stuff is more grand, the high school stuff more manic. There’s crossover, of course, with Kitty getting herself a new superhero costume.

The new status quo–Kitty a superhero, going to Peter and Mary Jane’s high school–actually gives Bendis something to do here. There’s some great tension between Mary Jane and Kitty, not to mention Kong finally turning into that nice guy Bendis has been hinting at forever. It’s a little trite, but it’s high school after all.

Norman Osborn is tiring. Hopefully, given the title of the arc, he’ll just go away and Bendis can stop dragging him out for guest appearances.

Probably not.


Death of a Goblin, Part One; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Stuart Immonen; inker, Wade von Grawbadger; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber, Bill Rosemann and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 17 (November 2013)

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When the Goblin Underground scenes are the best thing in the issue, it’s obviously Slott is running into some problems with Superior. At least there’s some bickering between the Goblin King and Hobgoblin… it’s kind of amusing. Otherwise, the only good thing in the issue is Otto showing off for his lady friend at a softball game.

Slott’s introducing corporate espionage–involving Liz Allan (who I really did think was spelled Allen) and her weird kid and some other goober–along with Spider-Man 2099. So, Slott’s overwritten megalomaniac interior monologue is great for Otto, but why does Spider-Man 2099 have it too? Slott wastes half the issue with the character and related exposition. It’s dreadful.

And then Spider-Man 2099 stops Otto from beating up a white collar criminal? Slott’s really killing the fun in Superior this issue.

I’m less annoyed by Stegman’s art, but otherwise… it’s weak.


Let’s Do the Time Warp Again; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Ryan Stegman; inker, Livesay; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Star Trek 22 (June 2013)

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Not a particularly special continuation of the story… mostly because there’s so much extra stuff to complicate the “Amok Time” adaptation.

First, there’s no Vulcan anymore so Spock’s on New Vulcan. Turns out there’s a tribe of wild Vulcans running around the planet–in its volcanos, which leads to a terrible action sequence from Fajar, who tries way too hard to be cinematic. So far no big fight with Kirk.

Spock’s Vulcan girlfriend, T’Pring, is the same and Uhura takes it all in stride. Johnson writes some good lines for Bones on all the Pon Farr business, but gives way too many pages to the Romulan conspiracy, the Klingon war machine, Sarek and the new Vulcans… there’s just nothing for the actual cast to do but sit and mope.

Until that misfired action finish and then the crew’s all in environment suits and unrecognizable.

It should’ve been fun and isn’t.


After Darkness, Part Two; writer, Mike Johnson; artist, Erfan Fajar; colorist, Stellar Labs; letterer, Chris Mowry; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Suicide Risk 5 (September 2013)

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It’s the best issue of Suicide Risk by miles and I really wish it weren’t. See, it’s a side story. It’s Carey doing the story of a put-upon housewife who gets the chance at superpowers and how it all shakes out. It’s not a regular issue, so it being fantastic doesn’t mean anything for the series itself.

And it’s an outstanding issue. Carey writes first person narration for the character, who’s immediately stronger than anyone else he’s ever written in the comic. He spends almost half the issue dealing with her ground situation–dead end job, pervert boss, crappy husband, crappy kids–before he even introduces the superpowers.

Then he gives her some wacky powers and so it becomes even more inventive. It’s simply wonderful. Nice art from Joëlle Jones too, who manages to go between innocence and grimness. I just wish the regular comic were as strongly written.


Writer, Mike Carey; artist, Joëlle Jones; colorist, Emilio Lopez; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Dafna Pleban and Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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