2000 AD 12 (14 May 1977)

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Carlos Pino does the art on Invasion. He does pretty well, though Finley-Day’s script has all these analogues to the Nazis. It seems inappropriate and somewhat insensitive.

Flesh has good Sola art and a lame script, as usual, from Gosnell. They should’ve just done it without dialogue. Gosnell even manages to butcher pop culture references.

Harlem Heroes covers the origin of the sport–it’s Scottish. The script’s probably the most imaginative in many progs; it’s still not good.

Steve Moore takes over writing Dan Dare. It’s much better. Dare goes to the future London (a floating theme park) and meets a wolf man. Easily the best Dare so far.

M.A.C.H. 1–from Charles Herring and Mike Dorey–is similarly not terrible. It’s anti-American bluster and very silly, but okay.

Dredd has some goofy dialogue from Wagner, but McMahon illustrates a robot rebellion well. The giant robots are awesome.

CREDITS

Invasion, Death Line; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Twelve; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Twelve; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part One; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, The Laser Hound; writer, Charles Herring; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, J. Swain. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Three; writer, John Wagner; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Jack Potter. Editor, Pat Mills; publisher, IPC.

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Fashion Beast 4 (November 2012)

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Besides Moore’s dialogue, the issue’s got nothing going. It’s four conversations with Johnston inserting filler between them.

Doll and Tomboy argue about the outfit. Doll ends up seeing the boss about it. Tomboy and the custodian girl–who was supposed to be fired at the end of the first issue, I thought–have quick conversation, then Doll and Tomboy have another one.

Once again, Percio does wonders with Doll’s expressions. He doesn’t do as well with Tomboy, who sort of takes over the issue. But the dialogue is all fantastic so it plays quite well.

Johnston is very reductive in his adaptation. The transitions are usually montages, which make sense for something fashion-oriented, but if he’s going to confine activity to the clothes factory… he needs to bring more personality to it.

There’s almost nothing acknowledging the outside world here.

The dialogue and art continue to make it worthwhile.

CREDITS

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

Ultimate Spider-Man 81 (October 2005)

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Ultimate Jean DeWolfe is awesome and her rooftop conversation with Peter’s great–Bendis seems to realize he needs a mentor of some kind, but never keeps anyone consistently–but the issue’s sort of a waste.

Besides DeWolfe confirming the Kingpin’s read of the world is basically right and Peter should take on bad guys regardless of who informs him about them… there’s nothing going on here. Except a kung fu fight with Ultimate Iron Fist and Ultimate Master of Kung Fu versus a gang. It’s not Bagley’s fault it’s boring to read, it’s Bendis’s for giving the pair so many adversaries the art is too busy.

And then there’s another “did Peter really mess up that bad” moment before Bendis brings in Black Cat for the cliffhanger. He’s just using it as a bridge issue.

It’s not a bad issue, just a pointless one. Bendis could’ve done a lot better.

CREDITS

Warriors, Part Three; 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.

Ghosted 1 (July 2013)

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Joshua Williamson is one of those odd writers who are better with summary than are with actual scenes. It really shows when he’s doing a montage of his protagonist getting together a team of ghost hunters and thieves. They’re these little scenes, with just the right amount of information and personality.

He also does well with the protagonist narrating. The lead is a master thief. A rich guy breaks the lead out of prison to capture a ghost. The scenes where the rich guy lays out this scheme is painful. Williamson opens making Ghosted as real as possible–the unpleasantness of prison life–then brings in some supernatural ludicrousness.

The dialogue’s weak too, which doesn’t help the scenes.

Luckily, Goran Sudzuka’s strong art makes the whole thing pass. Even during the worst dialogue, Sudzuka’s doing something cool with the conversation.

Hopefully the writing gets better, but Sudzuka’s the essential here.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Goran Sud┼żuka; colorist, Miroslav Mrva; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

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