Sorrentino’s artwork is so good on I, Vampire, it makes one want to like the comic more than one should.
Fialkov has a couple nice little details here–he introduces this teenage girl who hunts vampires and, while it’s not just derivative in essence of “Buffy” but also Kick-Ass a little, he does it well. Unfortunately, these two good moments come amidst some terrible writing.
This issue, Fialkov introduces the protagonist’s best friend. Only, the best friend is now the protagonist and Andrew Bennett (the “I” in I, Vampire) is now the subject. And the best friend’s narration is awful.
It’s awful enough to be funny and homoerotic enough to be interesting. Is DC quietly trying to launch a gay Twilight? Or did Fialkov just learn how to write male narration from Jeph Loeb.
Either way, Sorrentino gets to draw a variety of things. The art saves the comic.
Reading Carlin’s Ka-Zar is watching a series collapse on itself. This issue does have Marie Severin doing these wonderful imaginings of Ka-Zar and Shanna as a sitcom married couple. Those scenes, totally pointless and unbelievable, are awesome.
Otherwise… it’s awful.
Carlin turns Shanna into a ninny and a little of a harpy. She doesn’t trust Ka-Zar’s judgement because Ka-Zar’s dumb, remember? Carlin just amplifies all the textures of her personality (under Bruce Jones’s writing) until she becomes unbelievable.
The major incident with this unbelievable behavior regards Ka-Zar’s brother, who’s a villain and has a goofy mustache and dumb name. But he’s got an accent so Shanna’s going to believe him? It doesn’t seem likely.
But the plot also requires Ka-Zar to be really stupid and unobservant.
Carlin’s whole approach seems to be making the protagonists morons so they’ll fall for his bad plot ideas.
Neary’s bad art doesn’t help anything.
If nothing else, Milligan’s mishandling of Justice League Dark shows why pairing Justice League members off for issues has always worked. Because when you try to tell eight individual stories, you end up with a Deadman comic with some pointless guest stars.
Sadly, Janin’s art doesn’t hold up this issue. The first half or so is absolutely gorgeous, like the previous issues, then Janin starts to get sketchy and lazy. It’s not bad, it’s just nowhere near as good and, without Janin being amazing, what’s the point in reading Dark?
Milligan’s so disinterested in the characters, he resorts to the occasional sex joke (Zatanna and Constantine, Deadman and the girl he’s protecting), but without any enthusiasm. Cheap sex jokes are supposed to be funny, but Milligan apparently disagrees.
The series does show signs of eventually becoming cohesive, but the pacing makes waiting painful.
Or, with Janin off his game, pointless.
With this issue, from the opening page actually, Ka-Zar the Savage has devolved into complete nonsense. Carlin even manages to make the strong supporting cast useless against his Machiavellian pterodactyl man. Except the pterodactyl man is an inept idiot too, so it’s kind of a comedy.
Paul Neary and John Beatty take over the art. I feel like I’ve liked Neary, but I’m not sure… Ka-Zar doesn’t suggest he’s any good. His figures are stiff and blocky and his faces are worse.
Again, good art isn’t going to help Carlin’s script. He keeps with the series’s high level of conversation, but he can’t come up with a decent reason for the characters to be saying their lines. Shanna probably calls Ka-Zar stubborn seven times in the issue. It’s about all she has to say to him.
Apparently, now married, their other character traits have disappeared.
There’s a childlike quality to Hawkman. Sure, it’s because Daniel’s writing is from an unimaginative fourth grader, but it sounded like a compliment when you first read it, right?
This comic is so silly, it’s almost impossible to think about. I guess the implication no one knows Hawkman exists is kind of interesting. Daniel doesn’t do anything with it. The plot is very simple. Carter Hall investigates then fights bad guys. Oh, I forgot all the alien threat stuff. It’s really stupid.
Tan keeps up his “style” for the series–Hawkman is painted, everything else is drawn, both have really weird eyes. The style still doesn’t make sense in the context of the story.
I actually did like some of the comic. Tan’s composition on some of the Hawkman flight panels is excellent. It’s all silhouette and Tan can’t screw up city skylines.
It’s absurdly bad. Daniel’s writing is hilarious.