Star Trek 3 (June 1980)

Star Trek #3

Unfortunately, the final issue of Wolfman and Cockrum's Star Trek: The Motion Picture compounds all the problems they had in the second issue. While they're skilled at densely packing scenes with characters and dialogue, Wolfman apparently can't cut back on the events enough to give the issue a good flow.

He really needs another one, especially considering how little science fiction spectacular Cockrum gets to illustrate. Most of the really visual space scenes are restricted to a small panel, something quick before all the talking starts again.

Wolfman does make some big changes to the movie to streamline the story. Some of it is shifting the dialogue around, but there's also a part where he throws Kirk into a scene where he not just isn't in during the movie, but doesn't serve any purpose. It's like William Shatner's ego influenced the comics adaptation.

It's not terrible, but it started stronger.

C 

CREDITS

Evolutions; writer and editor, Marv Wolfman; penciller, Dave Cockrum; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Marie Severin; letterer, John Costanza; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Lazarus 8 (April 2014)

Lazarus #8

Rucka shows all the subplots coming together at the end of the issue for the soft cliffhanger. It’s not particularly dramatic stuff; the connection is contrived, which is okay because Lazarus is kind of a big soap opera. The kids hating their rich father is enough to make it a soap opera. Through in an “adopted” genetically engineered sibling and it’s even bigger.

There are some problems with how long this arc is going. Hopefully it’s only another issue. A lot has happened but most of the events just rearranged things. Rucka’s still coasting on some of the more effective events, kind of zooming downhill on that momentum to get him to the finale.

Nothing much happens. It’s filler, except the linking of the story lines. But it’s still good enough. Even with Lark’s art falling off a bit, especially on faces. They look way too hurried.

But steady on.

B 

CREDITS

Lift, Part Four; writer, Greg Rucka; artists and letterers, Michael Lark and Brian Level; colorist, Santiago Arcas; editor, David Brothers; publisher, Image Comics

Stray Bullets 9 (May 1996)

Stray Bullets #9

I don't know if I'd say Bullets is back on track, as Lapham's been relatively uneven so it's hard to know what kind of track he's trying to keep the series on. But this issue's definitely an improvement, just in terms with how tightly he tells the story.

It's set in the trailer park from the previous issue, but following around a new character, a local loser who takes Orson out to the nearby truck stop. There's nothing else to do but hang out at the truck stop. The issue's protagonist is an unlikable bully (though Lapham never gives the reader the satisfaction of Orson going off on him) and his adventures, set over a day, are mostly comical.

The end is a little bit of a surprise, not so much the last page, which Lapham goes for humor, but the bully's big moment.

It's a solid, if unremarkable, issue.

B 

CREDITS

Twenty-Eight Guys Named Nick; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capitán Books.

The Eltingville Club 1 (April 2014)

The Eltingville Club #1

Evan Dorkin’s sense of humor on The Eltingville Club is nowhere near as peculiar as his plotting on the comic. There’s some peculiarities to it since Dorkin mocks every single character to some degree or another and his protagonist is one of the more reprehensible characters in there comic.

The constant comedic assault both kills the momentum and gives the book a significant reading time. Since Dorkin’s mocking his characters once every couple panels, and he’s got the situational comedy and sight gags, the issue is always on. If you don’t like one joke, there’s another one in just a moment.

Until the ending. Dorkin goes a somewhat unexpected route, turning a workplace situational into gently absurdist. It reminds a little of “The Simpsons”, just for how the cause and effect work. I guess it’s hard to plot for unlikable characters.

Still, Dorkin builds anticipation for the next one.

B 

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Evan Dorkin; colorist, Sarah Dyer; editors, Daniel Chabon and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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