The Boys 55 (June 2011)

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I guess I shouldn’t be surprised Ennis, McCrea and Burns screwed up the finish. Ennis has had problems wrapping up arcs before (though he’s also had some awesome wrap-ups). The real surprise should be reserved for how much everyone screws up, each one of them.

Ennis wraps up Mallory’s story, which gets a whole lot less interesting when it becomes all about Butcher. Ennis is trying to turn Butcher into the villain of the series, at least for now; it has the awkward added value of making the reader feel bad for liking Butcher. Readers should have seen through him, even if Hughie didn’t.

McCrea and Burns get progressively worse throughout. The Mallory stuff is almost okay but then there’s a lot of gag shots. They go for humor, the script doesn’t. The ending with Annie’s incompetent though. Awful art.

Ennis should stick to limited series at this point.

CREDITS

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

Resident Alien 0 (April 2012)

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I kept waiting for something to happen in this issue of Resident Alien. It’s three stories from Dark Horse Presents so I thought there might be three cliffhangers–there’s one, at the very end–and some tension, but no.

Instead, it’s a very genial tale. An alien becomes a small-town doctor and might also solve a murder. I never watched “Diagnosis: Murder” with Dick Van Dyke, but I think the setup is similar.

Steve Parkhouse does a great job with the small town setting, Peter Hogan does well with the goings on… but there’s not much to it. The alien is still a mystery, more the subject of the issue than the protagonist. Hogan’s trying to increase the mystery with talk about all these murders–they only show the readers one–and bickering from the cops about what constitutes a murder for investigation.

It’s almost too pleasant… but enjoyable.

CREDITS

Welcome To Earth!; writer, Peter Hogan; artist, colorist and letterer, Steve Parkhouse; editors, John Schork and Philip R. Simon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem 2 (September 2009)

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Eh. Dang it, Bendis.

He structures the whole thing around Jonah’s obituary for Spider-Man, flashing back to Spidey’s first meeting with the Hulk. Oddly enough, back when Peter ran into the Hulk at the end of the original series, he didn’t seem like he remembered this incident. Bendis rips off the school bus scene from Superman pretty well. It’s not the problem.

The problem is when Jonah’s article becomes the cake instead of the icing. The art is then a bunch of pin-ups, mostly by Bagley, which seems inappropriate given how much work Immonen’s done. Scott Hanna’s inks seem a little off on the flashback story too, like he forgot how to do Ultimate Spider-Man.

The finale, with Immonen, takes a couple pages. It’s predictable, without personality. If Immonen had more room, he might’ve been able to make it visually matter.

Bendis strikes again. He’s dreadfully uneven.

CREDITS

Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; pencillers, Mark Bagley, Stuart Immonen, Trevor Hairsine, Ron Randall, Bill Sienkiewicz and John Totleben; inkers, Scott Hanna, Wade von Grawbadger, Danny Miki, Randall, Sienkiewicz and Totleben; colorists, Pete Pantazis and Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Mark Paniccia and Lauren Sankovitch; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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