Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers 6 (March 2015)

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #6

I wish Joe Casey loved Jack Kirby a little less. Captain Victory ends with the origin of Captain Victory (as the young version sees it unfold). What’s it like? Well, there are nods to Darkseid, the New Gods, probably something from Marvel, whatever. It’s a bunch of Kirby homage and it’s all in summary and none of it’s in scene.

There are eight guest artists doing this history section and it’s disconcerting. It never lets the issue find of good visual vibe because Fox is back on the space ship and not doing much in the series’s actual settings. Well, there’s one great shot of the World Trade Center.

Is it a good finish to the series?

Not at all. Everything goes toward the homage aspect. Casey doesn’t care about any of his characters.

Is it a good Kirby homage?

Doubt it; he’d probably prefer people get a good read.

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Casey; artists, Nathan Fox and friends; colorist, Brad Simpson; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Molly Mahan, Hannah Elder and Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers 5 (February 2015)

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #5

Connor Willumsen contributes maybe four pages to this issue of Captain Victory and, wow, it really doesn’t help the comic. The comic’s all right–it starts sci-fi heavy (something about Fox’s art doesn’t match the Kirby designs in the denser areas)–and the main action in New York City is great. Except when it’s Willumsen’s pages. He draws cute.

The issue has the young Victory clone and his vigilante mentor fighting an evil pig monster. Willumsen draws the pig monster cute. He also draws young Captain Victory cute. Well, more than cute. Pretty. Willumsen draws Victory as a pretty teenage girl with a short hair cut. It’s really, really weird.

But Fox is back soon enough and he and Casey do all right. The issue ends with a lot of alien tech art and not a lot of story. It’s not a good cliffhanger. But the rest works out.

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Casey; artists, Nathan Fox and Connor Willumsen; colorist, Brad Simpson; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Molly Mahan, Hannah Elder and Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers 4 (January 2015)

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #4

Fox gets to do a lot on the art. There’s a lot of drama to the Earth stuff; between it and the adventures of the barbaric Captain Victory taking down a big monster, Fox gets to shine. Less, of course, with the subplot involving the guys on the ship. It’s really annoying this issue, with Casey desperately filling their dialogue with expository details.

Once things get moving, then get to the Benjamin Marra-illustrated flashback to Captain Victory as a boy (it’s a huge, wonderful Kirby homage but with an absurdly tough mentor ranger narrating), the issue just clicks.

Casey introduces a great subplot to the Earth stuff too, with the scientists creating a monster. In some ways, Captain Victory is too much going on at once and there’s never a chance to lock on any of the characters. In other ways, it’s smartly done fluff (with dashes of content).

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Casey; artists, Nathan Fox and Benjamin Marra; colorist, Brad Simpson; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Molly Mahan, Hannah Elder and Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers 3 (October 2014)

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #3

Even though Casey is incredibly derivative–the Close Encounters nod is simultaneously cute and too much–Captain Victory continues to be a nice diversion. It’s not exactly a fun read, just because Casey doesn’t let his cast enjoy anything. There is some banter with the scientists on Earth who are looking at one of the spacecraft, but it’s over in a page.

Otherwise, the comic is very serious. And having Jim Mahfood do the adventures of a cat-man on a slightly hostile planet without any humor is too much. The comic has some great art–Fox some outstanding work–but Captain Victory isn’t actually ambitious sci-fi. It pretends to be ambitious sci-fi; Casey’s script is very traditional stuff. Even the artists’ page layouts are very traditional (even when trying to appear otherwise).

It’s an acceptable, enjoyable comic. But the artists deserve a balls to the wall script.

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Casey; artists, Nathan Fox, Jim Mahfood and Farel Darlyrmple; colorist, Brad Simpson; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Molly Mahan, Hannah Elder and Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers 2 (September 2014)

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #2

Casey goes with a four-way split on this issue of Captain Victory. There's the original spaceship, hunting down the Captain Victory clones who are off who knows where. Then there's the full-grown, yet battle damaged Captain Victory who doesn't remember anything exactly; he's getting in fights on a garbage planet. He's not particularly interesting and Casey doesn't give Fox a lot of great stuff to draw on his story.

But then the stuff with the teenage Captain Victory on Earth in a bad neighborhood is awesome. Casey and Fox create this distinct look, where the kid–Victor–has a mentor, has friends, yet still has his goofy mission. It's nice stuff.

The fourth part comes in between Captains Victory on their respective planets–it's the flashback. Michel Fiffe handles the art. It's a boring flashback to Captain Victory's bland space adventures.

Even the garbage planet is better than dull flashbacks.

It's okay stuff.

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Casey; artists, Nathan Fox and Michel Fiffe; colorist, Brad Simpson; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Molly Mahan, Hannah Elder and Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers 1 (August 2014)

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1

So here’s the story to Captain Victory, near as I can tell–the captain of a starship gets cloned on death so he can continue to command. Pretty neat. Only the clones in this case end up in different places thanks to a time warp or wormhole. Dirty seventies New York and then some wasteland planet.

I say “near as I can tell” because writer Joe Casey front loads the comic with a bunch of information about the starship and its crew and its mission. These elements might be important, but they’re not the most important thing in the issue. They aren’t the hook.

So it’s a messy first issue. The art, from Nathan Fox, is awesome but somewhat incomplete. He doesn’t do enough backgrounds and so on. Also, bland sci-fi shots aren’t the best use of his time.

Hopefully Casey will get focused and the comic will improve.

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Casey; artists, Nathan Fox, Jim Rugg and Ulises Farinas; colorist, Brad Simpson; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Molly Mahan, Hannah Elder and Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Vengeance 6 (February 2012)

848065.jpg

Casey ends Vengeance congratulating himself for a job well done. It must be nice to be so unaware of the quality of one’s work. This final issue is a disaster–except Dragotta’s art–and the editor doesn’t help things. The issue opens with a letter from the editor explaining the history of the series….

Marvel had a series of covers, but no comic to go with them. Casey came up with a story to tie them all together. It’s actually shocking he managed five decent issues, given that origin.

Here, Vengeance completely falls apart. The Teen Brigade are supposed to be sixteen, which is laughable the way Carey writes them, and he has the SHIELD agent narrate the whole issue.

It’s one bad choice after another.

Dragotta’s got some great battle scenes, but even he can’t overcome the script’s frequent stupidities.

The issue’s bad, but can’t quite ruin the series.

Vengeance 5 (January 2012)

848064.jpg

Oh, Joe Casey, so cute when you try to be smart… but so lacking in even the ability to Google.

This issue reveals the big secret behind the Red Skull’s presence. It turns out–and this discovery shocks the leader of the Teen Brigade–the U.S. Government covered up Skull killing a bunch of Soviet super-soldiers. So not only is the leader of the Teen Brigade a flake, he’s not particularly well-versed in political realities.

The report he reads talks about the Geneva Convention, which, in traditional parlance, refers to the articles adopted in 1949. Well after the period Casey’s writing about. Marvel’s not big on fact-checking, apparently.

Anyway, the issue’s decent, even if Miss America is starting to get annoying (we gto it, she’s Hispanic). Great, crazy action from Dragotta.

But no way Casey wraps this up satisfactorily… He’s got too many balls in the air.

Vengeance 4 (December 2011)

848063.jpg

Huh. For the first time, Vengeance didn’t overtly impress me. There are some good scenes–like a WWII flashback to the Red Skull patting himself on the back for saving the world–and Casey writes Kid Loki well, but there’s definitely something missing.

Maybe it’s the confusion. The only confusing scene this issue involves the Defenders (or whatever Nighthawk’s team is called) apparently condoning the former Deathlok’s sale of SHIELD secrets. But maybe not. The scene’s pointlessly obtuse; hopefully Casey’s got a good pay-off for the subplot. As of now, however, it seems like it will be lackluster.

Also lackluster is the forbidden romance between the Teen Brigade’s leader and the only bad girl. It’s a complete misfire, including the reveal on her face. After four pages of being obviously secretive about it, Casey reveals it immediately with no dramatic purpose.

Great Dragotta art, particularly the fight scenes, helps.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: