Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril 5 (January 2014)

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Tom Strange finally appears in the issue–which is good, since Hogan’s only got one left. Besides the opening, which features another new (or returning from a previous limited series) character, a lot of the issue is just the Toms talking.

Tom Strange is set up on the moon (not sure why it was such a secret) and Tom Strong offers to help him try to figure out a cure for the plague. Then Hogan introduces the other members of Strange’s team; they’re a hodgepodge to show the smart people of all types banding together to save the species.

It’s a fine enough issue–there is some nice art from Sprouse and Story, particularly the trip to the moon base–but there’s a lack of drama to it. Even though Strong’s on a deadline, Hogan has a leisurely pace. The series’s definitely worth reading, but I’m glad it’s finishing soon.



Sleeping in Flames; writer, Peter Hogan; penciller, Chris Sprouse; inker, Karl Story; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Jessica Chen, Kristy Quinn, Ben Abernathy and Shelly Bond; publisher, Vertigo.

Detective Comics 540 (July 1984)

Detective 540

There’s something off about Colan’s layouts for the feature story. Moench splits it between Batman and Robin for the first half–Batman dealing with his Scarecrow-induced fears, Robin dealing with the Scarecrow himself–and it’s a busy issue. Somehow, it’s too busy for Colan, who doesn’t use panels but lets everything melt together. It gets muddled fast.

Still, lovely art. Just not great narrative art.

The story’s all action. Moench only spends a page on a subplot–the Dr. Fang one–and doesn’t even do much interaction between Batman and Robin or Batman and Scarecrow. Robin gets some decent face-off time with the Scarecrow though.

The end’s too sudden but it’s an okay enough story. Muddled or not, Colan and Smith draw creepy well.

McManus has a few excellent panels on the Green Arrow backup but the story’s pretty lame. Cavalieri’s big reveal is both predictable and confusing.


Something Scary; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Green Arrow, In Cold Type!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Shawn McManus; inker, Sal Trapani; colorist, Shelley Eiber; letterer, Bob Lappan. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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