Doomsday + 1 2 (September 1975)

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So Barbie is falling in love with the thawed cave man. I doubt Gill will be able to sell it, though it does give his characters something interesting. There’s nothing otherwise. The Ken guy gets kidnapped by an evil Soviet cyborg and it’s all painfully boring.

Gill only continues the ravaged world exploration thing for a couple pages. Mostly he’s just got armies of robots attacking the survivors and then they hop a fighter jet to Mother Russia. There, they have another lengthy fight scene. There’s some talking, but it’s Ken and the cyborg. Very boring.

Byrne does have some wonderful composition this issue, however. Even though his details on people aren’t particularly special–he rushes on the people–the rest of his art makes up for it. Doomsday + 1 almost has a good setting; instead of developing it, Gill fills it with action.

Byrne’s art deserves much better storytelling.

CREDITS

A Faceless Foe; writer, Joe Gill; artist and letterer, John Byrne; editor, George Wildman; publisher, Charlton Comics.

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Fashion Beast 1 (August 2012)

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Given how much effort Alan Moore puts into his comic scripts–instructions to the artist for each panel, for example–one can easily tell he’s not writing Fashion Beast. Antony Johnston is–I assume–using Moore’s dialogue, but who knows what kind of instruction he’s giving artist Facundo Percio.

Did Johnston actually tell Percio to waste about a third of the issue on montage shots?

Once the comic gets going, it’s pretty good. The protagonist–at this point–seems to be a transgender girl who works as a coat check girl for the poshest fashion designer in a dystopian city. Percio’s visuals for the city are great; it’s like a mix of Dickensian London with classic Paris but set in the future.

The lead gets into a fight (at work) with her neighbor, a tomboy.

It’s a very slight issue, but ends promising thanks to Moore’ dialogue and Percio’s art.

CREDITS

The Magician; writers, Malcolm McLaren, Alan Moore and Antony Johnston; artist, Facundo Percio; colorist, Hernan Cabrera; editor, Jim Kuhoric; publisher, Avatar Press.

Ultimate Spider-Man 78 (August 2005)

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And, like he knows he needs to do something special, Bendis tries to get his groove back with a Mary Jane-centered issue. She’s dealing with Peter dumping her and meets some great older guy who Liz hooks her up with.

It’s a talking heads book at various different locations, mostly the mall and then the concert where the great older guy plays and afterwards.

It’s okay. Bendis is trying way too hard to redeem Mary Jane as a character. Kong probably even comes off better because he’s at least in character. Bendis is forcing Mary Jane to fit his narrative, which isn’t a usual problem for him.

He could have done something crazy or signifiant with this issue; instead, he’s predictable.

There’s a great moment when Mary Jane fixates on a person at the mall. It’s just there, no explanation. Only honest moment she has in the entire comic.

CREDITS

Dumped; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Jonathan D. Smith; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, John Barber, Nicole Wiley and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 13 (September 2013)

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It’s weird how Slott let Gage handle the script on this arc. It’s got some of the biggest changes to Superior since it started–a new page in Otto’s relationship with Jonah, a secret base (and lab) for Spider-Man–one would’ve thought Slott would want to be more hands on with it all.

The issue’s pretty good, with some nice moves for the Lizard. Hopefully he sticks around, even though he wouldn’t really be good with Otto.

Sadly, even though the issue moves well, there’s nothing memorable. The villains each have their own problems, but who cares? They were never interesting in the first place. Just the Green Goblin movie version–visually speaking–of familiar (and not familiar) characters.

The stuff with Otto and the main villain is a little tired though. Besides Otto revealing himself in the Spider Slayer’s finale moments… it’s the same as the previous showdowns.

CREDITS

No Escape, Part Three: The Slayer The Slain; writers, Dan Slott and Christos Gage; penciller, Giuseppe Camuncoli; inkers, John Dell and Terry Pallot; colorist, Antonio Fabela; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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