Howard the Duck 20 (January 1978)

Howard the Duck #20

I’m seeing the problem with Howard. Gerber is refusing to get Howard into a comfortable situation at all. Bev is still out of the picture, but so is the new girl. Bong is even out of the picture. Howard just happens into an entirely new situation with a new supporting cast.

The problem isn’t the fluidity, it’s how little Howard cares about it all. He’s not worried about Bev being married to a Doctor Doom knock-off, he’s curious why said knock-off isn’t more enthusiastic about her. Gerber doesn’t acknowledge Howard isn’t enthusiastic enough about her. It’s weird.

The comic is nearing its two year mark and Gerber himself only seems enthusiastic about one thing–treading water as far as Howard’s character development goes. It’s stopped. But so has the plot development.

It’s too bad because Colan and Janson knock the art out of the park on this one.

CREDITS

Scrubba-dub Death!; writer and editor, Steve Gerber; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Janice Cohen; letterer, John Costanza; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Big Man Plans 4 (July 2015)

Big Man Plans #4

Powell and Wiesch double down with the torture this issue of Big Man Plans (the last in this series, hopefully not ever) and it’s darn unpleasant. Powell seems to try to think of grosser and grosser panels to compose every few pages.

In between the torture is the flashback to the idyllic days of Big Man’s life, back when he loved a girl. The first girl, because this issue has hints at his current (or at least recent) girlfriend; she’s from his home town, she marries the sheriff. The story is sensational and horrifying but not really original. It doesn’t need to be original. What’s original is Powell and Wiesch just got people to read a whole comic about punitive torture.

And it’s not a trick. The writers get the reader to buy into it. It’s what this issue is all about.

It’s an effective comic; not sure about good.

CREDITS

Writers, Eric Powell and Tim Wiesch; artist and letterer, Powell; publisher, Image Comics.

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