Detective Comics 795 (August 2004)


Given the incessant Tarantula narration–Gabrych goes off the deep end, amping up the character’s annoying factor instead of toning it down to reasonable levels–one would think the ending would make sense because there would be some commentary on it in the narration.


I think the cockroach monster has something to do with it, but since everything takes place in the sewer, it’s unclear why the cockroach monster couldn’t have gotten in to fight the other monster on its own. And Gabyrch overlooks the “realistic Batman dealing with the fantastic” nature of the story too. It’s pretty much a complete misfire. There’s no character work, just nonsense with Tarantula.

Nathan Massengill is an odd inker for Woods too. The figures seem stocky and static here.

The backup, with Brad Walker and Troy Nixey art, is goofy. The art can’t compensate for that goofiness.

Gabrych has a bad issue.


Monsters of Rot, Part Two: Knee Deep; penciller, Pete Woods; inker, Nathan Massengill; colorist, Jason Wright; editors, Michael Wright and Bob Schreck. Polished Stone, Part One; penciller, Brad Walker; inker, Troy Nixey; colorist, Giulia Brusco; editor, Matt Idelson. Writer, Andersen Gabrych; letterer, Clem Robins; publisher, DC Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 2 (November 2009)

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More with the mysteriousness–and, of course, Mysterio. Flash is back and he’s a bigger jerk than before. Kong and Kitty have broken up. Kong has a mohawk now. The way Kitty makes fun of Mary Jane for not having a boyfriend, how Bendis plays her for immediate sympathy, makes one wonder how long before she and Peter get back together.

Why have any faith in Bendis? He’s cheap.

The supervillain sequence is awful. Bendis read Kick Ass too, apparently. Only he has a mother and daughter villain team. It’s terrible, terrible stuff.

Peter complains constantly about being popular as Spider-Man now (post-Jonah’s obituary). It’s a bad move for the series too, since Bendis doesn’t have anything to do with it. Maybe if he were showing the changes instead of their aftereffects.

It’s still too soon to get a handle on what Bendis is going for, if anything.


The New World According to Peter Parker, Part Two; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; artist, David Lafuente; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Sana Amanat, Lauren Sankovitch and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Private Eye 4 (10 October 2013)

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It’s the best issue in quite a while–maybe ever–but because Vaughan doesn’t try too hard. The most glaring exposition he gets in about the setting is a reference to Rand Paul’s presidency. The issue also feels like a private eye investigating.

It opens with the detective going to a clothing store, trying to bribe the owner… with the exception of all the wacky costumes, it feels like Raymond Chandler for a second. And that feeling–amazingly–doesn’t go away. Not until the goofy ending, which still work because Martin does excellent art this issue.

The clothes store scene just sets up the P.I. and his client having to break into a library. Vaughan’s pop culture references are problematic (would libraries–or the federal government–survive a Rand Paul presidency). He goes for amusing rather than accurate.

But the library sequence is taut, thanks again to Martin.

Good issue.


Writer, Brian K. Vaughan; artist, Marcos Martin; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; publisher, Panel Syndicate.

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