Batman 305 (November 1978)


There’s something off about the art in the feature story. John Calnan is actually really ambitious–interesting composition, lots of dynamic movement–but none of it works. There’s no depth; someone’s hand–gesturing–will look affixed to his or her face.

Not sure if it’s inker Dave Hunt or Calnan, but since Hunt does all right inking the backup, I’m assuming Calnan.

Gerry Conway writes the feature. It’s Batman versus terrorists with a subplot about Gotham millionaires losing their fortunes. Are these two plots somehow related? Sadly, yes. Actually, Conway pulls off the connection relatively well, he just has a goofy resolution for the terrorists. There’s the reality of a terrorist threat and the unreality of a giant slot machine.

Bob Rozakis’s backup has beautiful pencils from Don Newton and goes through Batman’s investigative process. It’s pretty cool, with Batman following leads without them panning out.

Incredibly weak cliffhanger though.


Death-Gamble of a Darknight Detective!; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, John Calnan; colorist, Jerry Serpe. With This Ring Find Me Dead!; writer, Bob Rozakis; penciller, Don Newton; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Inker, Dave Hunt; letterer, Ben Oda; editors, E. Nelson Bridwell and Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.


Fury: My War Gone By 6 (November 2012)


The senator has a long monologue where he talks about the fallout from the Bay of Pigs. The whole issue is fallout, starting with Nick and his team, then with his lady friend and the senator.

Ennis approaches the ideology of the whole invasion. One of Nick’s team is very jingoistic, anti-Red; Ennis–and Nick–just lets him talk. The politics don’t matter, but the character’s mettle does. It contributes to an unexpected finish for the issue.

Most of the issue is either talking or the Cubans torturing captives. So the finish, which ties into what Ennis did with the first few issues, is a resounding success. Fury all of a sudden becomes a war comic, even though it’s an espionage story and there’s no war. It’s one of those moments of quiet in a war story.

Ennis’s choice to loose Nick Fury in the real world works great.


An’ Go to Your Gawd As a Soldier; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Goran Parlov; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Nick Lowe; publisher, MAX.

Swamp Thing 162 (January 1996)


It’s a particularly awesome issue, even if the Abby thing doesn’t work out.

The evil druid from another dimension has Alec trapped while he’s burning down a building with a bunch of hostages in it. Millar doesn’t go easy on characterizing the hostages. He makes sure the reader knows how scared and desperate they are in their situation.

Then there’s a big action sequence and it’s awesome, some great narration for Alec. Then there’s a resolution scene full of magic and wonderment–also awesome (Hester and DeMulder do better on the action than the resolution; they don’t do wonderment very well).

Millar hasn’t done an issue like this one, with Alec confronting a threat and also trying to think of others. It’s the most superhero Swamp Thing has been in a hundred plus issues.

But the Abby resolution is bewildering… until one remembers last issue–Millar skips a necessary refresher.


Telephone Calls from the Dead; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Phil Hester; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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