The Bulletproof Coffin 3 (August 2010)

750497.jpg

Okay, so Hine and Kane up the ante a little here. This issue takes the meta-fiction aspect of the comic—where the protagonist interacts with the idea of these comic book creators who share their names with the creators of Bulletproof Coffin—to the next level. Not only is the protagonist, in the “real world,” dealing with them, but they reveal this issue so are the characters in the comic books the protagonist is reading.

The development puts Coffin in a precarious position—if Kane and Hine fail to live up to expectations, the book’ll just plummet.

Hine’s narration is fine now. So fine I forgot it was a problem while reading.

The art is good—it’s nice how the stories crossover (the comic in the comic and the regular story) because Kane’s style matches. Though there’s a little too much nudity for a Silver Age book.

Excellent issue.

CREDITS

Dead Finks Walking; writers, Shaky Kane and David Hine; artist and colorist, Kane; letterers, Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt; publisher, Image Comics.

Advertisements

The Bulletproof Coffin 2 (July 2010)

750496.jpg

The second issue doesn’t deal with the first’s soft cliffhanger, so I imagine Hine and Kane have something else planned in regards to the protagonist’s family. I’m just hoping they don’t go Truman Show.

This issue has a flashback comic of a crime series, sort of a proto-Punisher. Oddly, even though the character’s a ghost who kills in horrific ways, the introduction of the supernatural and his tone somehow makes him more pleasant. It’s very well-done old comics stuff, though Kane’s style doesn’t really change between it and the feature (i.e. one would never really think it was from 1959, just based on production values).

Hine’s narration seems stronger this issue too (at least, it doesn’t have any more pitfalls).

The comic takes an unexpected turn at the end—and the title now makes sense, something I was expecting to understand in the first one.

It’s smoothly sailing.

CREDITS

A Rat’s Cage; writers, Shaky Kane and David Hine; artist and colorist, Kane; letterers, Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt; publisher, Image Comics.

The Bulletproof Coffin 1 (June 2010)

750495.jpg

Bulletproof Coffin is strange. Hine and Kane set it up as a thriller, possibly a superhero book, definitely with some horror and sci-fi elements. It also ends with the implied scene the protagonist’s sons are going to be mask-wearing psychopaths.

There’s also the meta-fiction aspect—Hine and Kane are off-panel characters in the story, they produced great comics in the sixties before Hine sold out (of course, Hine works for DC and Marvel too, I think). Bulletproof Coffin is definitely very thoughtful and it’s hard to think anything occurs without a definite purpose. By keeping that purpose obscured (the first issue reveals nothing), it gets up one’s hopes Hine and Kane won’t do something stupid.

Kane’s art is sinister and bright. The Silver Age “reprint” in this issue looks great.

Hine brings the problems to the table. Even though it’s intriguing, his narration is occasionally weak.

CREDITS

The Eye Within the Eye; writers, Shaky Kane and David Hine; artist and colorist, Kane; letterers, Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt; publisher, Image Comics.

Black Widow 3 (August 1999)

68274.jpg

Grayson’s back to true form here, with terrible dialogue and sexy smooth talker Matt Murdock. It appears he’s got a cell built in to his Daredevil costume. He shows up towards the beginning, talking to the Black Widow II. I’m sure this story wasn’t Grayson’s idea—maybe someone at Marvel thought it sounded good—but it’s just a stupid plot.

Especially the way the last page suggests all these double-crosses Grayson never even hinted at earlier.

Jones basically has one job this issue. Make a fight scene compelling. He fails miserably. Some of it is his page composition, some of it is just the art.

As for Grayson’s resolution to last issue’s cliffhanger—it’s exceptionally weak. Maybe she thought she needed it to probably weigh a three issue limited series. Regardless, she ruins whatever paltry good will the previous issue earned.

Oh, and when Grayson talks gender, Widow reeks.

D- 

CREDITS

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Part Three: I.D.; writer, Devin Grayson; artist, J.G. Jones; colorists, Ian Hannin and Andy Troy; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editor, Nanci Dakeson; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Black Widow 2 (July 1999)

68273.jpg

So who shoots her (Natasha) at the end? Is that SHIELD? Why’s SHIELD shooting her?

This issue might be better written than the last. The conversation between Natasha and Matt is nowhere near as bad, though Grayson’s characterization of him as a lech seems a little off. Well, no, it seems a lot off. Grayson makes Daredevil a pig.

What’s striking is how much I hated the art this issue. Maybe I was just being nice to the first issue. Jones draws everyone’s head veiny and fat; the comic is full of hideously ugly people. He doesn’t even bring enough inks to them to make them look interesting. Thin, veiny ugly fat heads. How engaging.

Grayson has an interesting plot development, Natasha doing something unexpected, and it finally makes Black Widow interesting (while hugely problematic)

So interesting it encourages one to check out the resolution.

Shame about the fat heads.

CREDITS

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Part Two: Ingenue; writer, Devin Grayson; artist, J.G. Jones; colorist, Brian Haberlin; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editor, Nanci Dakeson; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Black Widow 1 (June 1999)

68272.jpg

For some reason, I was expecting more from Jones. I wasn’t expecting anything from Grayson (and, oh, did she deliver), but Jones… I thought he’d at least do a consistently good issue.

Instead, it’s like he’s alternating. One panel is good, the next isn’t. He has these terrible eyeglass lenses, which makes Matt Murdock’s cameo doubly painful (Grayson’s dialogue, which is supposed to be romantic banter between Matt and Natasha, is laughably bad). The action scenes are similar. Sometimes he does all right, other times his proportions all of a sudden change. The issue has some well-paced fight scenes, but it ends with this drawn out sequence of Natasha escaping in a truck. Jones turns a page of action into four or five. All wordless too.

Grayson can’t even make it compelling when Natasha runs afoul of her replacement.

I don’t know why, but I thought it’d be better.

CREDITS

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Part One: Uninvited; writer, Devin Grayson; artist, J.G. Jones; colorist, Dave Kemp; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editor, Nanci Dakeson; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Gorilla-Man 3 (November 2010)

762294.jpg

Parker plays fast and loose with the logic for the conclusion. Not for the flashbacks–which is careful not to overlap the previous Gorilla-Man origin–but for the modern stuff. It ends on a strange note, showing Ken to maybe be Parker’s strongest Agent of Atlas. He’s able to make profound statements and tell crude jokes and have it work.

The looseness is to get the story done quickly. The pacing is good, but Parker could have used another issue. The flashback material is compelling and begs for more attention. Some questions frustratingly go unanswered–even in the modern part, a side effect of the loose logic.

There’s a lot of brief action too. Caracuzzo has a great scene with Ken knocking people around with a giant log.

I can’t believe I forgot–it opens with Ken talking to a gorilla. For some reason, it’s a beautiful, quiet scene.

Parker does a fine job.

CREDITS

The Serpent and the Hawk, Part Three; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Giancarlo Caracuzzo; colorist, Jim Charalampidis; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Nathan Cosby, Michael Horwitz and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Gorilla-Man 2 (October 2010)

760042.jpg

There’s a little bit of action (in the modern story) at the open of the issue, then it’s a trip down memory lane.

Parker makes the connection between Ken, his past and his current mission rather quickly; I’m glad he didn’t try to keep it for a surprise. He’s able to cover a lot of history here—even though the origin of Gorilla-Man (as a gorilla man) probably won’t be part of it. It’s interesting to see how Parker deals with Ken’s timeline. It seems like if Parker had more issues, he might have just told the story without the frames. It’s solid stuff, the flashback to the thirties and forties.

The issue ends on a soft cliffhanger but it’s a good one.

The Caracuzzo continues to work (it might be better this issue). Though, since it’s Tom Fowler style, why not just get Tom Fowler on the book?

CREDITS

The Serpent and the Hawk, Part Two; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Giancarlo Caracuzzo; colorist, Jim Charalampidis; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Nathan Cosby, Michael Horwitz and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Gorilla-Man 1 (September 2010)

757149-1.jpg

Parker sets the series (presumably, at least the first issue implies) in modernity. It’s in between Atlas titles, with Ken on an Atlas mission to Africa to stop some bad guy. That part of the story isn’t the most interesting, of course. The most interesting is the flashbacks to Ken’s childhood Parker peppers the issue with. It gives a look at his early history—and some part of it will likely tie in to the modern story because it’s a comic book limited series, after all.

The drawing factor isn’t the plot, but the charm Parker brings. Ken’s not an absurd character— Parker plays the idea of a Gorilla-Man against the content. Even if the opening is some fantastical art thief with a bunch of beautiful henchwomen (Ken recruits a few for Atlas, of course).

Caracuzzo’s art is decent and a fine match.

It’s off to a good start.

CREDITS

The Serpent and the Hawk, Part One; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Giancarlo Caracuzzo; colorist, Jim Charalampidis; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Nathan Cosby, Michael Horwitz and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: