Pop 3 (October 2014)

Pop #3

Even though Copland’s art is better than last issue–he gets really dark here and has a nice panel layout for all the talking heads–Pop has sort of, well, popped. Pires spends more time with not just his supporting cast, but with background characters than he does with his protagonists. He has nothing for them to do here. Except stand around and wait for something to happen.

At one time, it seemed like Pires and Copland were going to explore the mystical with Pop. Instead, now Pires concentrates on making it all realistic and rational, scientifically explained. It’s rather boring. The art’s nice, but the story’s boring.

Worse, there are reminders of when Pires was going to do something more with his protagonists. It’s a concept without anything else to it, which is unfortunate because Copland deserves better and so do the characters Pires created in the first issue.

C 

CREDITS

Shot in the Dark; writer, Curt Pires; artist, Jason Copland; colorist, Pete Toms; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Roxy Polk, Aaron Walker and Dave Marshall; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Pop 2 (September 2014)

Pop #2

Copland's art would be enough to carry Pop; he has intricate panel composition–through a bunch of psychedelic sequences–but also a wonderful sense of movement for the rest. About the only thing he doesn't get to do this issue is talking heads scenes, since most of the issue's calm moments are internal. But the art is very impressive.

And Pires's script has its impressive moments too. He just doesn't offer any character development on his protagonists. Everything and everyone acts on them, even though they're somewhat active–the guy takes the escaped from her gestation pod pop star into the woods to trip and try to sort things out–there's no movement for them.

But the supporting cast gets a lot of attention, with Pires doing the bickering, punk assassins, their obsessive, hideous secret bosses, the lead's sidekick… it all works, especially when Pires does comic relief.

He just doesn't mind his protagonists.

B 

CREDITS

Pseudologia Fantastica; writer, Curt Pires; artist, Jason Copland; colorist, Pete Toms; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Roxy Polk, Aaron Walker and Dave Marshall; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Pop 1 (August 2014)

Pop #1

About half of Pop is awesome. The rest of it is rather good, given the gimmick. The gimmick–which the title fits but in no way applies–is the eugenic world of pop stars. Pop stars are grown in tubes by an Illuminati-type organization.

With any consideration, it seems like an obvious gimmick writer Curt Pires is using; if no one has done it exactly, someone has done it approximately. And the Illuminati scenes are the worst in the comic.

But the stoned guy saving the escaped “not yet fully grown” pop star? Awesome. Pires dialogue–in general–but for those two characters specifically? Awesome.

Unfortunately, the assassins and the Justin Bieber stand-in are predictable.

Like any other problems with the story, Pires gets away with them because of Jason Copland’s wonderful art. Even if the comic weren’t often great, the art would be enough to elevate it.

B+ 

CREDITS

Eyes Without a Face; writer, Curt Pires; artist, Jason Copland; colorist, Pete Toms; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Roxy Polk, Aaron Walker and Dave Marshall; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Robocop: Hominem Ex Machina 1 (February 2014)

RoboCop Hominem Ex Machina rev Page 1

Okay, it’s a movie tie-in but it’s a prequel and a sequel. Who knows? The new Robocop isn’t out yet so is it even possible to gauge whether Michael Moreci and Jason Copland got the tone right… because they don’t create one of their own.

Moreci follows around Robocop’s human handler–or so the character seems, as I haven’t seen the movie–while Robocop is malfunctioning. There are riots, there are hostages, will Robocop come through in the end? Will Moreci actually write vicious criminals or ones out of toy commercials?

Vicious criminals wouldn’t fit Copland’s style. With the colors over Copland’s pencils–no inking here–Hominem Ex Machina looks like watercolor. It’s not an action style. Copland quite often flings Robocop through the air and it just looks absurd. So does all the tasering; it’s practically a PSA in favor of taser “safety.”

It’s somewhat inoffensive licensed dreck.

D 

CREDITS

Writer, Michael Moreci; artist, Jason Copland; colorist, Juan Manuel Tumburús; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer, Ian Brill and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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