Nathaniel Dusk 4 (May 1984)

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Dusk is a good comic and all and McGregor does good with it and all but I’m shocked he could pull this issue off.

He resolves a drowning cliffhanger, he corrects his plotting problem from last issue very obviously (Dusk actually investigating), he has two or three major action sequences, he has a hallucination and he has an epilogue.

And it’s all fantastic. Even that leftover scene with Dusk’s interview for his investigation, even it works.

McGregor changes up the emphasis a little the issue. These scenes work because of the characters. McGregor has been gently establishing them, both in scene and in Dusk’s narration, and he uses that familiarity to make his scenes work here.

Colan’s art is fantastic. The way he can do a big scene in two pages, but then slow down for an action layout where only a few seconds pass on the page.

Outstanding work.

A 

CREDITS

Lovers Die at Dusk, Part Four; writer, Don McGregor; artist, Gene Colan; colorist, Tom Zuiko; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Alan Gold; publisher, DC Comics.

Manifest Destiny 4 (February 2014)

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Okay, Dinges knows he’s got his hooked readers by issue four and so he can punish with really good hard cliffhangers. Really frustrating good ones. Case in point, his cliffhanger here is only so good because of the way he layers in expectations about it in the journal entries of Lewis.

Maybe the cliffhanger is payback for Dinges building up the idea of a big monster fight only to avoid that sequence thanks to the arrival of Sacajawea. She remains a mystery this issue–though I’m assuming she’ll take down one or two of the scumbags eying her–but her wheeler dealer husband gets a lot of time. The comedy relief element is very welcome. Without some kind of comedy, half of Destiny is just a zombie story. One with a great setting, but still just zombies.

As much as the cliffhanger’s suddenness perturbs me, Dinges does pull it off.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Dingess; artist, Matthew Roberts; colorist, Owen Gieni; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

The Incredible Hulk 36 (March 2002)

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There’s not a lot of Bruce in this issue. Except when he’s freaking out about the kid dying–only, there’s always something suspect about Hulk casualties. It’s one of those things a writer can’t concentrate too hard on because the logic holes become too obvious. There’s no Hulk, expect on TV.

There’s also a lot of bad art from Romita. Jones introduces two assassins out to get Bruce and then Leonard Samson is on the case. He sticks with them for the majority of the issue, which is too bad. Romita draws all three poorly. At least his Bruce is… consistent.

But Jones hinges the issue on these assassins, on the hunt for Banner picking up, and it’s lame. Bruce’s self-loathing doesn’t work with the nonsense.

There’s some amusing stuff at the beginning with the female assassin. The rest of it isn’t visually dynamic enough to justify the pace.

C- 

CREDITS

The Gang’s All Here!; writer, Bruce Jones; penciller, John Romita Jr.; inker, Tom Palmer; colorist, Studio F; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editors, John Miesegaes and Axel Alonso; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Fatale 20 (February 2014)

f

Well, okay, yeah… Fatale is definitely in its last lap. Brubaker doesn’t hide it at all. He does, however, rush things. I thought it was going to be an awesome issue of Jo flashing back to her very interesting past.

Instead, she becomes John McClane and has to save Nicolas. And that wraps up real quick. Not so much action-packed as Cthulhu-packed. I’m also not sure if the Donnie Darko reference was supposed to seem original or not.

But it’s hard to get excited about the finish because halfway through this issue, it’s clear Fatale isn’t coming to a nature end. Why do a bunch of character work on utterly disposable characters? It feels like the series got canceled on Brubaker and Phillips so they have to rush an ending. Only no, they apparently just ran out of interest.

Or Brubaker always had a weak ending planned out.

B 

CREDITS

Curse the Demon; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Elizabeth Breitweiser; publisher, Image Comics.

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