Sci-Spy 6 (September 2002)

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Are there any real surprises? Nope. Moench doesn’t even resolve the questions he raised last issue. It’s not a particularly good issue of the series—though far from the worst in terms of Moench’s expository dialogue. He’s got a bunch of it here too, but since it’s the last issue, he gets some leeway.

There’s a huge battle scene and Gulacy and Palmiotti do well with it. The battle has an unlikely setting, at least in terms of physics, but it looks good. It’s not particularly dramatic—again, it’s the last issue and even Moench’s surprise is expected. Actually, not even the big final dramatic moment has much drama.

Sci-Spy mixes a lot of sci-fi movie plot points—not much spy stuff, except Q and then only in the second issue—and Moench and Gulacy do an okay job regurgitating it all into something workable.

It’s decent enough.

CREDITS

Invasion; writers, Paul Gulacy and Doug Moench; penciller, Gulacy; inker, Jimmy Palmiotti; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Zachary Rau and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

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Sci-Spy 5 (August 2002)

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Now, how’s Moench going to get himself—and the cast—out of the not insubstantial hole he dug for them?

Creatively.

I mean, it’s sort of simple—kiss, kiss, bang, bang simple—but it works. Gulacy and Palmiotti eventually have a lot to do this issue, but even at the open… they do well making the unbelievable seem somewhat reasonable.

Moench has one big surprise for the issue and it’s not a bad one. It does leave something to be desired in terms of background. While the reveal is certainly plausible, he’s leaving out what leads up to the event and that sleight of hand is obvious. He doesn’t need it, but it would be nice just to feel like he took the time to figure it all out.

Maybe the next issue will reveal all.

After a couple definite trips, it looks like Sci-Spy will finish pretty well.

CREDITS

New Earth; writers, Paul Gulacy and Doug Moench; penciller, Gulacy; inker, Jimmy Palmiotti; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Zachary Rau and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

Sci-Spy 4 (July 2002)

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Coming off the highpoint of last issue, it shouldn’t be a surprise this one has problems. Moench spends the first half of it unveiling the “true” ground situation. Loads of expository dialogue, but some really nice flashback summary art from Gulacy and Palmiotti. Not sure what’s up with the weightlifting fetishizing, but whatever….

Then Moench moves on to the action, sci-fi part of it. It’s well-plotted and interesting, even if the dialogue’s terrible. He’s got to fill the pages with something, so he choses weak dialogue between the two protagonists. They’re an established couple now and a lot less interesting. Once again, the orb provides a lot of needed comic relief.

As for the conclusion—and the very hard cliffhanger—it’s good. I have no idea what to expect, given the situation Moench saddles on the protagonists.

Only one severe problem—Gulacy’s Predator-influenced alien designs are weak.

CREDITS

Original Sin; writers, Paul Gulacy and Doug Moench; penciller, Gulacy; inker, Jimmy Palmiotti; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Zachary Rau and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

Sci-Spy 3 (June 2002)

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Interesting. Moench pulls out some surprises this issue—not simple ones either. The issue opens with something like a Raiders of the Lost Ark homage and it works. The dialogue’s still kind of weak, leftovers from last issue, but Gulacy and Palmiotti make the action pretty.

Then we get romance and humor. Moench comes up with some funny stuff too and the romance angle—between the protagonists—changes the book enough it starts to really work. it’s different… sci-fi action as a first date and so on.

The names, I need to take a moment on the names. The guy—Sebastian Starchild—gets the regular comics alliteration. But the girl? Isis Nile. Maybe Moench just liked that name and didn’t want to make it rhyme with anything.

Oh, and the finish—the soft cliffhanger? Absolutely fantastic. Might even go a level deeper and get really funky.

It’s getting good.

CREDITS

Revelations; writers, Paul Gulacy and Doug Moench; penciller, Gulacy; inker, Jimmy Palmiotti; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Zachary Rau and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

Sci-Spy 2 (May 2002)

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This issue initially brings out more of the espionage angle. The protagonists—Starchild and Nile—team up (forced into the situation by their boss) and head off into what sounds like a spy mission. They have to impersonate terrorists and discover what’s going on with these robotic monsters eating the good planets piece by piece.

Two things stand out in this issue. First, the writing is lame. I can’t tell if Moench is padding out the story because he doesn’t have enough or if he’s intentionally writing lame, declarative one-liners. He also changes the issue’s pacing—going from espionage to action at the drop of a hat, like he’s modeling the issue on a James Bond movie (not really, because Bond didn’t have partners) and not the series overall.

Still, the art’s a delight. Gulacy knows how to compose action sci-fi and Palmiotti continues to ink him well.

CREDITS

Inferno; writers, Paul Gulacy and Doug Moench; penciller, Gulacy; inker, Jimmy Palmiotti; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Zachary Rau and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

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