Detective Comics 799 (December 2004)


Besides a vaguely amusing Jesus Christ Superstar reference in this issue, there’s not much else to it. Things continue to go wrong with Batman’s plans for the “War Games” crossover, the sidekicks continue to have panel or two cameos to remind readers to pick up their solo books and Leslie has a scene. Oh, and the new commissioner is stick of Batman.

In other words, the status quo for the crossover.

Batman’s plan this issue involves putting every Gotham supervillain in the same place at once. Did the Batman editors watch The Warriors before they decided to subject the world to this crossover? How Batman didn’t anticipate something going wrong… I mean, Killer Croc is there. It’s an absurd scene.

Gabrych can’t sell it. Woods and inker Cam Smith do okay though.

The Riddler backup finishes. Castillo’s art is a little better, but it’s still a terrible story. Just terrible.


War Games, Act 3, Part 1: Good Intentions; writer, Andersen Gabrych; penciller, Pete Woods; inker, Cam Smith; colorist, Jason Wright; letterer, Jared Fletcher; editors, Michael Wright and Bob Schreck. Low, Part 3; writer, Shane McCarthy; penciller, Tommy Castillo; inker, Rodney Ramos; colorist, Tony Avina; letterer, Nick Napolitano; editor, Wright. Publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodshot 12 (June 2013)

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I’ve only read a few issues of Bloodshot but it seems like a big part of what Swierczynski does is have contrived scenes with Bloodshot and the men who wrong him in the past. It’ll seem like Bloodshot is finished, his nanites unable to repair him, but then he’ll magically come through thanks to the perseverance of the human spirit.

Especially against the very evil bad guys.

It’s really boring, especially since Swierczynski never comes up with good places for these action sequences. This issue’s takes place in a mechanized slaughterhouse. Feels a little like the end of the first Terminator movie, only without any drama.

Meanwhile, the kids and their babysitter are under siege in their transportation vehicle. The bad guys can remotely control the vehicle’s auto-lock system. It’s real silly and really dumb.

The art from Kitson and Gaudiano is quite good. Swierczynski’s script not so much.


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.

Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker 4 (October 2011)


I have to give it to Ennis, he does come up with one hectic of a death scene for Butcher’s wife. I always assumed it was something similar to Hughie’s but no. Ennis and Robertson pace that sequence beautifully. The way Ennis gets there though, it has some problems.

One of the things Butcher does, regardless of its problems, is bring the reader out of the Boys universe. It’s Margaret Thatcher, it’s Falklands War, it’s real. Bringing in the superheroes at the end without any context… it’s jarring and it reminds the reader Ennis is just doing this series to cash in. It also appears the two things can’t exist at once; Ennis has never textured his scenes in the the regular series like he does here.

There’s not much else to say about the issue. The death of the brother is really contrived. It’s a cheap, somewhat effective issue.


The Last Time to Look On This World of Lies; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Darick Robertson; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Pretty Deadly 1 (October 2013)

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I think Pretty Deadly is off to a good start but it’s hard to say for sure. Kelly Sue DeConnick is doing a maybe supernaturally themed Western and, if she’s not, she’s doing revisionist Western. Or she’s doing both at once.

After this first issue, I think the revisionism is clear–she and artist Emma Rios are looking at female characters in the Old West. More, the protagonist of the comic is a kid. It’s not clear how old she’s supposed to be, probably twelve or thirteen; she and an old blind guy apparently go from town to town and tell stories for tips. The storytelling sequence is real rough going. Rios goes wild with it. The enthusiasm gets it through.

The second half of the issue reveals the problem–the kid, Sissy, she stole something she shouldn’t have. Now there’s the bad woman after her.

Deadly’s competent and interesting.



Writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick; artist, Emma Rios; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editor, Sigrid Ellis; publisher, Image Comics.

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