Predator 4 (March 1990)

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Street gangs versus the Predators. It’s actually a good battle scene. It takes up a good third of the issue; Verheiden definitely comes up with exiting visuals for the artists to realize.

The comic’s pretty lame though. Verheiden front loaded it with characters who disappear–the black police captain shows up again here; why’s he memorable? He’s black. It’s lazy writing and unbelievable.

The narration from the family man cop is pretty dang good though. Verheiden never gets into Schaefer’s head this issue and it works out. The family man has a lot better observations about the situation, far more emotionally charged.

There’s a fair amount of events in the issue, so it’s not a breezy read. It takes some time and has definite tension before the big battle scene.

I’m just trying to remember if anything else happens here. It’s build up, action, occasional good dialogue and no depth.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Verheiden; artists, Ron Randall and Chris Warner; colorist, Chris Chalenor; letterer, Jim Massara; editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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Ultimate Spider-Man 128 (January 2009)

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It’s funny how Immonen isn’t very good at fight scenes. It’s like he gets bored with them too fast. Venom versus Carnage, Super Venom, boring. Aunt May pulling a gun on Eddie Brock–awesome.

This issue finishes Bendis bringing Gwen Stacy back to life. Hopefully. She’s fine at the end of the issue, following an entirely unrealistic scene where Tony Stark is able to talk down Director Danvers.

Bendis also returns to Eddie on the park bench. Turns out it was in the future, kind of. Or the present of this issue, which doesn’t work with how the previous issue was set in the present too.

Like I said before, he should stick to his strengths. Aunt May having a gun for protection, strength. Competent multi-layered plotting… oh, come now, Bendis can’t even competently plot when he’s not working in flashbacks.

Hopefully he’ll get the series moving forward again.

CREDITS

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

Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril 3 (November 2013)

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Hogan continues his leisurely, pleasant pace. Tom Strong might be the one with his name in the title but Hogan’s really having fun doing his Terra Obscura sequel. He introduces the cast from that series again, going through all their changes. He has so much fun with their interplay, the whole plague thing is in the back burner.

There are some action scenes–Val, Tom’s son-in-law, spends the issue getting more and more aggravated, but Hogan’s clearly making him wait. Tom and Val are just explorers on this strange world. A strange world where Hogan and Sprouse have time to make a cute Watchmen reference too.

Anyway, the setting is an Egyptian encampment where two science heroes have become Egyptian gods reincarnated. It sounds weirder than it plays. Hogan and Sprouse do very well with the gradual storytelling.

Peril is so well executed, it doesn’t need forced thrills.

A- 

CREDITS

The New Egyptian Book of the Dead; writer, Peter Hogan; penciller, Chris Sprouse; inker, Karl Story; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Jessica Chen, Kristy Quinn, Ben Abernathy and Shelly Bond; publisher, Vertigo.

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