2000 AD 21 (16 July 1977)

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It’s not the worst issue but there’s sure nothing to recommend it. Not even Dredd. Gerry Finley-Day writes both it and Invasion. Neither stand out except by not being as bad as the rest of the entries. Good twist at the end of Dredd though.

Oh, wait, Shako. It has some really nice art from Arancio. It’s beyond dumb–it’s the adventures of a mean-spirited, fugitive from the CIA polar bear–but it’s well drawn dumb.

Harlem Heroes and Dan Dare both stink in uninteresting ways. It almost seemed like Heroes was going to end, but then Tully finds a way to keep it going. Presumably forever. The main characters barely appear this story. I can’t even remember Dare.

M.A.C.H. 1 is a strange one; it’s not good, but the idea of the Probe character doing private investigation work isn’t a bad one. Carlos’s art isn’t terrible either.

CREDITS

Invasion, Sandringham; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Peter Knight. Shako, Part Two; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Arancio; letterer, Jack Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-one; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Ten; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Knight and Bill Nuttall. M.A.C.H. 1, Recluse; writer, Nick Allen; artist, Carlos; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, The Solar Sniper; writer, Finley-Day; artist, Ron Turner; letterer, Potter. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

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Ultimate Spider-Man 124 (September 2008)

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Wait a second, is the the arc Bendis wrote to tie into the “Ultimate Spider-Man” video game? I thought he delayed it for years and years and then finally did it.

He should have waited longer.

So, Eddie Brock is gone as a narrator now, which makes no sense. Eddie’s narration last issue was the present and this issue Bendis is kicking around two flashbacks. First with the Rhino and then Firefly? Or some guy in a Firefly-like suit; he doesn’t have a name yet.

In between fights, Peter–because he’s all of a sudden the lead with no transition–talks to Mary Jane, talks to Nick Fury. Only for exposition though, because it’s all flashback and Bendis doesn’t take any time to texture it. Probably because he forced this arc.

There’s some really nice art from Immonen, particularly during the Firefly chase, but the whole thing’s off.

CREDITS

Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Stuart Immonen; inker, Wade von Grawbadger; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Lauren Sankovitch, Bill Rosemann and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Buzzkill 1 (September 2013)

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I kind of like Geoff Shaw’s art. He doesn’t do any action in the first issue of Buzzkill, just hints of it and a lot of talking, but I do kind of like it. It’s that hurried, lots of lines indie thing. It’s popular right now and would work a lot better if Donny Cates’s script had better pacing.

Buzzkill is about the gimmick. Imagine Superman gets his powers from drugs and alcohol. He has to be drunk or high to get them–and he’s got all the regular side effects of being drunk and high. So not much of a superpower, right?

The protagonist–Cates cutely hides his real name (and draws attention to his cuteness)–goes to an AA meeting. Of course he doesn’t tell them everything, so there’s a quick cut to non-action action from Shaw.

Cates’s script is lame, obvious, somewhat pretentious.

It’s bad stuff.

CREDITS

The Problem; writers, Mark Reznicek and Donny Cates; artist, Geoff Shaw; colorist, Lauren Affe; editors, Everett Patterson and Patrick Thorpe; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Brother Lono 4 (November 2013)

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Azzarello continues what one might call a peculiar approach to Lono. Nothing big happens during the issue; there might be cliffhanger–this issue has a soft one–and there’s a possibly big followup to the previous issue’s cliffhanger at the beginning, but it’s very mild otherwise. It’s horrific, sure. There are drug lords doing terrible things to one another and to regular people (this issue it’s more the hint of terrible things), but it’s almost tranquil.

Azzarello introduces another new character, yet another bad guy, and sort of follows him around for the day. When he gets to town, when he meets with a drug lord, how he spends his evening. It’s all very, very calm.

There’s a texture to Lono, a relaxed pace. It’s hard to anticipate what’s going to happen–though Azzarello does bring in a thing from the first issue–because the events don’t matter.

Good stuff.

CREDITS

!El Monstruo Del Norte!; writer, Brian Azzarello; artist, Eduardo Risso; colorist, Trish Mulvihill; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Sara Miller and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

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