Swamp Thing 33 (February 1985)

So while Swamp Thing has his adventure in “Pog,” Abby has her own one here. Except she’s mostly just in a framing sequence, not quite an adventure. For whatever reason, Moore brought the original appearance of Swamp Thing into continuity with this issue. So there’s a few pages of Abby with Cain and Abel–Moore’s starting to explore the nature of storytelling a little, something he’d later expand on in Promethea–and then a reprint of the Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson House of Secrets Swamp Thing. The end ties it all together, but the story isn’t consequential at all. It’s Moore mixing playfulness…

Conan the Barbarian 12 (December 1971)

Conan has another dalliance, this time as consort to a queen. It doesn’t turn out so well for him—well, he gets in trouble because of her fetching handmaid as well. At least in the queen’s perspective. To Conan, he’s getting weary of women. The sex is so obvious, I was a little surprised to see the Comics Code on the cover. Thomas gets in a first and second act here, not much of a third one. There’s an organic feel to the plotting though—it’s very nice how he passes two weeks in brief narration. The ending is Conan and the handmaid against…

Dark Horse Presents 102 (October 1995)

Shockingly, the Niles story story this issue–one of his Cal McDonald ones–is mildly inoffensive. It’s poorly written detective narration, but at least he’s work in a recognized genre (badly written detective narration). It’s stupid and Casey Jones’s art isn’t any good… but it’s not intolerable. Oh, the Marz and Wrightson Aliens story ends this issue too. It’s not as predictable as I thought it was going to be, but it’s still pointless. Maybe it’s setup for a series or something. Shaw’s Alan Bland, about a floundering painter, is all right. Shaw’s art isn’t quite finished enough for the cartoon look, which he…

Dark Horse Presents 101 (September 1995)

Wow, has Steve Niles ever been able to write? He has a story in this issue and it’s the worst written police procedural I think I’ve ever read. A hundred issues or no, if Dark Horse was publishing Niles… imagine what made the reject pile. The Paul Lee art on the story is bad, but much better than the writing. Musgrove’s The Alienator is more bad writing. At least the art is good. Musgrove’s drawing a bunch of ugly stuff, but he does it well. His writing is… well, it’s almost as bad as Niles’s. There’s some inexplicable Aliens story from Marz…