Star Trek 5 (August 1980)

Star Trek #5

This issue's better than the last, with Spock kidnapped by Klingons and Kirk trying to figure out how to resolve the situations. No Dracula appearance–maybe Mike W. Barr didn't like that idea either (or maybe Wolfman always insisted)–but there are still a bunch of dumb monsters showing up.

Barr has the formula down for a "Star Trek" story, complete with Spock and Bones bickering at the end, but he doesn't seem to have the best ideas for the plot. Though less silly than the previous issue, there's still no good reason for these earth nightmare monsters in space. Barr explains it fine, he's just explaining the reasoning behind a bad story.

Also distressing is his lack of story for the characters. Spock gets a bunch of time to himself and Barr writes those scenes well, but Kirk doesn't make any impression. The balance needs work.

A lot needs work.



The Haunting of the Enterprise!; writer, Mike W. Barr; penciller, Dave Cockrum; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, John Costanza; editors, Denny O’Neil and Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Furious 4 (April 2014)

Furious #4

Glass brings in something I don’t think I realized the comic was missing–the Jim Gordon character. Some kind of person for Furious to have a conversation with about things, even if it’s brief.

It totally changes the tone of the comic, though the plot for the issue also changes things up a bit. Furious attends a press conference in her honor–the idea is to appeal to the public–while the villain is out there causing lots of trouble still. Glass starts to explain the villain, but the full resolution is undoubtedly next issue. Hopefully after the hard cliffhanger gets a resolution.

So it’s kind of a talking heads book with this cop talking Furious down while she’s trying to beat a confession out of someone. Then there’s a lot of talking at the news conference. It doesn’t feel bridging though, Glass is still building story with the scenes.



Fallen Star, Part Four, Fame Is a Fickle Mistress; writer, Bryan J.L. Glass; artist, Victor Santos; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Spencer Cushing and Jim Gibbons; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Stray Bullets 12 (January 1997)

Stray Bullets #12

Ginny finally gets to Seaside and truly meets the cast there. Havoc ensues. Madcap havoc. There’s violence and there’s a little bit of evil, but Lapham plays it all for humor. Not even surreal humor. He’s got a cast of supporting characters he mocks and mock them he does.

The evil comes in the form of the local sheriff. He presents what seems to be a serious threat, what with him willing to attack kids in front of hundreds of witnesses. He also has his gun out and shoots at lots of things. Between him and the comically creepy guys patrolling the fair for girls, Lapham lets Bullets become farce.

It’s not bad as farce. Lapham still has enough good will on Beth for her to get through the issue all right and Ginny introducing herself as “Amy” is worth a smile. The story’s just a little too slight overall.



Hugs, Not Drugs or Hugs on Drugs; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capitán Books.

Loki: Ragnarok and Roll 3 (April 2014)

Loki: Ragnarok and Roll #3

There’s a lot to like about this issue. There’s a fantastic twist at the end, but all of a sudden it made me wonder if Esquivel might have tried pitching this series as a Marvel movie. Not because of anything in the issue itself, but how perfectly the twist works. It overshadows everything else in the comic.

But what else is there in the comic? Gaylord’s art is good and he has a great time illustrating all the various gods in Asgard attacking Odin. He has a good time with Loki fighting Hercules or whoever. The comic is definitely a good time.

And then it ends. There’s a shouting match Loki and one of his humans and then the twist ending. Not much else. Esquivel and Gaylord get a whole bunch of mileage out of their setup for the comic and don’t really build anything. Loki’s clever instead of thoughtful.



Writer, Eric M. Esquivel; penciller, Jerry Gaylord; inkers, Jerry Gaylord and Penelope Gaylord; colorist, Gabriel Cassata; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Chris Rosa and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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