The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night’s Dream 7 (January 2012)

The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night's Dream #7

Glass sets another few pieces into place for, presumably, the next volume. There simply isn’t enough time for him to get any of these plot threads resolved in the final issue of Midwinter Night’s Dream.

There’s more treachery from Pilot the traitorous Templar (though so many rodents in Templar are traitorous it’s hard to disparage Pilot just for that character flaw) and there’s the little mice and the King’s former consort both getting involved with the rebel movement. So two and a half things going on, with Glass also throwing in the series’s first nice rat.

But if Midwinter is a bridging series, this issue is a bridging issue in a bridging series. Nothing comes as a surprise (except the nice rat). It’s compelling because of the events, not because of the characters.

Santos’s art is excellent throughout.

It’s too much time on too little; it coasts on stockpiled goodwill.

B- 

CREDITS

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

Bodies 1 (September 2014)

Bodies #1

Some time during the first part–of four–of Bodies, I realized it didn’t have much media exploitation potential. The gimmick is simple–a similarly mutilated body is found in London at different times in history (and the future) and the police investigate. Writer Si Spencer shows his hand as far as interest–with the present and the nineteenth century getting the most emphasis. Both these periods drive the narrative, with the future and the WWII eras sort of garnish.

There are different artists for each period. Meghan Hetrick for the present, Dean Ormston for the 1800s, Tula Lotay for the future, Phil Winslade for the World War II. All the art is decent and appropriate for its period; Lotay is the least successful.

Spencer tries to establish his characters quickly, but through flash not substance.

It’s a competent comic, but there’s nothing compelling about the mystery or the characters.

C 

CREDITS

Writer, Si Spencer; artists, Meghan Hetrick, Dean Ormston, Tula Lotay and Phil Winslade; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterers, Dezi Sienty and Taylor Esposito; editors, Sara Miller and Shelly Bond; publisher, Vertigo.

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man Annual 1 (November 1983)

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man Annual #1

Strengths and weaknesses. This first Firestorm annual has a bunch of each. Oddly, Conway seems a lot more comfortable plotting out a double-size issue–maybe if all the issues had this much room, the series wouldn't be on such shaky ground. There's time for character development, not just for Ronnie and Martin, but also for Firestorm–the return of Firehawk at a key moment this issue is one of the highlights–but also for quiet moments. Conway finally has enough space.

As for the weaknesses… well, Tokamak is still a terrible villain. But the billionaire going crazy storyline does let Conway finally develop Multiplex as a character. And the fight sequence set in Washington, D.C. at the landmarks is pretty cool.

Rafael Kayanan joins the comic this issue and he does some excellent art. There's also some weak art–the epilogue with Ronnie and his dad looks atrocious, for instance.

Still, it's mostly awesome.

B+ 

CREDITS

All the Answers…; writer, Gerry Conway; pencillers, Rafael Kayanan and Rodin Rodriguez; inker, Rodriguez; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Adam Kubert; editors, Nicola Cuti and Conway; publisher, DC Comics.

Robocop 2 (August 2014)

Robocop #2

Robocop continues to have problems, but this issue they're different ones. For instance, Magno's art isn't as detailed. He's concentrating on foreground figures and letting the backgrounds go loose (with a handful of splash page exceptions). And his figures get flatter as the issue progresses.

But Williamson is doing better with Robocop and Lewis. Most of Robo's scenes are action ones to further the plot–Detroit is banning guns and the cops are out collecting, so it's a lot of quick scenes of Robocop in action. Good stuff. As for character development, it comes later and Williamson only teases this issue. His Robocop is going to be complicated; his promise seems sincere enough to allow for a delay.

The problem's the villains. He's got a crime boss masquerading as a community leader and then some out of town bad guys coming in. They're so peculiar they're distracting.

Like I said… problems.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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