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.

C- 

CREDITS

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.

C- 

CREDITS

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)

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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.

D 

CREDITS

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.

D 

CREDITS

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

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