Adventure Into Fear 11 (December 1972)

Adventure Into Fear #11

Steve Gerber writes the entire Man-Thing feature with second person narration. Everything thing is the narration talking to Man-Thing, who can’t respond as he doesn’t speak. And because it’s the narration. But if he had talked back to the narrator, the story would be better.

Because otherwise there’s not a lot of personality to it. A couple kids bring a demon from the other side, then go to the movies and the demon wrecks havoc. Without Man-Thing, the demon might have eaten the one summoning him. There’s a lot of activity, something Gerber’s narration amplifies, but nothing really going on.

Gerber does get a little mileage out of the narration, but it’s uneven and not enough. The Rich Buckler and Jim Mooney art is fine. Not great, not good, but fine.

Then the fifties back from Fred Kida is almost better just because it’s actually far weirder.

C 

CREDITS

Man-Thing, Night of the Nether-Spawn!; writer, Steve Gerber; penciller, Rich Buckler; inker, Jim Mooney; letterer, Jean Izzo. The Spider Waits; artist, Fred Kida. Editor, Roy Thomas; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Rover Red Charlie 5 (March 2014)

Rover Red Charlie #5

Ennis sure does like going out on an ominous ending with this one. It’s somewhere between a hard and soft cliffhanger; maybe a soft-boiled one. He hints at disaster earlier too, rather blatantly. Hopefully his time to cop out with a dream sequence has passed.

Not a lot happens in the issue. He skips across the dogs crossing a desert, which seems like it would take quite a while and not just a few panels. The emphasis, besides Red (who isn’t fixed) meeting a lady dog (who looks like Lassie), is on the dogs learning to want for themselves. It’s pretty forced stuff, but Ennis is coasting on good will. Even the lamer scenes, like them coming across yet another dog who knows more about what’s going on, Ennis can coast through them too. His cast is strong enough.

It’s not a bridging issue as much as a shortcut one.

B- 

CREDITS

The Big Big; writer, Garth Ennis; artist and colorist, Michael DiPascale; letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

Stray Bullets 6 (September 1995)

Stray Bullets #6

And here we get the first Amy Racecar story. Amy’s probably a stand-in for the little girl with the scars, given how silly some of the details of the story get. Amy’s a thirty-first century outlaw on a Dillinger-esque crime spree. So it’s a child’s fantasy. Also, Amy eventually gets scars on her face from her awful mother.

It’s only the sixth issue of Stray Bullets. It seems a little soon for Lapham to escape into sci-fi, gangster metaphors for an entire issue.

The Amy story’s a little easier to digest, however, since no one’s a real person. The terrible things they do and say aren’t as bad as in the regular issue. It’s an imaginary story.

The good moments–Amy has a vision of God and it causes everyone who sees it (because it’s the future you can see people’s experiences) goes insane. And it’s got a good, despondent finish.

B- 

CREDITS

“How I Spent My Summer Vacation” or “The Rocket Ship Of Life Is Going My Way” or “Three Cheers For God – He’s Certainly a Swell Guy” or “Home Is Where Mom Lives” or “I Don’t Care, As Long As I Gots Me Space Munchies” or “Nothing From Nothing Was Something”; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capit├ín Books.

Sheena, Queen of the the Jungle 1 (April 2014)

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle #1

If I had to guess–and I’m just going to guess because I don’t want to go look it up–from the credits on Sheena, I think script writer Steven E. de Souza and his relation, probably son, David de Souza, wrote a spec script for a movie. It did not sell. I’d even guess, based on the number of vapid college-age characters, it was written during a teen movie boom.

So then the brand owner sold it off as a comic book. Or something. Who cares.

But then the scripting de Souza got lazy and didn’t really want to adapt the movie script into a comic script. So Sheena reads like a bunch of “best of” moments from a movie. The scenes chop back and forth, with artist Jake Minor unable to work out transitions (it’s not his fault).

It could be a lot worse, but there’s nothing to recommend it.

C- 

CREDITS

Return of the Jaguar Men, Part One; writers, David de Souza and Steven E. de Souza; artist, Jake Minor; colorist, James Brown; letterer, Bernie Lee; editor, Paul D. Storrie; publisher, Moonstone Entertainment.

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