The Shaolin Cowboy 2 (November 2013)

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I can’t decide if Darrow’s being hostile.

This issue of The Shaolin Cowboy consists of approximately thirty-two double page (horizontal) and half page (vertical) panels of the Shaolin Cowboy fighting zombies in the desert. There’s a single page spread of him jumping to attack opening the issue.

After maybe five or six pages, I started to wonder if Darrow was going to go for the ultimate in all action issues. But it’s not an all action issue; the Cowboy’s basically just spinning around, slicing up zombies. It’s not some kind of decompressed narrative, Darrow’s not trying to tell a story here. He’s trying to show the reader some art. There’s no argument about whether the comic’s worth the cover price… based on the art, it’s more than worth it. Darrow works hard.

But he’s created something to look at, not something to read. It’s a portfolio of related illustrations.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Geof Darrow; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Peter Doherty; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Rocketeer/The Spirit 3 (November 2013)

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So J. Bone takes over the art. Maybe the intention was always a different artist on each issue, but it doesn’t play particularly well. Bone does very nice homage to Eisner’s character design without being too literal.

The story’s a little weak though… definitely a little weak. Waid definitely likes the Spirit and his supporting cast, but he casts Cliff as a buffoon. Betty’s a strumpet and Cliff’s a buffoon. Until the big action sequence–the two heroes’ different fist fights juxtaposed against each other–the Rocketeer doesn’t show up. Waid’s just got Cliff running around like an ass.

It’s awkward and unpleasant. The crossover is ill-advised–the characters’ don’t sync–but Waid could have come up with something better than Cliff being a boob.

The issue reads fast and Bone has some decent moments. Otherwise, it’s getting even worse than I had expected. Waid’s dropping the ball here.

CREDITS

Pulp Friction, Part Three; writer, Mark Waid; artist, J. Bone; colorist, Rom Fajardo; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Sons of Anarchy 3 (November 2013)

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Golden goes an interesting route with this issue. He takes almost the entire issue to resolve last issue’s cliffhanger–he also explains why the guy who betrays SAMCRO does so in an almost too action-packed flashback. The cliffhanger resolution’s pretty simple….

The worst thing happens. Well, maybe not the worst. But Golden doesn’t give the cast a last minute save. He lays out the foreshadowing and then he delivers on it. It changes one’s expectations of where Golden’s willing to take the comic.

He does fill in way too much exposition though. The comic’s bursting with new characters to remember–most of them are just important names, not even on page–and it’s a lot to digest. Golden simplifies it a little bit towards the end, but an exposition recap of the too much exposition seems like a bad device.

Still, it’s solid. The soft cliffhanger’s a good one.

CREDITS

Writer, Christopher Golden; penciller, Damian Couceiro; inkers, Couceiro and Emilio Lecce; colorist, Stephen Downer; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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