Atari Force 5 (May 1985)

Atari Force #5

There seem to be some pages missing, like the scene where Martin talks his kid into stealing a space craft. His estranged kid.

Conway glosses over that problem, along with the one where Martin convinces his shrink to commit treason to join his mission. The mission, to save the world, isn’t revealed until over halfway through. Seems somewhat unlikely people who sign up without some idea. They do steal a huge spaceship after all.

Multi-dimensional ship, but you get the idea.

There’s not much time for the characters, though the huge baby alien character gets a couple nice moments and the action’s not bad. It reminds a little too much of Star Wars for a moment but not bad.

Conway seems to be setting up the series for high adventure. He doesn’t quite promise it, which might be good since this issue doesn’t deliver any.

The comic harmlessly underperforms.



Dark Dawn; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Ross Andru; inker, José Luis García-López; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Bob Lappan; editor, Andy Helfer; publisher, DC Comics.

Shotgun Wedding 1 (April 2014)

Shotgun Wedding #1

Shotgun Wedding is “Spy vs. Spy” with hormones. It opens up with a jilted bride, implying she’s just a girl from Nevada who likes her assault rifles. Then writer William Harms jumps forward four years to introduce the jilting bride groom. He’s an international assassin or something. Probably a good guy, based on the accent of his target.

There’s some back story showing how bloody the girl makes things, with Harms showing past events to make the reader worry about the guy’s new fiancée and his invalid mother. It’s really cheap, derivative stuff from start to finish.

Edward Pun’s art is simple, black and white, stylized. He’s definitely trying to do things with the action, to tell a scene in the most engaging way possible. That effort doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s counter to Harms’s standard, unambitious script.

Worst, Harms seems to think being mean is the same thing as funny.



Writer, William Harms; artist, Edward Pun; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Betsy Gonia; publisher, Top Cow Productions.

The Incredible Hulk 72 (July 2004)

The Incredible Hulk #72

Deodato has some kind of painted thing going on. It’s not good and it’s often unclear what’s going on–and there are real problems with montage–but at least he’s not doing the little panels for big action.

The issue continues with the Iron Man guest appearance. There’s a strange fight scene where Bruce is in Iron Man armor fighting Tony. Because Tony wants to prove his innocence regarding a girl who committed suicide. It makes no sense; Jones’s editors must have been napping.

Even though Bruce Banner is front and center again, but Jones is more using him as an add-on to an Iron Man story. And the Iron Man story is bad. Jones doesn’t have much insight into Tony as a character; none of his actions make sense. He’s just around for the murky art crossover.

The crossover is a complete misfire. Jones has lost his grip.



Big Things, Part Two: Strange Bedfellows; writer, Bruce Jones; artist, Mike Deodato Jr.; colorist, Rainier Beredo; letterer, Randy Gentile; editors, John Miesegaes and Axel Alonso; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Rover Red Charlie 4 (February 2014)

Rover Red Charlie #4

Ennis utilizes a very effective device this issue–he has such a great last scene, it overrides the issue’s problem. What problem? Three things happen the entire issue.

One of the friends tries cooking duck, the friends meet an army dog, the friends meet an infected dog. Three things. Ennis drags out the army dog meeting, which doesn’t really service much purpose other than to show how different dogs think. Of course, that level of examination seems more appropriate for an ongoing, not a limited series.

He also makes an effort to hint at whatever has driven the humans crazy. There’s no place in the series to give an answer to the reader–the narrating dog realizes he’s been on his own long enough he wants to know why, but it’s for him (and he wants to know why about many things now).

It’s still good and thoughtful, just slight.



Walked Off to Look for America; writer, Garth Ennis; artist and colorist, Michael DiPascale; letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

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