The Mighty Thor 363 (January 1986)

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Is this my first issue of Thor? It might be, at least as an adult. I thought there was a miniseries I read, but probably not. I’ve always just assumed they sucked.

I mean, I don’t all of a sudden love Thor or something; it’s still really wordy and obnoxious and not even when it’s just Thor talking, Simonson has some really talky narration. And even with the lame story from Secret Wars II continuing–the Beyonder gave a Thor villain infinite power to see if the villain would be happy after killing Thor–and the Power Pack showing up (did Simonson and his wife coordinate their Secret Wars II crossover issues, because they use the same storytelling techniques), there’s something likable about this comic.

I think it might be Thor. He’s talks too much and is kind of obnoxious, but he’s a good guy.

Much better than I figured.

CREDITS

This Kursed Earth…!; writer and artist, Walt Simonson; colorist, Christie Scheele; letterer, John Workman; editors, Craig Anderson and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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Robocop: Prime Suspect 3 (December 1992)

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There’s some really awful art this issue. I’m pretty sure the last panel is the silliest panel so far in the series. It’s like a two dimensional … I don’t know what, but something atrocious.

The issue really ramps up like it’s going to stop being stupid towards the end–though I do appreciate Arcudi not giving Robocop internal dialogue–but then it just craps out, which shouldn’t surprise me.

What’s really stunning about the comic is how poorly paced these issues are getting. Leon wastes panel after panel with his artwork and it’s not like he’s capable of passing time well. The series maybe should have been three issues, with a competent artist, but with Leon, four issues is just disastrous.

Then there’s the big reveal this issue and it’s superbly lame, as it directly depends on the reader remembering a conversation from the first issue between two incidental characters.

CREDITS

Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, John Paul Leon; inker, Jeff Albrecht; colorist, Matt Webb; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Edward Martin III and Barbara Kesel; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Robocop 9 (November 1990)

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Thank goodness, DeMulder’s back.

Grant’s doing another multi-part story here, with Robocop trying to deal with OCP (his bosses) inspired vigilantism. It’s a little strange, just because it’s in a comic book so you’ve got the protagonist fighting the traditional protagonists of the medium. There are some absurd vigilantes and then some more serious ones–it’s never clear where the more serious ones get their wonderful toys.

Robocop’s sergeant shows up in this issue–maybe the first time he does in the Marvel comic series, I can’t remember–but still no Officer Lewis (did Grant forget he implied romantic tension between her and Robocop in the series’s first issue?).

There’s some weak dialogue from Robocop and the gang emphasis reminds a little too much of the previous issue, but it’s fine. I’m a little less impressed than usual, just because the vigilante stuff is so contrived and so silly.

CREDITS

Vigilante! – Part 1: Power Play; writer, Alan Grant; penciller, Lee Sullivan; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Steve White; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Gregory Wright; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Jonah Hex 50 (February 2010)

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I hate Palmiotti and Gray’s writing. I mock them every time I look through Previews. So damned if I know what I’ll do now one of their comics has made me tear up, has ruined my day, effectively kicked me in the stomach to the point I want to crawl up in the fetal position.

Clearly, the reason this issue of Jonah Hex succeeds is Darwyn Cooke’s artwork. No way anyone else could have made this story so affecting.

I should want to read more of their issues, just in case I’m missing something, but I don’t think anything can really top this issue. In just one issue, they fit in about as much tragedy as occurs in Hamlet.

It’s not particularly thoughtful tragedy, or brilliantly plotted tragedy, but it’s real effective and all because of Cooke. It’s haunting, in fact.

Though the cover doesn’t do the interior content justice.

CREDITS

The Great Silence; writers, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; artist, Darwyn Cooke; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Sean Ryan, Elisabeth V. Gehrlein and Wil Moss; publisher, DC Comics.

The Micronauts: The New Voyages 16 (January 1986)

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People actually read this comic? I mean, I couldn’t understand a single word of it. It’s got an insane continuity to follow, but you also have to be able to translate Gillis’s writing into narrative. It’s just a bunch of events, without any connecting scenes, over and over again. All in one comic book. It’s nuts.

In fact, it’s so confounding, I don’t even know how to talk about it. What do they call those issues now? “Jumping on points”? Micronauts–even with the Secret Wars II crossover–clearly did not care about new readers or even casual readers (I thought I had some idea who the Micronauts were–still don’t know if it’s correct, but was that Ambush Bug in the issue?).

But it does have Kelley Jones on–not just mainstream art–but Marvel art. It’s crazy; almost worth looking at for his contribution alone.

I said “almost.”

CREDITS

Economies of Scale!; writer, Peter B. Gillis; penciller, Kelley Jones; inker, Danny Bulanadi; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Janice Chiang; editors, Craig Anderson and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop: Prime Suspect 2 (November 1992)

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This issue actually raises some interesting ideas. Well, no, it doesn’t. It made me think of some interesting stuff but it’s not in the issue itself, which is unfortunate.

Namely, if Robocop does go bad, why doesn’t the police department have a way to turn him off? Secondly, why is Robocop’s sergeant in charge of him. It doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t the department have some kind of Robocop office. A liaison officer or something?

It didn’t actually occur to me, after reading the first issue, Leon’s artwork might get worse in the second one, but it really does. I can’t stop thinking about how this series played when it came out–aren’t licensed properties supposed to have very generalized artwork, so the reader identifies the illustrated character with the film or television actor? Robocop in this comic looks like he’s got an allergic reaction, his face is so puffy.

CREDITS

Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, John Paul Leon; inker, Jeff Albrecht; colorist, Matt Webb; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Edward Martin III and Barbara Kesel; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Robocop 8 (October 1990)

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Wow, I really miss Kim DeMulder. Keith Williams inks this issue and it really doesn’t work. Robocop’s definition is silly, he looks clunky instead of streamlined. Worse are faces. I was lamenting the lack of Robocop’s partner, Lewis, in my response to the previous issue, but she’s here all the time and it never feels like it. There’s an almost complete lack of personality to the issue, something I’ve got to the point of not expecting with Marvel’s Robocop. Though there was a Roxy Music poster on a wall, which I found interesting (I think it’s the first such reference in the series).

The story’s a solid little episode. OCP, the big company, is trying to lower property values by inciting gang violence; Robocop and Lewis get involved and then have to try to save their CI too. It’s a fine done-in-one.

Grant’s Robocop continues to be readable.

CREDITS

Gangbusters; writer, Alan Grant; penciller, Lee Sullivan; inker, Keith Williams; colorist, Steve White; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Gregory Wright; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Unwritten 5 (November 2009)

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The first time I read this issue, it sort of shocked me. I mean, Carey spends the issue rewriting history; or something close to it, anyway. He spends the issue looking at how the way writing and writers work in The Unwritten has effected other writers, not just the characters in the main story.

It seems like this issue will be the first aside of many and it concerns itself with Rudyard Kipling and his experiences with the malevolent shadow organization of reading enthusiasts.

But the issue doesn’t just showcase Carey’s abilities to write this story–which, in itself, is a fantastic achievement, because Kipling isn’t exactly the most sympathetic character throughout and we don’t get the context of his narration until the last page–but also Gross.

Whereas the regular issues do offer Gross some range, it’s basically in the same visual context. Here, he’s all over–and brilliant.

CREDITS

How The Whale Became; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

Power Pack 18 (January 1986)

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Power Pack might be one of those ludicrously irresponsible titles–really, the kids skip school to go on vindictive, violent rampages (if Millar had the Power Pack kids kill a bunch of other kids by accident in Civil War, well, that one would be something)–but it’s got Brent Anderson artwork so I’m not sure I really care.

The comic’s idiotic. I mean, these kids talk with a vocabulary a teenager wouldn’t have, so it’s incredibly silly on top of being bad… it takes an artist like Anderson to make the thing tolerable. And there are some beautiful panels here. What’s going on in the panels is dumb, but it’s a well-drawn dumb.

The comic closes with the Power Pack kids getting ready to invite Wolverine to Thanksgiving. Wolverine’s Canadian on top of everything else, why the hell would he want to go to Thanksgiving?

Summing up, it’s stupid.

CREDITS

Kurse!; writer and colorist, Louise Simonson; pencillers, Brent Anderson and Scott Williams; inker, Bob Wiacek; letterer, Joe Rosen; editors, Rosemary McCormick-Lowy and Carl Potts; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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