West Coast Avengers 1 (September 1984)

Wow, Stern writes some tone-deaf dialogue. Not all of it, but some… there are some lines in here, it’s like he got out the thesaurus. Though I suppose naturalism wasn’t his goal. He goes overboard with the thought balloons too. What he does do—which is actually quite neat—is set the issue up a little like an episode of “The Love Boat” and the superheroes are the guest stars. We get a nice introduction to everyone and a little backstory and it all feels very… eighties. But in an okay way. And the Vision’s guest spot is a little like “Charlie’s Angels.” The…

Supergirl 47 (January 2010)

You know, I hate to rag on Jon Sibal’s inks when he’s not on an issue… but Matt Camp’s fill-in here looks a lot like Igle before the Sibal inks. It maintains some of the roundedness. It’s not all about having thin lines. Also, this issue shows off what’s wrong with editors. Here, at the end of the New Krypton primary nonsense, Gates gets to define Supergirl’s mom. Her backstory–given earlier–would have made her a great, rich, conflicted villain. Instead, Gates gets to do it at the end when it doesn’t really matter anymore. I mean, it’s a really good issue–Supergirl’s barely…

Supergirl 46 (December 2009)

I love not reading the other parts of this crossover, it makes my brain work a little to catch up. Rucka’s back as co-writer here (and Igle and Sibal get help from Pansica and Ferreira). Again, no idea what Rucka does and doesn’t do. Similarly, Pansica matches Igle (especially with Sibal on inks) close enough it’s hard to tell them apart. There were some pages I really liked, reminding me of Igle before Sibal… then I realized it could be Pansica and Ferreira. Anyway, Gates and Rucka manage the action versus plot development well here. There’s also a nice tip of the…

Supergirl 45 (November 2009)

And now it’s in the middle of another crossover… I love it when comic book publishers are hostile to casual readers. Umm. Rucka co-writes here. Not sure what contributions he made. From what I can tell, the world now knows Sam Lane is alive and he’s a hero and the Kryptonians (Superman included?) are the villains. Does anyone else remember the nineties, when you had to read every Superman title just to understand what was going on? It’s very similar. Except they don’t have flashy hologram covers. The nineties stuff was probably a little better in some ways; at least it was…

Supergirl 44 (October 2009)

I really don’t like Sibal’s inks on Igle. He’s way too reductive. It’s almost like he’s trying to make it look like Ian Churchill or something. This issue is part of a Superman family crossover. It seems like Sam Lane is trying to get a Kryptonian to assassinate the President. So Gates has to compete with the just plan stupidity of the crossover here. I mean, didn’t Marvel do something like this one in the nineties? Or Image? It’s just awful. But Gates does a decent job with the action, even though he barely has time for anything else. Lois shooting Supergirl…

Supergirl 43 (September 2009)

Kryptonian society really isn’t thought out enough. This issue is about Kara going from guild to guild (a guild is basically a career path–I’m assuming it’s all for the greater Kryptonian good, dirty socialists) and seeing what they’re like. Gates frighteningly frames it in a letter to her dead father. Because he’s using it for narration, it sort of cheapens the idea of it as a grieving process. It comes off as an easy way to narrate an issue and to feign emotional connection. What’s so off about Gates using it is the actual content is good and shows Kara and her…