The Mice Templar Volume II: Destiny 1 (July 2009)

The Mice Templar Volume II: Destiny #1

As this issue begins, with some flashbacks to the big battle ending the Templar, Glass also establishes the relationship between Cassuis and Karic. It’s a dysfunctional mentor and student relationship. Karic thinks Cassius hates him and Cassius hates Karic.

There are some more flashbacks, with Cassius remembering, and Glass vaguely hinting the arc’s direction. But the cliffhanger does not suggest it’ll be going in those directions anytime soon; Glass is going on a more introspective journey. Throughout the course of the issue, the relationship between Cassius and Karic changes almost entirely. Glass does a whole bunch of character work on Cassius, usually very subtlety through the narrated flashbacks.

Karic’s character development is a little different, probably because Glass has given him not just the bad guys of the issue as adversaries, but also his mentor.

Santos’s art is gory and good.

The excellent finale makes up for the exposition drags.



The Haunted Wood; writer, Bryan J.L. Glass; artists, Michael Avon Oeming and Victor Santos; colorist, Veronica Gandini; letterer, James H. Glass; editor, Judy Glass; publisher, Image Comics.

Brass Sun 1 (May 2014)

Brass Sun #1

Brass Sun is incredibly problematic. I don’t think I’ve read such a spotty first issue in a while, particularly one where the writer–Ian Edginton–just keeps going and going until he makes the narrative connect. And it takes this issue a long time, until the last fourth.

The comic is collected from 2000 AD, which probably explains a lot of the disjointed nature of the narrative. Then there’s the art–I.N.J. Culbard’s art seems more appropriate for black and white than color. I’m pretty sure AD is still black and white.

There’s too much exposition, not enough tone, Edginton awkwardly establishes the characters–the problems go on and on and they’re very obviously the fault of the packaging. So when Edginton finally gets to something effective and it’s good, it seems really good. It redeems the issue.

The plot itself is vaguely unoriginal but I’m hoping the uptick will continue.



Writer, Ian Edginton; artist, I.N.J. Culbard; letterer, Ellie De Ville; editor, Matt Smith; publisher, Rebellion.

The Flash 300 (August 1981)

The Flash #300

About eighty-five percent of the issue is spent on flashbacks. Apparently Barry is in a mental institution, covered in bandages, and he’s been imagining the Flash side of his life for years. As he remembers things to keep himself sane, Bates and Infantino visualize them. These little stories tend to be short, sometimes just a few panels.

Infantino does it successfully but also pointlessly. Who cares about all these villain origin recaps? They actually make the comic less accessible.

Because there’s no character development, Bates instead goes for a couple surprises for the finish. The big one is drawn out and talky, the second but not bigger one is too short and too breezy. Bates just doesn’t seem to know what he wants to do.

A lot of the art is fine, but even Infantino can’t make the exasperatingly boring entertaining.

Worst is how abruptly Bates end the story.



1981 — A Flash Odyssey; writer, Cary Bates; penciller, Carmine Infantino; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Big Trouble in Little China 2 (July 2014)

Big Trouble in Little China #2

Powell continues to show he gets it with Big Trouble. He and, presumably, Carpenter, give Churilla a bunch of crazy stuff to draw. Not right away. Right away is more comedy stand-off stuff with Jack Burton being an idiot but a well-intentioned one. The crazy stuff starts when Jack and Egg’s quest starts; they’re driving through a mystical Chinese sort of underworld… it’s phenomenal.

What’s great about Churilla’s art is how he doesn’t compose the same way he illustrates. He’s a cartoony artist, but his composition is detailed and thoughtful. It’s a great combination and it works perfectly for Big Trouble.

There are a lot of great tangents. Powell introduces a lot more genre into the series’s mythology–actually, he’s kind of creating it–and it definitely works. The idea of Jack Burton as an unaware magnet for supernatural trouble? I’m hoping Big Trouble will truck on for a good long while.


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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