Superman shows up this issue and Bright draws him so poorly I want to take back everything complimentary I said about his art on the first issue. Bright can’t draw Superman’s face–he gets the proportions of the head wrong–and he also can’t draw him flying. It’s a disastrous opening for the issue.
Thank goodness there’s Gerber.
This issue is all about Al (Bizarro) finding his place in Metropolis. He ends up a panhandler, sidekick to a rather amusing character (Gerber’s writing here is really great), then a stick-up man. Until the Guardian puts a stop to that line.
Gerber intercuts with some goings-ons at Lexcorp–Gerber makes Lex likable. He’s still a villain or whatever, but he’s very amusing.
There’s not really any character development; it’s just a trip through Metropolis with a very particular tour guide.
Shame about the art though. The writing deserves better.
Silicon Dreamer; writer, Steve Gerber; penciller, Mark Bright; inker, Greg Adams; colorists, Tom Ziuko and Digital Chameleon; letterer, Steve Dutro; editors, Maureen McTigue and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.
I knew the concept—regular guy gets a Bizarro made of him—but Gerber still does manage to get some surprises out of it.
When the issue opens, Al (the Bizarro) is slowly losing his faculties as he turns into a regular Bizarro. It makes him immediately sympathetic, something Gerber keeps up because the character talks to himself the entire issue. So it’s a comedy.
So far, Gerber has very little to say about superhero comics (Lex makes an appearance and Superman’s a tiny dot on the last panel) and a lot more to say about distorting the everyday. Still, the comic is tied in to regular continuity; it’s hard to anticipate where Gerber will take it, considering the conclusion here was unexpected for a first issue.
Bright’s art is okay. There’s nothing really wrong with it save a lack of creative enthusiasm. Most importantly, he never hinders the script.
Vivisimilitude; writer, Steve Gerber; penciller, Mark Bright; inker, Greg Adams; colorists, Tom Ziuko and Digital Chameleon; letterer, Steve Dutro; editors, Maureen McTigue and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.
Even though it’s still modern, lazy Chaykin, Follow the Money is somewhat better than his usual attempts. I think it’s because—even though he has some rather bad pages in here—he also has a lot more mediocre ones. The mediocre ones sort of even everything out. He does have jump cuts, however, something I’ve never seen in a comic book before. At least not and noticed.
The story’s somewhat weak—three employees fleece Wayne Enterprises and it’s up to Batman and Catwoman to stop them. There’s no Ponzi scheme so it’s not even topical. And Chaykin opens with some really bad, alternating first person narration from Batman and Catwoman. It’s hilarious because he writes them in the same voice.
However, Chaykin gets turning Selina and Bruce into Nick and Nora. Teaming them up here makes no sense narratively, yet it works because Chaykin understands they’re charming together.
Follow the Money; writer and artist, Howard Chaykin; colorist, Jesus Aburto; letterer, John J. Hill; editors, Chris Conroy and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.
Hall hasn’t made much of an impression during West Coast Avengers but during the climatic battle scene here, he does a great job. He’s got Breeding and Berardi inking him (and this issue has no art hiccups like the previous three) but it’s really about his panel composition. Plus, he’s able to bring real drama to Stern’s scripting of the action sequence.
Otherwise, the issue lacks any distinction. It’s a mediocre superhero book. The Vision shows up again to congratulate the team (he doesn’t call them “Angels” though) and Rhodey reveals himself to be Iron Man II. Stern handles that revelation well. Though, by the end, Iron Man’s off by himself with Tigra paws Wonder Man.
There’s also some funny stuff about Graviton’s molls thinking he’s a lame creep.
Stern comes up with a decent plan for the team to confront him.
Again, it’s fine. Most impressive for Hall’s contribution.
Finale; writer, Roger Stern; penciller, Bob Hall; inkers, Brett Breeding and Peter Berardi; colorist, Ken Feduniewicz; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Mark Gruenwald; publisher, Marvel Comics.
There’s something weird about Graviton. It’s almost like he’s overcompensating.
This issue focuses mostly on Tigra and Wonder Man (Rhodey gets cast aside). First it’s about their insecurities, then it’s them teaming up with the Shroud to go after the bad guy (who’s secretly working with Graviton).
The splash page has some weak proportions from Hall and Breeding but it clears up fast. Except for Iron Man only showing his teeth through the mouth slot, I imagine in five more issues, the art would start getting good. Too bad there’s only one more issue.
Stern, being a professional superhero writer, is able to work through all the nonsense and expository dialogue and actually make Wonder Man sympathetic during his talk with Tigra. Still, it’s weird how she’s pairing off with him, sort of leaving Rhodey to be a third wheel to the still underrepresented Hawkeye and Mockingbird.
It’s okay stuff.
Taking Care of Business!; writer, Roger Stern; penciller, Bob Hall; inker, Brett Breeding; colorist, Julianna Ferriter; letterer, Rick Parker; editor, Mark Gruenwald; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Is it possible for Wonder Man to be any more annoying? He spends every moment either bragging about himself or whining. And Stern loves expositional dialogue, so it’s a lot to get through.
My favorite line in the book is from him, though–”Who would be crazy enough to rob a bank in broad daylight?” Either Stern (who’s written a lot of comics and they must have had bank robberies) is out of it or he’s very subtly trying to point out Wonder Man is a complete idiot. Unfortunately, I think it’s the former.
The book opens with the team training, which leads to Rhodey (as Iron Man) and Tigra both having lengthy low self-esteem thoughts in balloons. It’s getting to be a problem, especially since Hawkeye and Mockingbird barely make an impression this issue.
Again, decent enough superhero art from Hall and Breeding. Nothing sensational, nothing too terrible.
Blanking Out!; writer, Roger Stern; penciller, Bob Hall; inker, Brett Breeding; colorist, Julianna Ferriter; letterer, Diana Albers; editor, Mark Gruenwald; publisher, Marvel Comics.