Star Trek 7 (October 1980)

Star Trek #7

Tom DeFalco’s Trek script feels a little too generic. He doesn’t bring much personality to the principal cast members, saving it instead for Scotty and Uhura. She gives him a very clear bicep squeeze for support. It’s interesting.

But Kirk just occasionally yells when he’s stressed out and Bones makes a quip or two at Spock’s expense. DeFalco doesn’t write Spock well. It’s probably hard to write the character after Star Trek: The Motion Picture as the character just went under a major change. DeFalco tries with it and does not succeed.

Still, Michael Netzer does a great job on the pencils. He does lots of stuff with panel layout and with perspective in space. The Enterprise shooting while rotated and so on. The art is very imaginative. And Janson inks it beautifully. All the art’s good, some is better.

DeFalco moves the issue well too; it’s just got problems.

B- 

CREDITS

Tomorrow or Yesterday; writer, Tom DeFalco; penciller, Michael Netzer; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Ray Burzon; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Five Weapons 9 (June 2014)

Five Weapons #9

I've talked before about how Robinson constructs Five Weapons more as a deduction story than anything else. It's like Encyclopedia Brown, I think I said.

Well, this issue Robinson has takes the big deduction reveal and wraps it around itself two or three times. There's Enrique's suspicion, his revelation, the truth and then how the truth affects everything else. Robinson has all three (or four) balls in the air at once, all of them working in conjunction.

It's a fantastic reveal sequence and it takes up maybe a fourth of the issue. All talking heads, all Robinson looping the dialogue through itself in order to get to the big revelations and then what comes next.

All of this stuff comes after Robinson resolves the previous cliffhanger and does some more work after it. The issue's tightly paced and moves beautifully.

It's unbelievable Robinson can pull the cliffhanger off. He does.

B+ 

CREDITS

Tyler’s Revenge, Part Four; writer, artist and letterer, Jimmie Robinson; colorist, Paul Little; editor, Laura Tavishati; publisher, Image Comics.

Stray Bullets 38 (May 2005)

Stray Bullets #38

Seriously? Seriously? Okay, so the bad guy who’s secretly gay and can’t accept it so he rapes other guys is named Huss. He’s the villain. I wonder why Lapham wanted to do this story arc. Bullets always had some kind of point, the way it revolved around a certain group of criminals. And then Virginia’s story too, of course.

But Lapham has now set Virginia up as a superhero against this villain kid. There’s no attempt at understanding this kid, which is strange since Lapham was always sympathetic to the kid who shot up the first issue. One might have thought Bullets would be about him and Virginia.

Instead of Virginia coming up against villains to defeat. Ones who are number one murder suspects who then just get away with it.

I think the art is a little better than last issue but not by much.

Lousy hard cliffhanger too.

D 

CREDITS

Poppycock; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editors, Renee Miller and Maria Lapham; publisher, El Capitán Books.

Big Trouble in Little China 1 (June 2014)

Big Trouble in Little China #1

With John Carpenter breaking out the story with Eric Powell (who does the scripting), one has to wonder if Big Trouble the comic sequel is the same as a movie sequel would have been. Because it’s an odd opening, directly continuing the movie and then kind of going in reverse (to get protagonist Jack Burton back to Chinatown).

For that course correction, the comic is amusing. Brian Churilla doesn’t have the realistic style for an adaptation but then it becomes clear Powell’s going to go out of his way to make Big Trouble a comic book and not an attempt at a movie. The humor, for instance, reminds of the film’s humor in content, but Powell and Churilla know how to make it fit the comic medium.

The comic goes from mediocre to excellent in its well-paced twenty-some pages. It shouldn’t work, but it does and gloriously so.

CREDITS

The Hell of the Midnight Road & The Ghost of Storms, Part One; writers, John Carpenter and Eric Powell; artist, Brian Churilla; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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