The Maze Agency 2 (1998)

Maze agency v2 2

Barr finds himself a great setting for a murder mystery with this issue. It’s set at a monastery, apparently open as a tourist destination for New Yorkers who want to get away; there’s a period of silence thing, there’s a great visual setting. It all just works.

The issue has two inkers–Ande Parks and Jason Baumgartner–for Gonzalez’s pencils. Baumgartner does a little better, but it might just be because he has more of the action while Parks has to do all the opening mood.

Barr has time to do some nice character stuff with his leads and the supporting cast. This second Maze series, without worrying about establishing the leads’ romance, is more comfortable with them just being a couple. It helps immensely.

But there’s also time for Barr to work in two mysteries, not just the eventual murder mystery. It’s a nice little issue; great finish too.

CREDITS

The Adventure of the Realm of Silence; writer, Mike W. Barr; penciller, Gene Gonzalez; inkers, Ande Parks and Jason Baumgartner; letterer, Caliber Graphics; editor, Joe Pruett; publisher, Caliber Comics.

Black Science 1 (November 2013)

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I can’t think of much worse than Rick Remender’s narration in Black Science. The story–a rogue scientist who gets into trouble because of his anarchist views (except in very sci-fi situations)–ought to be interesting enough to make the narration a non-issue. Especially with Matteo Scalera’s awesome art.

A moment on that art. Scalera does a mix of old gods, cute animals and humor. It’s fabulous artwork. I really thought it would be enough to get me through the crappy narration. But it’s not. Nothing could overcome Remender’s narration on this comic.

I’m not sure what Remender’s going for. Instead of talking about the fictional science or even the alien world his protagonist is running through, the guy is going on and on about his family. It’s like an apology to his wife or something.

It’s unfortunate; Scalera’s artwork should make it worth a look. But no.

CREDITS

Writer, Rick Remender; artist, Matteo Scalera; colorist, Dean V. White; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sebastian Girner; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman 375 (September 1984)

Batman 375

It’s not the best issue. It’s maybe the weakest art I’ve seen from Don Newton (with Alfredo Alcala inking him). A lot of the art is still amazing–most of it probably, but there’s also a lack of detail in a lot of places. Not like Alcala’s rushed because he still over-inks a couple faces. Very strange art this issue. Unfinished or over-cooked.

But then there’s the story itself. Or, how Doug Moench tells it. He tells it in a rhyming homage to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s hilarious and wonderful. The opening is good and poetic–Moench’s narration, I mean–but later on it gets funny. It’s extremely creative and Moench has some great couplets.

There’s also some good stuff with Vicki and Alfred’s daughter teaming up for an adventure. Moench writes them better than Jason and Bruce; he hasn’t found a good chemistry for them.

CREDITS

The Glacier Under Gotham!; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Don Newton; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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