The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 29 (May 1985)


Whew, I thought something happened to Dikto and since the previous issue he forgot everything he knew about composition completely and replaced it with the inept angles of someone without dimension vision.

But it’s a new penciller–Ricardo Villamonte–and he’s awful. He ruins a bunch of good action set pieces in Grant’s script. She’s got a lot of material in the issue. Not enough for two but enough for one and a half easy. Indy meets up with an old flame, an old friend, dueling gangsters–it’s practically Yojimbo. It’s not, but it’s closer to it than I’d have expected from Grant.

Villamonte can’t do the talking, he really can’t do action, he can’t do much of anything. He can’t even draw Indy’s face the same size from panel to panel. It’s a shame Marvel is giving up on the book once they’ve got an okay writer in place.



Shot by Both Sides; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Ricardo Villamonte; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, George Roussos; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Illegitimates 2 (January 2014)

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I tried, I really did try. But Sharpe’s lame, generic buff figures are just too much. He’s got no style, no finesse. The script is full of James Bond winks and Sharpe can’t bring personality to stereotypes much less settings.

But it’s not all Sharpe’s fault. Andreyko and Killam do a fine job with all the James Bond stuff–the villains conspiring, the crisis station–they just don’t do a good job with their lead actors, the James Bond Squad or whatever.

The writers go for cheap gags instead of actual scenes. Not one of the presumable main cast members has any personality in this issue, not a one. It’s like reading a movie trailer and getting all the worst parts of the movie left in. I’m sure the creators–and IDW–are hoping for a movie deal on the concept.

Because they sure don’t have it on the story.



We Are Family; writers, Marc Andreyko and Taran Killam; penciller, Kevin Sharpe; inker, Diana Greenhalgh; colorist, Pete Pantazis; letterer, Thomas F. Zahler; editor, Sarah Gaydos; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Detective Comics 562 (May 1986)


It’s hard to recall the feature story after the fantastic art on the Green Arrow backup. Moore does an amazing job. It’s packed with content too, so there’s a lot of variety. It’s not good content; since adding Black Canary, Cavalieri is struggling with a storyline and the basic characterizations. But great art. Just great.

On the feature, Colan continues his downward slide. There are occasionally good panels and often great composition in long shots and medium shots, but Colan and Smith aren’t bringing the detail anymore.

It’s a tense issue. Moench writes his villain to be more of a spree killer than a supervillain, which is a nice change. There’s a lot more talk about Robin’s jealousy over Catwoman, but no sign Moench knows where to take it. Not even Robin and Bullock are amusing together.

The feature has some moments; Batman and Catwoman do make a good team.



Reeling; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Workman. Green Arrow, The Criminal Element; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Jerome Moore; inker, Dell Barras; colorist, Jeanine Casey; letterer, Agustin Mas. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Pretty Deadly 4 (January 2014)

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A real cast list. All I ask for is a real cast list. It’s got to make sense–and even I figured out the main girl’s destiny–but a cheat sheet would be so helpful. I probably could look online, couldn’t I?

But I like being off balance with Pretty Deadly. Something about Rios’s art makes discovering story connections, instead of worrying about them before reading, a more pleasing reading experience.

This issue might have DeConnick’s first tranquil scene in the series–Death talking to his love (more her talking to him). It’s a strange, beautiful, sad scene.

There’s also a big fight scene. Rios does fine with it, but it goes on way too long. Rios has a lyrical quality to her action, especially this fight–told mostly in long shots–and the horizontal panels get a wee long in the tooth.

DeConnick’s setting up for something rather big.



Writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick; artist, Emma Rios; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editor, Sigrid Ellis; publisher, Image Comics.

The Legend of Luther Strode 6 (August 2013)

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The big finale is pretty much what I expected. It’s a setup for the next series; so if Jordan’s writing this series just as a lead-in… well, it shouldn’t have been six issues. It could have been three and been much, much better.

It’s another fight scene. Moore gets to do a mall fight, kind of Dawn of the Dead. It’s cool looking enough.

Jordan opens the issue trying to build up the characters. There’s more conversation from Luther Strode on the first two pages of this issue than in any of the previous ones. It’s too little, too late. Jordan’s managed to exhaust all his goodwill from the first series and start chopping away at the goodwill Moore is still garnering.

On the other hand, another sequel couldn’t have much to do with this series so Jordan might turn things around. Legend is nicely drawn and totally useless.



Writer, Justin Jordan; artist, Tradd Moore; colorist, Felipe Sobreiro; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

EGOs 1 (January 2014)

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I don’t know where to go on EGOs. On one hand, writer Stuart Moore does a great job with the sci-fi universe setup. Gus Storms’s art is kind of a friendly Prophet. It’s never gross, never too bloody.

But it’s not just a sci-fi story, it’s a superhero sci-fi story. It’s the Legion of Super-Heroes getting the “grown-up, grim and gritty” treatment. It’s goofy. Is it going to be goofy in a good way? It’s hard to say, as Moore did put in all that sci-fi setup work. It’s like he takes the science fiction future part of it far more seriously than the superhero stuff.

The characters seem like they could be good. The protagonists are a fighting married couple, retired superheroes with nothing else to do. And Moore doesn’t wink at them. It’s all straightforward and sincere.

I’m hopeful, but shouldn’t be.



Dead Worlds; writer, Stuart Moore; artist and colorist, Gus Storms; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Marie Javins and Moore; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman 395 (May 1986)


Moench tries for way too much this issue. First, he’s got a new villain for Batman to deal with, then he’s got Batman and Catwoman smooching at the Bat-signal. Robin’s jealous so he teams up with Harvey Bullock. So both teams are investigating, Robin’s being nasty to Catwoman, but then it all turns out it’s a Hitchcock homage with Vicki and Julia.

Any number of those items could fuel its own issue–or easily half issue–but Moench throws them all in here. Oh, I forgot his lame, film-quoting villain. Moench overstuffs the issue; it comes as a surprise even, which is a plus. At first, it seems like Julia and Vicki are around as filler for a scene, not the protagonists of the cliffhanger.

Another problem is Mandrake. He’s too loose this issue, his figures too exaggerated. Hurried might be all right, but the art seems rushed.



The Film Freak; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Tom Mandrake; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterers, John Workman and John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Hawkeye 16 (February 2014)

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Once again, why is Matt Fraction even writing Clint Barton issues of Hawkeye when he’s got the opportunity to write these Kate issues.

It’s a done-in-one, “Rockford” style detective issue. Kate comes across a guy walking down the freeway, discovers he’s got a story (sixties rock legend turned burnout) and tries to help him. Things do not go particularly well, but they go badly in very amusing ways. Plus, Kate develops as a character throughout, between her neighbors, the angry police chief and her supermarket P.I. mentor. It’s all so awesome, one would think Fraction wouldn’t want to write Clint anymore either.

I won’t even get into how movie-ready a nineteen year-old, female superhero would be for Disney.

Nice art from Annie Wu, who gets in some nice psychedelic poster art influences–doing a flashback with a guy’s face as the guide, for example.

Excellent stuff.



Recording Tape; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Annie Wu; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Devin Lewis, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Legend of Luther Strode 5 (May 2013)

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Luther just hit the exasperating point. So far, Jordan has established exactly one important event in five issues of this series. It could have been a single issue and ended where this one ends and the series might be setup for something good.

Giving Moore a place to showcase his ultra-violent art is fine, but Jordan tries to slap on a narrative. Had this series just been one very long fight sequence–really, six issues of one fight, I mean it sincerely–they would have been trying something. And doing it just before Shaolin Cowboy.

Instead, there’s this loose attempt at a story. The crime bosses, the other Highlanders (what else should they be called at this point), Jordan actually feigns turning the boss’s lackey into a character. It’s pointless because this comic doesn’t need characters.

Worse, there’s a lengthy fire sequence and the fire looks terrible.

Luther’s redundant.



Writer, Justin Jordan; artist, Tradd Moore; colorist, Felipe Sobreiro; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

Curse 1 (January 2014)

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Apparently the world needs another mediocre horror comic desperate for a Hollywood option. And Curse is ready for that option–widowed working class, black dad with a sick kid and a white sister-in-law who wants to take that kid away. So what’s the dad to do to provide? Hunt werewolves.

Of course, he doesn’t know he’s hunting a werewolf but when he finds out, he chains the thing up so it can taunt him. Little 30 Days of Night in there. Zero originality.

Michael Moreci Tim Daniel aren’t terrible writers. Their police investigation scene is a decent procedural scene. The stuff with the family and the dad? Terrible. Then there’s the art. The werewolf attack art is highly stylized and a lot more hurried than the regular art. The regular art is fine. It’s unclear if Colin Lorimer and Riley Rossmo do both together or separately.

Regardless, eh.



Writers, Tim Daniel and Mike Moreci; artists and colorists, Colin Lorimer and Riley Rossmo; letterer, Jim Campbell; editors, Bryce Carlson, Eric Harburn and Chris Rosa; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Detective Comics 561 (April 1986)


Because the world needs more anti-drug messages. Jason really likes the new girl at school, but she wants to do drugs. Can Jason–and Robin–convince her to stay square?

It’s hard to say whether Moench wanted to tell a Jason story or wanted to do a drug prevention story. He hasn’t shown Jason at school before, so he has to introduce the bully as well as the girl. Jason’s such a poorly realized character, why would his school be any different. And why would he be in public school? And if he’s not in public school, why couldn’t the bully just steal his mom’s prescription drugs instead of robbing a pharmacy?

Worse, Colan is real lazy. Inkers Smith and Ricardo Villagran don’t do much to fix the problems either. The super-balding Bruce is a particular eyesore.

Beautiful pencils from Moore on Green Arrow. Shame about the story.



Flying Hi; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inkers, Bob Smith and Ricardo Villagran; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Workman. Green Arrow, In the Grip of Steelclaw!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Jerome Moore; inker, Dell Barras; colorist, Jeanine Casey; letterer, Agustin Mas. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Deadly Class 1 (January 2014)

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In the back matter, writer Rick Remender explains Deadly Class will have “no magic” and “no spaceships.” This promise comes a page after there’s a hidden magical high school in a hollow earth under San Francisco.

Class was already tiresome by the time Remender finishes the issue with that back matter, explaining it’s based on real violence he saw as a kid. Wes Craig’s art–what’s with all the Paul Pope lites these days?–does nothing for the reality. It’s stylized, glorified comic book violence, no matter what Remender wants to tell the reader they should think.

The whole thing seems pretty glib considering it’s about a fourteen year-old homeless kid. Remender gives him a big eighties story–all the bad things in his life are Reagan’s fault (either due to bad governing or criminal conspiracy); it’s desperate.

Craig’s art isn’t bad, but it’s far from enough to compensate.



Writer, Rick Remender; artist, Wes Craig; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sebastian Girner; publisher, Image Comics.

The Legend of Luther Strode 4 (March 2013)

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Jordan is just getting worse. He’s still not doing a bad job, he’s probably even on the positive side of mediocre, but he’s getting worse. There’s less and less actual content as the series progresses. There’s no story, just a series of awesome action set pieces from Moore.

And the fight scene is great. The bandaged villain guy is a good opponent for Luther. Jordan doesn’t write their fight banter particularly well–he’s trying to get in way too much exposition–but the character concept is strong. Moore does well with all the energy of an absurdly long limbed supervillain.

About the only character who gets any attention is Petra. Jordan has her running around, meeting up with various players. He doesn’t cliffhang on her again, which is a welcome change. Unfortunately, the cliffhanger he does pick isn’t much better.

The series continues to be entirely decent but completely pointless.



Writer, Justin Jordan; artist, Tradd Moore; colorist, Felipe Sobreiro; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

Ghost 1 (December 2013)

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Ghost is a fairly amusing read with great Ryan Sook art. Or maybe Ghost is an excellent read from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela with decent art. It changes from page to page. DeConnick writes well but doesn’t have a good plot. She does wonders with the characters.

Sook is responsible for taking that okay but bland script and making it bold. He does. It’s pulpy, it’s noir, it’s very visually Chicago–Sook isn’t lazy at all. Oh, and there are demons. But I don’t remember anything except the scenery, maybe some of the noir angles, and neither memorable moment seems enough. Because the art is kind of bland too.

Sook doesn’t go crazy, DeConnick doesn’t go crazy. Ghost would be the perfect comic to pick up from time to time without hunting it down–there’s nothing compelling. The writers don’t conceive a protagonist so much as a subject.



Writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela; artist, Ryan Sook; colorist, Dave McCaig; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Everett Patterson and Patrick Thorpe; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Detective Comics 560 (March 1986)


This issue has Batman tricking Robin and Catwoman into teaming up. They aren’t getting along–all because of Jason–so Batman has to set a trap for them. Moench tells the story from the perspective of a spider in the Batcave.

It’s sort of nutty. But it’s also kind of great. Robin refers to Nocturna as “his mother of the night” or something silly–like he’s a goth or something. Robin as a goth. It’d be awesome. No, Moench doesn’t go there but he does try to do something really difficult. He tries to look at Jason’s grief. That alone gets the issue respect.

The art is good. Colan and Smith have a great time with Selina and Bullock as far as detail. And there’s a quick Batman origin recap. It’s nice looking.

The Green Arrow backup has great art, strange story. Not bad (yet) but very gimmicky and strange.



The Batman Nobody Knows; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Workman. Green Arrow, …Me a Bad Guy…?; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Jerome Moore; inker, Dell Barras; colorist, Jeanine Casey; letterer, Bob Lappan. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Prophet 42 (January 2014)

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Wow. Usually the backups are decent, but this issue’s effort from Polly Guo is so great, I’m talking about it first. Just a superb, funny high school story. Truly excellent stuff.

Now on to the feature. Ron Wimberley does a Diehard flashback. No complaints as it’s a great story, but why is it always Diehard? Why doesn’t anyone else get a story? But he’s telling it Rein-East, which is super cute.

Anyway, the story has Diehard on this planet with a tribal civilization. He’s trying to fit in, going on a vision quest. Only it’s Diehard so his inorganic physiology screws it all up. Even though Wimbeley never outright says it, he makes it clear Diehard is sad in his condition as an immortal android.

Robot. I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter for the story.

The art’s good, full of Prophet energy and wit. Wimberley and Guo do fantastic work.



Writers, Ron Wimberley and Brandon Graham; artists, Wimberley and Giannis Milonogiannis; colorists, Wimberley and Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Frog and Fly; writer and artist, Polly Guo. Publisher, Image Comics.

The Legend of Luther Strode 3 (February 2013)

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And now Luther gets himself a supervillain. Not bad gimmicks, very creepy the way Moore draws him. It’ll probably be a great looking issue next time. Of course, this time was great looking too. Only nothing really came of the story.

The situation at the end of this issue is the same as at the beginning. Damsel in distress. The whole issue just circles around until Jordan finds a way to put the girl in danger again. There are some great fight scenes, some humor, some character development for the old guy… but there’s no story. It’s the third issue and it seems like Jordan has done nothing but show off what his artist can do.

Not what his characters can do, what the artist can do. Luther’s once again barely a character. He’s reduced to witty lines, almost always in response to someone else’s wittier line.

It’s severely uninspired.



Writer, Justin Jordan; artist, Tradd Moore; colorist, Felipe Sobreiro; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

Coffin Hill 4 (March 2014)

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Somehow it manages to slide further downhill and redeem itself simultaneously. Kittredge has a cool cliffhanger. As much as the issue flops–Eve’s now a completely lame protagonist–the cliffhanger makes decent promises. So instead of giving up on Coffin Hill, I’m back for another.

Kittredge has a lot of problems with Eve. She can’t write her in flashbacks anymore, because she’s shown all her cards regarding the character and her limits. She can’t write her in the present because her supporting cast is terrible; the scene with the mother, right before the cliffhanger, is astoundingly bad.

But Kittredge can introduce new characters and they can be compelling. For half an issue anyway.

As for Miranda, the art is definitely continuing its slide as well… but without any to save it. There’s lots of weak composition, there’s almost no detail to characters; this comic is not nice looking at all.



Death upon Her Eyes; writer, Caitlin Kittredge; artist, Inaki Miranda; colorist, Eva De La Cruz; letterer, Travis Lanham; editors, Sara Miller and Shelly Bond; publisher, Vertigo.

Batman 394 (April 1986)


The Gulacy art continues, albeit in a far less interesting environment. Batman, the KGB agent and Robin have to stop the villain from poisoning the city. It seems a much simpler story–if it weren’t a Soviet assassin as the villain, it could be the Joker. And some boring looking Soviet guy isn’t the best use of Gulacy.

Moench tries really hard to show the common links between Americans and Russians; it’s warm and fuzzy eighties peace-nik stuff. It’s okay, mostly thanks to Gulacy’s art, but without it I can’t imagine the book being very entertaining.

Where Moench is interesting is Robin. Jason Todd has changed completely at this point, just a background object as opposed to Bruce’s would-be adoptive son. He even calls Bruce “boss” at one point. Moench’s really pulled the plug on the adopting business.

It’s a fantastic looking comic book with a serviceable script.



At the Heart of Stone; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Paul Gulacy; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Private Eye 5 (20 December 2013)

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After the protracted cliffhanger resolution, this issue starts getting really good and never stops. A lot of it is Martin. He’s got some breathtaking pages in this issue; it’s like he was waiting to impress.

As for Vaughan, he goes for some good humor and some cheap surprises. There are a few predictable moments as well. The villain is the problem so far–since the evil plan is already revealed, there’s not much to him without giving him active antagonists. Again, predictable.

Some of the smaller details eventually get revealed as more important than Vaughan implied. He contained his enthusiasm enough for a surprise. Very nice.

The character relationship between the private eye and his client is a little dull this issue, however. Vaughan never makes the girl particularly compelling and the P.I. is only interesting because Vaughan makes him so mysterious.

But those drawbacks can’t stop the issue’s success.



Writer, Brian K. Vaughan; artist, Marcos Martin; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; publisher, Panel Syndicate.

The Comics Fondle Podcast | Episode 7

Who knew we’d be able to make it to just about four weeks again?

Not a lot of comic reviews this episode–though I’ve got a big rant about at least one–but Vernon and I do talk a lot about the special C2E2 plans, Ed Brubaker (in general), the indie publishers and some other things. Bring popcorn.

you can also subscribe on iTunes…

The Legend of Luther Strode 2 (January 2013)

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It’s another action and violence issue. Since Moore has such a good time with the violence, the issue’s definitely entertaining. And Jordan doesn’t spend a lot of time with the crime boss. Luther does get a lot of page time.

He just doesn’t get to say anything. The girl, Petra, she gets a lot of lines and is actually the issue’s protagonist. Based on the cliffhanger, however, it appears Jordan is about ready to hand over the series to Luther. For those counting, that handover will be on issue three. While Luther’s name is in the title, Jordan’s plot is so contrived he can’t figure out how to get his titular character in the driver’s seat until the third issue….

Hopefully. It could all be about the villain again.

The comic’s good, it’s just uninspired. Apparently indie comic creators can do cash grabs too. No one is immune from it.



Writer, Justin Jordan; artist, Tradd Moore; colorist, Felipe Sobreiro; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

The Saviors 1 (December 2013)

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Weird. Weird is a good word for the first issue of The Saviors.

The J. Bone art–black and white–is good. It’s simultaneously energetic and pensive. He’s drawing the word from the perspective of the perpetually stoned protagonist, Tomas, so there’s got to be a balance. Bone finds it.

The story apparently has to do with a stoner discovering evil monsters are impersonating people on Earth in positions of power. Writer James Robinson never gets to that revelation. He establishes Tomas through a stoned monologue (to a lizard) and then gets going on an action roller coaster. The action is better than the setup.

The book has its problems, of course. Foremost has to be the blandness of Tomas as a lead. He’s the stoner from high school grown up, with Robinson silently judging him. It would’ve been more interesting for Robinson to lionize the stoner.

It’s decent though.



Writer, James Robinson; artist and letterer, J. Bone; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman 393 (March 1986)


Some lucky person out there, hopefully, has the original pages to this issue. Paul Gulacy guests and he does amazing work. There’s a lot of design influences, but all of them work. Well, sort of. They’re great, but they lead to the dialogue filling most of them. Moench writes a wordy script this issue and there’s not the right space for the words.

Batman is doing a mission for the CIA–again no Jason appearance–and he basically plays James Bond. He even hooks up with a female KGB agent. They have some good banter, but there’s way too much exposition. Even without Gulacy’s grand composition, Moench’s script has enough story for two issues.

The story is regularly silly, but the art makes everything a wonder; Gulacy delivers a gorgeous comic book.

The issue is also the first in Moench’s run so far not to continue over in Detective Comics.



The Dark Rider; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Paul Gulacy; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Clown Fatale 3 (January 2014)

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Gischler doesn’t appear to be writing for a sequel series, which is both good and bad. Good because he’s taking this series on its own, bad because Clown Fatale is so much fun.

It’s bloody and hard too. Gischler is apparently out to shock the reader into detachment, then bring him or her back in with some great character moments. The ninja girl seducing the dimwit carny is awesome; especially since Rosenzweig bakes in the sight gags so well.

The issue does open with a strange flashback to a crime boss meeting. It’s strange because–while it does have to do with the story–it doesn’t matter enough to spend pages on it. Maybe for next issue?

There’s a good cliffhanger, there’s good character stuff, Fatale is just a good comic. Gischler really knows how to hang onto what’s funny while still edgy. The comic is always fresh, always surprising.



Writer, Victor Gischler; penciller, Maurizio Rosenzweig; inker and colorist, Moreno Dinisio; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Shantel LaRocque and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Kiss Me, Satan 5 (January 2014)


I’ve never found Ferreyra’s art to be one of Kiss Me, Satan’s selling points. Gischler’s lunacy was always its brass ring. This issue, however, the art is what makes it work. There’s some good lunacy–Gischler seems to get how to use magic in a violent action story. With actual wonderment no less. But his final reveal is a little predictable.

Only it looses Ferreyra. After four issues of action scenes, Ferreyra finally gets to do the big werewolf battle and he does a great job with it. There are two or three fantastic double page spreads this issue, with Ferreyra moving the action across them. Just wonderful energy.

As for the story? Sadly Gischler doesn’t really have an ending, so he combines a few traditional noir ones. There’s no painful series setup, though they could easily do a sequel.

It’s a good, solid comic, which is just fine.



Writer, Victor Gischler; artist, Juan Ferreyra; colorists, Eduardo Ferreyra and Juan Ferreyra; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Shantel LaRocque and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Legend of Luther Strode 1 (December 2012)

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I’m underwhelmed. Maybe because Luther Strode doesn’t really get much to do in the first issue of The Legend of Luther Strode except do an impression of the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie. He sits alone in his sewer lair in his birthday suit. No dialogue, no nothing.

There’s a lot of action. Lot of violence. Tradd Moore does just fine with the art. It’s energetic, it’s visceral. There’s one panel where things aren’t clear–maybe close ups of boot straps are enough of an establishing shot for other people… Overall though, the art’s good.

Justin Jordan doesn’t seem to know how to start his sequel though. He goes five years later, he brings in a colorful crime boss and his associates, he has a surprise ending (for anyone who can remember the first series and its characters). He just doesn’t have a story yet. Crime empire versus Luther isn’t enough.



Writer, Justin Jordan; artist, Tradd Moore; colorist, Felipe Sobreiro; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

Detective Comics 559 (February 1986)


The art continues to slide. Someone took the time to give Green Arrow detailed eyeballs, but the composition is weak. It doesn’t even look like Colan.

The writing isn’t much better. Moench’s got Green Arrow and Black Canary guest-starring (instead of appearing in a backup) and he writes them something awful. I wonder how much time he spent thinking of the Bat-Fascist combinations for Green Arrow to hurl at Batman. Bat-Ronnie has to be my favorite.

Black Canary acts as mediator, then Catwoman shows up and she and Dinah hit it off. Why? Because they’re women and they like to talk about their men? There’s no actual reason.

Even worse–and their adventure’s lame too so to be worse is an achievement–is Jason. He doesn’t appear, being mad at Bruce for teaming up with Catwoman (or so says Alfred).

It’s a lousy team-up, lousy comic.



It Takes Two Wings to Fly; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Workman; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Fatale 19 (January 2014)

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I’m not sure where I’m at with this issue. It finishes up the grunge band arc, but Brubaker uses it to kick off (presumably) the next arc set in the modern day.

He should really have some reminder of the modern day protagonist’s name. We’ve just gone through five or six new male characters; I’ll call him Streak from now on.

The plotting is a little too contrived, too convenient. Jo comes back at just the right time, the record company is owned by the Cthulhu worshippers. The issue’s a fine enough read, it’s just on reflection it’s such an easy out. Maybe it’s how Brubaker structured the story–Jo’s the protagonist, but the reader is supposed to care about the band and their problems. The two parts don’t move in conjunction.

There’s some gore and violence, but nothing visually distinctive. There’s nothing inventive or surprising, it’s all painfully predictable.



Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Elizabeth Breitweiser; publisher, Image Comics.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 28 (April 1985)


For her first issue as regular writer, Linda Grant turns in a rather tepid issue. Even though Indiana Jones has endless sidekicks from the movies, Grant introduces a new one for him here. Alec Sutherland, white guy. Sutherland’s maybe a Brit… or maybe he’s secretly the Sutherland who’ll someday show up in Swamp Thing, but right now he’s just a dumb, rich white kid.

The adventure involves Indy going to Iran–during semester break–to investigate some journal the kid brought him. It’s pretty lame stuff, but Ditko and Bulanadi do okay with it on the art. Maybe the writing’s just boring enough to make mediocre Marvel art seem better.

Grant’s decent on the actually scenes, except maybe her new sidekick guy. He’s too annoying. It’s her plotting–and she writes Indy kind of stupid. His philosophical musings on archeology are inane.

It’s trying to read; there’s no other word.



Tower of Tears; writer, Linda Grant; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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