Denny O’Neil takes over scripting from Byrne, who sticks around to pencil, and adds xenophobia and misogyny. Not to mention Indy talking for the first half of the issue in expository paragraphs.
Ever wanted to see Indiana Jones gleefully kill members of a bronze age tribe? Here’s your comic. Or to see him buddy up with Nazi sailors? Again, this comic’s the one for you.
O’Neil seems entirely ignorant of archeology, so ignorant it’s as though he didn’t even see Raiders of the Lost Ark, which isn’t exactly real archeology but it’s better than what O’Neil writes about here.
He also seems disinterested in the time period. His writing read like a resentful employee’s contractual obligation.
Bryne’s panel compositions are interesting. He goes for cinematic. It doesn’t always work, but at least he’s trying.
Also interesting is Indy’s face. Everyone else has Byrne face; not Indy. Maybe Austin drew it.
22-Karat Doom!; writer, Denny O’Neil; pencillers, John Byrne and Terry Austin; inker, Austin; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Janice Chiang; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.
There are a lot of unexpected things in this first issue of The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones. For example, writer and penciller John Byrne doesn’t work at making Indiana Jones likable. He’s a bit of a jerk, really, and definitely irresponsible.
I also wasn’t expecting Indy to be mooning over the absent Marion; Byrne uses the lines for character, not to call back to Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s deft. Not deft is repeating the kidnapping sequence from that film. It’s not predicable either. One would think they would come up with something original.
The villain’s original (and cringeworthy). He’s a big fat black guy named Black. Maybe Byrne was trying to be funny.
The comic does work though. Byrne and Terry Austin’s art is fine, better than most licensed stuff, and the story moves.
Byrne also comes up with an excellent, serial-inspired cliffhanger.
It’s okay enough.
Writer, John Byrne; pencillers, Byrne and Terry Austin; inker, Austin; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.
John Byrne easily does the best story in this issue. Really. And he can even draw Peevy. He lays out his story well, though the details on the characters aren’t any great shakes. The Rocketeer’s funny looking, while Cliff looks like Snidely Whiplash. Still, Byrne’s clearly enthusiastic about the characters and the setting. The other creators this issue clearly aren’t.
Well, maybe the Simonsons are enthusiastic but are incapable of conveying it. Louise Simonson’s plot isn’t terrible, but her dialogue is unbearable. From the first word balloon, it’s clear the story’s going to be a chore. And Walt Simonson’s art doesn’t help. He’s lazy with everything but Betty, including the action. It stinks.
David Mandel recasts the Rocketeer as Adam Strange for a sci-fi comedy, only Mandel’s not funny. And J. Bone’s style flops on alien worlds.
It’s another lame Adventures, thankfully the last one. IDW fumbled this series.
War Hero; writer, Louise Simonson; penciller, Walt Simonson; inker, Bob Wiacek; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, John Workman. Warlord of Blargon; writer, David Mandel; artist and colorist, J. Bone; letterer, Shawn Lee. Fair Game; writer and artist, John Byrne; colorist, Bone; letterer, Neil Uyetake. Editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.
The Untold Legend of the Batman might have good art… but it’s hard to tell. Each page is packed with panels–except one pin-up page, which is pretty good–and it’s hard to get a handle of John Byrne’s pencils (with Jim Aparo inking).
Some of the pages are pretty good though, but it’s certainly not a comic to read for the art. Sadly, it’s also not a comic to read for the writing.
Untold Legend is a streamlined retelling of Batman’s original, adding in all the Earth-One origin developments. It’s excellent as a curiosity (I’d forgotten teenage Bruce Wayne was Robin to some police detective) but Len Wein’s writing is atrocious.
Most of the comic is Bruce retelling his history to Alfred. One would assume Alfred would know some of these events, if not all.
The issue’s painful at times, a shopping list of contrived origin events.
Wow, what a truly awful comic book.
Bryne inks himself here (I guess Joe Rubinstein) was busy and the results are unfortunate. The action lacks any punch and the bland faces have started, years earlier than I thought they would. It doesn’t help his rendition of the first Cap costume is silly.
As for the writing, Stern outdoes himself as far as expository. FDR narrates the beginning of the story (because FDR used to read reports aloud to subordinates) then Stern has the subordinate narrate some more of the issue.
It’s an iconic origin retelling. I remember it from when I was a kid (I think Marvel reprinted it a lot). If this retelling is the best one they had, they were in a sorry state. There’s not a single good moment in the entire comic book.
Every time Stern’s writing seems its worst, he drops it down another notch.
What a bunch of trouble to launch a new Union Jack. I guess Stern gets to kill the original Union Jack (and Baron Blood) but the whole thing is just a setup for Marvel UK. Whatever.
I’m being really harsh and I shouldn’t be. The issue’s not bad—except Cap running around in his outfit, shield in hand, all the time. It just doesn’t work. They should have rethought it. Otherwise, Stern does a fine job mixing horror and superhero and Blood’s death scene is absolutely fantastic.
There’s a strange logic misstep at the end too, with it being unclear how Union Jack survived his first, noisy heart attack (before succumbing to his second, silent one). But the real draw is Byrne’s artwork. Besides Cap’s weak big blues, the art this issue is outstanding. Byrne does a British village, horror, contained action. His composition is comics masterwork. Great looking stuff.
When Stern isn’t writing too much exposition, he really does a good job. I always forget during those exposition heavy issues.
Cap heads off to the UK to help out the aged former Captain Britain with a vampire problem. Byrne gets to draw the English countryside. The selling point of the issue is really Byrne’s art. The plotting’s fine and the dialogue’s decent, but the art’s just phenomenal. Except maybe the last page, where Cap’s eyes are too wide.
Other than the UK stuff, there’s only a couple scenes. The first is Cap foiling a robbery. Byrne really goes all out for it, using (or creating) iconic poses for Cap. Then Steve and Bernie have their first date. Stern accelerates the courtship awkwardly and kills a lot of the charm. Good will towards the characters helps the sequence pass.
It’s still impressive as an example of excellent superhero comic art.
Oh, is Stern’s exposition bad. I mean, it’s real bad. What I can’t figure out is why he bothers with it. It seems the only reason for the endlessly wordy narration is he has to fill space… but he doesn’t. This narration goes in boxes at the tops of panels. Byrne’s art is more than enough to hold the reader’s attention.
The best part of this issue is when Cap and Batroc team up against Mister Hyde. Byrne’s action is fantastic, but the team up also makes sense.
Unfortunately, the issue reads like a proto-“decompressed” narrative. Stern takes forever to get through what’s basically an all-action issue. Again, Byrne saves it.
At the end, there’s a little recap of Cap’s origin and his friends and so on. His apartment gets a page too. They just did an origin recap last issue, so the repeat’s pointless, but competently done.
Besides Stern inexplicably wasting four or five pages recapping Cap’s origin, it’s a good issue. The origin recap made me wonder if Byrne wanted to get to redo the iconic panels, but they’re really small.
Byrne does a great job this issue, especially once the fight scene gets started at the end between Cap and Batroc and Mister Hyde. The bad guys have teamed up to blackmail the city. The fight takes place on a ship. It just works out great.
Most of the issue is probably dedicated to the bad guys, actually. There’s a prison break sequence and then there’s them bickering about teaming up. Cap has his open, then pulls an all-nighter drawing for his day job. Bernie shows up (but not for long enough).
It seems like all Stern needs to do is write through his wordy exposition; once it’s out of his system, he’s fine.
After some hiccups, Stern finally gets the whole “Captain America for President” idea working. The problem scenes are the establishing ones. It’s Cap talking to the third party guys who want him to run on their ticket. The issue gets good once it’s Steve Rogers trying to figure out if he should run or not.
That opening is so bad, in fact, I thought the whole issue would be a disaster, but Cap’s speech explaining why he will not run is some iconic writing from Stern on the character.
Maybe the awful expository narration for the opening action scene (Cap versus a domestic terrorist) soured me to the issue prematurely.
Rubinstein’s art—Byrne’s credited with breakdowns—definitely has its moments. Unfortunately, the art’s the best while Steve Rogers is helping Bernie Rosenthal move into her apartment. That scene’s a good one anyway though.
It’s a fine issue, brief but effective.
The Dragon Man cliffhanger really does not resolve well. All Stern can think of to get it over with promptly is for Cap to throw his glove in Dragon Man’s eye.
Then Dragon Man heads off to confront Machinesmith and Cap tags along. This sequence, from the cliffhanger resolution to Machinesmith’s hide-out, is visually fantastic. Stern doesn’t even cloud it over with narration or exposition, we just get to see the Byrne and Rubinstein art.
Unfortunately, the Machinesmith stuff is far less satisfying. Three quarters of the issue is Cap fighting a robot (or a piece of a robot) only to discover another robot waiting to attack him.
The final resolution, coming after two flashbacks revealing Machinesmith’s tortured past (Daredevil beat him up amongst other things), has a very sci-fi feel to it. Stern inexplicably closes this sequence with some awkwardly patriotic thought balloons.
But the art’s great.
Steve Rogers as mild-mannered commercial artist is a little off at first, but once he settles in with his friends—and a girl, I sort of remember him dating Bernie Rosenthal when I was a kid—it gets a lot more comfortable.
Stern starts with more about him being wowed by the era, but it quickly dissipates and the issue’s a lot stronger than the previous one had suggested it could be. Dragon Man shows up and a big rooftop fight scene ensues. Machinesmith is still an annoying villain, but he eventually goes away.
I mean, Dragon Man tries to eat Steve’s shield. It’s hilarious.
But Byrne is what makes the fight scene work. They’re destroying building after building and Byrne makes it all seem real, down to the gigantic Dragon Man who can hold Steve in one hand.
Though, really, Captain America having money problems seems wrong too….
Byrne does a great job with everything this issue except Cap. He draws him a little like a big dope. There’s just something bland and dully affable about him. And he’s always in costume, so clearly Byrne is doing a good job of drawing him that way since he never gets to fully illustrate an expression.
The issue is about Cap recovering his memory, which might also lead to the dull part. He thinks he’s got false memories and he discovers the truth in a few pages, leaving him ready to fight Baron Strucker.
There’s a really cool bit about Nick Fury sending Strucker to Israel for war crimes, a nice mix of reality into it.
But most of Roger Stern’s script is too expository and obvious. The issue only has a pulse when Fury’s around. When it’s just Cap, it’s all too tepid.
Bryne partially makes up for it.
Rasputin still doesn’t get identified by name—but based on all the expository dialogue, it’s surprising Hellboy couldn’t figure it out. I guess he never took any history classes.
The series winds down with some more big action sequences, one involving Abe and Liz Sherman. Well, not exactly Liz Sherman. Mignola and Byrne had very little use for her (Hellboy talks about her in the narration more than she talks in dialogue). It makes her feel like a fifth wheel, only around because the comic book readers must have a pretty face.
Also interesting is how passive Hellboy and Abe are in the grand conclusion—Hellboy gets a little moment alone with Rasputin with foreshadowing—but the big part is resolved somewhat without them.
Still, it’s decent.
The Monkeyman backup features Adams screwing up tenses in his first person narration. There’s little else to say about it, except weak art.
Writers and letterers, Mike Mignola and John Byrne; artist, Mignola; colorist, Mark Chiarello. Who Are Monkeyman and O’Brien?, Chapter Three; writer and artist, Art Adams; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, L. Lois Buhalis. Editor, Barbara Kesel; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.