Atari Force 5 (1983)

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Even with some great Gil Kane art, the last issue of Atari Force is a tad meager a finish for the series. Kane doesn’t have to suffer through a lot of video game-type space action, but there’s some and it’s too much.

Worse is the romance. Thomas and Conway promote it to a full-fledged subplot for the issue–worthy of a real flashback, then don’t give it one. Instead, the flashback is to these alien pacifists. That element of the story–intense non-violence–is kind of nest in a comic about blowing up Cthulhu-like space monsters, but it’s underdeveloped too.

The issue ends with a promise of another series, which might explain some the problem with Conway and Thomas’s script. They’re already looking ahead instead of concentrating on what’s going on here. Or maybe they just made things so big they’re unmanageable.

Still, gorgeous Kane art.



Galaxian; writers, Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas; penciller, Gil Kane; inker, Dick Giordano; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Andy Helfer; publisher, DC Comics.

Suicide Risk 11 (March 2014)

SuicideRisk 11 cover

Leo–see, only took me ten issues to remember his name–is now under control of his other-dimensional evil self who’s trying to figure what’s happened. I can’t quite remember the fill-in explaining everything, but the villains are just criminals brainwashed and dumbed on regular Earth?

There’s a lot of megalomania interior monologue for Leo. Carey pretty much does him as an evil Superman, which gets boring fast. It’s not even interesting for a whole page, I don’t think.

One of the bad guys might know what’s going on and it seems like the daughter’s powers will finally get explained but if they were transported there, how did the brainwashers set up the marriage. Is the wife brainwashed too?

All of these questions and more will undoubtedly be answered in a vaguely interesting, but not really compelling way.

Carey’s got too many ideas in Risk and no restraint.



Seven Walls and a Pit Trap, Part 1 of 3; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Elena Casagrande; colorist, Andrew Elder; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Dafna Pleban and Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

The Incredible Hulk 52 (June 2003)


Jones slows down the pace a lot. Deodato gets to draw the Hulk for a while and the Abomination is still an undetermined factor in the story–Jones and Deodato are laying on the ominous foreshadowing–but it’s a breather of an issue. Bruce bonds with Nadia, who is also warming to him. Even though she’s working with the villains.


The issue isn’t bad but Jones has been so frantic it can’t help but disappoint. Having the other double agent take out a bunch of assassins isn’t really interesting. This guy isn’t a major player in the book. And Jones is trying hard to make the supporting villains into significant ones, but they’re anonymous persons in black. It’s not compelling.

Worst might be the cliffhanger where Jones teases a big revelation… of a plot detail he’s ignored for a long, long time.

Hopefully he can recover from the stall.



Dark Mind, Dark Hearts, Part Three: Vicious Circles; writer, Bruce Jones; artist, Mike Deodato Jr.; colorist, Studio F; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editors, Warren Simons, John Miesegaes and Axel Alonso; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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