Winter Soldier 2 (April 2012)

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While Winter Soldier remains exceptionally entertaining, Brubaker runs into some genre problems. He runs the book like it’s action espionage with supervillains–though it’s unclear why Bucky isn’t familiar with the Red Ghost (to be fair, I got companies confused and thought the machine gunning gorilla was Monsieur Mallah)–but he still keeps the mystery investigation angle.

So Bucky and Natasha are trying to figure out the second bad guy and Brubaker already told the reader last issue. There’s no way the discovery is going to have a significant pay-off and it’s bewildering why he wouldn’t keep the reader in the dark too.

While the approach allows him a money shot at the end of this issue, it’s not a particularly good one. Guice and Breitweiser make it look cool and all… but who cares?

The art continues its excellence. Guice concentrates on the action more, as does Brubaker.

CREDITS

The Longest Winter, Part Two; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Butch Guice; colorist, Bettie Breitweiser; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editor, Lauren Sankovitch, John Denning and Tom Breevort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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Hellblazer 8 (August 1988)

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All of a sudden, Delano seems to decide he needs to make the comic about Constantine. Not immediately, of course. He opens with a little about the cultists kidnapping Constantine’s lady friend, though she’s been reduced to a chess piece at this point.

Then Constantine hallucinates–and Delano gives the reader some hints of the backstory (a botched exorcism)–and finally wakes up to discover himself in a hospital bed.

Apparently Swamp Thing, in an offscreen moment, got Constantine to the doctor. This scene, with Swamp Thing somehow delivering a crushed Constantine to the emergency room door, would be better than anything else in the issue.

Anyway, a demon shows up and tries to get Constantine to join his side against the Christian fundamentalists. Delano amusingly puts the blame not on the fundamentalists… but insensitive angels. The details are interesting, but they don’t make a story.

Still, the writing’s decent.

CREDITS

Intensive Care; writer, Jamie Delano; penciller, John Ridgway; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Lovern Kindzierski; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Karen Berger; publisher, DC Comics.

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