Nathaniel Dusk II 3 (November 1985)

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McGregor gets to a lot of revelations this issue. Well, more like two. But they’re big ones. One involves the case, one involves Dusk’s involvement with his dead girlfriend’s kids. The case one is particularly interesting because McGregor does it without much emotion. McGregor isn’t unenthusiastic, he’s just measured–both for the comic (it’s not the big reveal) and for the character. This type of thing isn’t something to get Dusk emotional. He’s disconnected from it.

However, there’s one plot point full of emotion for Dusk and McGregor does explore that point much more thoroughly. McGregor gets a lot of mileage out of the hard boiled private investigator thing. He never throws too many contrary details in, just enough to make the character compelling.

This issue, very gently, even brings attention to New York density versus something like L.A. openness.

It’s a fantastic issue. McGregor and Colan do great work.

A

CREDITS

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

The Star Wars 6 (March 2014)

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After some unimaginative issues, The Star Wars definitely feels a lot more on track this time around. Even with some way too static art from Mayhew. He has lots of problems with Princess Leia react shots. She looks completely nonplussed by the chaos around here; it's not a one time thing, it's every time she's in a panel.

But this issue gives writer Rinzler the chance to utilize that fantastic Star Wars device–divide the cast into separate story lines before bringing them back together. Annikin gets separated from Starkiller and Han Solo as they both run across the Wookie tribes on this jungle planet. Lots of interesting, unexplored threads from the original films, which is something this series apparently needs (and initially promised).

Before I forget–having an older lead in Starkiller, not a guest star, really helps.

It's definitely one of the better issues. The second half's fantastic.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, J.W. Rinzler; artist, Mike Mayhew; colorist, Rain Beredo; letterer, Michael Heisler; editors, Freddye Lins and Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Incredible Hulk 55 (August 2003)

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Leandro Fernandez to the rescue! Not just regular Leandro Fernandez either, but doing a walking and talking scene through Central Park at twilight. It’s a gorgeous issue.

And Fernandez alone isn’t responsible for rescuing Jones and Hulk (it’s just one issue after all). Jones opens from scratch. Banner on the run. He’s in New York, he meets a girl. Turns out she works at the special prison holding the Absorbing Man. There are cuts to the story going on in that prison with her coworkers (and Creel). Jones has lots to do, lots of characters and subplots to establish and he gets them done.

But his Banner story is just this walk with the good doctor and a girl. There’s a plotting reason she’s the girl he’s chatting with, but it’s still a nice sequence with fabulous art. Jones is indulging himself a little and it’s nice to see again.

B 

CREDITS

Hide in Plain Sight, Part One; writer, Bruce Jones; artist, Leandro Fernandez; colorist, Studio F; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Warren Simons, John Miesegaes and Axel Alonso; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Manifest Destiny 5 (March 2014)

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It's a decent enough issue but the opening scene resolving the previous cliffhanger goes on way too long. There's also no science–though there's the hint of it–and the science stuff in Manifest Destiny is always cool.

Instead, Dingess very awkwardly paces the issue. There's no time spent getting the explorers through the forest full of monsters, lots of time spent on the boat preparing to go back out, then a seemingly pointless encounter with Sacajawea. That last scene almost just seems like a reminder she's in the comic, because Dingess hasn't used her yet. The men are still running things.

Though, after this issue's cliffhanger gets resolved, maybe not.

In many ways, the issue feels like the first half of a two-part one. The whole back to the boat then on an assault mission thing feels like a setup, not a plot point.

But it's still good.

CREDITS

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

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