Black Orchid 3 (November 1993)

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Bill and Ted guest star this issue. Thankfully, Foreman only gives them a few pages. Reading his dialogue for stoners, one might guess Foreman has never gotten stoned, much less tripped.

But besides them–and the lame narration from Black Orchid’s call girl friend–it’s the best issue so far. It’s not good, as Foreman comes up with a crisis then resolves it without explaining the crisis or the resolution, but it’s better than what he was doing before.

Oddly, it’s the worst issue for the art. Thompson is a boring action artist and the setting–a forest of fungus–isn’t the most interesting in her style either. She never gets trippy, which might have helped. It’s just a lot of Black Orchid and Sherilyn (the hooker) walking around.

Foreman also hasn’t done much to define Orchid, except as a liar and manipulator. Still, the hooker isn’t likable either.

Eh.

CREDITS

The Tainted Zone; writer, Dick Foreman; penciller, Jill Thompson; inker, Stan Woch; colorist, Digital Chameleon; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Julie Rottenberg and Lou Stathis; publisher, Vertigo.

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Fury: My War Gone By 4 (September 2012)

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It’s an unhappy issue. From the start, with modern Nick narrating his life story–and explaining why it’s all been wrong-headed–to the flashback with Nick’s love life taking a turn for the worse… it’s unhappy.

There’s no action, just conversation. It’s sort of a talking heads issue, but spread over a few days. Nick and his sidekick head to Miami after planning the Bay of Pigs, but before the incident itself. Ennis has a few great techniques for getting in exposition without going overboard.

The supporting cast–the girl, the senator, the sidekick–stays the same even though years have passed since the last issue. Even though Nick’s a man of action, Ennis is using him to show how little anyone–even a comic book protagonist–matters in the course of history.

It’s a depressing issue, probably because Nick’s so depressed throughout.

Some particularly excellent Parlov art too.

CREDITS

If We Was Meant to Be Cowboys; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Goran Parlov; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Sebastian Girner and Nick Lowe; publisher, MAX.

Swamp Thing 159 (October 1995)

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Jill Thompson does fill-in for Millar’s attack on, let’s see, both the English upperclass and on Scottish parents.

It involves an elite dining club; the members have to eat whatever is put on their plate to keep in good standing. Can’t really spoil the big surprise, since Millar does a whole bait and switch for seven pages to hide it, but the salad course is an old Swamp Thing head.

Even though it’s horrifying, it’s a lovely little story about a boy and his dog–Millar dedicates it to a past pooch. It also gives him a chance to show off outside the comic’s regular constraints. He gets to be weird and funny but still show some heart without figuring out how to make it tie majorly into Swamp Thing.

Thompson’s art is fine. There’s nothing particularly good about it; the regular artists would’ve handled things just as well.

CREDITS

Swamp Dog; writer, Mark Millar; artist, Jill Thompson; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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