Grifter is not at all what I was expecting.
Well, I suppose I was expecting it to be bad and, while it’s not good, it’s far from bad. It’s actually reasonably interesting… even if the ending is stupid.
The protagonist—whoever came up with the name Cole Cash deserves an eye roll—is kidnapped by aliens and gets implanted or something.
It’s a lot like They Live, only the main character is a blond pretty boy so the property can get licensed. Actually, it’s just DC’s Gambit. It even takes place in New Orleans.
Now, the end is really dumb (how does this guy come up with a design for a mask in a graveyard… oops, sorry, spoiled that dramatic moment), but it’s not terrible.
Shockingly, I’m even curious to see how it turns out.
Maybe guy on the run story mixed with con artist story just appeal to me.
Ploog looks so loose in his portion of this issue, I’m wondering if he didn’t have inking help. The art’s still good… it’s just not of Ploog’s usual caliber when he’s inking himself.
The group—the human, the ape, the girl—are sitting around in the President’s secret residence in Mount Rushmore. Their guide has electricity and it’s all very post-apocalyptic, realizing what was before stuff.
It’s a good story. Moench is a lot more interested in that aspect of Planet of the Apes than the ape society. Maybe because no one ever concentrated on the realization stuff in the movies.
The Escape adaptation continues. Moench’s script is good. He doesn’t pause on the jokes, waiting for a smile, he just includes them. It makes it a lot smoother than otherwise.
Rival keeps caricaturing, even when the villain appears. It just makes the villain look more evil, which works.
Red Lanterns is DC’s family-friendly title, isn’t it?
I’d sort of heard of the Red Lanterns, but I had no idea they all looked creepy (as creepy as Ed Benes can draw—he’s pretty slick for a sci-fi comic with horror elements). I also didn’t know they hung out near a pool of blood and fought all the time.
As for the writing, Peter Milligan doesn’t commit to the sci-fi aspect. He’s bringing in these two angry young men on Earth and I assume one of them is going to end up being a Red Lantern. It’d be funnier if the kid didn’t, of course, since it would just be Milligan filling pages.
The majority of the comic follows the Red Lantern leader, who’s got some dumb name I’m not committing to memory, as he waxes nostalgically about his long-dead family.
It’s crap, but inoffensive crap.
Ploog’s back on the original story with Moench, continuing their long-term storyline about the human and his ape friend. Moench’s heading West, into the congenital United States, and it makes almost no sense. I’m pretty sure the imagery has shown the Golden Gate bridge in Apes land at one time or another. I don’t think anyone ever worked out a map, just winged it.
Moench’s trying not to wing it. Besides moving very fast, it’s interesting to see. Post-apocalyptic, but not exactly.
And Ploog has eased the art a little. Some luxurious ink washes, but not all. It’s excellent, but indistinct.
Whereas Rival’s art on the Escape adaptation is distinct but not excellent. His caricature approach brings out the absurdity—his government bureaucrat meeting is all officials with their eyes bugged out—and it fits the story. When the tone changes, of course, hopefully Rival will get serious.
I thought Sinestro had a big silly head. Doug Mahnke gives him a big forehead, but no big head.
Not being a Green Lantern reader, this issue sort of confuses me. But what frustrates me is Geoff Johns. He can plot out the issue, get all the beats down, even write good dialogue half the time… but the other half is weak. It’s not bad dialogue, but it’s all declarative statements.
Johns needs to work on letting his characters listen.
I’m surprisingly impressed with the comic. Though the cover suggests Sinestro will play a big part, he takes a back burner to Hal adjusting on Earth without his ring. Johns knows how to split the comic between the two.
And even if it does read pretty fast, the plotting suggests some things have happened in the pages.
I’m not exactly an immediate Green Lantern supporter, but I’m suddenly rather hopeful.
I wonder how Moench’s original story would have gone without Tom Sutton. The setup is great–a divided city (gorillas against orangutans); only the city is a giant ship. Sutton has an amazing two page spread establishing the ship, though his background details on regular panels show the crazy setting too.
Without Sutton, Moench would have been left with a somewhat wordy story. With him, it’s a phenomenal look at ape politics in isolation. Twelve issues in and Moench is making Apes more thoughtful and stimulating every time. Even if he does make all the gorillas pirates in this story.
The backup adapts Escape From the Planet of the Apes, which has a lot of comic moments in the source film. For the art, Rival plays up the comedy. The installment looks like a political caricature.
The style works though.
Moench does a good job adapting, keeping the comedy beats.
I’m a little bored. Peter J. Tomasi’s take on Batman and Robin is to make it Batman and Son with Bruce trying to teach Damian a bunch of life lessons.
Only Bruce, stunted in an adolescent fantasy life, is probably not the guy to be giving advice. Tomasi can’t figure how to write the two of them together.
At one point, Damian says it was easier to admire Bruce before he’d returned from the dead. Bad move–Tomasi shouldn’t be reminding the reader when the book was (past tense) an essential read.
The rest of the story is okay. It’s unclear why Bruce is changing his life outlook, except because it’s a new number one, but it’s passable. The issue opens on the Russian Batman franchise, which is so dumb, whenever Tomasi isn’t on that level, the issue works.
The art from Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray is unspectacularly good.