Ultimate Spider-Man 65 (November 2004)

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It’s a great Ultimate Spider-Man until the end.

Bendis apes The Breakfast Club a little, putting Peter, Mary, Liz, Kong and Flash in detention. Then he flashes back to reveal what got them there, then he lets people say some things. Mostly Mary, put also Peter.

It’s one of those awesome talking issues Bendis does every once in a while.

But then he feels the need to rush Peter’s mourning arc and he cheapens the whole thing. Bendis assumes his readers are smart enough for the first three-quarters, but too dumb to let it finish gracefully.

It’s a conflicting issue. It’s mostly excellent, but it’s also a flop. At least it’s a believable flop–the big finish isn’t contrived, it’s just too soon.

That character work he gets done is fantastic, though. He reveals just as much about the speakers as their subjects. It’s a very impressive sequence.

CREDITS

Detention; 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 4 (June 2012)

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It’s a breezy read, probably the breeziest of D.B. Cooper (so far). Churilla’s in the end run now, tying into the famous plane hijacking–or setting up for the tie in. The issue opens with a big action scene, takes a little breather with some talking heads, then moves into two chase sequences. They tie together too.

There’s not a lot of exposition, which is nice. While having the doctor around to explain things is a good way to get out the expository dialogue, actual conversations are better.

It remains to be seen if Churilla’s going to be able to tie up all the loose ends satisfactorily. He practically added one an issue–and started with a few–so he’s up to seven or eight now.

For the finish, he loosens up the art in the real world scenes. He tended to be controlled before, now he’s going wild.

CREDITS

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

Bloodhound 2 (October 2004)

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I like a lot of this issue. Jolley opens it well, the middle part is good, most of the ending is good. He goes out on a joke, which doesn’t work, but there’s some great stuff just before the finish.

In other words, Bloodhound is a good book. Jolley puts it all together quite nicely, as the protagonist reacquaints himself with old friends and his new colleagues.

But the most impressive thing in the issue is the way Kirk and Riggs draw a pair of hands. It’s not supposed to be a subtle panel, it’s supposed to be clear, but the technical drawing skill of it is just wonderful.

Jolley sticks to Clev, the protagonist (and the titular Bloodhound), but he does excellent work with his FBI handler. I can’t remember her name yet, but Jolley’s writing of her is great.

Besides the underwhelming last page, it’s an excellent comic.

CREDITS

(Un)leashed; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

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