The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones 27 (March 1985)

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While the Ditko art does leave a lot to be desired–the huge action finale, which takes up about half the issue, is a mess–it’s not a bad comic at all. You just have to get used to people not being in the right place in panels and some terrible action choreography.

Oh, and the female protagonist looking pensively off into space a lot.

But the story is fine. Indy and the woman are in Russia to recover Buffalo Bill’s golden guns (there are other phallic symbols too, presumably unintentional) and they team up with Cossacks to attack a fortress. Michelinie doesn’t waste time with flirting between Indy and his partner. He finds more interesting things to do–the Cossacks are on a suicide mission, for example.

It’s all action, no character, so it moves briskly. The series has been sorely missing Michelinie’s writing. He’s got the formula down.

C 

CREDITS

Trail of the Golden Guns, Chapter Two; writers, Ron Fortier and David Michelinie; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Robbie Carosella; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Suicide Risk 9 (January 2014)

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Casagrande’s getting really good. Suicide Risk is developing a new style, especially with how Carey is developing the characters. There’s a lot of good moves this issue, not just with Leo–his family even figuring in (finally)–but with the supporting cast and where the series is going.

In fact, it no longer feels much like Risk. Something about the cliffhanger reveal this issue reminds a lot of how Carey uses cliffhangers in Unwritten. It might just be a coincidence, but it feels like Carey is altering how he’s telling this comic to match other successful devices from his other series.

Regardless, it’s a great issue, probably the best due to the way Casagrande’s style has matured and Carey giving the series it’s first real twist. The way Carey leads up to it, keeping the reader a little removed… it’s masterful.

Risk might have real legs on it after all.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Mike Carey; artist, Elena Casagrande; colorist, Andrew Elder; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Dafna Pleban and Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Detective Comics 555 (October 1985)

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Gene Colan and Bob Smith are back on the art and it’s a strange return for Colan. It’s a lot of action and Colan goes a lot more dynamic than he usually does. There are some fantastic panels in this issue. Nice page layouts too. It’s a winner on the art.

Moench writes Jason’s diary; he’s obviously trying to get a handle on the character. It almost feels like a writing exercise, given all Jason’s distinct slang. It’s not quite a full personality but Moench seems aware Jason is lacking as a character.

And Moench’s slightly successful. There’s some very good insight, but then he offsets it with some unlikely nonsense. Only the nonsense is serious.

The Green Arrow backup is written by Elliot S! Magin and has Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano on art. It’s a throwback story, innocent Ollie, but they don’t play it up. Simple but filling.

B- 

CREDITS

Returning Reflections; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Workman. Green Arrow, The Case of the Runaway Shoebox!; writer, Elliot S! Maggin; penciller, Dick Dillin; inker, Dick Giordano. Editors, Len Wein and Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.

Robocop: Last Stand 6 (January 2013)

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It’s funny how interesting art changes things in terms of pacing. Not just good art; there are plenty of comics out there with good art and bad pacing and the issue doesn’t work out. But with good, interesting art?

Take this issue of Last Stand–Grant skirts over a big plot development because it’s better to let Öztekin show it visually than to tell it with exposition. The whole issue takes place over fifteen or twenty minutes it seems and the issue reads in like four.

Except it’s bunch of great art used in perplexing ways. Öztekin still has Robocop, but he gets to visually play with all sorts of crazy other machinery and then also the desperate humanity of the whole thing. It’s big stuff and would have made a cool montage in a movie. But Öztekin does better than a movie could.

It’s a great-looking, solid comic.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Steven Grant; artist, Korkut Öztekin; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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