Hill more than makes up for the previous issue with this one. He starts out with the older brother–Ty, right?–before moving to the sister. I can’t remember her name. He brings in some other teenagers and traps them in a cave and almost kills them.
It’s a completely unpredictable turn of events since Hill sets the issue up first with Ty and some girl and the head trick, then something about Dodge, then something the promise of a secret in the cave. Putting the four teenagers in eminent danger doesn’t even figure in. He just does it and it works beautifully.
Rodriguez gives each of the characters a lot of visual personality, though apparently no one at this high school doesn’t have body piercings, and Hill’s dialogue for their panic is outstanding.
Even if I don’t remember the sister’s name, it’s probably the best issue of the series.
In the Cave; writer, Joe Hill; artist, Gabriel Rodriguez; colorist, Jay Fotos; letterer, Robbie Robbins; editor, Chris Ryall; publisher, IDW Publishing.
Johnson closes this issue on San Francisco Starfleet Command. He opened the last issue with it, but these scenes have no connection. It’s a terrible bookend device, since it tears the reader away from the regular cast.
The plot revelations throughout the issue, though predictable, aren’t bad. Johnson has problems transitioning between locations, which is annoying–Molner is no help.
For most of the issue, Johnson’s updates to the original episode appear to be Scotty’s Star Trek movie memories. The references to the movie’s events feel rather forced. Johnson doesn’t trust the reader to remember the movie, even though Molnar’s good for nothing but (badly drawn) photo-referenced illustrations of the movie cast’s faces.
The big finish dumbly gives up pages for the epilogue. Instead of (numerically, not talented) substantial sci-fi visuals, the resolution gets a few rectangular panels in the middle of a page.
The end sinks it.
The Return of the Archons, Part 2; writer, Mike Johnson; artist, Stephen Molnar; colorist, John Rauch; letterer, Neil Uyetake; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.
What’s wrong with this art? Liam Sharp pencils, Andy Lanning inks, and the result is a mess. Figures change sizes, faces don’t maintain any continuity. It’s an ugly comic.
The issue’s a mess anyway, since it’s a contrived crossover with Bloodhound. Jason–Firestorm–had a run-in with the employee of one of Clev’s (from Bloudhound) enemies. So the villain’s after Jason and his dad.
Jolley opens the issue with Jason’s dad verbally berating him; when Jason’s later being emotional towards him… it feels like Stockholm Syndrome. There’s also the problematic villain. Jolley gives him a realistic backstory (to match Bloodhound) but it clashes with the Firestorm stuff.
There’s also a lot of geographic confusion and contrivance–Sharp’s art probably just makes it worse. The comic lacks any personality, since Jolley links the two series through a lame villain.
The explicitly inappropriate panels (if taken out of context) are strange.
Upper Hand; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Liam Sharp; inker, Andy Lanning; colorist, Chris Sotomayor; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editors, Steve Wacker and Peter Tomasi; publisher, DC Comics.