The Mice Templar Volume II: Destiny 6 (January 2010)

The Mice Templar Volume II: Destiny #6

Glass continues the series on its way, with some subtle observations from Karic about his lot in life. Having Karic the more mature, thoughtful one–especially as he finds himself amongst old Templars–is still a bit of a surprise. It’s a fine transition, it just changes the series more than I was expecting. With it, Mice Templar loses a number of its similarities to other works.

The issue also has a lot of action, whether it’s Karic and an old Templar against bugs and bats (physically against bugs, intellectually against the bats) or Cassius leading troops against a scorpion invader. Oh, and Glass really knows how to bring in the danger of the nature; it’s something he’s quietly established but hasn’t run wild with until this issue.

The characters are mice. They have lots of predators, swords or not.

The third act’s a little soft, but it’s strong stuff.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Bats of Meave; writer, Bryan J.L. Glass; artist, Victor Santos; colorist, Veronica Gandini; letterer, James H. Glass; editor, Judy Glass; publisher, Image Comics.

Satellite Sam 9 (July 2014)

Satellite Sam #9

Until the cliffhangers, Fraction has Sam back on course for the most part. Sure, he doesn’t know what to do with Michael, but everything else is going well enough as long as he has something, it’ll be enough. Or so one would think, because instead it’s just Fraction trying to inch the murder mystery forward without much commitment.

Satellite Sam has a big cast and its inevitably going to be a slow burn as Fraction moves one pan onto one burner and another into the back for an issue, but having your ostensible main plot line be your most boring and narratively loose? It’s a problem.

It’s a shame too, because Chaykin is still turning in some great work on the comic. And Fraction is doing some excellent work too, he’s just meandering and it’s hard to have confidence he knows where he’s going with the series when he’s meandering.

B- 

CREDITS

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

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 1 (June 1982)

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #1

Writer Gerry Conway oscillates between serious and sort of bemusing throughout the first issue of the second Firestorm series. He’s got to recap a bunch–the original series, then the backups in The Flash–and he comes up with a few narrative devices to get it done with brevity.

He’s also got to establish his characters for this series, which leads to a lot of brief introductions, but he gets the A plot up and running fairly soon (he’s got a great juxtaposing of early morning routines). The main plot involves a Native American high school teacher getting possessed by an angry shaman and running amok. Oddly enough, one of Firestorm’s alter egos just happens to be in this guy’s class.

There’s an excellent action sequence in the museum; Penciller Pat Broderick isn’t always successful–usually with depth–but he’s always ambitious; it’s a great looking sequence.

The end’s a little heavy, but otherwise….

B+ 

CREDITS

Day of the Bison; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Pat Broderick; inker, Rodin Rodriguez; colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Nailbiter 3 (July 2014)

Nailbiter #3

No, really, where’s the rest of the comic?

Williamson is only a few issues in with Nailbiter and he’s already losing some of the sensationalism. Instead of outrageous characters, he’s going for outrageous acts. But not even startling outrageous acts, just kind of average ones. Like there are these constant brownouts in the city and a serial killer pops in and out during one of them.

Sadly, Henderson composes the sequence in a long distance profile, which isn’t the best way to get tension going. Maybe that lack of tension is the problem–Nailbiter seems too safe. Even though I think someone else died this issue. It’s a little unclear.

There are a lot of scenes, but none really stick out, which is another problem. Henderson doesn’t have the space to make the town into a character this issue; Williamson is just moving too fast.

He needs to luxuriate some more.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Mike Henderson; colorist, Adam Guzowski; letterer, John J. Hill; editor, Rob Levin; publisher, Image Comics.

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