The Boys 53 (April 2011)


It’s another war issue and it’s a good one. Burns and McCrea continue to do excellent work; one knows Ennis can handle a good war comic, but the artists stepping up is nice to see. He wasted them on the goofy Boys stuff.

Hughie is still listening to Mallory tell his story, only there’s nothing for Hughie in this issue. You can always tells what subject Ennis actually wants to explore and here it’s World War II. There are the superheroes, and they’re analogues of a lot of the Golden Age guys, but Ennis doesn’t really spend any time with them. He doesn’t even go for jokes because the comic’s too serious for them.

Except for one Hawkman joke. But its punch line isn’t funny.

Ennis’s plotting is so strong, his narration for Mallory so good, it takes until after the issue’s over to realize it’s such a fast read.


Barbary Coast, Part Two; writer, Garth Ennis; artists, John McCrea and Keith Burns; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

The Star Wars 2 (October 2013)

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I wonder why George Lucas went ahead and decided not to have a main–heroic–character who tries to force himself on every female character he encounters. If you’ve wanted to see Annikin Starkiller punch out Princess Leia, here’s the comic for you.

That summary is a bit of a low blow but Annikin really is the dumbest part of The Star Wars. Rinzler doesn’t know where to fit him into the story (probably because he just doesn’t fit) and, otherwise, it’s a rather decent comic book.

Once again, it reads like a mix of the original and the prequels, only without the stupid toy stuff. R2D2 and C3P0 show up–with R2 speaking in English, which is funny–and they have their own subplot getting off the Death Star.

Rinzler still can’t figure out how to do a cliffhanger in a comic.

Mayhew’s somewhat static but good.

It’s fine.


Writer, J.W. Rinzler; artist, Mike Mayhew; colorist, Rain Beredo; letterer, Michael Heisler; editors, Freddye Lins and Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 132 (May 2009)


So many pretty double-page spreads, so little story. Bendis has Nightmare–is that Dr. Strange’s villain’s name–torment Peter and the Hulk. There are like four pages wasted on the Hulk fighting off all these random people he killed. It’s not even his comic.

Worse, there’s seemingly endless pages with Peter fighting off his villains, flashing back to Amazing Fantasy #15 in one of Bendis’s neater moments, but… no actual content.

The only content is Kitty revealing to Mary Jane (and Gwen and Kong) she’s still in love with Peter. Right after Mary Jane decks her. Then Kitty leaves, presumably to join the crossover event in some other comic.

It’s an odd misfire, given it’s Spidey versus his rogues gallery. They don’t even talk–it’s like watching the action on mute. Bendis doesn’t give it any personality at all, given Peter’s narration is all fast-paced panic.

Bendis fumbles.


Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Stuart Immonen; inker, Wade von Grawbadger; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Lauren Sankovitch and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Reality Check 2 (October 2013)

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I have a hard time… respecting Reality Check. This issue reveals the Batman stand-in is just sexually frustrated and that frustration is why he’s broken out of the comic book world into the real world.

In other words, Brunswick isn’t going for high brow. He’s not going for lots of laughs either. He’s trying to combination get a smile and go for the heartstrings. The villain is apparently some obnoxious white DJ who stole the protagonist’s college girlfriend. To make matters worse, the Batman guy likes her too. And won’t go back to the comic books until the protagonist helps him score.

Check is sort of the comic one would expect from Kevin Smith, actually.

Bogdanovic’s art works pretty well. There’s an exceptionally lengthy action sequence with lots of talking for the first third of the comic and Bogdanovic sells it.

The comic remains strangely compelling. Brunswick’s plain affable.


Writer, Glen Brunswick; artist, Viktor Bogdanovic; colorist, Paul Little; letterer, Rus Wooton; publisher, Image Comics

Hinterkind 1 (December 2013)

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I really don’t understand Hinterkind. Is it a spin-off of Fables or is it just highly derivative of a series from the same publisher? Oh, it’s different… it’s not fairy tales. It’s just fairy tale monsters inhabiting a future Earth after some catastrophe sets humanity on the brink. There are animals in the now reclaimed by nature New York City, for example, and little well-read teenage hunters to hunt them.

Is Warner Bros. really this desperate to compete with The Hunger Games? There’s even the girl lead with a male best friend. It’s a pitiful attempt.

Ian Edginton’s script isn’t bad, it’s just unimaginative and one rip-off after another. The bad part is the art. Francesco Trifogli can draw New York City with a bunch of trees everywhere and a settlement in Central Park, but his people are beyond lame.

And the monsters?

Don’t get me started.


Once Upon A Time…, Chapter One; writer, Ian Edginton; artist, Francesco Trifogli; colorist, Cris Peter; letterer, Dezi Sienty; editors, Sara Miller and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

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