Mark Irwin

Green Lantern 3 (January 2012)

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Once again, Sinestro is the best thing about Green Lantern. Johns really ought to consider redoing the book with Sinestro as the lead and Hal Jordan as his flunky. Maybe because of the movie (and Ryan Reynolds playing the role), it’s hard to take Hal seriously. Maybe it’s just because Johns makes Hal out to be a complete moron.

Not sure if that development’s new DC Universe or whatever.

Johns has been so successful at making Sinestro a force through the narrative, the focus on him works. Hal’s just a tool. He’s the comic relief. Regardless of Johns’s intention, he’s made Lantern better for making the expected lead a toadstool.

There’s very nice art from Mahnke and company. Occasionally, the differences in inkers–they’re close, but not exact–become clear. But it’s never disjointing.

The issue’s third act is just a great time. Johns manages a predictable, but deft cliffhanger.

CREDITS

Sinestro, Part Three; writer, Geoff Johns; penciller, Doug Mahnke; inkers, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin and Tom Nguyen; colorist, David Baron; letterer, Sal Cipriano; editors, Darren Shan and Brian Cunningham; publisher, DC Comics.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – N-Vector 4 (November 2000)

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Jeter runs out of space here a little. He’s got an exciting conclusion, but then he’s also got a big special effects conclusion (Cypress is disastrous as rendering it, unfortunately) and some more talking heads stuff.

Also–and here’s why I was confused last issue. He’s got the station commander–Major Kira (you can’t refer to “Deep Space Nine” characters and expect non-Star Trek aficionados to know them)–using the exact same dialogue the evil guy used when he was possessing people. But it’s apparently not done to raise suspicion. It’s like Jeter copied and pasted dialogue and didn’t think about the context. The editor should have caught it.

This issue is probably the least successful for the above pacing and art reasons. It also ends on a humorous note, mimicking how a television episode would end. But it doesn’t work because it’s way too slight.

The series should have run five issues.

CREDITS

Writer, K.W. Jeter; penciller, Toby Cypress; inker, Jason Martin and Mark Irwin; colorist, Bad @ss ; letterer, Naghmeh Zand; editor, Jeff Mariotte; publisher, Wildstorm.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – N-Vector 3 (October 2000)

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This issue is the all action issue. Or close to it.

I think N-Vector is most useful–not to discount its success as an episode of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” it’s a fine episode of that television program–as an example of how television pacing can be adapted to comic books. The problem, of course, is the length and pricing. It takes four issues to get a single episode. All together, it would have been ten dollars for, basically, something one watches for free on television.

Also, this issue requires the reader be familiar with the show and the relationships between its principal characters. I couldn’t tell if people were acting out of character or if I’d missed something since I hadn’t seen the show or if the evil space entity had possessed them.

Jeter’s good at plotting out the dramatic moments; still a fine licensed comic read.

CREDITS

Writer, K.W. Jeter; penciller, Toby Cypress; inker, Jason Martin and Mark Irwin; colorist, Bad @ss ; letterer, Naghmeh Zand; editor, Jeff Mariotte; publisher, Wildstorm.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – N-Vector 2 (September 2000)

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Did Wildstorm not get the likenesses in their “Star Trek” license or something? At first I thought it was just Cypress’s style, bringing a scratchy indie feel to a completely mainstream release, but now I’m wondering if it’s just because he couldn’t draw the actors. His artwork is a little static at times, especially for this issue, which is mostly talking heads. Then there’s the problem with him not being able to show important details–I don’t know if Quark found a dead Ferengi or Ferengi costume or a Ferengi blow-up doll.

As far as writing, this issue’s a little better than the first, as Jeter is getting into the actual situation. Even if someone isn’t familiar with the characters or ground situation, the drama’s been introduced and Jeter’s got a good A plot and a good B plot (no doubt they’ll tie together nicely).

A fine, mediocre comic.

CREDITS

Writer, K.W. Jeter; penciller, Toby Cypress; inker, Jason Martin and Mark Irwin; colorist, Bad @ss; letterer, Naghmeh Zand; editor, Jeff Mariotte; publisher, Wildstorm.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – N-Vector 1 (August 2000)

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So this series is a continuation of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” I guess I’m glad I don’t care about the ending of the series being spoiled for me.

I decided to read it because of Jeter, who’s a science fiction novelist of good repute, and because I didn’t realize–on seeing it in his bibliography–N-Vector was a Star Trek comic book.

Jeter does a fine job writing the characters and matching their personalities to the show (as far as I can tell, having mostly seen the first couple seasons), but there’s zero subtext. It’s more of a television episode than a comic book. The issue breaks are the commercials.

The art is the most interesting element–for a licensed comic book, it looks nearly nothing like the norm. Cypress isn’t interested in likenesses, he’s using the art to convey emotion.

It’ll probably turn out a pointless read, but I’m on board.

CREDITS

Writer, K.W. Jeter; penciller, Toby Cypress; inker, Jason Martin and Mark Irwin; colorists, Dan Brown, Bad @ss and Wildstorm FX; letterer, Naghmeh Zand; editor, Jeff Mariotte; publisher, Wildstorm.

Avengers vs. Atlas 2 (April 2010)

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I clearly don’t appreciate Gabriel Hardman enough. Hardman reminds me of Michael Lark’s superhero work, only without the… moodiness. Hardman’s like a non-moody Michael Lark, at least here he is–I honestly don’t remember finding him so stunning. Maybe I’m just forgetting.

Or maybe it’s because he’s got such a great fight to visualize.

The idea of Parker bringing in a different group of Avengers each issue sounds kind of silly, but it’s a great idea (so far). Like I said after the first one, he hasn’t got any big Atlas story going here, instead he’s just got those great characters of his interacting with other characters.

It’s a joy to read. I can’t believe this series–of all the Atlas titles–didn’t cause a big stir.

Then there’s the backup. It’s the first Atlas story I’ve read not written by Parker. Scott Kurtz does fine enough–it’s hilarious.

CREDITS

Earth’s Mightiest Super Heroes, Part 2; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Gabriel Hardman; colorist, Elizabeth Breitweiser; letterer, Tom Orzechowski. S(take)out!; writer, Scott Kurtz; penciller, Zach Howard; inkers, Mark Irwin and Zach Howard; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Joe Sabino. Editors, Nathan Cosby and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Aliens 4 (December 2009)

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All right, I’m clearly missing something here. Not only does my android question go unresolved, so does the two major questions the series raised–why are these aliens different than those previously encountered and what’s the deal with the mystical alien canyon?

The letters page this issue tells the reader to stick with the comic continuity, but I’m pretty sure Dark Horse stopped doing new Aliens comics in 1999, which means other than collected editions, this story is the first new one in ten years. And they expect the reader to know their continuity?

You’ve got to be kidding me. What about the casual reader who’s picking up the series because of all Dark Horse’s anniversary nonsense?

Again, it’s a fine enough Aliens story (it would have been right at home running through eight issues of Dark Horse Presents), but come on–this series isn’t some awesome event.

It’s common.

CREDITS

Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, Zach Howard; inkers, Mark Irwin and Howard; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens 3 (September 2009)

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Ok, so, a little more information–there was an alien invasion of earth, which I kind of remember from the old Dark Horse comics. Old as in before Alien³. Still, not sure what’s going on here. The android’s a weak lead, but there aren’t any other good options. The supporting cast is all weak too (they’re recovering from some kind of mind control).

The question Arcudi hasn’t answered yet is whether the android’s ship’s crew knew he was an android. Not sure why that question is so important to me, but it’s a definite necessity. There’s so little to the character, other than his physical presence, it’d give some context.

I don’t think I should be trying to figure out the ground situation in the third issue though.

Aliens is leaving a lot to be desired. They’re pretending it isn’t a relaunched series instead of celebrating.

One to go.

CREDITS

Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, Zach Howard; inkers, Mark Irwin and Howard; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens 2 (July 2009)

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Thought balloons. Arcudi uses thought balloons. I haven’t seen a thought balloon in a new comic in so long, I thought it was some kind of stylizing error (the character also talks to himself so it’s possible).

Um. Otherwise. Huh.

Aliens is a competent book. Arcudi doesn’t do a bad job, but it’s all in the approach. He’s hiding stuff from the reader (the protagonist is a newly android who kills–they aren’t supposed to harm any living thing, right?–and falls in love–with a murdered crew mate). The android also seems to know about previous encounters with the alien. I don’t know Dark Horse Aliens continuity so I’m kind of lost–except I think I’m supposed to be lost.

Presumably, all will be revealed, but Arcudi’s halfway through the book now and he’s basically established the protagonist and had him go for a walk. Not exactly high drama.

CREDITS

Writer, John Arcudi; pencillers, Zach Howard and Gabriel Andrade; inkers, Mark Irwin, Marcelo Mueller and Howard; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens 1 (May 2009)

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Wow, Zach Howard’s good. Never heard of him before (or maybe I have), but he’s great. Seems a little bit wasted on an Aliens relaunch (seeing as how the first issue is mostly people, just a couple xenomorphs and Howard clearly is putting more into the composition of the people panels).

The rest of it, the comic itself, is wasteful. It invalidates itself in the last few pages (actually, in the third act, Arcudi nicely gives his comic acts) and instead serves as an interesting way to do exposition.

I’d probably love the approach if Aliens was running five issues instead of four, but it isn’t and blowing a quarter of your series on exposition seems like a bad idea.

There’s no (as far as I can tell) direct ties to previous Aliens titles, only some homage and a reference to the movies.

In other words, too early to tell.

CREDITS

Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, Zach Howard; inkers, Mark Irwin and Howard; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.