Predator 4 (January 2010)


Oh, wow. Arcudi doesn’t even give the story an ending, he just lets it whimper off.

I mean, it’s a terrible, terrible narrative. Apparently, they didn’t realize if they’re only going to have two recognizable characters, everyone else is going to fall to the wayside.

The comic’s politics are interesting. The mercenaries are the heroes, the U.S. army is a bunch of drunken morons. I wonder if Blackwater underwrote the comic (Predator is owned by Rupert Murdoch, so who knows).

Walden Wong’s back and he’s awful. The comic’s so intolerable at that point, however, what does it matter if it looks like crap. Maybe they’re going for it just being as bad as it can be, since there’s no way this team is going to turn in anything good.

It’s so infantile, so dumb. It’s silly. It’s like a Saturday morning cartoon version of Predator, only less gritty.

Complete garbage.


Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, Javier Saltares; inkers, Saltares and Walden Wong; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editor, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.


Predator 3 (October 2009)


Hard as it must be to believe, but I really don’t go looking for bad comic books to read. My Dark Horse Aliens and Predator nostalgia cost me more than twenty bucks–I could have killed brain cells and had fun doing it using that money on liquor or Elmer’s glue to sniff. Either would have been more productive than reading this issue of Predator.

Predators aren’t, apparently, rare anymore. Everyone knows someone who’s run into one, had a little encounter; not a big deal, seven foot tall space aliens. Doesn’t rearrange your world view. Getting dismembered by a Predator, in Arcudi’s world logic, is a heck of a lot less traumatizing than E.T. bringing you some Reese’s Pieces.

The only thing this comic book has going for it is it almost being over. It’s so insipid–Arcudi’s narrative logic is inane–I’m running low on negative adjectives.

It’s garbage.


Writer, John Arcudi; artist, Javier Saltares; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editor, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Predator 2 (August 2009)


It’s getting worse. Why does it have to be getting worse? Seriously, did anyone read Arcudi’s script here? It’s the same old rote Predator story Dark Horse has been doing for… twenty years? There’s a good Predator… gasp. I wonder how that’ll play out in the next issues.

There’s also the hint someone knows about the Predators and isn’t telling everyone else, so he’ll be prepared and blah blah blah.

The issue reads in something like four minutes–so it’s cheaper than a dollar a minute–but maybe it does take longer. When Walden Wong’s awful inks show up, it stops the book. I’m not crazy about Saltares and his Predators look stupid, not scary, which fits Arcudi’s script well (these aren’t the brightest intergalactic big game hunters–Schwarzenegger’s dog could outsmart them), but Wong’s inks turn it into a Mad magazine parody. A poorly illustrated one.

It’s intolerably banal.


Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, Javier Saltares; inkers, Saltares and Walden Wong; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editor, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Predator 1 (June 2009)


I bought Predator ought of nostalgia. I grew up in the salad days of Dark Horse’s licensed property boom, back when there was only one Aliens vs. Predator series and it was a big deal. Returning to Predator, especially this series–updated to be hip and modern–it’s about mercenaries in Africa. They say Africa, it’s an African state, but all of the procedural aspects are lifted from movies about Iraq. But whatever, I’m trying to keep an open mind.

Except Arcudi’s handling of it is, in terms of plot, awful. The main characters are a bunch of mercenaries–these are the villains, they’re the Blackwater guys–and the Predators–there are a bunch of them, even though it’s just called Predator–are kind of cameoing.

Along with Aliens, Dark Horse is making a big deal about them, but doesn’t have a narrative approach to indicate they’re anything but trivial.


Writer, John Arcudi; artist, Javier Saltares; colorists, Wes Dzioba and Andrew Elder; letterer, Blambot!; editor, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The New Defenders 152 (February 1986)


Um. I never read The New Defenders so I don’t really know what the deal is with this issue, given it’s the final issue and it resolves a bunch of New Defenders stuff–is Valkyrie still dead and was Manslaughter supposed to be gay? I also didn’t know there were so many X-Men in the New Defenders. Where are all the regular Defenders? You’d think they’d make an appearance.

It’s a double-sized issue, which works, from a plotting standpoint. The issue never feels rushed. The Secret Wars II crossover is idiotic.

The real surprise is the Don Perlin art. I didn’t realize he worked into the eighties. I’d sit there and read it and be shocked by the awful artwork, then remember it was Perlin. The art’s awful, something the cover tries to hide.

It’s okay, I guess, for eighties Marvel, but I’m not the one to ask.


The End of All Songs; writer, Peter B. Gillis; penciller, Don Perlin; inker, Dell Barras; colorist, Ken Fedunieiwicz; letterer, Janice Chiang; editors, Rosemary McCormick-Lowy and Carl Potts; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Robocop: Roulette 1 (December 1993)


Robocop goes up against the I.R.S.? Who can win? So far, with Mitch Byrd’s artwork looking like the McFarlene school of everything having lines being a far cry above the other series from the publisher, Roulette is the best. It’s not promising, because it’s still set in the stupid post-Robocop 3 continuity where Dark Horse apparently tried to set up the ground situation and made a silly mess. Not to mention having Robocop barely in the comic and his annoying lab tech around again….

There is the whole Robocop vs. ignorant detective, something no one’s ever explored–where is Robocop in the police hierarchy–but it’s dimly handled. Arcudi does a decent enough job with the action and the dialogue even, but his scenarios and plotting (scenarios, especially) are lame-brained.

It’s only four issues though and it does read fast. Except the I.R.S. nonsense, which is just painful.


Writer, John Arcudi; penciller, Mitch Byrd; inker, Brian Garvey; colorist, Jim Sinclair; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Jennie Bricker; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Robocop 15 (May 1991)


It’s not a terrible issue. So far it’s probably Furman’s best, only because it’s an all-action issue. The inking is a little better this time too. Maybe it’s the lack of thought balloons for Robocop. Robocop thinking kind of ruins it, at least the way Furman writes his thinking.

It’s not particularly clear but it reads like evil triumphs over good here, that the corporate bad guys get away unpunished. It’s hard to say. Furman uses a news story to wrap up the issue (much like Marvel’s adaptation of the first movie does) and the whole thing–the three parter this finishes–feels like a tv pilot. It pretends to be gritty, but it’s really super positive and smiley.

Sullivan has some nice work, visible through the mediocre inks and the plotting makes it more readable than usual.

It’s a more tolerable read than usual, if still absent merit.


Ashes!; writer, Simon Furman; penciller, Lee Sullivan; inker, Harry Candelario; colorist, Gregory Wright; letterer, Ken Lopez; editors, Bobbie Chase and Rob Tokar; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Muppet Show: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson 4 (October 2009)


Langridge does a couple really profound things–wait, only one profound thing–the other thing isn’t profound as much as interesting.

I don’t remember a lot of “the Muppet Show,” mostly the movies, so I don’t know if the theater’s history was ever discussed “in canon,” but here Langridge establishes the theater was around before Kermit and the gang, which is something of a crazy idea (just imagine, a prequel series–someone call Hayden Christiansen).

The profound thing is taking Statler and Waldorf out of their balcony seats and sending them home for the night. It’s an incredible moment.

Otherwise, it’s a nice, pleasant issue. There’s lots of funny Muppet Show sketches, there’s the heartwarming conclusion. It’s a fine series.

I think some of the problem just stems from the constraint–it’s about the Muppets doing the show, which cuts into how much dramatic plot points each issue can contain.


Be It Ever So Humble…; writer and artist, Roger Langridge; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

The Muppet Show: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson 3 (September 2009)


I just read this issue and I can’t tell you a thing in it except a Pigs in Space episode–not as funny because Piggy’s not in it–something about Piggy being covered in fake jewels–and a really touching scene with Animal.

The series has been full of touching scenes with Animal. It’s more of a character than I’ve ever seen him, but I’m not entirely sure I read Muppet comics for Animal’s character development. Pretty sure I read them to laugh and, here, Langridge does come up with some impressive writing… only not plotting. The rhyming alone is exceptionally impressive.

I can’t figure out what Langridge’s doing with this issue because it’s nothing like either one before it and it doesn’t exactly raise the drama for the last issue. Instead, he has this flop of an issue. It just doesn’t do anything. There are some smiles, no laughs.


“Follow the Money”; writer and artist, Roger Langridge; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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