Moonshadow 2 (October 1994)

Moonshadow #2

Moonshadow continues with DeMatteis going high sci-fi–Moon, his mother and his sidekick, Ira, investigating a desolate spacecraft–while also going absurdist humor. DeMatteis works emotion into both and one of the most startling things about the comic is how dark DeMatteis will take it. The humor and the fantasy never distract; in fact, DeMatteis uses them to amplify the importance of the emotional goings on.

It’s rather phenomenal. And very hard to take because DeMatteis doesn’t offer any relief. All the humor comes with the emotional weight.

Muth renders some fantastic visuals this issue, particularly with his mix of styles at the end. And his work on the spacecraft exploration is positively frightening. Even though Muth’s art often gets to be far more playful than the script, that element of dread still lurks. DeMatteis and Muth create beauty, hope, dread and fear and intricately tie them all together.

B+ 

CREDITS

A Very Uncomfortable Thing; writer, J.M. DeMatteis; artist, Jon J. Muth; letterer, Kevin Nowlan; editors, Shelly Bond, Laurie Sutton and Archie Goodwin; publisher, Vertigo.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 3 (March 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #3

Dredd gets a sidekick–temporarily, it’s like Wolk doesn’t want him to bond with anyone in Mega-City Two or something–and fights a giant sea monster. He also gets to see how the city turns away people back to the ocean; there’s a conspiracy going on or something. Wolk also promises a former judge who dresses like a masked Mexican wrestler.

There’s a little bit, with the conspiracy and then the setup at the end, about the main story, with the immigration scene an odd lull in the middle. There’s no action, even with one of Dredd’s camera crew (he’s a TV star) getting eaten by said sea monster.

Farinas does a little better than usual; there aren’t a lot of closeups. He flubs closeups.

The big action sequence with the sea monster doesn’t come off well–Dredd vs. kaiju–but Wolk has enough momentum to carry it through.

B 

CREDITS

Beach Blanket Justice; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 2 (February 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #2

Even though Farinas art gets a little worse, Wolk isn’t spending time setting up the comic, he’s just telling a Judge Dredd goes undercover with a West Coast biker gang of the future. They’re really into found art.

Dredd gets a sidekick in one of the biker gang and a lot of the issue is spent with their adventure to go get future beer. Work gets to concentrate on Dredd exploring the strange world–introducing it to the reader too–while still maintaining Dredd is in control of everything going on. It works rather well.

The end has a good fight sequence, with Wolk utilizing Dredd’s procedural abilities as well as his physical ones. It’s a rather nice finish. And even though Farinas is real light on the facial detail (and of people in general), there are some good visual moments in the comic.

Art problems aside, an excellent issue.

B+ 

CREDITS

Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 1 (January 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #1

The back matter for this issue discusses the history of Mega-City Two, which I only briefly read. Writer Douglas Wolk has a nice structure for the issue–he drops the reader into Mega-City Two, with Judge Dredd as the anchor, and goes crazy. It’s a strange, Hollywood-influenced, happy place. Think the future in Wall-E, only a little more active.

Of course, no reader wants to see such a lame future and having Dredd around to kick things up is awesome. After almost half the issue of Dredd dealing with the dumb, extremely lax laws, Wolk gives the reader the backstory. He’s there on a secret mission, he’s supposed to like the chief judge; a quick recap then back to the story.

Ulises Farinas art is so-so. He does well on the Mega-City Two scenery, not so good on the figures.

Still, pretty good stuff.

B 

CREDITS

West Coast Swing; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

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