Ultimate Spider-Man 64 (October 2004)

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So Curt Conners let Ben Reilly know Peter Parker is Spider-Man? Wow, Ultimate Curt Conners is really a tool. Just when he at least tries to redeem himself, turns out he’s already set more damage in motion.

Bendis does some of his creative plotting, maybe to try to convince the reader Carnage has assumed Peter’s identity, maybe to kill a few pages. It doesn’t really matter. The issue’s mostly action and very fast-paced. Bendis’s twisting of the narrative just gives the reader a place to pause and consider what might happen next.

Most likely, an imagined conclusion would be more rewarding than what Bendis comes up with.

It’s not a bad conclusion, it’s just a predictable one. There’s nothing special about it. Everything special in the arc has already happened. Anything after the previous issue would be disappointing.

Though I wasn’t expecting the “Spider-Man No More” finish.

CREDITS

Carnage, Part Five of Five; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Jonathan D. Smith; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Nick Lowe and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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The Secret History of D.B. Cooper 3 (May 2012)

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This issue is mostly talking heads. Churilla toggles between Cooper in the real world, his CIA nemesis in the real world, and the Glut. The structure helps the issue move, since most of the talking is repeating things from the previous issue. There’s actually a few pages when the CIA nemesis talks about it, then Cooper asks the doctor if the CIA nemesis is out there talking about.

But the structure’s strong enough Churilla’s able to hide seventy percent of the issue is complete filler. The art’s the key to that pacing. When the Glut breaks through to the real world, Churilla’s art is what makes the sequence work. He’s able to do slimy and icky without being gross; the art has menace, but not enough to be unpleasant.

It’s a filler issue and not a bad one as filler issues go.

The teddy bear remains a rather adorable character.

B- 

CREDITS

Writer, artist and colorist, Brian Churilla; letterer, Ed Brisson; editor, James Lucas Jones; publisher, Oni Press.

Bloodhound 1 (September 2004)

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Bloodhound takes a while to get bloody. It has to get bloody–most of the issue takes place during a prison riot with the lead characters trying to survive to the exit. When the issue starts, however, it generally feels like a regular DC comic.

I mean, Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs’s artwork is–while utterly fabulous–definitely mainstream comics art. Kirk has some beautiful panel composition for the reaction shots during conversations and then more during the action scenes.

Dan Jolley’s dialogue has a lot of information to follow, but he never goes overboard with the exposition. There are little comments as people say things to one another and it passes the information. Some of it doesn’t even stick (though I read Bloodhound back when it first came out so I remember some).

The most startling violence comes late, but perfectly timed.

It’s a good, carefully written first issue.

CREDITS

Greenlight; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

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