Groo vs. Conan 2 (August 2014)

Groo vs. Conan #2

So Groo vs. Conan is already an imaginary story wrapped in the adventures of Sergio Aragonés as he runs around with (presumably) temporary dementia. But then he and co-writer Evanier feel the need to wrap another imaginary element around the finish. The last few pages, where Groo and Conan fight, are all in the imagination of one of the townspeople.

The mix of art, with Yeates’s Conan often in front of Aragonés Groo backgrounds, is mildly successful. Each artist does fine on their own, but the combination is distracting. It isn’t supposed to look real and it doesn’t… it also doesn’t come off as the most imaginative way to fuse the two styles.

The best stuff in the comic is Sergio’s adventures running around half naked as he tries to escape Evanier and his doctors.

Aragonés and Evanier don’t seem to know how to best exploit the series’s gimmick.

B- 

CREDITS

Writers, Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier; artists, Aragonés and Thomas Yeates; colorist, Lovern Kindzierski; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Dave Land, Katie Moody and Patrick Thorpe; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Savage She-Hulk 4 (May 1980)

The Savage She-Hulk #4

What an awful comic book. It gets dumber as it goes along, with Jennifer’s dad joining forces with the guy who killed his wife in order to kill She-Hulk. The villain isn’t a regular mobster, he has a huge Bond villain subterranean fortress. It’s not too big, however, since She-Hulk is able to find everyone right after she breaks in.

The comic also has the further adventures of She-Hulk’s Rick Jones, the Zapper kid. It’s really dumb, especially as Kraft tries to show She-Hulk predisposition towards rage. Except she doesn’t change when she’s angry, she changes when she’s in pain or danger.

I also need to address the art, even though there’s nothing nice or interesting to say about it. Volsburg and Stone produce some severely lacking artwork this issue. The action scenes can’t compete against bad composition.

It’s a bad comic. Slow, dumb and ugly.

D 

CREDITS

The She-Hulk Strikes Back!; writer, David Anthony Kraft; pencillers, Mike Vosburg and Chic Stone; inker, Stone; colorist, George Roussos; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Mary Jo Duffy; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 34 (April 1985)

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #34

The Kupperberg inks continue to give Firestorm all the emotion Conway’s scripts have been lacking. Only this issue has some emotion in the script–Ronnie having a talk with ex-girlfriend Doreen (who he jilted for Firehawk)–and the result, even though Conway cops out for a conclusion, is fantastic. Kayanan’s panel composition and Kupperberg’s details make for a great talking heads scene.

There’s a lot of movement with the subplots too, more than with the action plots. At least for this issue, Conway’s doing something of a shift–the action is spectacular but finite, while the character moments get a lot of space, whether it’s Martin, Ronnie or just the supporting cast.

The art also has a lot of fluidity, whether it’s how the characters talk or how Firestorm handles threats in the action sequences. Kayanan seems to be composing for his inker too, which makes the work better.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Big Freeze!; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Rafael Kayanan; inker, Alan Kupperberg; colorist, Nansi Hoolahan; letterer, Phil Felix; editors, Janice Race and Conway; publisher, DC Comics.

Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever 3 (August 2014)

Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever #3

The bottom falls out this issue. Given nothing compelling to illustrate–unless one counts the various odd jobs Kirk and Spock perform–Woodward is left with talking heads, where he seems to be painting panels directly from pauses of old “Star Trek” episodes. The result? Terrible, static figures. Even worse, he’s rushing, so there’s a lot of loosely rendered, terrible, static figures.

As for the writing, there’s some angry banter between Kirk and Spock. It’s real bad; either from the original Harlan Ellison teleplay or the Tipton brothers adaptation, the characters have no chemistry. Combined with the static faces, it makes for terrible comics.

Even worse is when the love interest arrives. The flirting scene between her and Kirk is atrocious, but Woodward’s so insistent on the Joan Collins reference, the character never fits in the environment.

Edge has been a consistently problematic effort, but this issue really tanks it.

D 

CREDITS

Writers, Harlan Ellison, Scott Tipton and David Tipton; artist, J.K. Woodward; letterer, Neil Uyetake; editor, Chris Ryall; publisher, IDW Publishing.

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