Leonard Kirk

bloodhound crowbar medicine

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine 5 (March 2014)

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #5

I guess the sidekick hero’s name should have been a hint.

It’s a good issue. Real violent, real mean at times. Jolley even manages to get past the sidekick hero being really, really convenient. And he’s got a silly outfit. Even if it makes sense in the context of his powers, it’s silly. Looks like something out of the early nineties.

But back to the comic itself, specifically as the last issue of this limited series. It’s kind of like the last Bloodhound ever. Jolley went and did everything he could to depress the reader, but also to close off the character’s existing story lines. Clev hasn’t got anything left. He’s battered to a pulp, he’s out of favor with the FBI boss–which needed more explaining, since he just saved the guy.

It’s a downer. But it also does provide appropriate closure. I just hope it’s not permanent closure.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorists, Moose Baumann and Wes Dzioba; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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bloodhound crowbar medicine

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine 4 (February 2014)

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Here’s what the problem is with the art on Crowbar Medicine–I remember the original series’s art. Bloodhound isn’t an easy book to forget. It was a crazy attempt from DC and it had amazing art. It’s like if you had Hulk Hogan as an emotionally complex ass-kicker. How do you forget a book like that one?

So Kirk and Riggs aren’t as good as they were. There are some great details though still–Clev’s scar has always been memorable. And they’re still really good at action scenes. There’s a big supervillain fight at the end of the issue. Very cool.

As for Jolley… what’s there to say? He knocks it out of the park. He has a fast issue–Saffron comforting Clev and Clev talking her into going after the bad guys. Some brainstorming (still same setting, I think). Then action and cliffhanger.

It’s a fabulous comic book.

A- 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

bloodhound crowbar medicine

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine 3 (December 2013)

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Crowbar Medicine continues to have its art problems. Neither Kirk nor Riggs seems willing to put in a lot of detail. This issue they hit over fifty percent on that lack of detail, especially in medium shots and further back. There are some times when Agent Bell doesn’t even have a face.

What she does have this issue is a boyfriend who comes to town. Not sure I knew she had a boyfriend. Jolley doesn’t do great with that scene–they’re just breaking up–but he follows it with a great scene between Clev and his teenage “niece” regarding her dating. It’s a scene with a nice unexpected twist.

But the big thing this issue is the cliffhanger. Regular people are all getting their superhero chips and the unavoidable outcomes start occurring. Only Jolley finds a way to mix humor and tragedy into a long sequence. Very good writing here.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

bloodhound crowbar medicine

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine 2 (November 2013)

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Kirk and Riggs rush a few too many panels this issue. Not so many the art isn’t good overall, but there’s a definite–and unfortunate–hurried feel to the comic. And, since there’s no fast paced action scene until the end, the rushed feeling doesn’t fit.

Most of the issue is Clev and Bell’s investigation story–or how they get into the man hunt for the doctor giving away superpowers. There’s a nice scene with Clev arguing with an Army major; Jolley does a great job making all of it digestible. He even works in some more of Bloodhound’s post-DC setting.

While the issue is excellently written, the actual story progression comes mostly at the end. There’s a super spy involved, then one of the people who gets superpowers. It’s a perfect fit of plots. Jolley’s structure is outstanding.

Is the evil doctor supposed to look like Obama?

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Aaron Walker, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

bloodhound crowbar medicine

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine 1 (October 2013)

Bloodhound crowbar medicine

Bloodhound is definitely back and it might be better than ever. Having Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs on the art, which has nothing to do with Dan Jolley’s excellent way of plotting the issue–especially as the return of characters DC had been keeping on cold storage–the art brings it all together. It still feels like the original, only with curse words and without thinking Superman might drop by.

In other words, Jolley and company have loosed Bloodhound in a setting without constraint. Even though it looks like a mainstream superhero book, Jolley can get away with a lot of huge moves. His cliffhanger for the issue–where Crowbar Medicine is going, it seems–is outstanding. It’s a perfect little hook for the next issue and the series.

There are a lot of gun control metaphors in here. They’re sometimes too obvious, but it’s an insignificant complaint.

Bloodhound’s awesome.

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Aaron Walker, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Bloodhound 10 (June 2005)

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Thank goodness, Kirk is back for this issue, which is unfortunately the last one. Jolley wraps up a little–he got the Agent Bell backstory into the issue unexpectedly–but only what he absolutely has to resolve.

Zeiss shows up sparingly and Jolley barely spends any time on him. One can see where Jolley might’ve taken that subplot had the series continued though.

The issue’s a little investigation, a lot of talking and a lot of fighting. It’s a strange mix and definitely gives Bloodhound that TV procedural feel again. Agent Bell does the talking, Clevenger does the fighting. Together they’re… well, together they’re Agent Bell and Clevenger, but you get the idea. It’s fun to read the two of them together. Jolley doesn’t force romantic chemistry, though he does acknowledge that expectation of him.

Bloodhound is awesome. It’s very unfortunate Jolley, Kirk and Riggs didn’t get to make more.

CREDITS

Ashes to Ashes; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 8 (April 2005)

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Jolley skips ahead a little, giving Clevenger practically a superhero outfit–a special Kevlar shirt, I think–and a little more freedom. Jolley uses Clev’s ex-girlfriend to reveal the information. It’s a nice little device, since it develops Clev a little.

Agent Bell gets the most character development in the issue; more of a past revelation, but it makes she and Clevenger’s partnership a lot more interesting.

The issue mostly takes place in a small Southern town where the FBI suspect a metahuman arsonist. There’s a lot of investigating, a whole cast of guest stars and a lot of personality to the town. Kirk and Riggs outdo themselves on making the mundane visually engaging.

There’s a big action set piece at the end of the issue, along with a lot of mysterious goings on. Jolley finds a great formula for the issue. It feels like a good procedural show.

CREDITS

Slow Burn; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Nick J. Napolitano; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 7 (March 2005)

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Kirk tries out a different style for this issue’s extended flashback. I get it’s supposed to be folksy–the flashback takes place on a farm–but it lacks personality. It’s one of those awful farm stories; it’s effective too. Jolley makes the reader remember it and calls it back later.

There’s very little mystery to this issue. There’s suspense. Bloodhound is more a thriller book than anything else. Jolley brings a lot of toughness into the DC universe with the title. His concepts don’t fit in superhero books, which is kind of the point. It’s the dirty underside.

Jolley’s able to hide his hand for almost the entire issue. It’s going somewhere–Jolley’s solving a subplot–but he never gies it away until it’s happening. The main narrative distracts the reader too much.

It’s another fine issue. Very little character development, if any, but Jolley’s safe skipping it this issue.

CREDITS

Run the Gears, Part Two: The Shotgun; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 6 (February 2005)

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Putting Clevenger back in prison proves a good choice for Jolley. He plots it to put Clev out of his comfort zone, which creates some drama on its own, then Jolley amps it up with a good soft cliffhanger.

Meanwhile, the FBI agent has some character development scenes and then her own subplot after she finds out a little about what’s happening at the prison.

Jolley doesn’t do any character development on Clevenger, which is odd since he’s the protagonist, but more effective. FBI agent Bell is a better guide through Bloodhound. She (and the reader) can be surprised. Clevenger can’t be. Not about his behavior, anyway.

The issue’s a fast read, but Jolley makes the prison plot complicated enough it doesn’t feel too fast. Kirk and Riggs do a great job on the art, even though there’s little out of the ordinary for them to visualize.

Excellently done comic.

CREDITS

Run the Gears; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 5 (January 2005)

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Jolley writes Firestorm better in this comic than he does in his own title. Maybe because the Bloodhound stuff just runs off. It’s actually a rather successful crossover issue between two books without any reason to crossover.

It doesn’t hurt Kirk and Riggs easily toggle between realistic action violence and superhero stuff. Or how Jolley lets Clev guide the issue–Jolley basically incapacitates Firestorm, which really helps with the plot developments. It reads a lot less silly than it could.

But even good art and good dialogue can’t make the villain any better. He’s one dimensional and boring. The issue needs strong characterizations. For instance, Jolley writes a strange mentor relationship between Clev and Firestorm. Clev is empathetic.

So while Bloodhound is able to develop through this crossover, the whole point of the crossover is undercooked.

The villain can just be a bad guy, but he still needs a personality.

CREDITS

Firestorm; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 4 (December 2004)

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It’s the conclusion to the first arc–and an astoundingly bloody one–but also the origin issue. Jolley’s able to work in some background information on Clev, which probably provides the issue with most of its dialogue.

Otherwise, it’s Clev and the bad guy beating the crap out of each other. It’s a vicious fight, lots of blood for a DC book. Even for a tough one. It makes for a good read; Kirk and Riggs outdo themselves.

But there’s a downside. Jolley doesn’t reward the reader. He goes for a realistic ending–or maybe one to direct the series to its next story arc–but the result is downbeat. Even with the funny end joke.

Narratively, the move is probably appropriate, but in a populist sense, the finish is undeniably lacking.

The first four issues might’ve worked better as five. Though maybe not. Jolley paces it tight.

Bloodhound’s good.

CREDITS

Catharsis; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 3 (November 2004)

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For lack of a better phrase, one could call this issue the “eureka” issue. Clev and his partner–Agent Bell–do their investigating and realize what they need to realize. Jolley’s able to make it even more dramatic since Clev is a muscle bound grotesque and just having him talk to people makes for a scene.

Jolley doesn’t give the reader too much information on the bad guy and instead makes the issue’s villain the FBI boss. It leads to some funny scenes and some violent ones, but misguided FBI agents aren’t the best villains. Even temporary ones.

Kirk and Riggs’s artwork is, as usual, fantastic. There’s a great mundane scene at a mall, but also more action-oriented one on a freeway. The Southern scenery helps a lot, giving Bloodhound multiple visual personalities.

And Jolley and Kirk end it with a great hard cliffhanger on a one page spread.

CREDITS

Sphere of Influence; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 2 (October 2004)

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I like a lot of this issue. Jolley opens it well, the middle part is good, most of the ending is good. He goes out on a joke, which doesn’t work, but there’s some great stuff just before the finish.

In other words, Bloodhound is a good book. Jolley puts it all together quite nicely, as the protagonist reacquaints himself with old friends and his new colleagues.

But the most impressive thing in the issue is the way Kirk and Riggs draw a pair of hands. It’s not supposed to be a subtle panel, it’s supposed to be clear, but the technical drawing skill of it is just wonderful.

Jolley sticks to Clev, the protagonist (and the titular Bloodhound), but he does excellent work with his FBI handler. I can’t remember her name yet, but Jolley’s writing of her is great.

Besides the underwhelming last page, it’s an excellent comic.

CREDITS

(Un)leashed; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 1 (September 2004)

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Bloodhound takes a while to get bloody. It has to get bloody–most of the issue takes place during a prison riot with the lead characters trying to survive to the exit. When the issue starts, however, it generally feels like a regular DC comic.

I mean, Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs’s artwork is–while utterly fabulous–definitely mainstream comics art. Kirk has some beautiful panel composition for the reaction shots during conversations and then more during the action scenes.

Dan Jolley’s dialogue has a lot of information to follow, but he never goes overboard with the exposition. There are little comments as people say things to one another and it passes the information. Some of it doesn’t even stick (though I read Bloodhound back when it first came out so I remember some).

The most startling violence comes late, but perfectly timed.

It’s a good, carefully written first issue.

CREDITS

Greenlight; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.