The Boys 32 (July 2009)


My bad, the Female doesn’t die. I thought she did (and I took it, as a reader, in total stride).

But she makes it. And then the Boys get into a big fight with a second-rate super team. Lots of violence, but with the Ezquerra art it’s all very digestible.

A couple things stand out this issue. First, Annie gets a new costume and new origin story. While the costume appears to be a dig at Marvel’s costumes for various female heroes, the rape-centered origin is straight out of DC. The Ezquerra’ art on her subplot is awful but Ennis writes it very, very well. Her anger’s palpable.

Second, Hughie’s turned into a whiny pest. Almost to the point he’s no longer likable. He whines and complains instead of paying attention. Makes one think Ennis doesn’t have a fully developed arc prepared for him.

Awesome issue though. Awesome.


The Self-Preservation Society, Part Two; writer, Garth Ennis; penciller, Carlos Ezquerra; inker, Hector Ezquerra; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.


Captain America and Black Widow 637 (November 2012)


Clearly I haven’t been reading Marvel comics for a while. Since when do they talk about a multiverse like it’s early eighties DC and what’s the deal with the big tripod monsters?

Confusion aside, it’s a fairly good issue. Bunn’s plot twist is somewhat unexpected–supervillain arms dealer only employs her multiverse selves; there’s none of the cool different back stories this issue, which is too bad.

Instead, Bunn and Francavilla do an action issue with some occasional confusing talking bits. There are two Black Widows and it’s unclear who is who… But it doesn’t really matter, since the issue moves so fast.

As far as the writing, Bunn’s got Steve telling a proctologist joke. It’s an odd moment, making one wonder if Steve’s really a multiverse double too. It’s not good banter for him.

It’s an interesting misfire–way too heavy on the dystopian sci-fi–with nice art


Writer, Cullen Bunn; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Jake Thomas and Lauren Sankovitch; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 2 (October 2012)


Why didn’t they just combine this series with the Rorschach one? Straczynski probably gives Rorschach a third of the issue anyway. He’s juxtaposing Dan and Rorschach’s differing Mommy complexes, which would work for a combined book. But for one called Nite Owl? Doesn’t make any sense.

There’s not a lot of callbacks to the original series here, except Rorschach getting his sign. Why doesn’t he get in his own series? Because Straczynski doesn’t have a story for Dan, not really. He’s got Dan chasing down some leather madam–gratuitously topless woman in a DC regular comic alert–because of his Mommy issues.

There’s also a lot of stuff Straczynski should have included in the first issue regarding Dan’s home life. It’s unclear how he’s a millionaire when his family lives in a very middle class home. Straczynski definitely should have addressed it.

The art’s real bad this issue. Real bad.


Some Things Are Just Inevitable; writer, J. Michael Straczynski; penciller, Andy Kubert; inker, Joe Kubert; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Nick Napolitano. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, The Devil in the Deep, Part Nine; writer, Len Wein; artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Mark Doyle, Camilla Zhang and Will Dennis; publisher, DC Comics.

Swamp Thing 104 (February 1991)


This issue, establishing even more asinine backstory, really shows Wheeler’s problem. He’s interested in making his mark on Swamp Thing, not making his mark with Swamp Thing. He’s trying to wow with details instead of actions. This issue, Alec and Abby learn the Parliament contrived his birth as plant elemental in order to guarantee he’d go back in time and start the Parliament.

Also, the Green is sort of an alien; it landed on Earth. Such revelations make one wonder if anyone at DC really cared anymore. Maybe they expected the sales to plummet without Veitch or Moore.

This issue, luckily, has Bill Jaaska on the flashback art. He does a beautiful job with the grandiose, earth-shattering events. Wheeler covered some of them in his first issues, but nowhere does he acknowledge those issues, which is weird.

Terrible writing for Abby and weak Hoffman art round out the issue.


Matango, The Quest for the Elementals, Part One; writer, Doug Wheeler; artist, Mike Hoffman and Bill Jaaska; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, DC Comics.

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