Cluster 5 (July 2015)

Cluster #5

I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with Cluster. There’s definitely something off about it because I should be gleefully anticipating a monthly dose of Brisson and Couceiro.

I think I’ve got it too–Cluster isn’t good as an episodic, serialized read. It might do better in trade, but Brisson’s got too many characters without enough history for them to be interesting in a monthly. I don’t even care the protagonist has been turned into a cyborg. She’s just not compelling enough. And poor Couceiro doesn’t get enough cool things to illustrate. This issue it’s mostly the jail.

Who cares. A future prison planet. Unless Cluster’s future prison planet is made out of plants, which it isn’t, there’s not much to do with that setting.

I like the idea of Cluster and I like some of Brisson’s writing, some of Couceiro’s art, but I’m forcing myself to read it.


Writer and letterer, Ed Brisson; artist, Damian Couceiro; colorist, Cassie Kelly; editors, Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Howard the Duck 12 (May 1977)

Howard the Duck #12

It’s another great issue of Howard the Duck. I’m even willing to give Gerber a chance to make the hard cliffhanger’s unfortunate corporate synergy guest stars worthwhile next issue. He does such a good job with the comic–this issue has Howard tried and committed–I’m willing to give him a lot of leeway.

Gerber balances the absurdity and the political and social commentary quite well. He manages to mix all three into the comic. He’ll have these absurd set pieces with multiple commentaries going on. It’s really cool to read and to follow the tangents to their conclusions.

Plus there’s Howard. Even though Gerber’s doing so much, he’s also got this really interesting character. (I’m really starting to miss Bev). By keeping Howard’s history a secret, Gerber encourages readers to get further invested in the character. But it never feels calculated, just enthusiastic.

Howard, weird cliffhanger and all, rocks.


Mind-Mush!; writer and editor, Steve Gerber; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, Janice Cohen; letterer, Jim Novak; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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