Miracleman 7 (April 1986)

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I wonder how Alan Moore felt about seeing these finished pages. He turned in a great script, sent it off, got back these Chuck Austen pages. It’s a shock he didn’t quit comics then.

Oddly enough, Austen is better this issue than last. He’s still terrible though. He can’t do a subplot about some former Nazi youth being excited at the arrival of the Aryan Miracleman. Austen hasn’t got an ounce of subtlety. It’s shocking.

He must have been cheap.

The issue finishes up Miracleman’s encounter with his creator. Moore comes up with what should be a beautiful sequence for that particular finale and Austen drops the ball on it. Moore’s trying to go between childlike wonder and visceral violence. Austen doesn’t exhibit the ability for either.

It’s very odd to read a story in a visual medium and be left recalling it more vividly than the artist rendered it.



Bodies; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Chuck Austen; colorist, Ron Courtney; letterer, Wayne Truman; editor, Cartherine Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse.

Trillium 5 (February 2014)

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What a strange issue. Not because Lemire splits it between his two characters–literally, one gets the top, one gets the bottom, reversed so the reader goes through the comic twice. Rather because it’s just a bridging issue.

It’s a neat concept. Lemire throws the characters into each other’s lives and recreates the worlds around them to make it fit. For instance, the future girl is living in a post-World War I Britain where women are military officers and the men are the cannon fodder. Strangely the art in this part isn’t as thorough as in the guy’s future adventure.

Lemire has been pacing the series really well until this point, but the concept seems like it grabbed him and he forced the story to make it fit.

It’s good, to be sure, but it doesn’t go anywhere really. And the whole split issue design is cute but unnecessary.



Starcrossed; writer and artist, Jeff Lemire; colorists, José Villarrubia and Lemire; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo.

Batman 385 (July 1985)


With Chuck Patton helping, the pencils are occasionally tolerable. Even Alcala inking can’t fix whatever Hoberg does wrong with Batman’s cowl, unfortunately.

There are a couple big scenes this issue–besides the resolution of the Calendar Man arc, which features Moench’s least annoying characterization of him. He’s not blathering to himself throughout. It’s nice.

There’s a big scene for Vicki Vale. She’s telling off her suitor. It’s not bad, though Moench’s either got her babbling about eighties diet fads or she’s joined a cult. She’s been a pointless character for dozens of issues now… maybe he’ll turn her around.

The other big scene is Bruce and Jason. Jason is arguing for his job as Robin; Moench is clearly trying to rationalize the character. It doesn’t work–the argument, which Jason wins, is ludicrous stuff.

Hopefully Moench has all this foster parenting, adoption, job dynamics nonsense out of his system now.



Day of Doom; writer, Doug Moench; pencillers, Rick Hoberg and Chuck Patton; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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