The Mice Templar 6 (October 2008)

The Mice Templar #6

What an issue. In hindsight, it should have seemed unlikely Glass was going to be able to wrap anything up while setting up for the next Mice Templar series.

He does not get much wrapped up. He does, however, introduce the new status quo for the series–Karic under the mentorship of Cassius, who does not like the lad one bit. And this relationship is where Glass is setting up the series for some interesting problems–Cassius doesn’t believe Karic is Neo, but the reader knows Karic is Neo thanks to the visions.

There hasn’t really been any setup for hallucinations or visions, meaning Karic seeing the great owl god has to be taken at face value. Maybe. It’s hard to say, but it certainly seems likely.

Glass also takes time to work with the coming villains in the capital. Those scenes are good.

The issue’s just too busy without much impact.



The Prophecy, Part Six: The Symbol; writers, Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan J.L. Glass; artist, Oeming; colorist, Wil Quintana; letterer, James H. Glass; editors, Judy Glass and Will Swyer; publisher, Image Comics.

Eye of Newt 1 (June 2014)

Eye of Newt #1

When I read a comic from Dark Horse called Eye of Newt, even if it’s set in olden times and has dragons and wizards and talking cats and cheap Gollum knockoffs, I expect one thing. I expect an Aliens tie-in.

Just kidding.

But some kind of tie-in to anything would have really helped the comic, which is clearly a labor of love for writer and artist Michael Hague. He draws some gorgeous dragons and wizard seals and so on. Not so great at the people, who seem way too two dimensional, or the scenery, which seems underdeveloped. But the dragons look great.

And he loves the story of Newt, a wizard’s apprentice, who has problems on his way to becoming a real wizard and worries about pissing off his mentor.

In other words, it’s every single young wizard story ever told just again. Worse, Hague’s style isn’t appropriate for comics.



Writer and artist, Michael Hague; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Ian Tucker and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Flash 292 (December 1980)

The Flash #292

Bates sure does try hard to get the reader to pay attention. He has another sequence this issue where the Flash discovers some clue and Bates calls out the reader to try to figure it out too. There’s only one problem with it… Bates still writes the revelation scene like the reader didn’t figure it out. So if the reader has figured it out, he or she has wasted some engagement time.

Engagement time–there’s no reward to figuring it out. It’s a DC no prize.

The story itself is a neat one, with the Mirror Master outsmarting Barry for a while. Heck doesn’t do great on the art and Bates writes the new love interest real annoying… but the main plot works out well.

The Firestorm backup is all action and lots of good Perez composition. He and Conway pack the limited pages. The pluses outweigh the lackluster finish.



Mirror, Mirror, Off The Wall…; writer, Cary Bates; artist, Don Heck; colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, Milt Snapinn. Firestorm, The Hostages of Precinct 13!; writer, Gerry Conway; pencillers, George Perez and Bob Smith; inker, Smith; colorist, Lynne Gelfer; letterer, Ben Oda. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Wicked + The Divine 1 (June 2014)

The Wicked + The Divine #1

I read a few scenes in The Wicked + The Divine too fast and got confused about whether Jamie McKelvie was drawing boys who look like girls or girls who look like boys. It’s the latter but, dang, was it confusing for a page or so.

It’s a very high concept series, though old gods living among hipsters is the latest thing in comics. A teenage girl finds herself hanging out with these reincarnated gods and angels–writer Kieron Gillen is obviously enjoying having Lucifer as a character.

But lots of time is wasted in the issue revealing this situation to the reader. Gillen uses a lot of music references, including what might be an ABBA one (oh, I hope so), and that approach does give the comic an in-joke feeling. When the reader gets it, the scene’s better.

Slow start, excellent finish. Hopefully Gillen improves the formula going forward.



Writer, Kieron Gillen; artist, Jamie McKelvie; colorist, Matthew Wilson; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editor, Chrissy Williams; publisher, Image Comics.

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