This issue Concrete gets into a fight with a bear and nearly loses. In some ways, since Chadwick isn’t going for the saccharine, it works better than any other Concrete story so far. Except it’s basically a reluctant superhero story, so it’s not the traditional Concrete story.
Again, somewhat weak art from Chadwick.
It’s hard to judge Badger’s art on The Mask (spelled Masque here) since it’s supposed to be nuts. The story is only somewhat successful, since nothing happens. It’s an action scene where the bad guys we just met get killed. I guess it’s interesting the bad guys are federal agents, but not really.
The last story, from Stradley and Salmons, is a space alien marooned story. Salmons must like those. The art is, as usual for Salmons, a little too confusing to effectively tell the story. It’s decent enough, but far from spectacular–it’s way too slight.
Concrete, Straight in the Eye; writer and artist, Paul Chadwick; letterer, Bill Spicer. The Mask; writer and artist, Mark Badger; letterer, Tim Harkins. Soul Survivors; writer, Randy Stradley; artist, Tony Salmons; letterer, David Jackson. Editor, Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.
I’m trying to think of how much more lame Mattsson’s writing could be on Vitruvian Man. I guess it’s paced well. I mean, it does indeed have a bit of content. Mattsson writes atrocious narration–it’s kind of like if Batman were an egotist moron surfer dude (with a deaf sister–Mattsson loves putting that detail in neon here). Nichols’s indie-minded artwork doesn’t fit the writing, but it isn’t bad art, just rough.
Workman’s apparently totally run out of ideas for Roma, not just in terms of creating Love and Rockets stories of his own, but also in terms of writing. This issue’s story is a conversation and some very poorly conveyed action. Maybe it’s supposed to be experimental, but it’s not getting good results.
Salmons contributes a thoughtful little alien planet story. It’s hard to read because of his art, but the best easily thing in the issue.
Gene Shock: The Vitruvian Man, Contact!; writer, Steve Mattsson; artist, Art Nichols; letterer, David Jackson. Roma; writer, artist and letterer, John Workman. Fossil, or Perilous Archeology; writer and artist, Tony Salmons. Editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.
I can’t believe I missed Concrete–well, actually, I can, given Vitruvian Man is in here, but I can’t believe I was “looking forward” to it. This issue’s story is… it’s hard to describe. Chadwick’s writing is kind of like if you took “Seinfeld” and made the characters care about other people’s feelings. This time, Concrete mouths off to some crappy little kids then gets so upset he has to apologize. Big whoop.
Chadwick’s art’s a little lazy here, so there’s not even that benefit.
Vitruvian Man is about an annoying jerk becoming superhuman. It’s of some note because the protagonist’s sister is deaf and Mattsson’s trying to convey that detail without ever specifically saying it. It’s lame, but it moves and the artwork from Badger and Nichols isn’t bad.
Roma, on the other hand, is lame and doesn’t move. Workman’s hit a wall on his Love and Rockets “homage.”
Concrete, Water God; writer and artist, Paul Chadwick; letterer, Bill Spicer. Gene Shock: The Vitruvian Man, Growth; writer, Steve Mattsson; artists, Mark Badger and Art Nichols; letterer, David Jackson. Roma; writer, artist and letterer, John Workman. Editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.
I never thought I’d miss Concrete so much.
I guess Tony Salmons’s Monq is the best thing this issue. It’s a really dumb environment story, but the art’s interesting if not competent. Some of the writing is really bad, especially the conclusion, which literalizes the otherwise existential story.
Mattsson writes two crappy stories this issue.
First is The Vitruvian Man, with Mark Badger art. There are a couple good panels and it’s decent overall. Shame the story turns out to be some kind of xenophobic rambling. It’s easily one of the worst scripts I’ve read so far in Dark Horse Presents, just because it’s lazy. No effort at all. The other bad writing at least has integrity.
Doc Abtruse closes the issue. It’s probably a little better written than Vitruvian Man, but Mattsson’s still weak. The strip seems to be included to waste the reader’s time, which it certainly does.
Monq, Message From Earth; writer and artist, Tony Salmons; letterer, Bill Spicer. Gene Shock: The Vitruvian Man, The Coming; writer, Steve Mattsson; artists, Mark Badger and Art Nichols; letterer, David Jackson. Doc Abstruse, Explains Infinity (More or Less); writers, Steve Mattsson and Jim Bradrick; artist, Bradrick; letterer, David Jackson. Editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.