The Boys 48 (November 2010)


Why get Russ Braun to draw and then do all that color shading when he’s capable of doing it himself? Does Dynamite actually tell their artists to go light on detail?

Ennis isn’t just doing a bridging issue, he’s apparently doing a bridging arc. The Seven are gearing up for whatever the Homelander has planned, the Boys are getting ready to fight, there’s a bunch of regarding both things.

The company guys at Vought have a bunch of scenes about the insanity of the Seven, without calling it insanity. The Boys do too–calling it insanity–but there’s really nothing here. Lots of talking, not enough movement forward. The biggest change in the issue is the CIA doofus becoming Butcher’s boss.

It’s not exactly like Ennis is treading water, he’s moving stuff forward… he’s just doing it oddly. He’s got a bunch of B plots without an apparent A one.


Proper Preparation and Planning, Part One; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Bloodshot 10 (April 2013)

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Stefano Gaudiano is a great inker, though not really one I think of for action comics. Barry Kitson is a great action penciller, but not one I think of for a lot follow through. Together… together they make a very nice pair, especially since this comic takes place entirely at night so everything’s very dark.

Writer Duane Swierczynski figures out one way to make an all action issue take a while to read. Lots and lots of characters–talkative little kids, an annoying female sidekick–even though Bloodshot does talk quite a bit, he mostly just has to react.

Swierczynski only has one big action set piece, even though technically it’s all action–they’re walking through the desert after all. The action sequence has a lot of conflict and character moments.

For an all action issue, in other words, it doesn’t feel empty. There’s a lot of personality.

It’s good.


Writer, Duane Swierczynski; penciller, Barry Kitson; inkers, Stefano Gaudiano and Kitson; colorist, Brian Reber; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Ultimate Spider-Man 116 (January 2008)


Bendis continues his streak–two issues in a row at least–and Immonen is really settling in. There’s a lot of double page action spreads, lots of panels, with Kitty saving Peter from a fall with Norman. That sequence opens the issue and it’s fantastic.

Even Bendis seems to get Kitty and Peter make a good superhero pair; shame he had to put them through dating. I suppose it does add some texture to their relationship, but not enough for it to matter. He also clarifies some things about Kong, which is nice.

The big surprise is how Bendis handles Norman at the end. He comes in for a great, villainous finale. Except he wants Peter just to point out Norman’s capable of doing good things–creating Spider-Man, for example. It’s strange and unexpected and seeming sincere.

Immonen’s art for that scene is excellent.

It’s a pretty good issue.


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

3 Guns 2 (September 2013)

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3 Guns ends with one of the more homoerotic scenes I can think of–brown-haired guy wet in a speedo and blond-haired guy (not wet in a speedo) facing off with some more of Grant’s macho man dialogue. You can actually hear “Macho Man” in your head during the scene.

If only artist Laiso spent as much time on his perspective as he does on the brown-haired guy’s chest, 3 Guns might actually look professional. But he doesn’t.

Grant and Laiso don’t spend a lot of time on action, which kind of implies Laiso can’t draw it or Grant doesn’t want to write it. There are a lot of face-offs and interrupted action scenes and they all turn into long tough guy dialogue sequences.

But that last scene? If 3 Guns really were yaoi, it’d be so much more interesting than it is as crappy action.


Writer, Steven Grant; artist, Emilio Laiso; colorist, Gabriel Cassata; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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