Here’s the thing about Chaykin… no matter how many misshapen heads he draws, he still knows how to compose a panel and a page. Doesn’t remember what to do with it once that task is done (or more likely care to take the time), but he can lay it out right.
So while he’s not the best fit for War Is Hell—I mean, it’d love to see the script done by an artist who cares—he still brings it off. It doesn’t hurt Ennis’s script for this issue is outstanding. He lets himself have a little fun, getting some humor into a bad situation, but eventually the awfulness of it comes through and it hits.
There’s only one other problem—a scene relying on the reader hearing what the characters are hearing. It’s a strange mistake for Ennis. Otherwise, everything else he does in the issue works out great.
Bloody April; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Howard Chaykin; colorist, Brian Reber; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Will Panzo and Nick Lowe; publisher, MAX Comics.
The story ends before Infinite Crisis, with an OMAC showing up and attacking the narrator. The narrator’s nurse at the assisted living place ends the issue suggesting he’s full of crap, which ends Legacies on a decidedly negative note. Not because the reader would believe he’s a loon, but because it’s such a mundane thing, being elderly and dismissed. It’s a defeat. What’s the point of getting all excited about the superheroes if the elderly are being dismissed in the DC Universe? What, is Superman going to deal with nuclear proliferation next?
Saiz only handles a handful of pages then Derenick takes over. It must be at that point DC finally stopped pretending they cared about Legacies being a professional job. Derenick’s expressions get hilarious at times.
The backup is an Infinite Crisis prologue with Blue Beetle. Nice Frank art, I guess, but totally useless.
Kind of like the series.
Truth and Consequences!; pencillers, Scott Kolins, Jesus Saiz and Tom Derenick; inkers, Kolins, Karl Story and Robin Riggs; colorists, Mike Atiyeh and Tom Chu. Snapshot: Redemption!; penciller, Gary Frank; inker, Jon Sibal; colorist, Brad Anderson. Writer, Len Wein; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Kate Stewart, Chris Conroy and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.
Do the editors do anything here? They’ve got a black Firestorm during the Day of Judgment scenes… about six years too early.
Wein also covers Final Night; the two are connected, but he doesn’t do a very good job of making them flow together. This issue features some of his worst writing in a while. The dialogue just gets terrible and the events he’s showing… he’s just summarizing crossovers. At least the first few issues, they were aping Marvels. Now they’re just wasting paper and ink.
The Jesus Saiz art, tragically, is weak. I like Saiz and I’m not sure if it’s Story’s inks or if he’s just started working less lately… but some of his faces are really lazy.
The Captain Marvel backup—with Sienkiewicz art—is beautiful. It’s also the most convoluted thing I can remember reading. The narration boxes don’t follow any logic, making it a chore.
Knight After Night!; pencillers, Scott Kolins and Jesus Saiz; inkers, Kolins and Karl Story; colorists, Mike Atiyeh, Marta Martinez and Tom Chu. Snapshot: Resurrection; artist, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Daniel Vozzo. Writer, Len Wein; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Rachel Gluckstern, Simona Martore, Chris Conroy, Joey Cavalieri and Mike Carlin; publisher, DC Comics.
So, if Wein knew he had to cover the whole Green Lantern goes nuts thing, why is an earthling the best narrator for the series? In fact, the earthbound narrator is now the worst possible choice in a variety of ways.
It isn’t enough he wouldn’t know about the Oa stuff or Parallax (oh, Ron Marx created Parallax… things make so much more sense now), the narrator’s also blond. So the colorist is adding these hints of grey at his temples to show his aging. Because, given the series should now be taking place only a few years ago in DC Universe time… the narrator would be in his mid-seventies. His daughter’s age is even more inexplicable.
The issue also shows stupid nineties costume design should be forgotten, not repeated.
The backup—it’s the New Gods finally—is terribly written and makes no sense. Quitely’s efforts appear disinterested too.
Parallel Lives!; pencillers, Scott Kolins and Dan Jurgens; inkers, Kolins and Jerry Ordway; colorists, Mike Atiyeh and Hi-Fi. Snapshot: Revelation!; artist, Frank Quitely; colorist, Peter Doherty. Writer, Len Wein; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Rachel Gluckstern, Simona Martore and Mike Carlin; publisher, DC Comics.
It’s difficult to describe what Jerry Ordway inking Dan Jurgens looks like—Ordway definitely brings his sensibilities to it, but there’s the Jurgens underneath. Unfortunately, neither artist is in his best time, so the result is somewhat less than either on their own (in their prime). It’s like plastic-coated Jurgens and the last thing he needs is plastic-coating.
Wein skips over Millennium and some other crossovers and goes straight to Bane and Doomsday. Now, I never read the Batman storyline, but it seems goofy here. Especially with Bane running away in a mall. Not the most dynamic setting for a fight.
As for the Doomsday stuff… I haven’t read that issue since it came out, it seems like a reprinting. Boring. Lame melodramatics with the narrator too.
The backup, however, with Bolland art, is utterly charming. The Atom goes back to Camelot for a couple minutes. It’s wonderful.
Doomsday!; pencillers, Scott Kolins and Dan Jurgens; inkers, Kolins and Jerry Ordway; colorists, Mike Atiyeh and Hi-Fi. Snapshot: Reunion!; artist, Brian Bolland; colorist, Allen Passalaqua. Writer, Len Wein; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Rachel Gluckstern, Simona Martore and Mike Carlin; publisher, DC Comics.
Perez inking Ordway produces a good result and, even though Wein’s writing has weakened again, the issue is moderately successful. Wein’s basically recapping post-Crisis big events here—mostly Legends and the reforming of the Justice League. As far as a summary, it works pretty well—though I think they’re leaving out Millennium or whatever.
But the narrator again takes center and his story gets even lamer. First, his reformed crook brother-in-law is crippled, making the pair very annoying as they form this homoerotic codependency. Second, the timeline is all messed up again. The character looks like he’s in his mid-thirties, but if he was born in the 1920s… he should be in his sixties.
The backup, with Giffen and Milgrom on the art, is a Legion thing. The writing’s lame and Giffen draws teenage Superboy like he’s fifty. Maybe Giffen should be drawing the series protagonist.
Aftermath!; pencillers, Scott Kolins and Jerry Ordway; inkers, Kolins and George Perez; colorists, Mike Atiyeh and Allen Passalaqua. Snapshot: Revision!; penciller, Keith Giffen; inker, Al Milgrom; colorist, Hi-Fi. Writer, Len Wein; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Rachel Gluckstern, Simona Martore and Mike Carlin; publisher, DC Comics.