Adventure into Fear 10 (October 1972)

Adventure into Fear #10

Of the three stories this issue–the first two are original, the third is a sixties reprint–Man-Thing is the easy winner. The other two aren't any competition.

The reprint is a Stan Lee and Larry Lieber (probably) written tale of greed. Don Heck gets some moody art in, but nothing particularly good. The writing's lame.

Ditto for the second story, which is sort of a tale of greed. Bugsy Malone versus pirates. Allyn Brodsky's script is terrible. Jack Katz and Bill Everett contribute indistinct art.

But as for Man-Thing… the art, from Howard Chaykin and Gray Morrow, is pretty good. And Gerry Conway's script has a couple moments. Not enough, but a couple. The problem seems to be his pacing. He front loads the story setting up Man-Thing and then doesn't have enough room for a good finish. It's creepier with the bad finish… maybe Conway intended that reading of it.



Man-Thing; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Howard Chaykin; inker, Gray Morrow. The Spell of the Sea Witch; writer, Allyn Brodsky; penciller, Jack Katz; inker, Bill Everett. There Is Something Strange About Mister Jones; writers, Stan Lee and Larry Lieber; artist, Don Heck. Letterer, Artie Simek; editor, Roy Thomas; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Field 1 (April 2014)

The Field #1

I have a very simple problem with stories where someone’s hallucinating or living the virtual reality or caught in a time warp and gets to repeat the same day over and over again. These stories are about the gimmick. They can run that gimmick out and be about something after it, but most don’t.

Will Ed Brisson have a real story with The Field after he reveals the mystery of it? Who knows. With Simon Roy on the art–my favorite image has to be this small corner of one panel of the protagonist running in his underoos–the comic will at least look good and Brisson’s writing is fine. It’s just about how he’s going to reveal the solution to his mystery.

There are undoubtedly clues this issue to the truth, but the way he layers the contradictions is more engaging. He’ll solve the mystery for the reader anyway.



Writer and letterer, Ed Brisson; artist, Simon Roy; colorist, Simon Gough; publisher, Image Comics.

Stray Bullets 5 (August 1995)

Stray Bullets #5

Lapham goes for mood a lot this issue. Only, he doesn’t do it with the art, he does it with the lettering. He does it with the “sound” going around, the dialogue. It’s a fantastic sequence. It takes place during a party, which is sort of confusing as many of the guests seem to be the same as the other party from a previous issue. But it’s definitely a different party.


Doesn’t matter.

The protagonist of the issue is a teenager who witnesses a car accident. He falls in with an older woman who knows Spanish Scott and Monster (we later learn) but mostly the story is the kid’s. He’s got an overbearing mom, a rebellious younger sister, an ineffectual dad. Lapham does a great job showing his frustration at his inability to take control of his life.

The ending, which is problematic, is also awesome. Lapham really scores.



Backin’ Up the Truck; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capit├ín Books.

Five Weapons 8 (April 2014)

Five Weapons #8

I almost feel like I need to go back and read Encyclopedia Brown to see if that series is where Robinson is getting his cliffhanger approach from. If so, I’ll bet Five Weapons reads great in a trade.

Besides the cliffhanger, which frustrates instead of intrigues (as usual), it’s an excellent issue. Enrique is investigating who poisoned the nurse and spends a lot of the issue all by himself, sneaking around the school, seeing stuff. Robinson has managed to turn the comic into a mystery book; it’s nice to see he can do things with different genres in it, though there’s always a mystery element when it comes to Enrique’s solutions, I suppose.

The opening, where Enrique talks himself out of trouble with the archery teacher, at first seems overlong. It’s a lot of talking and bad jokes. But Robinson backs them up with a good flashback.

Strong issue.



Tyler’s Revenge, Part Three; writer, artist and letterer, Jimmie Robinson; colorist, Paul Little; editor, Laura Tavishati; publisher, Image Comics.

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