Nathaniel Dusk II 1 (October 1985)

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For Nathaniel Dusk II, Gene Colan’s pencils go without inks. However, they go with Tom Ziuko’s colors. Ziuko’s a familiar name as a colorist but I was still a little surprised with his work here. He takes Colan’s pencils and turns them into a painted comic. The colors are muted, but still lush. There are some fabulous skies in this one and Colan probably only contributed the cloud outlines.

Don McGregor’s script is excellent. He starts out with the finish of one of titular private investigator Dusk’s cases, then gradually introduces not just the series’s case, but also plays catchup. Not so much has happened since the last series, just enough. McGregor carefully makes the issue accessible for new readers while still rewarding returning ones.

The attention to detail–1934 Manhattan–is fabulous.

McGregor occasionally gets a little too enthusiastic with that detail, but the art picks up any slack.

A- 

CREDITS

Apple Peddlers Die at Noon, Part One; writer and editor, Don McGregor; artist, Gene Colan; colorist, Tom Zuiko; letterer, John Costanza; publisher, DC Comics.

Tales of Honor 1 (March 2014)

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I have one quibble with Tales of Honor is how Jung-Geun Yoon draws the wildlife. Yoon’s sequential art is very stylized, digital painting, which works great for space battles and not too bad for the people. The conversations are mostly in medium shots so no too static faces delivering dialogue. But the protagonist has a pet cat (it’s not just a pet, it’s a soul-bonded thing but who cares) and Yoon can’t draw that cat. It looks like an Egyptian statue.

Writer Matt Hawkins has quite a bit of material to build on–the series is based on a science fiction novel series–and everything is well-executed. The protagonist is sympathetic but not exactly likable. Hawkins doesn’t give the reader to opportunity to get to know any supporting cast; arguably he hasn’t established one yet.

Tales of Honor’s off to a strong, confident start. It’s good stuff.

B 

CREDITS

On Basilisk Station, Part One; writer, Matt Hawkins; artists, Jung-Geun Yoon and Linda Sejic; colorist, Yoon; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Besty Gonia; publisher, Top Cow Productions.

The Incredible Hulk 53 (July 2003)

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I haven’t talked about Deodato’s tendency towards wide faces because there have been more interesting things to talk about. Not anymore. Sadly, Jones’s stalling has continued and gotten worse–this issue and the previous easily could have been wrapped into one.

What happens this issue? Bruce finds out about the girl, whose motives are simple and noirish but way too small for such a big story, and the Abomination gets out.

The problem’s how Deodato breaks out the story. He doesn’t have a good way of visualizing Banner’s forced hallucinations, he doesn’t have a good way of visualizing the Abomination’s rampage. Yes, he can do a splash page of destruction, but there’s no gravitas to it. There’s no sense of mood. Sure, the art’s dark, but dark isn’t mood.

The cliffhanger promises a final issue to the story arc. Hopefully Jones can correct the series’s decline once he’s done here.

C 

CREDITS

Dark Mind, Dark Hearts, Part Four: Enemy Mine; 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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