2000 AD 20 (9 July 1977)


There’s some exceptional stupidity this issue, starting with the new thrill, Shako. While Ramon Sola does draw a fantastic giant killer polar bear who can dodge bullets and do acrobatics, John Wagner and Pat Mills’ script is about the dumbest thing ever. Apparently the strip is going to be about the C.I.A. hunting this polar bear. And I thought Harlem Heroes was dumb.

Speaking of Heroes, two amazing panels from Gibbons don’t make it worthwhile.

Invasion isn’t terrible. Decent Pino art until the end when he runs out of time.

Moore does a particularly lousy job on Dan Dare this issue. I thought it had to be a different writer, as it doesn’t even have his general competence.

The M.A.C.H. 1 is the other stupid thing–writer Steve MacManus doesn’t know the difference between Japanese and Chinese. Lopez’s art is nonspecifically incompetent.

Dredd’s funny. Some great composition from McMahon.


Shako, Part One; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Jack Potter. Invasion, Hell’s Angels; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Tom Frame. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Nine; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Tokyo; writer, Steve MacManus; artist, Lopez; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, The Comic Pusher; writer, John Wagner; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

Brother Lono 3 (October 2013)

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Brother Lono is tough this time around. It has the first attempt at a issue long subplot, which isn’t a bad thing at all. There are bodies on holy land, which ends up causing trouble for just about everyone.

Sadly, Azzarello doesn’t do a lot to establish the characters based their caricatures. There’s the beautiful young nun with secrets, there’s Brother Lono–I wasn’t clear, in the first issue, he just slept in jail; I thought he just got out–and there’s the priest. Oh, sure, there are other characters–the cop, the bad guys, some more bad guys. But it’s all pretty simple.

And Azzarello doesn’t exactly do anything wrong with those simple characters. Their actions make them a little more complicated, but not really. Lono isn’t somewhat shallow, but Risso’s art and Azzarello’s harshness make it a lot of fun.

The dream sequence is just wasted pages though.


!El Amor de Los Muertos!; writer, Brian Azzarello; artist, Eduardo Risso; colorist, Trish Mulvihill; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Sara Miller and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

Ultimate Spider-Man 119 (April 2008)


I don’t think I’d ever realized how big Immonen makes Spider-Man’s eyes. It’s kind of annoying. Especially since this issue is a couple big talking heads scenes amid some superhero chase action.

I guess no one wanted to bother with an Ultimate Angelica Jones so Bendis just turned Liz into Firestar. It’s a good issue–great moment with Kenny revealing he knows Peter’s secret identity; actually, Bendis doesn’t have a chance to really let that one sink in. Hopefully it’ll have a nice echo later.

The stuff with Bobby Drake and Liz Allen is really good. Bendis takes too long establishing Peter’s part of the conversation and he heads to a cliffhanger with Magneto just after it becomes about Peter.

The title definitely appears to be changing–and for the better–but it’s hard to tell if Bendis is committed to this change or if he’s treating water again.


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.

Six-Gun Gorilla 1 (June 2013)

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Talk about high concept. Six-Gun Gorilla takes place in a somewhat distant future, where there is fighting over Earth’s colonies. On these planet colonies are gigantic battle tortoises, amongst other things I’m sure, and it all appears very Monument Valley. Simon Spurrier mixes old and new; the combatants are an analogue of the American Civil War, but he’s following a protagonist who’s got a brain implant to broadcast his experiences back to Earth.

You know, for TV.

That plot alone is pretty awesome, but then there’s a mysterious gorilla who has real pistols–apparently they only use steam punk technology on the colony world, but regular future stuff on Earth–and the pistols are a big deal.

Additionally, the writing on the protagonist is outstanding and Spurrier gives him a lot of interesting conversation partners throughout.

Very nice art from Jeff Stokely too. Gorilla’s off to a great start.


Shoot Don’t Talk; writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Jeff Stokely; colorist, Andre May; letterer, Steve Wands; editor, Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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