Adventure Into Fear 14 (June 1973)

Adventures Into Fear #14

The Man-Thing feature is pretty good. Gerber starts clarifying the nexus in the swamp and also the real villains behind the story. They’re not the most original villains–demons from hell–but the way Gerber sets it up is strong. While there’s a forward-thinking element to the top story with the kids hanging out with Man-Thing, the demons are gloriously aged.

They’re basically Romans with pointy ears and Gerber doesn’t go for any humor with them. Loosing Man-Thing in this environment is ludicrous but it works out. The incongruity probably helps.

Chic Stone’s inks aren’t the best for Mayerick but the art’s still good. Gerber seems oddly detached from Man-Thing’s story this time around though. He’s occasionally cruel to the creature in the expository narration.

Then the fifties backup is this awesome story from Paul Reinman. Great art, great story. Very impressive.

This issue’s outstanding.

B+ 

CREDITS

Man-Thing, The Demon Plague; writer, Steve Gerber; penciller, Val Mayerik; inker, Chic Stone; colorist, Stan Goldberg; letterer, Artie Simek. Listen, You Fool; artist, Paul Reinman. Editor, Roy Thomas; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Red Team 1 (February 2013)

Red Team #1

Garth Ennis must have really wanted to write for “The Shield”. Or maybe Dynamite asked him to do something ready for Hollywood and not too expensive so he came up with Red Team.

An elite unit of cops decides to kill a bad guy. There’s one reluctant member and he apparently lives through the series because he’s getting interrogated. Not the most original narrative structure for this kind of thing, but Ennis is on auto-pilot. While there’s some decent talking heads stuff and good little moments throughout, Ennis isn’t going for anything special.

As a formula cop thing? It’s all right. Depending on the cast, I’d probably watch the show. He seems to be gearing it towards a mini-series sale–it’s weird to think independent comics weren’t always so desperate for the movie or TV option. Especially not a guy like Ennis.

Craig Cermak’s art detailed but shallow.

B- 

CREDITS

The First-Timers; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Craig Cermak; colorist, Adriano Honorato Lucas; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Joe Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Stray Bullets 14 (August 1997)

Stray Bullets #14

A lot of stuff comes to a head this issue, which is double-sized, and even has some backstory on how the characters ended up in Seaside. Maybe it was during that first party issue. At least it seems to be the result of it. I think. If it’s so important, Lapham should have included CliffsNotes.

Otherwise, besides the issue being way too full, it’s pretty good. It’s definitely exciting as about half of it is a chase sequence. Orson, the current male lead, is on the run from the bad guys from the early issues. Beth and Virginia don’t get much to do. Too bad as they’re the best characters. Except Lapham does give Rose a lot for her cameo, revealing far more depth than expected.

The Seaside supporting cast figures in a lot, not very well. They’re backseat to the returning guest stars.

Rushed art too.

But okay.

B- 

CREDITS

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capit├ín Books.

Genesis (April 2014)

Genesis

Please excuse the colloquial expression, but what a piece of utter crap. Did anyone read Nathan Edmondson's script? Maybe it's just me. Maybe I don't like terrible plays from twelve-year olds, so I don't like Edmondson's script for Genesis. I can't even imagine if I'd paid seven dollars for this tripe.

It's about a minister who can't save people so he tries to kill himself and one of the guys from Blue Man Group tells him he isn't dead and he's got all sorts of powers. He can refigure reality. Edmondson goes on and on about it. It's a long comic and about half of it is back and forth with the protagonist.

Except, Edmondson doesn't do anything with the religious stuff. He's not thinking about it from that angle; the plot's inane and possible there facilitate artist Alison Sampson's drawing desires.

It's an exceptional comic. The script's indescribably bad.

F 

CREDITS

Writer, Nathan Edmondson; artist, Alison Sampson; colorist, Jason Wordie; letterer, Jon Babcock; publisher, Image Comics.

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