The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night’s Dream 4 (May 2011)

The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night's Dream #4

Glass finds another unexpected direction for Midwinter–a much wider look at the world. He still checks in on familiar cast members, with Pilot’s return being simultaneously unwelcome and narratively strong. The reader knows the character to be villainous, yet one hopes for the sake of Pilot’s newest marks he’s changed.

This issue marks the second without Cassius and Karic and Glass is still showing just how strong the series is on its own. He doesn’t need his protagonists; jumping from Pilot to Aquila to the Templar priesthood, Glass is able to move three subplots forward. Midwinter seems focused on establishing the series’s tapestry.

The issue gives Santos the chance to do a lot of “widescreen” panels, like the rat army on the march. There’s a great action sequence involving a centipede as well, but Santos and Glass seem to be enhancing the visual scope of the comic.

Ambitious stuff.

B+ 

CREDITS

Three Blind Mice; writer, Bryan J.L. Glass; artist, Victor Santos; colorist, Veronica Gandini; letterer, James H. Glass; editor, Judy Glass; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 45 (July 2014)

Prophet #45

I can’t believe it… Prophet ends with a weak setup for the subsequent sequel series. I never would have guessed it, not even as the issue progressed and old John and new John started on their collision course.

They don’t exactly collide, they team up, which is kind of worse, because Graham and Roy are now playing towards a imagined reader expectation. I say imagined because I don’t think any reader wanted them to flush all their creativity and ingenuity in plotting for something predictable. At this point, I don’t think I’d be surprised if the lizard girl ends up with the android.

The pacing is all off on the issue, both narrative and visual. After a minuscule nod towards how they used to identify objects with footnotes, the action beings racing, then slowing to a full page spread, then racing towards the next.

For Prophet, it’s a stunning flop.

C+ 

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Farel Dalrymple, Giannis Milonogiannis and Roy; colorists, Joseph Bergin III and Sandra Lanz; letterer, Ed Brisson; publisher, Image Comics.

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 16 (September 1983)

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #16

Conway tries for something new to the series–Ronnie and Martin interacting face to face when Martin’s in his Firestorm mode (when Professor Stein is the floating head advising Firestorm, it’s his subconscious, not his conscious)–but he’s also trying a mystery. Ronnie has forgotten something and Martin is trying to talk him into remembering.

It’s an action-packed memory too, with Ronnie having a high school incident, Firestorm flying to Washington, D.C. and then back to New York and so on. There’s lots of activity as Conway tries to keep the reader guessing at what’s going on.

The problem isn’t Conway or the confounding nature of the narrative. The issue features exceptionally weak art from Broderick and Rodriguez. It’s across the board–usually they keep it together for the superhero stuff, not here. Instead, everything is a problem. Broderick and Rodriguez can’t even draw an arm okay.

The art problems blight everything else.

B- 

CREDITS

Black-Out!; writer, Gerry Conway; pencillers, Pat Broderick and Rodin Rodriguez; inker, Rodriguez; colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, Adam Kubert; editors, Nicola Cuti and Conway; publisher, DC Comics.

Hawkeye 19 (September 2014)

Hawkeye #19

It’s another concept issue from Fraction and Aja. This time Clint is deaf and Barney has to start talking to him. It’s not a particularly ambitious concept issue as it turns out, since Clint and his deafness–and the sign language dialogue–is only half the issue. The other half is Fraction setting up the next encounter with the bros and Barney complaining about Clint.

It’s all an inspiring story about Clint opening up and asking for help, except it’s really easy and Fraction goes so far as to apparently use it to jump start the resolution to the entire series. The finale has him finally calling on the Avengers for help, which is something he reasonably could have done fifteen issues before. Stubbornness isn’t a good excuse for perpetuating a periodical.

Aja’s art is creative and awesome. It kind of makes the comic worth it, but with not entirely.

C+ 

CREDITS

The Stuff What Don’t Get Spoke; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterers, Chris Eliopoulos and Aja; editors, Devin Lewis and Sana Amanat; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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