The Boys 62 (January 2012)

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I don’t know what’s going on with Braun’s art, but he gets positively cartoony at times this issue. It’s like he’s too enthusiastic with Ennis’s humorous moments, which mostly involve Butcher making a wisecrack.

With Ennis trying to wind everything up, he’s dialed certain things back on The Boys. It looks a lot like the early issues, but he’s no longer reminding the reader of the characters’ journeys. If he keeps going this way, the series could have been twenty or thirty issues, not sixty plus.

It’s most relevant with how he handles Hughie. Hughie tells two big secrets and both remind of the old Hughie, not the one with all the profound emotional issues. Ennis is going for the smile and the laugh.

It makes the comic more entertaining and it insulates Ennis from failure. It just doesn’t make the comic better… but maybe Ennis was always faking ambition.

CREDITS

Over the Hills With the Swords of a Thousand Men, Part Three; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Tony Aviña; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Sons of Anarchy 2 (October 2013)

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Golden might have written himself into a corner with this issue’s soft cliffhanger. It might deal with too much continuity from the source television show for a fresh comic reader to pick it up.

Otherwise, though, it’s a good issue. Golden sticks with his female character who’s looking for help from SAMCRO. There’s a big flashback sequence, where Golden jumps between viewpoints a little but it’s fine–he makes sure Anarchy feels like a television episode. There’s action in the flashback, then bad action in some other flashbacks and asides.

By bad action I don’t mean Couceiro does a bad job with it, I mean it’s very unpleasant stuff. Not a gun fight, bad people doing bad things to helpless people bad. Somehow Couceiro manages not to make it too rough.

In fact, I’m not sure there’s any cursing in the comic.

Very curious to see what Golden does next.

CREDITS

Writer, Christopher Golden; artist, Damian Couceiro; colorist, Stephen Downer; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Detective Comics 537 (April 1984)

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Quick observation about the Green Arrow backup before I forget–McManus has some great panels. Not all of them, not consistently, but he has some amazing close-ups.

The feature story has Batman getting called down to the sewer by a Mexican immigrant. Moench goes for this sensitive story about a guy without a country or a present; once again, Batman is barely a character in his own book but Moench makes it work. The writing isn’t perfect, but it reads sincere and ambitious.

Of course, given the guy called Batman down because he found a body, eventually things lead to an action sequence. Colan and Smith do better on everything than they do on the action scene. Maybe the sewer setting.

The subplots–Dr. Fang, Alfred’s daughter–both get some page time too.

Moench’s doing very well. Even the Arrow backup is better than usual. It’s a good issue.

CREDITS

Down Below; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Green Arrow, Strike First!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; artist, Shawn McManus; colorist, Jeanine Casey; letterer, Bob Lappan. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Ghosted 5 (November 2013)

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Williamson does the heist movie thing where he reveals all the double crosses and hidden machinations to allow the good guys to beat the mark. Because he’s doing it in a comic, it doesn’t work. There’s no way for him to do a smooth montage. Instead he’s got a lot of forced, awkward exposition.

Other than the big reveal, he paces the issue rather well. He gets through the cliffhanger resolution, gets through some plans of attack, makes one minor reveal, makes the major one, deals with fallout on scene, moves on to the next location–he really does get a lot done here. He never lets the issue slow down until the last scene,

Sadly, Sudzuka has some really weak panels in this issue. Something about the expressions escaped him. They’re so bad they can slow the reading.

Ghosted has its share of problems, but it’s a decent comic.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Goran Sudžuka; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

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