Hadrian’s Wall 5 (March 2017)

Hadrian's Wall #5

Hadrian’s Wall runs eight issues. Why did I think it was five issues? I might have even thought it was four at some point. Needless to say, there’s a lot more story coming in this issue. A lot more backstory too. The detective is in a prolonged state of withdrawal, which sort of changes the flashbacks–if they’re occurring to him as they occur to the reader–but not a lot. It’s a smooth issue. Gets the rebel pirates introduced, puts these characters in this place; it’s a positioning issue. Higgins and Siegel are rearranging the board. Good art from Reis as always, but there’s not a lot for him to do. The settings are visually boring, actually.

CREDITS

Writers, Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel; artist, Rod Reis; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Matt Idelson; publisher, Image Comics.

Cinema Purgatorio 9 (March 2017)

Cinema Purgatorio #9

If Cinema Purgatorio were “shown” in a marathon, I think we’ve hit the point where even Alan Moore’s asleep. Garth Ennis too. But a couple of the backup guys are doing better. Sort of.

Anyway.

Purgatorio is about Thelma Todd’s death. Sadly Moore’s script for it is really boring. It’s like something didn’t work out. He thought it’d be more interesting but, instead, he’s just got occasional Batman visual cues because Todd’s lover made a movie called The Bat, which supposedly inspired Bob Kane (and, you know, Bill Finger) but whatever. So? I don’t think anyone ever doubted Kevin O’Neill could draw a giant bat.

It’s kind of fine, but in an unambitious sort of way. Moore might have peaked on Purgatorio.

So too might have Ennis. He’s got a lot of content for Code Pru but nothing he’s fixated on. It’s zombies. And not even Crossed, so it’s not even cute. Ew. Crossed and cute. But he’s just churning it out. I think there’s even a reference to the Code Pru “pilot” where she was a witch, which I don’t think he’s done before. Caceres’s art is fine. It’s not on him.

Now, I make that complaint and it usually means Ennis is going to do something really cool next issue. Fingers crossed.

More Perfect Union. Brooks doesn’t have his history text piece anymore, which is great, but his exposition is getting more verbose. Are they connected? I don’t care. It just means it’s a lot more maybe made up, maybe just for Civil War enthusiasts’ information. It’s noise. Really nice art from Andrade. He’s got good detail. It’s sort of impersonal, but the strip is also a parade of boring visual concepts.

And then Modded, which I hate having to enjoy, is once again pretty fun. Gillen’s writing characters. They’re obnoxious and thin, but with the personality from Lopez’s art, it doesn’t matter. There’s still way too much lingo and it feels like a dated post-apocalypse, so I don’t love it or anything, but I almost look forward to it. I don’t mind it, which is something; I used to loathe Modded.

And The Vast is The Vast. Great art from Andrade, little kaiju, big kaiju. Again, not personality but this time because it’s so poorly paced. Gage has somehow set up this comic one wants to like, but just can’t because it’s humorless. There’s nothing fun about it. Gage seems miserable and bored.

Cinema Purgatorio is getting to be a chore; I liked the book before Moore showed he could do awesome and amazing comics with it. I also miss liking Pru. She was really cool there for a while.

CREDITS

Cinema Purgatorio, Revelations of the Bat; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Kevin O’Neill. Code Pru, Night Without Dawn, Day Without End; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Raulo Caceres. A More Perfect Union; writer, Max Brooks; artist, Gabriel Andrade. Modded; writer, Kieron Gillen; artist, Nahuel Lopez. The Vast; writer, Christos Gage; artist, Andrade. Letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

Providence 12 (March 2017)

Providence #12

Providence is over. In less than two years, Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (and Avatar) have gotten out this series. No offense, but none of them are known for being speedy. But it’s finished. It gets to go on a shelf soon, next to the other Alan Moore hardcovers. It’ll make it into bookstores, it’ll make it into libraries; given it has a Lovecraft “hook,” it’ll be discovered and rediscovered through that connection.

But it won’t permeate, which is fine. We don’t live in a world deserving of Alan Moore appreciation.

There’s going to be time to read the comic again, in one sitting. There’s going to be time to read it again in whatever other way Avatar figures out how to package it. Gigantic hard cover. Late, of course.

And there’s going to be more to find, because Moore works in serial narrative to provide a cohesive finite reading experience too. Who knows what kind of panel echoes there will be throughout Providence next time.

So how’s the comic? It may be a little divisive. Moore has a very personable, loose writing style when he wants. Is life but a dream… sadly no. But reading should be. It’ll be interesting to see how that theme echoes through the whole series. Moore doesn’t cheap on the comics for the issue though. He and Burrows deliver a great finish. The art is crazy controlled. Providence has always needed an oversize printing, but this last issue just goes further with it.

Providence probably should be read when wearing a VR headset and each panel filling your field of vision. The detail’s so good, it should be immersive. But it’s the last issue of Providence and one wants to read it, not dwell on every background detail. It’s the end of the world, everyone gather round.

Providence is done. I wonder when the hard cover comes out.

CREDITS

The Book; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Jacen Burrows; colorist, Juan Rodriguez; letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation (March 2017)

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation is a comic book tie-in to the non-existant movie adaptation of writer and artist’s previous comic, Transformers vs. G.I. Joe. That series got long in the tooth for me. The “Movie Adaptation” doesn’t exactly. It’s hurried, nonsensical–like so many comic book movie adaptations of yore–but it’s got some great art and some amusing scenes. It’s probably for interested parties only; it’s too hurried with the art for it really to be a succulent visual reading experience.

CREDITS

Writer, artist, colorist, and letterer, Tom Scioli; editor, Carlos Guzman; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Crime Destroyer 1 (March 2017)

All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1

There’s nothing wrong with Crime Destroyer exactly. It’s set in the seventies, about a black Vietnam vet (and POW) turned crime fighter. He’s lost his family and he kills people and he’s a vet, so Punisher. He also swings around and has gadgets, so Batman. He bickers and fights with a Superman stand-in called Atlas before they team up and fight the real bad guys. It’s pretty fun to read, given the Herb Trimpe pencils, but Josh Bayer’s script sometimes gets in the way. It’s a thoughtful enough script, it’s just not significant. Crime Destroyer amuses thanks to Trimpe, nothing else. Except maybe Benjamin Marra’s inks. On Trimpe.

CREDITS

Human Sacrifice; writer and editor, Josh Bayer; penciller, Herb Trimpe; inker, Benjamin Marra; colorist, Alessandro Echevarria; letterer, Rick Parker; publisher, Fantagraphics Books.

I Hate Fairyland 11 (March 2017)

I Hate Fairyland #11

I Hate Fairyland returns on a high point, with Skottie Young embracing the “done-in-one” narrative while still developing Gert a little. She has to progress towards something now without a question. It’s very interesting to see in comics–the meandering narrative–but Young nails it. The issue itself is fun without getting too gory. Young’s expanding Gert’s snark, which has consequences. It’s great to have it back.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

Dead Inside 4 (March 2017)

Dead Inside #4

It’s an unpleasant issue; well, it’s more rough than unpleasant. Bad things happening, page after page, as Arcudi moves Dead Inside towards its conclusion. And it’s hard to say where it’s going after this issue. Some really nice art Fejzula, some nice twists from Arcudi. Again, not reinventing the wheel, just solidly rolling it.

CREDITS

Writer, John Arcudi; artist, Toni Fejzula; colorist, André May; letterer, Joe Sabino; editors, Cardner Clark and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Copperhead 11 (March 2017)

Copperhead #11

Copperhead is back with a new artist, Drew Moss, who brings a lot of motion to the proceedings. The sheriff is running around town trying to figure out who killed the mayor, with a visitor in tow, and Moss really makes it move. Meanwhile, Boo’s got his own future to think about. It’s a quick read, but a solid one. Faerber’s comfortable, even after the hiatus.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Motor Crush 4 (March 2017)

Motor Crush #4

You know what happens to Motor Crush when Babs Tarr doesn’t get a lot to draw? It plods. This issue plods almost the entire way though, with Domino confronting her dad about her past and her dad storming off. She then pushes away the ex-girlfriend before robbing a rival gang of their speed drug. There’s a chase scene, but it’s complicated by Domino ripping off the drugs. The weak characterizations and scenes–and lack of Tarr dynamism–make this one a snoozer.

CREDITS

Writers, Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart; artist, Babs Tarr; colorist, Heather Danforth; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Jeanine Schaefer; publisher, Image Comics.

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