Miracleman 9 (July 1986)

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That is one ugly baby.

Sorry, getting ahead of myself.

This issue features Moore’s returns after a reprints issue and fresh artists. Rick Veitch pencils, Rick Bryant inks. It’s a major improvement over Austen–the panel compositions are once again ambitious–but it’s not particularly great art. Veitch and Bryant do a little Mick Anglo homage and things of that nature, but it’s too broad. Miracleman thrives on visual realism.

The story, which has Liz giving birth to her miracle baby, is pretty good. She goes into labor the first page, then Moore resolves the last of the story arc (more like clean-up) while getting the delivery done. It’s a cute narrative, with Miracleman thinking about the beautiful of life and his place in the universe. Moore manages to sell it too. He’s got an amazing amount of rope on Miracleman.

Oddly, the last panel is the best drawn.

B 

CREDITS

Scenes from the Nativity; writer, Alan Moore; penciller, Rick Veitch; inker, Rick Bryant; colorist, Ron Courtney; letterer, Wayne Truman; editor, Cat Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse.

Sons of Anarchy 4 (December 2013)

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This issue is heavy on the action. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be heavy on the action, but it definitely ends up that way. Couceiro does a great job toggling between action and talking heads. It’s the way he paces the sequences–somehow he uses the same pace for both talking and action. Works out well.

It’s kind of a bridging issue. Golden reveals a few things, checks in on his subplots, but it’s all just to get the characters to the place they need to be for the next issue. Given many of the characters are traveling, it’d be nice if things were tied to location. Sadly they aren’t.

Still, it’s a good issue. Golden and Couceiro turn in a sturdy comic book, the cliffhanger manages to be inevitable but unexpected. However, it does seem a little like Golden has started to pad out the series’s issues.

B- 

CREDITS

Writer, Christopher Golden; penciller, Damian Couceiro; inkers, Couceiro and Emilio Lecce; colorist, Stephen Downer; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Batman 387 (September 1985)

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The art is uneven. Mandrake has some excellent composition and okay panels, then some not so good of either. He can’t do the action scenes; his Batman and Robin fighting thugs looks like scene out of the Adam West TV show.

But even with uneven art, it’s a great issue. Two high points–the epilogue where Jerry Hall–sorry, sorry, I mean, Alicia–sorry, no, it’s Circe here. Circe. Anyway, Circe gets back some measure of vengeance. Very cool.

Other high point? This weird scene with Bruce discovering Vicki is very buff now and he’s all about the muscle gals. It’s out of place in the story–she’s at his costume ball so he can put her in danger from the Black Mask–but very amusing. Moench does get in some good subtle digs from time to time.

The duality between Black Mask and Batman’s neat too.

It’s quite good.

B+ 

CREDITS

Ebon Masquery; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Tom Mandrake; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Reality Check 4 (December 2013)

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Brunswick and Bogdanovic manage to tie up Reality Check reasonably well. I went into this issue thinking it was a five issue series, not four, so when things started wrapping up about halfway through… well, it was a little confusing. Especially since Brunswick brings in this whole relationship between the comic book hero and villain about their being stuck in the real world together and so on.

He might have been able to get a six issue series out of this story if he’d had a good editor. There are a lot of ideas introduced this issue Brunswick never brought up before. Everything ends a little too neatly, but he’s going on the fumes of likable characters so it works out.

Except Check is a slight amusement instead of something significant. Until this issue, with the contrivances, I didn’t even realize it had greater potential. Still, it’s decent; decent’s good.

B- 

CREDITS

Writer, Glen Brunswick; artist, Viktor Bogdanovic; colorist, Paul Little; letterer, Rus Wooton; publisher, Image Comics.

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