The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night’s Dream 8 (March 2012)

The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night's Dream #8

It's one heck of a finish for the volume. Oeming's back for some of the dream sequences, with Glass finally getting around to explaining what's been going on with Karic. Sort of.

The issue's Karic's battle with the evil druids on a psychic plane. Glass doesn't over explain and he doesn't have to–Templar's sort of biblical in terms of the reality of the mysticism. It's just there and Glass doesn't give the reader any chance at misinterpreting. Here, he doesn't have time to convince, he's got to get Karic through.

It works beautifully because Glass is resolving the unsure young Karic with the now legendary warrior Karic, which has been one of the series's big transitions through the volumes. Glass handles it subtly too.

Some of the issue's events are predictable and it's sort of the ultimate in bridging issues (and series), but it's successful.

Templar's an epic poem now.

A 

CREDITS

The Dream of a Midwinter’s Night; writer, Bryan J.L. Glass; artists, Victor Santos and Michael Avon Oeming; colorists, Veronica Gandini, Serena Guerra and Oeming; letterer, James H. Glass; editor, Judy Glass; publisher, Image Comics.

Lazarus 10 (August 2014)

Lazarus #10

It's a torture issue. Sure, it's a torture issue where the guy getting tortured is an odious previous villain in Lazarus, but it's still a torture issue.

What's most surprising about it is Lark sticking on the art for what's essentially a done-in-one fill-in type issue. The rogue son of the main family goes off to another family–who are based in New York City, which gives Lark a chance to do something like Escape from New York for a bit and it's awesome–and it's his bad time trying to defect.

Rucka uses the issue to establish how the world works outside the family he's used to dealing with and to setup either the next story arc or the next few story arcs.

The issue moves a little too fast, but the Lark New York scenes make up for it in art, and the resolution is a decent surprise.

It's fine.

CREDITS

Extraction; writer, Greg Rucka; artists, Michael Lark and Brian Level; colorist, Santiago Arcas; letterer, Jodi Wynne; editor, David Brothers; publisher, Image Comics

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 19 (January 1984)

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #19

Gene Colan pencilling Firestorm (Rick Magyar inks).

It's strange and utterly awesome, with Conway–this issue assisted by wife Carla–sending Ronnie and Martin on more of a detective outing than superhero action. They stumble upon a strange crime and investigate, having a very intense conversation about the nature of their adventuring as they do.

The issue fits perfectly in with the series's current events–Ronnie's thinking about Firehawk, for example, and all the hard choices they have to make as Firestorm–but it feels like a step aside too. Like the Conways are looking at the series and reflecting on it through their protagonist.

And the art from Colan and Magyar? It's gorgeous. Colan's composition captures the excitement of the superhero stuff, but also the hard realities of the world around Firestorm.

It's a fantastic comic book. Whether it’s Colan’s or Carla Conway’s influence, it’s a lyrical superhero outing, which is rather ambitious.

A 

CREDITS

Golden Boy!; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Rick Magyar; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, John Costanza; editors, Nicola Cuti and Conway; publisher, DC Comics.

Big Trouble in Little China 3 (August 2014)

Big Trouble In Little China #3

It’s a little too fast of a read–Powell tries to slow it down a bit with a flashback to one of Jack Burton’s wives, who all appear to be evil women who can brainwash him into terrible deeds–but it’s another excellent issue.

Powell, Churilla and Carpenter (possibly) goof on the whole quest aspect of the story. It gets an explanation for the soft cliffhanger, but it’s a case of Jack Burton being the right guy in the right place at the right time, which might be the biggest difference between the movie and this comic. In the comic, his buffoonery actually gets things done.

The jokes are good–in the case of the three bad chimps out to avenge themselves on the heroes, really good–and the art’s good.

Big Trouble continues to be a silly, irreverent, excellent time. Its strengths more than compensate for the pacing issues.

CREDITS

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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