Atari Force 13 (January 1985)

Atari Force #13

So for his last issue, Conway sort of destroys the world. At least, he destroys the world of Atari Force he has been establishing for twelve issues. And he lets Joey Cavalieri write the script for it. Eduardo Barreto takes over the pencils and does a great job with everything except full page spreads. He can’t do those for whatever reason.

Cavalieri manages a few decent moments, mostly with the supporting cast, as Martin–the series’s lead at this point–dukes it out with the big villain. Lousy fight dialogue on that one. Luckily those other scenes make up for it somewhat.

The ending might have more gravity if it weren’t just thirteen issues into the series. It’s hard to care too much about it, even at a macro level. Cavalieri (and Conway) don’t earn the concern.

There is a nice backup from Paul Kupperberg, Dave Manak and Giffen, however.

C- 

CREDITS

The End; writers, Gerry Conway and Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Eduardo Barreto; inker, Ricardo Villagran; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Bob Lappan; editor, Andy Helfer; publisher, DC Comics.

Translucid 1 (April 2014)

Translucid #1

I'm confused, did the world really need an exceptionally pretentious superhero comic without anything to say? Because writers Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez don't do much so far with Translucid except lay out a superhero versus supervillain and, oh, if they aren't just alter egos (or at least one of them thinks they are). It's like Batman and the Joker… or not. Maybe Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus? No, not really.

It's actually a lot like Baphomet and Batman because Daniel Bayliss's design for the villain is a knight's chess piece and the two look similar. The less said about the hero's design, the better.

But everything else Bayliss does in the comic is fantastic. Even the bad designs are rendered well. Echert and Sanchez aren't going for a lot of realism, but they get it with Bayliss.

So does the world need the series? No. But yes to Bayliss's art.

C 

CREDITS

Wild Horses; writers, Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez; artist, Daniel Bayliss; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Stray Bullets 4 (June 1995)

Stray Bullets #4

So, with this issue, Lapham does two things. First, he resurrects a previously presumed dead character and fills in, through exposition, the year between stories. But then he also spends the entire issue teasing danger for the character, only to go for a somewhat black, but still comedic relief finish for the issue.

It’s kind of a cop out. Not because there can’t be okay people in the world–or at least people who aren’t complete monsters–but because Lapham spends the whole issue twisting the reader’s perspective. The issue’s a road trip, not a scenic one, but a road trip; only Lapham’s taking the reader for that ride.

There’s some strong character work on the returning character and not so good character work on the new cast member. Lapham is intentionally deceptive. It’s hard to build a character while tricking the reader.

Cop out or not, it’s masterfully done.

B 

CREDITS

Bonnie and Clyde; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capitán Books.

Minimum Wage 4 (April 2014)

Minimum Wage #4

Fingerman finds a nice calm with this issue of Wage. He doesn’t try for much–most of the issue involves protagonist Rob and his two friends out for a night on the town and running into awkward situations. None of the situations are uproarious, but all of them are pleasing enough.

The first part of the issue deals with moving things along plot-wise. New job, new apartment. Rob has so many different friends it’s hard to imagine how the guy has time to do any work whatsoever; Fingerman really likes drawing scenes in dining establishments.

As I said, the calm is nice–there’s a definite lack of ambition to it. The story can’t do too much with Rob doing nothing but talking to his buddies and Fingerman never puts them on high adventures together.

Hopefully next issue will have more activity, but it’s unclear how much comic really needs.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

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