The Walking Dead 6 (March 2004)

Oh, good grief. Well, Kirkman certainly lays on the melodrama here. I love how Rick’s wife’s little dalliance with Shane never comes up again; instead Shane seems like the obsessed psychopath. I’m curious why Kirkman didn’t develop her character, maybe because he realized he could get rid of Shane a lot easier with her being blameless. Umm. Otherwise, I guess it’s an okay issue. It’s kind of dumb. Is Glenn still in the comic? I don’t think he’s had a line in two issues. Kirkman’s kind of trite–like when Lori realizes things aren’t ever going to be normal again–the zombie … Continue reading The Walking Dead 6 (March 2004)

The Walking Dead 5 (February 2004)

I figured out my lack of enthusiasm. Well, except for noticing the unoriginal parts. It’s because of Crossed. This issue they all sit down and talk about their lives before–Shane has a moment it’s clear he’s thinking about getting jiggy with Lori on the road while Rick was comatose (maybe Moore’s best quality is his ability to convey his character’s unspoken thoughts)–and I thought about the same scene in Crossed. There’s nothing interesting in this scene here, except Rick becomes less of a believable cop every issue. Unless he’s supposed to be Andy Griffith. There’s also the whole discreet pro-gun … Continue reading The Walking Dead 5 (February 2004)

The Walking Dead 4 (January 2004)

Ah ha, now we’re getting somewhere. Rick’s wife got busy with the evil friend–Shane–while Rick was laid out in a hospital bed in a coma. Unfortunately, Rick’s just going to forgive her without any drama, but hopefully Kirkman will give her the chance to do it again. Can you tell I don’t like Rick’s wife? But it’s also this issue where Kirkman introduces his first original zombie idea, which is a good one–and a little late, he could have done it first issue right after his 28 Days Later homage. The zombies attack by smell, specifically the lack of it. … Continue reading The Walking Dead 4 (January 2004)

The Walking Dead 3 (December 2003)

I think it might be me. I think I might not be suited for Walking Dead. I mean, it’s all very competently done and it’s sort of interesting if wholly unoriginal (the best friend really after Rick’s wife was no surprise, Moore’s art gave the character that body language from his first panel)–I just don’t care. Kirkman’s characters are really, really boring. It’s like he goes out of his way to make them unoriginal–except maybe the little guy who warns Rick about his best friend, that character is interesting… since the evil friend is probably going to end up killing … Continue reading The Walking Dead 3 (December 2003)

The Walking Dead 2 (November 2003)

Wow, talk about cutting back on the drama quotient. This issue is mostly spent on expository dialogue explaining the zombie plague to Rick. It shocks him a little but it’s all okay because he finds his family at the end. Unfortunately, as much as I love the celebratory emotional scene, Kirkman didn’t really make it mean anything. It’s not like Rick had a long, hard journey. The most traumatic thing was apparently having to jump from one building to another. Not even zombie related. I’m rather unsold on the whole thing so far. Kirkman’s slight Southern dialect makes the characters … Continue reading The Walking Dead 2 (November 2003)

The Walking Dead 1 (October 2003)

I’ve been hearing about Walking Dead for a long time and have always meant to read it. Not sure what pressed me this time (possibly the impending television show). My initial reaction? I’ve seen most of all this before. The opening, either from Day of the Triffids or 28 Days Later, is something I’ve seen. The dad and kid, seen them before. The race stuff, seen it before. However, I haven’t seen such a hopeful protagonist. Kirkman sets up Rick–one issue down and I already know the protagonist’s name and refer to him by it, two points to Kirkman there–as … Continue reading The Walking Dead 1 (October 2003)

The Muppet Show 3 (February 2010)

Now, another interesting move from Langridge. As opposed to the previous issues decisions, this one… well, it sort of makes even less sense in some ways. The story arc ends here–the Muppets return to their theater, which raises some questions about why Langridge focused on what he did in the previous two issues. He makes the point of the issue about something mostly developed in the Fozzie backups of the previous two issues. All of the previous issue’s story elements involving the Muppets–excluding Gonzo and Fozzie–are ignored. It’s a fine issue–a good one–it just doesn’t fit with the previous two. … Continue reading The Muppet Show 3 (February 2010)

The Muppet Show 2 (January 2010)

To keep things going this issue, Langridge introduces a town full of Statler and Waldorf’s relations. They make up the entire town (and the entire audience for the Muppet show). The regular cast–except Scooter, it’s a Scooter issue–has little to do. First Scooter has to contend with Fozzie’s replacement, then he has to deal with telling jokes the audience will like. There’s a lack of narrative thrust here–I’m wondering if Langridge is beginning to feel he’s running out of Muppet stories–especially given Kermit’s disappearance for much of the issue. He ought to be around, based on the setup, but he’s … Continue reading The Muppet Show 2 (January 2010)

The Muppet Show 1 (December 2009)

Langridge takes the show on the road–I wonder how many times someone’s made that statement about this issue. The Muppet Show, as a comic book, has a limited number of possibilities–I think I’ve already suggested Boom! have a guest star (i.e. a comic book guest star) for each issue–so Langridge’s solution is to make the performances mobile. It’s fun issue, though it has one of those endings of Langridge’s I don’t quite get (Piggy says something to Kermit, congratulating him, and he apparently uses it as an advertising slogan for the road show). Also, Langridge takes Fozzie out of the … Continue reading The Muppet Show 1 (December 2009)

The Muppet Show 0 (November 2009)

I’m not sure why Boom! did a zero issue of The Muppet Show. Maybe to show off a different artist could illustrate Langridge’s scripts to good effect? Paroline does a good job faking Langridge’s style, so much I didn’t even realize it wasn’t him until the second or third page. I just assumed he was being lazy because it was a zero issue. As it turns out, he’s not being lazy. While the issue is a story within a story–Fozzie and Rizzo are trying to pitch a Pigs in Space movie and we get their disastrous pitch and the movie … Continue reading The Muppet Show 0 (November 2009)

The Coffin 4 (May 2001)

Hester spent the almost the entire first issue establishing Ahmad as an unlikable person. Dying and being resurrected as a plastic superman has been the best thing for him. But this issue, when Hester’s got to write his dialogue, his narration, as this new good person… he can’t do it convincingly. Instead, he writes all of Ahmad’s lines in short sentences, his narration describing events more than emotions. He’s so detached from the character, Hester gives the epilogue to the villain, avoiding a sincere emotional moment. Those complaints made, the Coffin ends well. The last issue is the most action … Continue reading The Coffin 4 (May 2001)

The Coffin 3 (January 2001)

Hester changes it up again this issue, to similarly good results. This time, he doesn’t just spread the issue out, he actually lets time pass off panel, which he didn’t really do in the second issue. This issue, for example, doesn’t open with a resolution to the previous one’s conclusion. Instead, Hester takes a little time out. He eventually gets to a big scene suggested last issue… but a lot happens before it. Huddleston’s art lets Hester get away with not having action set pieces. Huddleston doing a talking head scene between Ahmad, looking pretty much like a robot, and … Continue reading The Coffin 3 (January 2001)

The Coffin 2 (November 2000)

The pacing on the second issue is completely different from the first, which is both good and bad. On the good side, there’s almost none of the Hell stuff in this issue. There’s some, but it’s so visual, I can forgive it to get to see Mike Huddleston draw some demonic sphinx. But on the bad side… Hester gets loose with the logic of the plotting. He creates the protagonist’s pseudo-adversary in less time than it took the protagonist to be created (or recreated). Then the ending is on some weird fast forward too, as the protagonist–Ahmad–walks through this endless … Continue reading The Coffin 2 (November 2000)

The Coffin 1 (September 2000)

A lot of the issue is spent in Hell. Well, at least a third of it. There’s a lot of visuals of Hell and those are cool because it’s Mike Huddleston and I love Mike Huddleston. Unfortunately, the stuff in Hell is totally unimportant. Even when it seems like it’s reaching a point of being useful, turns out it’s not. But it’s a really nice read. Hester’s protagonist is a complete jerk (he does go to Hell after all) and the issue is plotted something similar to Swamp Thing’s origin. Only, you know, the guy’s a jerk. There’s a little … Continue reading The Coffin 1 (September 2000)

The Guild 3 (May 2010)

I’m glad I spent 150 words talking about the gay boyfriend last issue because this issue we find out he’s not really gay, he’s just an omni-sexual egomaniac. It’s so much less interesting… because all Day does now is revert the relationship back to the first issue. Third issue, but the keyword is reversion. This issue also features the most computer game visuals and stories and so on. It gets boring as the issue’s primary story becomes the protagonist and her gaming friends trying for a tournament (on the game). I have terrible visions of when the sports film genre … Continue reading The Guild 3 (May 2010)

The Guild 2 (April 2010)

This issue ends… I don’t know if poorly is the right word. Let me explain. So our hero, Cyd–I find it interesting female comic book writers feel the same need to give their female protagonists “cool” names as the male ones do–is dating a closeted gay guy. He’s been lying to her while sleeping with someone they both work with. This other guy thinks he’s in a relationship with Cyd’s boyfriend… but I’m sure there will be some resolution next issue. My problem is with Felecia Day. The boyfriend is a complete jerk to the protagonist the entire issue. Once … Continue reading The Guild 2 (April 2010)

The Guild 1 (March 2010)

I have a hard time believing the set-up. I like the book, but the main character doesn’t seem particularly realistic. She’s incredibly self-aware, self-aware and engaging enough to basically carry the book as a passive protagonist (she does buy a video game), so it’s inexplicable she’s with her lame boyfriend. Yes, he is a would be rock star, but she’s known him since he wasn’t and she’s a trained musician of some quality. I don’t actually have any problem with her being with a jackass, but I do have a problem with her being seemingly unaware of that condition. Especially … Continue reading The Guild 1 (March 2010)

Detective Comics 500 (March 1981)

For issue 500, DC went with something rather celebratory for Detective Comics–it’s very oversized (84 pages) and has many Detective Comics regulars–back to Slam Bradley–making appearances. The opening Batman story, from Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano, is fantastic one about Batman going Earth-3 to save his parents. It’s a great, touching story. I love it. I’ve probably read it, in one place or another, like ten times. The rest is mostly a mess. Len Wein’s Bradley story is atrociously written, the Mike W. Barr Elongated Man story is flat–the Hawkman story does have some beautiful Joe Kubert artwork and a … Continue reading Detective Comics 500 (March 1981)

The Invincible Iron Man 7 (January 2009)

This issue starts off terrible. Fraction uses three narrators–Ben Urich, Tony Stark and Peter Parker–and it’s a rough fit. Well, maybe not with Tony and Peter, that transition is actually, pretty smooth. But the Ben Urich narration? With Fraction capitalizing every proper noun to show EMPHASIS? It’s horrific. But the story isn’t bad. There’s a lot of content, with a lot of action scenes. Well, there’s some silly stuff about the story–Iron Man and Spidey team up to hunt down black market super-arms dealers… and Fraction skirts over why such a hunt makes any sense following the last arc. It … Continue reading The Invincible Iron Man 7 (January 2009)

The Invincible Iron Man 6 (December 2008)

Aww, the Iron Man helmet on the last page looks so sad. It’s a bad issue, to be sure, and a terrible way to end this story arc–it’s way too compressed–but it’s only the third worst issue so far in the series (and, I’m hoping, the last bad one in the series). I think there’s some big fight. I don’t really remember. The comic reads in three minutes. At the beginning, we quickly discover how Tony Stark outsmarted Zeke Stane. Fraction pulled off the trick by also tricking the reader, which is sort of dishonest given he’s using Tony as … Continue reading The Invincible Iron Man 6 (December 2008)

The Invincible Iron Man 5 (November 2008)

Well, this issue’s pretty lousy. Not much in the way of people in it–mostly just Iron Man versus Iron Monger Jr.–so Larroca does all right. The fight scene isn’t exactly exciting or engaging, but it’s a competent action scene. But the writing–not even the entire issue, just the end–is awful. See, if Tony Stark’s supposed to be a genius and is supposed to know what Zeke Stane is doing… he should be better prepared. And all Tony Stark’s prepared for in this issue is to get his butt kicked and set Zeke up for one of the lamest cliffhanger lines … Continue reading The Invincible Iron Man 5 (November 2008)

The Invincible Iron Man 4 (October 2008)

I’m of two minds about this issue. Maybe three. On one hand, it’s a talking head book. There’s almost no Iron Man armor appearance (with Tony in the armor) and, even when there is an appearance, he’s talking to someone. In other words, it’s a Salvador Larroca talking heads book. It’s exceptionally ugly. But the dialogue is great, so it’s somehow ugly and passable. Dealing with Larroca as the delivery system for Fraction’s great conversations… unpleasant but necessary. But then there’s the content itself, the plotting. The way Fraction puts the issue together, he gets a lot done in a … Continue reading The Invincible Iron Man 4 (October 2008)

The Invincible Iron Man 3 (September 2008)

Bring on the expository dialogue, I haven’t heard enough from Zeke Stane about his stupid skin getting burnt up by his organic Iron Man setup. Is his name supposed to sound like a synonym for track marks? Because it kind of does; it’s appropriate, because he’s a crap villain. This issue reads, again, like a sequel to Iron Man, only this time, it’s Pepper Potts who gets to become… Iron Woman? Iron Girl? Iron Lady? Iron Maiden? If Pepper’s a maiden, though… A lot of it is decently written, so the ending with the expository rant is out of place. … Continue reading The Invincible Iron Man 3 (September 2008)

The Invincible Iron Man 2 (August 2008)

What’s with Larroca and faces? Hasn’t anyone told him his digital art for faces looks just plain awful? The issue has really solid art for the first eight pages or so and then I realized why–he’d only drawn like one or two faces. Once the faces are there, it looks awful again. I can run Photoshop filters on photographs on my own, I don’t need to buy a comic with them in it. This issue’s a little better than the first–there aren’t any Iron Man movie references until the end, when Fraction brings in the bad flirting Tony does with … Continue reading The Invincible Iron Man 2 (August 2008)

The Invincible Iron Man 1 (July 2008)

I’ve read this comic before. I don’t like it. It’s half sequel to the Iron Man movie and half adaptation of that movie’s distinct action sequences. I also don’t like Larroca’s artwork here. Maybe I don’t like him in general, but I know I don’t like him here. It’s plastically slick and photo-referenced. To describe it a little more diplomatically, I think The Invincible Iron Man is distasteful corporate synergy. So why am I reading it (again)? Because I know once this dreadful arc is over, it gets great. And because Fraction can get some of the material above the … Continue reading The Invincible Iron Man 1 (July 2008)

Dracula: The Company of Monsters 1 (August 2010)

Dracula, as a vampire (at least, how he usually looks as a vampire), appears on the cover of this comic book. He does not appear, as a vampire, in the interior. Instead, we follow Evan. Evan is a naive blue blood whose evil multi-national corporation is going to resurrect Dracula. I didn’t learn the resurrection part from this comic book, however, I learned it from an interview about this comic book. Or maybe a press release. One of the two. There are some neat ideas here. Well, one. What if Dracula came back today–but without the Bram Stoker history under … Continue reading Dracula: The Company of Monsters 1 (August 2010)

After Dark 1 (July 2010)

Wesley Snipes helped create After Dark. There’s no mention of if he did it before or after debtor’s prison. I imagine if the comic had a tax evader as a character, it might be a lot more interesting. The story, if I can figure it out, is about an atmosphere destroyed earth with no real sunlight (Snipes apparently saw the Matrix) and the people in power decide to send a mission out to find a cultural icon to inspire the masses. Unfortunately, it’s not Elvis. A really lame team assembles and there’s eventually some dramatics, et cetera. It’s basically like … Continue reading After Dark 1 (July 2010)