Adventure Into Fear 17 (October 1973)

Fear #17

This story is the best so far in Gerber’s Man-Thing run so far. He does a story introducing a Superman analogue, only without growing up in the world and some other significant changes. But what’s important is how Gerber writes this character as encountering the world. Gerber does a second person thing and it’s fascinating stuff.

The Superman analogue becomes the reader or vice versa. If Gerber’s aware how he’s presenting this story, as a guided tour into how someone is going to experience the reading of the story itself, is he purposefully casting the comic book reader as a superhero. If so, a Superman analogue with its familiarity, works perfectly.

Trapani inks Mayerik again to even more success because there’s this goofy big time superhero action sequence in the middle of a small town. It’s simultaneously delightful and bewildering.

It’s a fantastic, multilayered story. Gerber does singularly well.



It Came Out of the Sky!; writer, Steve Gerber; penciller, Val Mayerik; inker, Sal Trapani; colorist, George Roussos; letterer, Jean Izzo; editor, Roy Thomas; publisher, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk 4 (July 2014)

She-Hulk #4

Soule kind of rushes things and gloriously so. She-Hulk is fast, surprisingly deep and gently funny. Soule doesn’t go for the laughs, which is good. It wouldn’t work with Pulido’s art style. It might turn the comic into a parody, actually.

For example, Pulido and Soule at one point having Jennifer jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Why would she do such a thing? Well, she’s She-Hulk. It’s a family tradition. But to draw attention to it would bring the reader out of the comic. Soule would never do such a thing, especially since he and Pulido work very hard to get the comic to exist about a full ten percent entirely in the reader’s imagination.

There’s a double page spread of She-Hulk and guest star Daredevil in a fight, with narration succinctly explaining it’s their night out. No fisticuffs, just establishing shot. It’s awesome.

The whole issue’s awesome.



The Zealous Advocate; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Frankie Johnson, Jeanine Schaefer and Tom Brennan; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Stray Bullets 17 (November 1998)

Stray Bullets #17

Something is changing in Lapham’s art. His figures and faces are getting more streamlined, less thorough and there are a lot of almost all black panels.

Perhaps he’s rushing. But only on the art.

He’s still working hard on the story. This issue has a woman whose drunk husband comes home, followed by a bunch of acquaintances from the bar looking for money. Most of the issue is this oddly dangerous situation, since the acquaintances are drunk cops.

These characters might tie in to previous issues, but I can’t remember. Lapham gives the married couple a lot of back story; he handles it really well in the dialogue and I’m hoping he doesn’t waste the time doing an issue on it.

As the strange evening progresses, there are plot developments, characters bonding, characters not bonding. It’s a really great issue. The hopefulness even matches the streamlined, rounder faces Lapham draws.



While Ricky Fish Was Sleeping…; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Dragovic; publisher, El Capitán Books.

Satellite Sam 8 (May 2014)

Satellite Sam #8

It's a strange issue. There are a couple big things going on, one with Mike at the LeMonde Christmas party and getting in a fight with Kara. The other one is the more historical story line with the new TV star with a big secret. It's an unexpected secret too; good stuff on that story line.

But the other one… Fraction's pushing it. There's a lot of expository dialogue reminding the reader of previous events and scenes and Fraction only needs them because he's let them go too long. Lots of characters too, all in one place, not really doing anything except moving along this story line. The emphasis on character is gone. It's a shame.

The worst is how Chaykin's got the responsibility of doing visual cues to move big revelations along. Chaykin doesn't differentiate between faces well enough for that responsibility.

It's a surprising stumble of an issue.



Cinecittà; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Howard Chaykin; letterer, Ken Bruzenak; editor, Thomas K.; publisher, Image Comics.

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