The Boys 70 (September 2012)

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It’s a fast issue. Hughie gets to meet some mentioned, but never seen characters. Well, let’s just say Ennis should have gone the Vera and Maris route because doing a Lovecraft thing? Not the best scene. He can’t even make it funny when he tries.

Ennis resolves two mysteries the series never needed solving. Then he kicks off an ending somewhat akin to the one in Preacher. He has an excuse for it, sure, but it’s the same thing. Only Braun doesn’t go in enough for the iconic scenery to make it work.

There’s also a complete misfire of a 9/11 reference, which doesn’t sit particularly well. Ennis isn’t trying anything with The Boys, something I feared back when it became clear where he was going with things. Even worse than not trying–I just realized he borrows two things from Preacher–he’s not even trying to be witty.

CREDITS

The Bloody Doors Off, Part Five; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Six-Gun Gorilla 6 (November 2013)

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Spurrier brings the series to a decent, if underwhelming conclusion. Lots of things don’t get resolved and Spurrier has introduced so much over the previous five issues, it’s hard to remember them all when he brings them back in. He was able to entertain when he was being confounding, but this time he’s trying too hard to be literal.

He splits the issue between Blue and the gorilla. Only the gorilla doesn’t get a good plot thread, just an action scene. And Blue has a master plan the reader doesn’t know about, which gives Spurrier some time to kill explaining it all… time he could have spent a whole lot better.

It’s a big, monumental, earth-shattering finish and the series never felt particularly big. Stokely’s art for it isn’t composed big–and Spurrier’s plotting isn’t big either. It’s big for the sequel? Who knows….

It’s okay, but not great.

CREDITS

Fill Your Hand; writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Jeff Stokely; colorist, Andre May; letterer, Steve Wands; editor, Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Batman 378 (December 1984)

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I’m kind of hoping Moench’s got a good back story saved up for Nocturna. She gets what I think is her first interior monologue–if not first, first significant one she’s come back–where she’s questioning her motives. There are hints at some strange origin. It would help.

Batman too gets a lengthy internal monologue as he tries to figure out how to kill time after Nocturna’s adoption of Jason goes through. Moench even goes through Bruce’s thought processes on deciding what case to investigate. That sequence, still problematic due to the adoption thing, is nice.

The Mad Hatter also gets a subplot–he’s the cover villain–and Moench writes him rather well. He’s far more engaging than most of the regular cast.

I really wish Alfred had smacked Vicki Vale for disparaging his daughter though. Moench’s pushing the hostility between the women and it’s getting long in the toothi

CREDITS

One Hat Madder!; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Don Newton; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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