Batman: The Dark Knight 4 (June 1986)

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Miller probably could have spread this issue out over two. There’s the follow-up to the Joker’s death, there’s a bit with Superman fighting the Russians, there’s Gotham as a disaster zone. Miller gets confused.

His comic’s working at cross purposes. Clark sees a connection with Bruce and Bruce doesn’t, so there’s the epic fight scene only Clark comes off more sympathetic. Bruce is working towards an end without any self-awareness. Clark has nothing but self-awareness.

There’s also the series’s first third person narration. Miller uses it for Alfred at the end; it’s a mistake. It treats Alfred as disposable, which is no good.

Gordon’s back for a bit too, with Miller using him to show the human side of a disaster contrasted with Batman’s perception of it.

The issue’s not ambitious enough for everything Miller wants to do. He never finds a rhythm, just forces a finish.

CREDITS

The Dark Knight Falls; writer and penciller, Frank Miller; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Lynn Varley; letterer, John Costanza; editors, Dick Giordano and Denny O’Neil; publisher, DC Comics.

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Star Trek 8 (May 2012)

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I’m trying to imagine what Phillips’s pencils must look like. He does so little work on faces–relying almost entirely on the colorist to fill in depth–I wish I could see the pencils. People probably look like blobs with eyes.

If you haven’t guessed, the art is terrible. Johnson still comes up with a fairly decent story. It gets talky at times; he’s better writing dialogue for the guest stars than the supporting Enterprise crew. Sulu in particular has no personality in Johnson’s Trek.

Johnson doesn’t so much rely on surprises as reasoned behavior, which is a fairly neat route to take… given some of the guest stars are Vulcan.

There’s a strange smallness to the issue too. It almost seems intentional; to mimic the confined sets of the old TV show. If so, it’s the coolest thing IDW’s done with Trek.

Besides the art, it’s pretty okay stuff.

CREDITS

Vulcan’s Vengeance, Part 2; writer, Mike Johnson; artist, Joe Phillips; colorist, John Rauch; letterer, Neil Uyetake; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

The Boys 26 (January 2009)

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I’ll never complain about Robertson being lazy on The Boys again. Actually, I probably will, but I sure do miss him this issue. John Higgins fills in and, while he can handle a lot of the content, he misses the nuance to some of it. He draws Annie like any other bimbo comic book blonde. Gone is the innocence. It changes the character quite a bit.

Higgins’s finest work might just be on Terror. He might draw the dog better than anything else.

Ennis is stretching out the story arc unnecessarily with this issue. Hughie’s interlude with Annie doesn’t build from the previous foreshadowing, Butcher’s subplot is just a tease, Mother’s Milk only has two pages. The Frenchman and the Female only have one.

Ennis focuses on the G-Men because he’s got some good X-Men jokes. But he’s overdoing it. Making fun of the X-Men is easy.

CREDITS

We Gotta Go Now, Part Four; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, John Higgins; colorist, Tony Avina; letterer, Simon Bowland; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

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