The Fade Out 5 (April 2015)

The Fade Out #5

It’s a sort of gentle issue of The Fade Out, with Brubaker and Phillips heading to the country. The movie production is doing location shooting–albeit on sets, but they’re away from the studio and things are developing. Charlie the protagonist continues his flirtation with the replacement girl while his flashbacks reveal his relationship with the original. Blacklist Gil goes and gets drunk and finds himself in a pickle.

Plus there’s Hollywood stuff. There’s the tawdry stuff out of James Ellroy, but Brubaker’s got a lot about how the characters react to being away from the studio. While in Hollywood, The Fade Out just seemed like a noir set during the making of a film noir, but on location? Brubaker’s showing his research through Charlie’s narration. The setting feels fresh, real.

And Brubaker doesn’t go for a cliffhanger. He brings up some things, he stirs a pot, then it ends.

CREDITS

The Broken Ones; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Elizabeth Breitweiser; publisher, Image Comics.

Manifest Destiny 14 (April 2015)

Manifest Destiny #14

It’s another too fast issue of Manifest Destiny. Or maybe it’s just how Dingess uses the cliffhanger. He’s actually doing character development, both in scene and through the journal narration device, but it doesn’t get to go anywhere because the last few pages are all setting up the cliffhanger.

Most of the issue has a calm about it, even when the fantastic happens–in this issue, a baby giant bird attacks the crew and gets imprisoned (and, of course, Mama comes looking)–Roberts and Dingess keep it calm. The calm also affects the cliffhanger; because the lead-in is so calm, the characters don’t seem engaged enough to get to the cliffhanger.

And Manifest Destiny is about its cliffhanger. Roberts gets a whole page for them, they’re the advertising to get the reader back, the promise of something great. So a useless cliffhanger hurts the book.

The rest is great.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Dingess; artist, Matthew Roberts; colorist, Owen Gieni; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

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