Star Trek 10 (January 1981)

Star Trek #10

Having an interested artist helps Trek quite a bit. Leo Duranona does get Janson on inks and Janson’s been one of the series’s best parts so far.

The story, from Michael Fleisher, has Kirk sick and Spock and McCoy on an away mission. They get involved with the uprising against a warlord while Kirk tries to figure out a way to get down to the planet.

It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but the art’s engaging enough for everything to move along smoothly. Removing Kirk from so much of the story is an odd move from Fleisher, especially since he doesn’t do a lot with Spock and McCoy. They get separated and work to get back together but McCoy’s biggest scenes are with one of the native girls. As for Spock, he just gets to work a rock quarry in his uniform.

It’s competent enough though. The good art helps bunches.

C+ 

CREDITS

Domain of the Dragon God!; writer, Michael Fleisher; pencillers, Leo Duranona and Klaus Janson; inker, Janson; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Rick Parker; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ordinary 1 (June 2014)

Ordinary #1

I can’t imagine how Rob Williams and D’Israeli are going to maintain on Ordinary. Actually, let me amend that statement–D’Israeli will maintain just fine. Doing a story about people getting fantastical powers and sometimes not fantastical powers, but always visually interesting ones… Well, it’s got to be a fanciful artist’s dream job.

But Williams might have some problems.

Here’s the setup–likable loser Michael (bad dad, bad friend, bad ex-husband, smalltime crook, owes loan sharks) is the only person not effected when the world goes mystical. Everyone gets crazy powers or crazy experiences. Williams and D’Israeli deserve recognition for the wonderful stuff they come up with in the backgrounds too.

But there’s a story. Michael is trying to find his missing son and Michael is the only one not effected. He’s on a quest. There are many narrative perils ahead. I hope Williams can steer clear of them.

A 

CREDITS

Writer, Rob Williams; artist, D’Israeli; editor, Steve White; publisher, Titan Comics.

Stray Bullets 41 (March 2014)

Stray Bullets #41

This issue is about eight years late. Maybe eight years and a month.

Is it the comic Lapham always intended to tell? Who knows. Who cares.

It ends with Virginia okay and heading out into the world because she can’t lead a regular life. I don’t care if I spoiled it. I won’t spoil how the whole kidnapping thing comes to a conclusion because it’s not worth talking about. Lapham has his chance a few times in that scene to do something good and he doesn’t.

But at the end, and here’s another spoiler, Virginia gets it on with Leon. She loves the kid, he loves her. Lapham’s spent this series showing women getting beaten, raped, murdered. It’s the first time there’s some romantic love in this comic in many issues and more years.

And he skips it.

He tries some earnest sentimentality at the end, but he’s faking it.

D+ 

CREDITS

Hi-Jinks!; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Maria Lapham; publisher, Image Comics.

Sons of Anarchy 10 (June 2014)

Sons of Anarchy #10

I'm trying to come up with a phrase to describe Sons of Anarchy–amoral entertainment, the amorality of entertainment. The problem with those two phrases are they're something difference, even if the vocabulary is similar.

With this issue of Anarchy, Brisson does a couple big things. First, he turns in one of the best licensed comics I've ever read–he and Couceiro do phenomenal work here. Couceiro's art is just getting better and better.

Second, Brisson plays with the idea of plot structure and epilogues and what goes where. Without the epilogue, this story isn't an action story, it's the story of these criminals working out a deal to stay alive in prison. Brisson tells this tale compellingly, but it's got a short present action and it's not all that big.

Until the epilogue, which I wasn't even expecting because Brisson paces so well.

Anarchy is getting to be a singular comic.

A- 

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brisson; artist, Damian Couceiro; colorist, Michael Spicer; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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