The Maze Agency 14 (July 1990)


More bad art from Phipps. I’m not sure, but I think he’s getting worse. Like Barr thinks he’s getting better so he can handle more stuff–this issue there’s a lengthy “trial” sequence and then a nightmare scene at the end… the only scary parts being Phipps’s art though.

He hurts what Barr is trying to do with the romantic angle, with both Jennifer and Gabe changing as their relationship deepens. Phipps being weak on the mystery stuff is fine, it always gets resolved by the end of the issue, but he’s messing up what makes the comic distinct.

This issue takes place at a prison, where Jennifer and Gabe have to solve an unlikely murder to end a riot. Barr’s pacing is a little off. It’s front heavy, with all the characters’ introductions–not to mention the return of a previous villain–but it’s a decent mystery, if predictable.


Before Midnight; writer, Mike W. Barr; penciller, Robb Phipps; inker, Rick Magyar; colorist, Susan Glod; letterer, Vickie Williams; editor, David Campiti; publisher, Innovation Publishing.


Popeye 7 (November 2012)


Langridge drawing Popeye looks exactly like… Popeye. This issue’s the first Langridge does the art on too and I guess I was expecting something else. It’s great art, it’s just great Popeye art. Langridge never has ego problems so I don’t know why I’m surprised.

The feature story has Popeye and Castor on a case (Olive and Wimpy come along too). There are a couple things for Popeye to punch, lots for Wimpy to eat and an old boyfriend for Olive to occasionally swoon over. Langridge isn’t reinventing the wheel, just making it as round and smooth as possible.

He does a great job with Castor, turning him into the reader’s stand-in in the story. He can’t overplay him, but he could use him more, he does so well.

The backup, involving a mechanical cow, is–as usual–funnier. Langridge’s only got to sets up joke, not a narrative.


The Beast of Desolation Gulch or The Case of the Desert Yeti. The Cow of Tomorrow!. Writer, artist and letterer, Roger Langridge; colorist, Luke McDonnell; editors, Ted Adams, Craig Yoe and Clizzia Gussoni ; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Swamp Thing 150 (January 1995)


And here Millar writes his best issue so far. It’s probably the best Swamp Thing since some time during Veitch’s run–and not just because Millar gives Alec a moment where he can appreciate life in the swamp again (something big during the Moore and Veitch runs).

The issue’s about a few things. There’s all the mystical stuff, which is probably the weakest part because Millar’s just building towards the future, there’s the stuff with Sargon and his niece, which is probably the best because Millar’s dealing with complicated human emotions, and then there’s Alec’s stuff. He’s got to save Earth from resurrected damned souls and himself from the Earth Thing. That big game hunter is now Ben Grimm as a rock elemental.

Millar writes them a fantastic fight scene, ending with Alec’s narration returning. Millar really excels at that narration; he returns Swamp Thing to its internal narration roots.


The Illumination; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Phil Hester; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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