Batwoman 2 (December 2011)

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Williams is on the “better second issue bandwagon” too. He’s not dealing with introducing the cast and their problems, he’s just moving the story along. Kate and Maggie Sawyer go on a date. It’s not all that interesting, except for Blackman and Williams’s boring dialogue… oh, wait, I got it backwards. It’s interesting because Williams’s style on Kate Kane is to make her practically part of the background. Not easy to do with shock red hair.

But it’s the opposite of what he does with Batwoman. She’s vibrant and practically shining against the drab background.

Batwoman is a book about great comic art. It’s never going to be Promethea, but Williams still does come up with some wondrous stuff. The last page, with a simple image of a bridge, is absolutely stunning.

It’s a good comic, even with the ludicrous revelation supernatural creatures are commonplace in the new DC Universe.

CREDITS

Hydrology, Part Two: Infiltration; writers, J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman; artist, Williams; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Janelle Asselin, Katie Kubert and Mike Marts; publisher, DC Comics.

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Planet of the Apes 21 (February 1992)

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What an exceptionally bad issue.

First, the art. Wyman has a new inker with Peter Murphy, according to the credits, but I can’t believe Wyman did much but sketch. The art has descended to the laughable garbage of the series’s early issues, before Wyman (with his alternating excellence and competence) took over.

Then the writing… Marshall apparently got a bug for tying into the movies, because he now ties into the movies, all of his ape characters (including giving one a descendent… without explaining how the line would propagate) and throws it all together.

But wait, there’s more.

There’s magic.

The villain is resurrected through evil magic and he can set people ablaze.

It’s terrible, terrible stuff. And it’s strange to see from Marshall, who never did anything incredibly stupid before. But this issue? This issue of Planet of the Apes goes into new realms of stupid.

It’s laughably hideous.

Mister Terrific 2 (December 2011)

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Making fun of Gugliotta’s art seems like a low blow. There’s so much to mock about Mister Terrific, Gugliotta’s actually not high on the list. Oh, there’s some bad art, but he’s improving in some ways. Instead of drawing Mister Terrific like a white guy, he’s at least going through the motions with keeping the hair accurate. The same—accuracy—can’t be said for Gugliotta’s approach to Karen Starr, but maybe inker Faucher decided to draw her head tilted in physiologically impossible ways.

No, the real fun making is reserved for writer Wallace, who somehow manages to be worse than I remembered him. Wallace loves expository dialogue—I’m not sure there’s a single line without it in here—and his attempt at fusing a feel good superhero (the public adores him!) with science fails.

I miss the first issue’s reverse racism, but Mister Terrific shows some xenophobia, which almost compensates.

CREDITS

Blinded by Science; writer, Eric Wallace; penciller, Gianluca Gugliotta; inker, Wayne Faucher; colorist, Mike Atiyeh; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Kate Stewart and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.

Planet of the Apes 20 (January 1992)

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The only particular thing in this issue is someone writing an Apes comic finally got around to an orangutan called King Louie. Otherwise, the issue’s pretty drab.

Marshall does a Western with apes and it’s impossible not to compare it to Doug Moench’s work back on the Marvel series. Only, Marshall just does a Western. It doesn’t have anything to do with Planet of the Apes. After the King Louie reference, none of it needs apes.

Still, Wyman and Pallot’s less detailed art style fits a Western atmosphere better—there’s scenery they can’t get away with ignoring—and the story’s not terrible. If it were just a Western, it’d probably be better, because I had an expectation Marshall was going to make it somehow important these were apes not humans.

But he doesn’t.

The issue, which is clearly meant to be seen as a creative experiment, isn’t creative at all.

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