The Boys 64 (March 2012)

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There’s so much talking. Ennis just has Butcher and Hughie standing around talking for what seems like six pages. They’re waiting at the White House for the big showdown, only there’s a secret they don’t realize–Black Noir is up to something and no one knows about it except Mother’s Milk….

And he decides to wait until next issue to tell Hughie. Why? For drama.

It’s an enjoyable issue, especially with the Voight guy giving the Homelander a speech. The speech sort of implies the superheroes are disappointing because they never do attain the comic book ideal. It’s the closest Ennis has ever gotten to anyone hoping for such a thing in this series. It’s out of place, but a good moment.

There’s some other stuff–all the dirt on the superheroes gets out–but really it’s just Ennis getting ready for the big finale.

Like I said, enjoyable stuff.

CREDITS

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

Batman: Digital Justice (1990)

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Digital Justice is an odd mix of Tron and Frank Miller’s Dark Knight. There’s a floating skateboard in it too, which must either be a really cool idea or Justice creator Pepe Moreno saw a Back to the Future II trailer.

What’s maybe strangest about the book’s failings is Moreno isn’t responsible for the biggest problem. Sure, he came up with the silly, derivative story, but he didn’t write the dialogue. The dialogue in this comic is just awful and Doug Murray gets a solo credit on it. I suppose keeping all the terminology straight–Moreno and Murray do create an extensive vocabulary–is sort of impressive.

The story has to do with Jim Gordon’s grandson becoming the new Batman. But Bruce Wayne didn’t just retire, he realized he’d need to keep Batman alive as a computer virus. Because the Joker was keeping himself alive as a computer virus.

Makes you miss the late eighties and early nineties, when computer viruses were just the coolest thing in the world. Or not.

Because other than the digital art angle, there’s nothing to do this comic. Some of the art’s not bad, as Moreno isn’t going for realism, he just going for art made on a computer. Somehow there’s enough time for Moreno to introduce a new Robin and a new Catwoman, but not enough time to make either of them decent characters. I guess DC didn’t edit him too much.

Digital Justice is definitely a curiosity, but doesn’t achieve anything more.

CREDITS

Writers, Pepe Moreno and Doug Murray; artists, Moreno and Bob Fingerman; editors, Dan Raspler and Denny O’Neil; publisher, DC Comics.

Detective Comics 538 (May 1984)

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It’s a strange issue and not just because the feature’s incredibly boring. It’s a sting operation where Batman follows the new Catman–who is the new Catman because the old one sold out his cellmate and Batman and Gordon let this new guy become Catman–to make sure he gets safely to his hidden loot. Robin and Gordon follow Batman to clean up any further messes.

It probably could be good, but Moench focuses way too much on the annoying new Catman guy. Besides his grating thought clouds, the issue is mostly just awkward banter from Robin and Gordon.

It’s a goofy story; Moench’s trying way too hard to force two parters between this series and Batman.

But the wackiest thing is Cavalieri’s Green Arrow backup. It’s an ode to John Lennon. It’s not particularly good, but Cavalieri really tries hard to make it work. The weirdness helps it along.

CREDITS

Clothes Make the Cat(man); writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Green Arrow, Three Years Ago Today; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Shawn McManus; inker, Pablo Marcos; colorist, Jeanine Casey; letterer, Albert De Guzman. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine 2 (November 2013)

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Kirk and Riggs rush a few too many panels this issue. Not so many the art isn’t good overall, but there’s a definite–and unfortunate–hurried feel to the comic. And, since there’s no fast paced action scene until the end, the rushed feeling doesn’t fit.

Most of the issue is Clev and Bell’s investigation story–or how they get into the man hunt for the doctor giving away superpowers. There’s a nice scene with Clev arguing with an Army major; Jolley does a great job making all of it digestible. He even works in some more of Bloodhound’s post-DC setting.

While the issue is excellently written, the actual story progression comes mostly at the end. There’s a super spy involved, then one of the people who gets superpowers. It’s a perfect fit of plots. Jolley’s structure is outstanding.

Is the evil doctor supposed to look like Obama?

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Aaron Walker, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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